Game 1 Tonight:
Series Prediction: Nuggets in (6)
While Kobe v. LeBron would be one helluva Finals match-up, I don't see Phillip getting his crew there this time around.
Chauncey Billups is going to be a serious problem for Derek Fisher this series. Fisher had enough problems with second year PG Aaron Brooks last time around, and if Brooks didn't play at stretches like a second year player, the Lakers might be fishing right now. However, in his 7th straight conference finals appearance, Mr. Bigshot is no Aaron Brooks, and he will consistently dominate Fisher, Farmer, and whoever the hell else the Lakers roll out there to try to slow him down, all series long.
On the interior, while the Laker frontline looks great on paper, they were outplayed twice by a Yao Ming-less frontline -featuring Luis Scola, Chuck Hayes, and Carl Landry. The physicality of the Nuggets front line, lead by Kenyon Martin, Nene, and the Birdman, is going to be a problem for Pau, Lamar, and Bynum - none of whom care much for mixing it up.
Kobe is going to play great, and probably win (2) games on his own, but I don't think the rest of his squad matches up well enough to help him win two more. Anthony will be good, not great, but good enough to move on, and face his buddy LeBron in the Finals.