Thursday, June 4, 2009

NBA thoughts

Quick hits on the NBA:

I am bucking the trend, and picking the Orlando Magic to win the NBA title. I know, the Lakers are heavily favored. Truth is, I think Orlando might be better than people realize. Dwight Howard is quickly becoming one of the most dominant players in the league (and stop pining for him Bobcats fans, he was off the board before Charlotte could take him), and is a very down to earth person. He's a guy you want to see succeed, just not against your team.

Kobe is nasty. He will get his points. Orlando has to find a way to keep him in check, and by in check, I mean limit him to under 30 points. If the Magic can get contributions from Jameer Nelson (coming off injury), they could take this thing, but in no fewer than 5 games. To me, this one goes 7, with the Magic winning a thriller in Kobe's house. Either that, or it will be a Lakers sweep.

Went to the Bobcats pre-draft workout on Thursday, and what a collection of talent. Stephen Curry (Davidson), Gerald Henderson (Duke), Danny Green (UNC), Toney Douglas (FSU), KC Rivers (Charlotte native from Clemson), and Garrett Temple (LSU). For a non-basketball player like myself, the tempo looked quick, but the players all said it was fairly relaxed with more teaching from Larry Brown and his staff. Still, it's a neat deal to see these young men taking the next step in their lives. They will start their new jobs in offices that will hold no fewer than 18,000 people. Their collegiate studies have prepared them for their futures. They're work on and off the floor has given them this chance. It's awesome.

More than that, we will watch them all grow and mature (hopefully), right in front of our eyes. It's the beauty of sport, for me anyway. It has been a pleasure covering these fine athletes, and now it will be neat to see them as pros. The Bobcats have 6 more players coming in for workouts on Friday. NC State's Courtney Fells and JC Smith's Ryan Scott are on the list. We'll have comments from them, and the rest of the day in sports on the Feel Good edition of Sports Night on Friday at 10.

One other note, the Stanley Cup Finals got good when Pittsburgh took game 3...I look for them to do the same in game 4, and go back to the Motor City tied 2-2. You know I'll be watching that!

Mike Solarte

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