It was a foregone conclusion that Tuffy knew and I had completely wrong. The Los Angeles Lakers are your NBA Finals champions. There's no question about it, they absolutely destroyed, sliced, diced, and made potato wedges of Orlando. If the Magic had an anthropomorphic posterboy, it would be David Blaine. Orlando delivered a rather forgettable performance, and Stan Van Gundy can finally nurse that voice, which sounds hoarser than a Bonnaroo attendee.
It only took five games. Would it be fair to break out the "five game sweep" cliché, since the Magic's lone win wasn't all that convincing?
Well, no. Had Courtney Lee's lob tip-in been successful at the end of Game 2's regulation period, and had Dwight Howard made a couple free throws in Game 4, the Lakers' win tonight might've made it a 3-2 series in favor of the Magic.
But the breaks absolutely did not fall the way of the Orlando Magic, and like it typically goes in a championship series, a string of good luck for one team can zap the intrigue — and the balance — out of the matchup. Granted, each of the individual Games 2, 3, and 4 was rather fun. But on top of the lopsided outcome, the Finals just didn't have a great start or a finish. Advantage, NHL.
The Finals MVP was an obvious pick, and The Shaq Heard Round The World couldn't be happier. The folklore of Kobe Bryant has now come full circle, from brash young dynasty cornerstone, to adulterer, to unhappy camper, and finally to the reformed leader of a brand new Lakers team.
At least that odyssey is compelling, which is more than can be said for the actual NBA Finals.