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Lakers vs. Magic: 2009 NBA Finals - Preview
All I want to know is: What will happen to my heroes, the Kobe and LeBron puppets? Seriously, I LOVE those commercials. On a more serious note the Los Angeles Lakers have made their 2nd straight finals, their 6th in 10 years. Meanwhile, Orlando's 2nd Finals appearance in their 20 year existence is nothing to sneeze at. Considering that their franchise's best player (Shaq) fled for Los Angeles, and its 2nd best (Penny Hardaway) lost his prime to knee injuries. They survived Tracy McGrady, and Grant Hill's multiple leg aliments, all while remaining fairly competitive the entire time.
So while I could bore you with useless bits of history like above, or a position by position breakdown that you could read at USA Today, SI, ESPN and Local Paper X, I've instead chosen to breakdown some of the lesser thought of aspects of this finals. These are the X factor things. The little things that will make you laugh and cry. Many of which may be deciding factors in this series.
Topic 1: Who has the better crowd a.k.a. better home court advantage
It seems like a lock to give this one to the Magic. However, which we inspect this closer, you will see the trace evidence that will give the Lakers the edge. Let's start with the numbers: Staples Center as the home building in a Playoff game is 70-12 Lakers and Clippers combined. Even with the Clippers' numbers holding the Lakers back (although they be a small percentage of the pie) Staples Center is a very tough place to win in the playoffs if you're the away team. This is for a variety of reasons:
- When the crowd shows up, it can be very loud and very annoying, (the "Whoop-Whoop" thing makes local Lakers haters I know crazy)
- Being watched courtside by people you consider superstars (Jack, Christian Bale, Toby McGuire, Larry David, etc.) It can be distracting, and intimidating.
- Staples Center only holds 19,000, but is a HUGE building and that cavernous feel can affect shooters, especially with the funky lighting.
- There are plenty of pretty women with big bulbus white breast to distract away players, people who call L.A. home are immune to this.
Amway Arena holds none of these things, although the women are usually bulbus and white.
Topic 2: Which Stan Van Gundy will show up to coach the Magic?
Regardless of which S.V.G. shows up, the panic attack Gundy or the one we saw against the Cavs, this much is for sure: He will be poorly dressed. I don't understand how men making millions of dollars of year dress like my geeky uncle who builds amplifiers? I understand the man has some sort of religious allergy to ties, but would a decent button down shirt kill the man? In the post game he looks more like the equipment manager or Ron Jeremy doing a post game after a really solid porno shoot. ("I just gave it my all, put everything I had into the work, and the result came out great") uh, that's what she said.
Speaking of men who can't dress, Adam Morrison wore the same thing on the end of the Lakers' bench (Brown jacket, wrinkled white button down and blue jeans) for Game 7 of the Houston series and Games 1-5 of the Denver series. Okay... seriously guys, what the hell is wrong with Adam Morrison? Why can't a guy making 4.8 million dollars this year get himself something else to wear? My dad theorized that he is such a geek, with so little confidence, and is so unliked by his teammates that no one bothers to interact or socialize with him on the Lakers. So Adam's form of mailing it in is just to wear the same things to games until someone slapped him and told him he was an embarrassment.... er, more of an embarrassment to the team then he already was. My heart goes out to the poor bastard, but dressing like that for 2 weeks on NATIONAL TELEVISION is just unacceptable.
Advantage: Bad dressing.
Final Topic: Will we ever find Kobe's 3 Championship Rings?
Nah, just kidding, but if he finds his 4th, the first 3 will be nothing but history. BTW this is all a big joke if you hadn't caught on. Enjoy the finals folks.