Yes, I know that the Nuggets-beating Los Angeles Lakers are supposed to school Orlando in the NBA finals series, which begins tonight. But although I'd have to give the edge to the Lakers, too, I'm not ruling out a sweet, ever-so-satisfying Magic victory. No doubt the refs will give every advantage they can to the Lake Show, by ticketing anyone who dares to so much as exhale on Kobe Bryant -- and if similar whistle-happiness gravitates to the paint, it'll undermine Dwight Howard's size, strength and skill advantage down low. Unlike the Nuggets, though, the Magic's game doesn't rise and fall on physicality. The squad's got a slew of three-point sharpshooters (like Rashard Lewis, Rafer Alston and Mickael Pietrus) whose aim has been true throughout the playoffs -- and while living on threes can be dangerous, especially at this time of year, the long ball holds the potential of keeping the officials at bay.
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This year, the Nugs couldn't quite make fans' dreams come true. Now it's up to Howard and company to make sure Kobe's don't, either.