Monday's question of the day: Which two teams will play in the NBA Finals, and which team will win?
Which two teams will be playing in the NBA Finals and which team will win?
Reporters from around the Tribune family tackle the question of the day, then you get a chance to chime in and tell them why they are wrong.
Barry Stavro, Los Angeles Times
David Stern gets a big ratings gift in June when the Lakers beat the Celtics in six games.
The Lakers have the easier path.
In the West the Spurs are aging, the Trail Blazers too young and the Nuggets have too many tattooed-personalities. As good as the Lakers were last year, center Andrew Bynum missed most of the season and was a non-factor in the playoffs. However, Bynum has been dunking all pre-season and as a genuine 7-footer he alters shots from opposing teams in the paint.
It’s tougher in the east, with the Celtics, Cavaliers and Magic in a season-long scrum. The Magic still have Dwight Howard and Jameer Nelson, but losing Hedo Turkoglu, basically another point guard, hurts, and newcomer Vince Carter vanishes in the playoffs. LeBron James has a new shooter in Anthony Parker and a new center in Shaquille O’Neal who, at 37, still can’t defend pick and rolls.
Meanwhile, the Celtics are seeing one last hurrah, adding Rasheed Wallace, who gives them extra length, to join fellow 30-somethings Kevin Garnett (back from knee surgery), Paul Pierce and Ray Allen. With a quartet of youngsters on the rise, Rajon Rondo, Kendrick Perkins, Glen Davis and Marquis Daniels, it’s enough for another dream finals.
Ira Winderman, South Florida Sun Sentinel
In the East, there are the Celtics, Cavaliers and Magic. In the West, there are the Lakers and the Spurs. So from those five, which two will be alive come June? In the West, the Lakers certainly are no worse in subbing out Trevor Ariza in favor of Ron Artest. This still is the most dynamic rotation in the league. In the East, never doubt the heart of a vengeful Kevin Garnett. Factor in Rasheed Wallace and Marquis Daniels and there is enough depth to keep the old legs fresh. As for the Finals? Lakers, if only because the road through the West should be less grueling than what Boston will encounter with Cleveland and Orlando.