For what it’s worth, I’m betting on the Orlando Magic to take it all.
And when I say all, I mean NBA Finals, 2010.
Big Men Shooting Big Shots – Rashard, Vince, Pietrus. Then there’s Jameer and occasionally, Williams and Anderson shooting a combined .393 3 pointers in the playoffs. I love it when equally capable big shooters pass the ball around looking for an open man, eventually hitting the open guy standing there with his shoulders squared, feet set and all day to sink the ball.
And if that doesn’t work there’s always..
The Big Man – the pic above says it all. If you can’t get an open J or 3, dump it down to the big guy and he will slam it down you wonder if you’ve ever seen anyone dunk so hard (you have actually, but he does it so well he makes you forget).
The Coach – To be frank I actually thinkÃ‚Â Coach Van Gundy is the weak link. To me he is more of a technician than a motivator, manifested by Dwight’s occasional flying off the handle and Coach Gundy’s seeming inability to, until now, keep his star focused. On the plus side however, he’s found a winning combination of role players + star to form one of the most potent offensive combinations in the NBA. It’s awesome to watch.
Previous Experiences – They were at the Finals last year and this year they aren’t greenhorns anymore. They’re coming in without a ‘should we even be here’ attitude common amongst first timers to the Finals and that’s a giant load off their backs. With their recent sweep they should consider themselves amongst the elite teams in the league by now. They belong and they know it.
Vince – A dark horse to my mind, and a guy a lotta people have written off (including me). But he’s got the God-given talent to take this team places, he’s obviously better than last year’s Hedo, and he’s veteran enough to take on leadership cudgels if need be.
Uhm.. ok, I admit I didn’t write that last sentence with a hell of a lot of confidence. Is he a good leader? Is he even as good a closer as, say, Kobe? I don’t know, and maybe not, but maybe his team can be good and talented enough for him to not need to be.
They Are Peaking – 14 straight wins since April 2, 2010 (a regular season game against the Spurs). Fresh off yet another sweep. Are you kidding me?
Of course there are the intangibles. Dwight’s freethrow shooting can and will be used against him, and Coach Van Gundy’s pass it around until there’s an opening strategy, while effective and simple is very predictable.
But given all that, they are to my mind still the most capable of surprising everyone. If an opponent doesn’t prepare well enough, if an opponent comes off of a 6 or 7 game series and gets too beaten down coming into a series against them, the Magic can very well blast their way into the Finals and take it all without anyone knowing what hit them.
So granted that the other teams are beating themselves up moving forward, and Orlando is enjoying downtime after sweeps, I’m putting my $ on the team from Disney.
I’ve said my piece. Let’s bring it.