Two decisive routs by two ball clubs, which are out to end a dry spell for NBA supremacy.
Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant said they now have a chance to “finish the mission they failed to complete” last year after losing to eventual NBA champion Boston Celtics in six games in the Finals.
On the other hand, the Orlando Magic are trying to start a new reign in the East following their dominant 103-90 whipping of a disoriented Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 6 to set up the Finals match with the Lakers, while spoiling the much-anticipated Kobe-Lebron NBA championship date.
The Lakers, who were tipped to steam roll past their opponents in the playoffs, had to shake off the Houston Rockets in a grueling seven-game semifinal series.
Then, Kobe and Co. had to go through the eye of the needle against Carmelo Anthony’s Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference Finals. In the end, the purple-and-gold squad provided the exclamation point, 119-92 (in Game 6) to put away any doubts on the Lakers’ drive for the NBA ring.
For the Magic, making it to the Finals was their way of emphasizing that they just can’t be overlooked.
Orlando subdued and dethroned erstwhile champion Boston in a seven-game battle in the Eastern Conference semifinals. The Magic then, followed it up with a masterful 4-2 conquest of the Cavaliers in the east’s Finals that knocked off the no. 1 seeded Cleveland and destroying what had been a dream season for Lebron’s team.
The Cavs accomplished a franchise record 66-16 win-loss record to earn the best card after the regular season. Cleveland also finished with just two home losses during the regular season, a reason why expectations are so high that Lebron and Kobe will meet in the Finals.
Well, I remembered a quote I read from one of leadership author John Maxwell’s books, where he said, “talent wins games, but teamwork wins championship”.
Certainly that quote is so true.
For while Lebron was dominating the NBA playoffs with one highlight reel moves after another, averaging more than 38 points, eight rebounds and eight assists in the series against the Magic, he couldn’t get the support he badly needed against a souped-up Orlando five.
I like what Orlando gunner Rashard Lewis said after the Magic’s Game 6 win against the Cavs.
“You need a total team effort to win. Lebron’s a great player, but at the same time, you need more than one guy. You need five guys. You need guys coming off the bench,” said Lewis.
One man show can be spectacular at times, but in the end, it’s teamwork that will carry a ball club to the championship.
The Lakers-Magic Finals will surely feature two squads that have practiced teamwork all season long.
Can’t wait to see them clash for the NBA title.
Who do you think will be the NBA’s “king of the mountain” this year?