The Commissioner’s wife was ready to dial 911 last night during the Laker Nugget game. Had the Nuggets won, she would have had to make the call. But when the Lakers won game 5 to take a 3 games to 2 lead in the series, she was able to go to bed without fear.
The NBA’s worst fear was that the final would not include either Lebron James and the Cavs or Kobe Bryant and the Lakers. Stern and the networks can live with only one of the super stars of the league in the finals.
LA should win the series with the Nuggets in 7 games. Orlando will probably win the Cleveland series in 6 or 7 games.
Orlando is an outstanding team. They have the future of the all star center in Dwight Howard. But Howard is not a brand name yet. If he ever gets the offensive side of his game together he will become the dominant C in the league. In addition to Howard, the Magic has 4 other players scoring in double figures in the Cavs series. They are balanced and dangerous team.
Orlando will be dominant in the East for several years. As good as the Magic is now, it will be better next season when potential star Jameer Nelson comes back from injury. Their core players will be together for several seasons. Cleveland is a younger roster but their big men like Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Ben Wallace are old and are not getting faster with age. The youth of the Cavs is at the end of the bench. And the lack of production from the Cavs bench is a major reason the team has fallen two games behind the Magic.
The Nuggets are coming on as well. This was the first time Denver got past the first round of the playoffs in a number of years. They will have gained a lot of playoff experience this season. They will be back again to challenge the Lakers for several years to come. The Nuggets’ key players are not as young as Orlando so their time at the top of the West will be shorter.
And what about the Cavs’ future? A lot will be determined in Cleveland tonight. Even more will be known in Orlando on Saturday. If the Cavs win the next two, they have a chance to survive the Magic. The chances of that are slim and none. And slim is on life support. But I will discuss that tomorrow. We will know more then.
That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.
Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits https://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .