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2009 NBA Playoffs: NBA Finals, Los Angeles Lakers vs. Orlando Magic, Series Preview

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Los Angeles Lakers

2009 NBA Playoffs NBA Finals
Los Angeles Lakers vs. Orlando Magic

Orlando Magic

Series Index:

Game 1: Lakers 100, Magic 75 at Los Angeles   Game recap & pictures
Game 2: Lakers 101, Magic 96 OT at Los Angeles   Game recap & pictures
Game 3: Magic 108, Lakers 104 at Orlando   Game recap & pictures
Game 4: Lakers 99, Magic 91 OT at Orlando   Game recap & pictures
Game 5: Lakers 99, Magic 86 at Orlando   Game recap & pictures

Back to Playoffs 2009

NBA Playoffs 2009 - NBA Finals - Series Preview

Los Angeles Lakers vs. Orlando Magic

Series Preview

Los Angeles LakersOrlando Magic

May 31: The Lakers arrived to the NBA Finals for the second year in a row but this time they expect to end their season on a very different way from last year when they were beaten up by the Celtics.

This time the Lakers have home-court advantage but it won't be an easy task, they will face the Orlando Magic who knocked off the 76ers in 6 games, then the current champions Celtics in 7, winning game 7 in Boston and then defeated Lebron James and his Cleveland Cavaliers in 6 games.

The Magic won both games against Los Angeles in the regular season but the Playoffs are another thing and the Lakers certainly have more postseason experience and arrive having showed their best basketball in the last two games against Denver.

Dwight Howard's physicality will be a problem for Andrew Bynum who seems to be unable to stay out of foul trouble lately and for Pau Gasol who simply does not have the body to contain him. On the other hand Bynum has been a disappointment on this Playoffs and it could be the perfect time for him to prove what he's made of. Also, Pau Gasol has an unending offensive repertory to test the NBA's Defensive Player of the Year.

The Magic surround Howard with a group of excellent shooters that include Rashard Lewis, Hedo Turkoglu, Rafer Alston and Mickael Pietrus. Turkoglu and Lewis have prove to be good clutch players but the Lakers will probably try to stop them with the good defense provided by Trevor Ariza and Kobe Bryant. After Orlando got rid of Ariza last season because they thought he wasn't good shooting from long distance he has developed a more-than-acceptable shooting touch and aside from being one of the best players on the defensive end for the Lakers, in this playoffs he has made big plays and shot 50 % from beyond the 3-point line.

Pietrus had to deal with Lebron James in the Eastern Finals and now will have another hard assignment, trying to stop Kobe who is currently performing better than ever, scoring tons of points but also playing team basketball and making sure his teammates make the triangle offense work.

  Guards Forwards Center Key reserves
Los Angeles Lakers
Los Angeles Lakers
Derek Fisher
Derek Fisher
Kobe Bryant
Kobe Bryant
Trevor Ariza
Trevor Ariza
Pau Gasol
Pau Gasol
Andrew Bynum
Andrew Bynum
Lamar Odom
Sasha Vujacic
Jordan Farmar
Shannon Brown
Luke Walton
Orlando Magic
Orlando Magic
Rafer Alston
Rafer Alston
Courtney Lee
Courtney Lee
Hedo Turkoglu
Hedo Turkoglu
Rashard Lewis
Rashard Lewis
Dwight Howard
Dwight Howard
Mickael Pietrus
J.J. Redick
Anthony Johnson
Marcin Gortat

The Lakers and Magic never faced each other in the Playoffs and while it will be the Lakers 30th NBA Finals it will be the second for the Magic. Shaquille O'Neal and Penny Hardaway were part of the Orlando Magic team that in 1995 arrived to the Finals and was defeated by Hakeem Olajuwon and his Houston Rockets. .

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