I think the Pistons are gonna win.
That's right. The Pistons. The team which may have the worst offense of any team in the playoffs, is going to win the championship against the vaunted, and highly favored, Lakers.
I'm not just saying that because I hate the Lakers (though I do, and wishful thinking probably plays a part here. I'm saying that because the Pistons have the height, the muscle, and the heart, to beat the Lakers.
Let's break it down.
Shaq v. Big Ben
Unstoppable force versus the immovable object. The greatest offensive center of all time (though maybe a step slower than he used to be) against the best defensive center in the league. Shaq is bigger and probably stronger, but he's used to having a large intimidation factor on his side. And he's never played a series against someone like Wallace, who's got no quit in him, and who will absolutely refuse to be intimidated. You gotta give the advantage to Shaq, but not by as much as you may think.
Malone v. Sheed
Sheed is a step or two behind Duncan and Garnett, who Malone generally did a good job against in the two previous series. But Sheed is Detroit's 3rd of 4th option, and right now, he's a better player on both offense and defense. Advantage: Pistons.
George v. Prince
This isn't even a match up. Seriously, Prince needs to kill George and leave his body to rot in the desert. He's better on every single facet of the game. He just needs to bring it. This is the finals, and I think he will. (huge) Advantage: Pistons.
Kobe v. Rip
Rip Hamilton has really come of age as a superstar in the league in these playoffs. Can he defend Kobe? No, he can't. But he will make him work on defense, as he runs through screens like the energizer bunny. Advantage: Lakers.
Payton v. Billups
This is the matchup that will decide the series, imo. Payton is so far from his prime, he can't see it anymore, and Chauncy is exactly the kind of PG who gives the lakers fits. I believe Billups massacres Payton, and decides the series. Advantage: Pistons.
Not even a match. Fish, Fox, and Rush would get zero burn in the Pistons rotation. The Pistons bench has height (and fouls to spare), and will be a deciding factor here. Advantage: Pistons.
Well, this is a toss up. On one hand, we have the coach with the most rings, ever. Who's never coached a team that didn't have the best player in the world, or at least two of the top five. On the other hand, we have the consumate coach and teacher. I'm gonna go with Larry Brown.
Prediction: Pistons in six.