What began with a billing throughout Denver as the biggest playoff game in Nuggets history, ended with the Lakers making an enormous statement as Kobe Bryant scored 35 points with 10 assists in a 119-92 victory at Pepsi Center Friday night. Los Angeles will now have nearly one week of rest before making their second straight Finals appearance. Game 1 is scheduled for next Thursday either in Cleveland or L.A. Kudos to the Lakers for closing out the series on the road, and giving Black Mamba time to rest his legs and replenish his venom through intravenous therapy. My early prediction, Lakers win the title in 5. Who they play is irrelevant at this point. Kobe’s will to win a title sans Shaq is so overwhelming that his teammates can’t help but buy in. He may not be the greatest teammate but neither was Michael Jordan. All that matters is rings!