May 14, 2010

Lakers-Celtics Finals Again?

A few days from now, the Los Angeles Lakers will face the Phoenix Suns in the Western Conference Finals. The winner of that seven-game series will face the winner of the Orlando Magic-Boston Celtics match-up.

Come on admit it: you never thought that the NBA's Final Four would look like that. Most folks predicted a Los Angeles Lakers-Dallas Mavericks series and an Orlando Magic-Cleveland Cavaliers series. The Mavericks had an unceremonious first round exit against the San Antonio Spurs and the Celtics booted out the Cavs from the playoffs and potentially LeBron James from Cleveland.

If we look at the current conference finals, there's a 25% chance we will see the mother of all NBA matchups: the Los Angeles Lakers versus the Boston Celtics. The Celtics seem to have found their groove back in the Cleveland series, but the Magic have not lost yet in the 2010 NBA playoffs, so I guess the chances of the Celtics going back to the Finals is a little slimmer.

On the Western Conference, the Lakers are the favorites to squash the Suns. If you saw how eager Kobe Bryant wants to avenge their 2006 and 2007 playoff eliminations, then the odds-makers are on track. Here's my projections on what will be the NBA Finals this June:
  • Orlando Magic vs. Los Angeles Lakers: 60%
  • Boston Celtics vs. Los Angeles Lakers: 20%
  • Orlando Magic vs. Phoenix Suns: 15%
  • Phoenix Suns vs. Boston Celtics: 5%
The possibility of a Lakers-Celtics Finals is there, but not as likely as a repeat of last year's NBA finals.

One more thing: I'm still giving away the LeBron James poster before Game 1 of the Lakers-Suns series. This poster could be a collector's item soon as James could be changing teams this July.


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