Grade A Certified

I Ain't a Que, But I Love Some Purple & Gold

Posted by T. Adeyemi on June 5, 2009

Granted this picture is several years old, but whose to say it wont happen again?

Granted this picture is several years old, but who'se to say it won't happen again?

Before I get into giving all you cyberfans out there what you’ve been so eagerly awaiting (at least in my mind) let me say that I have thoroughly appreciated every minute of this year’s NBA playoffs. I think the NBA and commisioner David Stern can be very proud of the product they put forth this post season. Now before all the fans of the other fourteen teams that didn’t make it get all in a tizzy cause I said this was a great NBA playoffs, think back to your team’s series and ask yourself, “Did the better team win the series?” If you can honestly answer yes, even if that team was not your pick; then you must conclude the NBA got it right.

Very quickly let me address all of my dear Cleveland Cavalier/LeBron James fan club members who I’ve become oh so close with this past season. First, I would like to say even as a stern “Kobe is the best player in the NBA” believer, I must say King James was the more valuable player this year. I think we can say that’s pretty evident especially when I can remember Justin saying, “The guy drops 37, 15, & 12 and just barely wins.” Cleveland/LBJ fanatics I feel for you, I honestly do. But find comfort in the fact that he’s still just 24 years old and I’m sure, AT LEAST I HOPE there will be some wholesale changes in personel, both in uniform and on the bench.

Now time for what we’ve all been waiting for, My Predictions! Let’s take away what’s left of suspense right now since everyone already knows who I’m picking and just come out with it: LAKERS IN 6 GAMES!

Here’s my Top 3 Keys/Reasons to Why the Lakers shall be victorious.

1) Andrew Bynum must beat Dwight Howard to the spot. I can’t tell you how many times I watched Dwight run from rim to rim (just like EVERY AAU or high school basketball coach teaches their clumsy, but has so much “potential” Big Man to do) and get early post position. Once Dwight is within 5 feet of the basket you’re basically helpless as a defender, seeing as how the guy will dunk on you and simply get you into foul trouble before you can even put your hands up. However, with that said, I think Bynum is up for the challenge. He’s asked for increased minutes from the Zen Master and he’s heard the critics say that he seems to be regressing form where he was to start the season.

2) (Listen Closely) Orlando WILL NOT make as many three-point shots as  CONSISTENTLY as they did in the Cleveland series. I’m going to be honest, I have no real proof in the numnbers that says this will happen. Especially since L.A. is notoriously bad at closing out on the three-point line, and even worse our struggles defending the pick-and-roll have been duely noted. BUT I stick & stay with my boys and hope that ORL may explode for 1 or 2 games from beyond the arc, but overall their long distance fire power won’t burn us.

3) Now I know most people are thinking right here I’m going to take the opportunity to boast & brag about how Kobe is “The Black Mamba”, “The Best Closer in the Game”, but no those are things we’ll place in our “definite certainty” box. But you might also think I would use this opportunity to say that the hopes of Laker nation rested on the shoulders of one Lamar Odom, nope wrong again. Odom is inconsistent, any Laker Fan basketball trueist can see that clearly. Thus, why put pressure on him to do what I honestly don’t expect him to do EVERY game.

So instead let me make a case for those who we truly need to make a somewhat unexpected contribution. In breaking down the numbers its clear that for ORL their weaknesses lie in the backcourt. Even with my longtime affenity for the And1 mixtape series, I just don’t believe Rafer (Skip-to-my Lou) Alston is battled tested enough to lead his team to the promised land. And no matter who ORL starts at the 2-guard, which will probably be Mickael Pietrus their simply just not going to come close to Jelly Bean. (Quick question: Am I the only one who enjoys the wonders of the Black jelly bean (no racism)?) So with all that being said I expect Derek Fisher to round back into championship form even after having a lack luster late April/May. I also expect Jordan Farmar & Shannon Brown to make timely contributions. Now call me crazy, but I truly believe a Big Key to the Lakers victory will be “The Machine” Sasha “I don’t take no issh, ask Shane Battier” Vujacic. If you remember, last season Sasha was the Lakers second leading scorer in several playoff games including game 3 of the finals. So if he can recapture that shooting stroke from last season he can make all the difference, not to mention his Tenacious D.

In seeing that I’m sure I’ll receieve plenty of flac from the naysayers and people that will say the Lakers choked last year, who’s to say they won’t choke again. But I stay confident, mainly because things feel right all around. I beleive even the NBA is relieved to have this match-up. As much as it seemed they pushed the LeBron vs. Kobe finals showdown, think about how much that would have given life to the “consipracy theory” of the NBA fixing its games. Does Tim Donaghy ring a bell? Yea, well if that doesn’t win you over then just know that everyone loves the classic David vs. Goaliath battle. Especially, when David is no pushover which the Magic are not. I think The Republican newspaper’s local sports writer Ron Chimelis said it best when he said, “The NBA needed a crasher to its party, just to assure us the party was not by invitation only.”

On that note, where’s my good luck throwback Magic jersey? Get it PoPPin Lakeshow.

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