NBA Finals Preview History
2010 NBA FINALS PREVIEW:
Last fall, thirty NBA franchises began their season with equal chances of winning the league's title. It's only fitting that the two teams still with a shot - the Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers - comprise the league's most heated rivalry.
In the summer of 2008, Celtics forward Kevin Garnett declared "Anything is Possible!" seconds after Boston clinched the NBA Championship over the Lakers. Last season, as a worn out Celtics team could only watch, the Lakers shot back with their own NBA title in a series win over the Orlando Magic.
In the 2011 NBA Finals, LA will be looking for revenge over the last team to eliminate them from play, while the Celtics aim to prove that they're not yet over the hill. The matchup pits one of the best offenses in the league, in LA, against arguably the association's best defense, in Boston.
With the finals approaching, fans can only wonder - can Kobe Bryant show why he's considered one of the league's top players? Can Boston point guard Rajon Rondo cement his position as one of the Celtics "Big Four"? How will Lamar Odom and Kevin Garnett face off? Over the years, these teams have shown fans that they should expect the unexpected any time they meet. In this year's finals, the clubs add a new chapter to any already historic showdown.
2009 NBA FINALS PREVIEW:
The 2009 NBA Playoffs are underway and even though there are 16 teams that are competing for the chance to be NBA Champions, there really are only four teams that most experts have pegged as having a legitimate shot to win the whole thing. In the Western Conference, the team to beat is the Los Angeles Lakers. The Lakers ran away with the Western Conference title and were 11 games better than the 2nd seeded Denver Nuggets at the end of the regular season. The team is led by arguably the best player in the NBA, Kobe Bryant, whom, to his credit, has playoff experience and has won three NBA championships in his illustrious career. In addition to Bryant, the team is also led by Hall of Fame head coach Phil Jackson, who has led his teams to 9 NBA Championships. Bryant and Jackson are also helped by a supporting cast which consists of many seasoned veterans with playoff experience, such as Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom, and Derek Fisher.
In the Eastern Conference, it is a three team race to see who will represent the Eastern Conference in the NBA finals. The three teams that had the most success during the regular season were the Cleveland Cavaliers, Orlando Magic, and the defending champion Boston Celtics. The Celtics were a favorite to repeat as champions all season, however a late season injury to superstar forward Kevin Garnett has soured their hopes to repeat. However, the team is led by veterans Paul Pierce and Ray Allen, who have significant playoff experience and will be a force to reckon with even in Garnett's absence.
The Orlando Magic are a wild card in the Eastern Conference as they are an relatively young team with very little playoff experience, however, they have arguably the best big man in the game leading the team, Dwight Howard. The team plays a very up-tempo style of basketball which can keep many teams on their toes throughout a game. However, an injury to their team later in the season also put a damper on their championship hopes. When All-star point guard Jameer Nelson went out for the season, the team was forced to change their offensive strategy. However, with Dwight Howard leading this young group, the team has a chance to make some noise in the Eastern Conference.
The team that is the favorite to win the Eastern Conference title is also the team that had the best record in the regular season and has home court advantage throughout the playoffs, the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Cavaliers led by phenom Lebron James have played the most consistently of any team throughout the regular season, and the off season acquisition of Mo Williams has pushed the team into the upper echelon the league. Another plus for the Cavaliers is the ability of Lebron James to take over any game at any time, as proven in the 2007 Eastern Conference finals against the Detroit Pistons when James' put the team on his back and carried them to the NBA Finals.
No matter who makes it to the NBA finals, it will definitely be full of star power as the league as entered a new era led by players such as Lebron James, Kobe Bryant, Dwayne Wade, Dwight Howard, and Chris Paul. The 2009 NBA playoffs should be a crowning achievement for one of these young superstars and the NBA universe is awaiting the conclusion to an exciting season.