I have to admit, this was not the NBA Finals matchup I was hoping for.
I think it’s safe to say a duel between LeBron James and Kobe Bryant for the championship would have been well-watched and worth it for the high scoring and showdown of easily the game’s biggest superstars.
The Orlando Magic had other plans, led by the under-the-rim domination of Dwight Howard. In a nutshell, Howard’s Magic troupe defeated James’ Cleveland Cavaliers because the players he has around him are better compliments with more diverse skills than the Cavs’ supporting cast.
Orlando will at the very least give the favored Lakers a run for their money on the court.
Off the court, Howard, who has always been open about his Christian beliefs, drew some fire in the run-up to these Finals.
He profusely praised God after the Magic’s series clinching win over Cleveland, indicating there was a divine hand helping to push Orlando to the Eastern Conference championship.
Earlier this week, Howard told ESPN God’s presence is a reason to believe the Magic will the series.
Coming to the NBA straight out of Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy in 2004, Howard has worked hard to become a well-rounded player. His chiseled physique is remarkable.
His faith is certainly admirable, but it brings up a well-worn question about how or if God influences sports outcomes as a form of testimony.
That is certainly open to debate.
So too, is the outcome of the series.
Take the Lakers in six games.
Kobe’s incredible ability to discern when to and how to involve his teammates and when to take the game over himself provides a hurdle too large for the Magic’s depth to overcome.