2009 NBA Finals
Fatigue was not a factor. The Los Angeles Lakers and Orlando Magic each played a seven-game series in the conference semifinals, yet both teams emerged from the conference finals as champions with the opportunity over the next two weeks to become the 2009 NBA Champion. Even though Cleveland coasted through the playoffs, not losing a game in the first two rounds, they were not able to handle the Orlando Magic. The Denver Nuggets lost a total of two games in the first two rounds and that is the number they won against the Los Angeles Lakers. To be fair, a couple of games in each series could have gone either way, but as we all know, the only thing that matters is the score at the buzzer.
The most significant thing to me about this Finals matchup is the opportunity for each team to erase the curse of Shaquille O’Neal. What curse, you say? The Orlando Magic have not appeared in the NBA Finals since Shaq played for Orlando, despite having all-star players such as Penny Hardaway, Grant Hill, and Tracy McGrady over the years. The Lakers won three championships during the Shaq era, yet they have been unable to win another championship, despite appearing in the Finals last year. Since one of these teams will win the championship, the Shaq curse will finally be erased. Game 1 is Thursday, June 4th. Be sure to check out the library’s subject guide on Basketball and visit the library to get books on your favorite teams and players.