April 22, 2005 -- This is one of the most wide open races in years for the Larry O'Brien trophy. With no clear favorites, NBA.com turned to some legends, guys who know a thing or two about winning a title, to find out which teams they think will emerge from the Eastern and Western Conference playoffs and which will be crowned 2005 NBA Champions.


K. Abdul-Jabbar

Dave Cowens

Clyde Drexler

Julius Erving

Walt Frazier

George Gervin

Moses Malone

Earl Monroe

Robert Parish
EAST
WEST
FINALS

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

East Winner: I think Miami and Detroit will do well in the East. They've done well all year. Miami has the addition of Shaquille who's gonna be a significant contributor to their playoff effort. So, I kind of like them. I think Detroit will rise to the occasion and try to defend their world championship trophy. So it'll be interesting.

West Winner: I see three teams out West, Phoenix, Seattle, and San Antonio. I think it will come down to one of those teams. San Antonio's been there and knows what it takes. So you've gotta give them some respect for that. However, Phoenix is hungry. They've got young players, they run. They got a really intense approach to the game and it might be time for a change. So, we'll see.

Finals Winner: I like Miami for the whole thing.

Dave Cowens