After losing Game 4 Thursday night to fall down 3-1 in the NBA Finals, the Orlando Magic were leaking and the Los Angeles Lakers smelled blood.
So when the L.A. Lakers went on a torrid 16-0 run in the second quarter of Game 5 Sunday, the end result was inevitable.
The Los Angeles Lakers are NBA world champions after beating the Magic, 99-86, in Orlando.
Few expected the Magic to upset the Lakers even though they had upset top-seeded Cleveland to make to the NBA Finals. When the Magic look back at this series against the Lakers, they let Game 2 and Game 4 slip away as they lost both in overtime.
It’s hard to win a best-of-7 series when you give two games away.
As for the Lakers, this is the 10th NBA title for their Hall of Fame coach, Phil Jackson. It’s the first time Kobe Bryant has won a title without Shaquille O’Neal.
The question I have is can this Kobe-Phil tandem lead the Lakers to another NBA title next season?
They’ll certainly be challenged in the West by the likes of the Denver Nuggets, Houston Rockets, Utah Jazz and Portland Trail Blazers.
The Nuggets pushed the Lakers in the conference finals, but just weren’t seasoned enough. Portland and Utah have some of the best young talent in the West and Houston just needs to get a healthy Yao Ming to seriously contend for a title.
In the East, you know LeBron James is going to do all he can to get the Cleveland Cavaliers into the finals and he may get some help on the way in Shaquille O’Neal if the reports about trade talks are legit.
The Boston Celtics can claim the only reason it didn’t get back to the finals after winning it all in 2008 is because Kevin Garnett was out with an injury and the Magic now have the experience necessary to to take that final step and win it all.
For now, the Lakers can celebrate.