Who Wins The NBA Finals? From The Horse’s Mouth (Mr Ed)

28 02 2008

Well… Mr Ed Ziti!
This was recently up on Ed Ziti’s
MVN Lakers Library, but when asked the question as to ‘Who wins it all?’, Ed told me to put this up, as it’s the best answer to the query he had. Take it away Ed!…

After taking out Shaq and the Phoenix Suns the other night (130-124), behind Kobe’s 41 points, are the Lakers the team to beat in the Western Conference? They have been playing so well, I thought they might have to testify in front of congress to justify their success. I hope Arlen Specter isn’t watching the Lakers as he might want to investigate them and I heard recently that George Mitchell is looking for a new gig after cashing his 22 million dollar check from MLB.

Kobe vs CelticsThe contestants to win the West would be the defending champion San Antonio Spurs, Phoenix Suns, upstart New Orleans Hornets, Dallas Mavericks, and the Utah Jazz. All in all, it appears a “Battle Royale” is developing in the Western Conference, with the winner sure to face either Boston or Detroit in the finals.

Looking at the Lakers chances in the playoffs, I felt I could make a good argument that they were superior to their opponents in all areas but one. Their area of weakness is defense, both individually and collectively. I’m not slamming the Lakers defense, just saying they are not the tops in the West in that category. If you watch the San Antonio Spurs rotate their defense to prevent three point shots and clog the middle, you’ll know what I mean.

The areas the Lakers dominate are as follows:
One, they have the best starting team in the West when healthy. A starting five of Bynum, Gasol, Odom, Bryant, and Fisher is a line up with championship potential. The only argument could be is what have they ever won? The truth is, this group has never even played together yet, so a lot of what I’m saying is theoretical, but the components are certainly great on paper.

Anytime you can add a 7 foot center that can score, rebound and defend (Andrew Bynum), the chemistry issue doesn’t exist. That’s the situation the Lakers are in as they await the return of Andrew.

The Lakers also have the best bench in the league, and as players come back from injury, it will only get stronger. The bench guys are also pushing the starters to play better or risk losing playing time. OHeart of a lion - Rony Turiafverall, Phil Jackson has done a great job juggling the line up because of injuries, and everyone has had chance to prove themselves.

One of the guys on the bench who has really picked up his game is Rony Turiaf; one of my complaints earlier in the season was that he didn’t rebound enough for a big man. Now I see him ripping the ball out of peoples hands like it was gold, and I love it. His numbers are also rising, 3.6 rebounds for the year, but 4.2 per game the last month, and 4.5 in the last week. Keep in mind he only plays 17 minutes a game. I also want to give Rony credit for developing a strong jumper, something we have been seeing a lot of recently.

Phabulous Phil…To win a championship; you need championship coaching. Phil Jackson and his nine rings have done a great job of keeping this team focused and prepared. I’m not going to get into a debate as to whether or not Phil Jackson is the best coach in the NBA, when he proves it every day. Where would the Lakers be without Phil Jackson? I’ll leave it at that.

The Lakers also have the best owner in the league. Jerry Buss is the epitome of the Hollywood dream. The dude is 74 years old and cruises around in his Mercedes with supermodel girlfriends partying and living life to the fullest. Jerry used to own the Playboy Mansion and has lived a charmed life. He also pays his players quite well and lets his managers manage and his coaches coach. What else do you want from an owner?

Now let’s talk about Mitch Kupchak. Maybe he’s not the best GM in the Western Conference, but he’s the best this year. Every player he’s added to this team has been of the highest character and work ethic a fan could ask for. The ones that weren’t are already gone. He has built a talented, young cohesive team that could be playing for a championship as soon as this year. He certainly has a great case for Executive of the Year.

We also have the West’s, the NBA’s and the world’s best player in Kobe Bryant. Championship teams need that finisher and who better to have then Kobe. It’s nice that he doesn’t have to do it all anymore, but he’s still averaging 27 points a game. His play since the pinky injury has been nothing short of sensational. I was one that thought he should have the surgery. Based on the doctor reports I read I thought it made sense, but after watching Kobe in the Atlanta and Phoenix games, I’ve changed my mind. Maybe I should run for congress. Only Kobe knows how much his pinky hurts, and from what I’ve seen so far, he made the right choice.

That’s levitation, Homes…Another thing the Lakers have is that great Laker Championship tradition, and don’t think that doesn’t play a big part. The Lakers are clearly a driven team, and it starts from Buss, flows through Phil Jackson and Mitch Kupchak, and right on through Kobe to the team. There is no next year with this team, guys like Fisher and Bryant know that this could be the year, and are pushing the younger players every day. They have done a great job of focusing the team on a game to game basis and the results are clearly there.

The Lakers will face extreme competition in the playoffs as all eight teams that make it in the West will be good. Due to the recent blockbuster trades, the NBA Playoffs should be huge this year, so there are no guarantees for anyone. However, I do think the Lakers are the team to beat, as they have everything you need to win a ring.

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3 responses

28 02 2008
Basketball » Who Wins The NBA Finals? From The Horse’s Mouth (Mr Ed)

[…] withmalice wrote a fantastic post today on “Who Wins The NBA Finals? From The Horseâs Mouth (Mr Ed)”Here’s ONLY a quick extractThe contestants to win the West would be the defending champion San Antonio Spurs, Phoenix Suns, upstart New Orleans Hornets, Dallas Mavericks, and the Utah Jazz. All in all, it appears a “Battle Royale” is developing in the Western … […]

28 02 2008
pligg.com

Who Wins The NBA Finals? From The Horse’s Mouth (Mr Ed) « With Malice…

After taking out Shaq and the Phoenix Suns the other night (130-124), behind Kobe’s 41 points, are the Lakers the team to beat in the Western Conference? They have been playing so well, I thought they might have to testify in front of congress to jus…

29 02 2008
Who Wins The NBA Finals? From The Horse’s Mouth (Mr Ed) | Kobe Bryant

[…] Read the rest of this great post here […]

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