Welcome to BC Sports Fivesight. It’s like foresight, but one better.
Every week or so a carefully selected panel of Blogcritics and outside voices will converge to form an irresistible quintet that peers into the future of a certain sports topic, so you can live like Biff Tannen in Back To The Future II and wisely wager based on our expertise. Sorry, no refunds.
Prediction: What will happen in the NBA Finals?
Matt Sussman, BC Sports Editor — ABC announcer Mike Breen pronounces Dwight Howard “Dwite” and not “Duh-white,” resulting in a league fine. Pau Gasol misses Game 1 after he is invited to Rafael Nadal’s hastily-organized pool party. Stan Van Gundy buys a pack of Mentos and clears his throat. Wally Szczerbiak watches the NBA Finals in complete solitude, sitting atop a stack of $50 bills. (Which is how he spent the NBA playoffs.) A flagrant foul somehow results in free throws for Dwyane Wade. Kobe Bryant, trying to one-up Shaq’s Twitter popularity, accidentally signs up for a Geocities page. Dwight Howard, trying to one-up Kobe Bryant, accidentally leads the Magic to a five-game defeat over the Lakers.
Jay Skipworth, BC Sports Writer — Los Angeles vs. Orlando isn’t as bad as it could be even if it is half of David Stern’s nightmare. Kobe Bryant leads his band of internationals and over-hyped underachievers against the Magic whose most entertaining character is the coach who looks a lot like the guy who makes Dunkin’ Donuts. Dwight Howard may be Superman, but the Lakers purple kryptonite will be more than enough to neutralize him and the cultists of sunny Florida. Prediction: It’ll take six games because the Lakers enjoy playing with their prey before finishing it, but that’s all it’ll take the Lakers to win championship No. 15. Dwight Howard will foul out in at least three games. Kobe Bryant will be MVP even though Gasol and Lamar Odom will play as much of a role as he does in securing this.
Ethan Booker, New Englander In Exile — Thursday evening, before Game One, David Stern’s henchmen burst into the Orlando locker room and conduct impromptu steroid tests, based on an anonymous tip. Dwight Howard tests positive and the Magic are swept in four while LeBron James and Kevin Garnett clink champagne glasses on an undisclosed Haitian beach, cackling into the night.
Alex Kramers, When Kingdom Come — The Magic won’t be able recover from Big Baby’s buzzer-beater. They can’t win a game seven on the road against the defending champs. The Cavs are a lock to make the NBA Finals. LeBron’s miraculous three-pointer shifted the momentum in Cleveland’s favor. Orlando will get stage fright the minute they step out on the Staples Center hardwood.
You get the picture. The Magic have been the Rodney Dangerfield of the playoffs, and continue to be overlooked despite playing their best basketball at the right time. Not a single ESPN “expert” picked Orlando to beat Cleveland, and nine out of 10 are taking Los Angeles in the Finals. Of course they are. Never mind that the Lakers have been trotting out the ghost of Derek Fisher on a nightly basis, or that Dwight Howard is the Ike to Andrew Bynum’s defenseless Tina. Forget that Orlando can play the inside-out game with Howard, Hedo Turkoglu and Rashard Lewis and exploit any double-team. Let’s ignore the fact that Mickael Pietrus is one of the best one-on-one defenders in the league, and that Kobe Bryant has a history of disappearing in deciding games.
So, yes, for all of these reasons, I’m going with the Magic in seven games. Or maybe it’s just because I want to see Kobe cry.
Tuffy, BC Sports Treehouse Fort Co-Host — The huge name in the NBA walks away with the attention and the glory after winning the championship for the Los Angeles Lakers in five games, proving he can influence an entire series despite having been in more games than you’d believe at first blush.
His clutch work under the basket and at the free throw line continues to enhance his legacy (especially without anyone to overshadow him now) even though there were rumors mere weeks ago that he couldn’t quite carry a team anymore.
Congratulations, Finals MVP Joey Crawford. Powered by Sidelines