I took a great deal of satisfaction in watching the Magic beat the Cavs. And, the Cavs can't even say that it could have gone either way. The Magic dominated this game from start to finish. Even the depleted Celtics gave the Magic more of a fight than the anointed ones did. I guess Stern will have to settle for just half of his dream matchup.
LeBron averaged almost 44 minutes per game in the playoffs after averaging almost 38 mpg in the regular season. He also spent the summer playing in the Olympics. He may be young, but even young players have a limit as to what they can do and he looked even more tired than Paul Pierce did in his last game. For such a supposedly deep team they still leaned too much on LeBron and in the end, they went just as far as he could take them and he ran out of gas.
Proving that he is a big baby, LeBron didn't even meet the press and wasn't available for the post game press conference. He said that he had to be alone. He didn't even congratulate the Magic players after the game as is customary. That is pretty poor sportsmanship. Other stars always meet the press afterward and they always congratulate the other team, even though they are all heartbroken about the loss. As much as I dislike Kobe, he still manned up after his loss in the Finals last season and faced the press. LeBron has a lot of growing up to do. It makes you wonder if he will stay in Cleveland or bolt for another team. If he is honest with himself, he will admit that their loss had as much to do with himself as it did his supporting cast. But, one thing is for sure, watching Howard dominate the Cavs' front line makes me appreciate Perk even more.
Now it is on to Beat LA. I think Orlando may have a decent chance of doing so. They were 2-0 against LA in the regular season. Their big front line could create mismatches for the Lakers just as they did for the Cavs and Celtics. Their 3 point shooting also makes it difficult to double players. Charles Barkley picked the Magic to win in 7. He picked them to win vs the Celtics and he also was one of the few to pick the Magic to beat the Cavs. I'm with Charles.
Since the Magic came into the league, I have always cheered for them unless it was head to head with the Celtics. Being a Floridian, they are sort of my home team. But that aside, I am genuinely getting to like this Magic team. They are gritty and play hard and have had to fight hard to make it to the Finals. They were given no chance to beat the Cavs, who rolled through the first two rounds without a loss. They never gave up and now they are headed to the Finals and LeBron and company are going fishing. The multitude of Kobe vs LeBron commercials seem a little silly now. Sorry Mr Stern.