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Going Into The NBA All-Star Game, Is A Kobe Vs. Lebron Final Inevitable?

LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 25:   LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers looks on during the game against the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on December 25, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images)
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Rory BarnettContributor IFebruary 11, 2010

With the 2010 NBA All-Star game just days away, its time to stop and think if a Kobe- LeBron Final is really possible.

The Lakers and the Cavs sit atop of their respect conferences going into the break. Both teams have a good first-place cushion from the teams below them (the Lakers have a five-game advantage, while the Cavs have a six-game lead).

Right now, the Cavs have a better overall record than the Lakers, who at one point in the season had a NBA leading record with only six losses. The Cavs also have a 12-game winning streak (pending their match-up against Orlando tonight). The Lakers only have a three-game winning streak.

The Cavs beat the Lakers twice this year. They not only beat the Lakers, but they sent a strong message to them - they are hungry, and I'm not talking about a thick juicy steak.

During the match-up in late January, the Cavs were without their all-star guard Mo Williams for the first time, but managed to out-rebound and out-play them with a great bench presence and a will to win. The Cavs were certainly the better team that day in January, but once again, that was in January.

The Lakers have a deep bench as well. Jordan Farmar comes to mind because he provides a spark to any line-up and can score from almost anywhere on the floor. And I don't need to remind you that the Lakers have one of the most dynamic starting line-ups in the league. Pao Gasol is so versatile and quick, and Kobe is - well Kobe.

But the Cavs are hungry this year, having coming so close last year. Their confidence is higher than a kite right now and it seems like LeBron is calling and making his shots from almost everywhere. Confidence is a scary thing to have for a basketball team, especially when its within the Cavs.

As all NBA fans know, its not only what you do in the regular season, but how you finish in the playoffs. The Lakers are definitely up to the challenge and will not hand-over their title defense without a fight - actually, more like a battle.

If it is the Lakers and the Cavs in the NBA Finals, it will be one of the most watched finals in history. Without a doubt. Even the Kobe-haters will be watching. You know you are.

But what could be more better than watching two of the biggest stars on the league's biggest stage. It would pay us back for watching the Nets trying (and I do mean trying) not from becoming the league's worse team in history. It would also make us feel better for paying $9 for a beer and $25 for parking at the league's arenas. It would also repair the embarrassment Gilbert Arenas gave us when he brought a loaded gun to the locker room.

What I'm saying is the NBA and the fans need the Kobe-LeBron Finals. But like any secret or wish, let's keep it to ourselves and not get overzealous.

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