Royal Freshness: The Boston Nightmare
Going into the 2009 season, our hatred of the Celtics grows day by day. Everything for Boston has been a fairytale since they've captured the title. But this is where their nightmare begins.
C: Kendrick Perkins vs. Andrew Bynum
Perkins showed why he was important to the Celtics being a great defensive stopper and rebounder. How much he scored didnâ€™t matter as his teammates could take care of that. His ability to defend allowed Garnett to roam around and double team players making the Celticâ€™s defense that much better. On the other hand, Bynum had shown before his injury that he was both a scorer and a defensive stopper and it is said that he is back and better than ever. Perkins will have to focus on Bynum alone, forcing Garnett to stay where he is and guard his man. By forcing Garnett to stay on his man, Odom, Gasol, or Bynum will be able to move around and do some serious damage. Perkins may be a great defender, but Bynum wins this match-up hands down.
PF: Kevin Garnett vs. Pau Gasol
Gasol is good, but he is not anywhere near Garnettâ€™s level of talent. It will be hard for him to do anything against Garnett when he shoots because he has a unique stroke: he has long arms and shoots the ball from behind his head. Gasol did well in the Olympics against Dwight Howard and will need to show that type of skill in the NBA as well. Meanwhile, Garnett has always outplayed Gasol is every aspect of the game such as defense and rebounding. Gasol will just have to try his best to stop Garnett, as he is talented in his own way. No matter what he does though, I do not see Gasol outplaying Garnett.
SF: Paul Pierce vs. Lamar Odom
Odom has his height while Pierce has his speed. Odom has never been known as a great defender and he will seem a bit unaccustomed to the small forward position. He came into the NBA as a small forward but soon became a power forward and stayed there until now. It is time for him to regain his shooting skills and maybe, just maybe, he might put up a good fight against Pierce. Pierce uses his quickness to dribble by the player and drive to the rim. Odom needs to work on his footwork to keep up with the speedy player and to make him take perimeter shots. Pierce completely destroys Odom in this match-up however.
SG: Ray Allen vs. Kobe Bryant
Everyone knows and heard about how Kobe Bryant was the best player in the world and Iâ€™ll say it again here. Kobe Bryant is the best player in the world. Thereâ€™s no chance that the Celtics will win this match-up, no matter how good Allen became over the off-season. Kobe is just Kobe. He just needs to watch out for Allenâ€™s 3.
PG: Rajon Rondo vs. Derek Fisher
I may be a bit biased here, as Derek Fisher has always been one of my favorite Lakers. Rondo showed that he deserved that starting point guard position but tends to be inconsistent in his play. Meanwhile, Fisher has always been a solid point guard, and will most probably continue to be. He has been the most aggressive in this year than other years before, and he has turned into a formidable defender. Heâ€™s better at shooting, and Rondo is better at stealing. Iâ€™m going to give Fisher the edge here.
Bench: After the departures of Posey, Cassell, and Brown, the Celtic bench became much weaker. Meanwhile, for the Lakers, their bench has not really changed except for minor signings and the departure of their main cheerleader, Ronny Turiaf. Before, the Celtic bench was better, but now Iâ€™d say there are pretty much equal.
Final Thought: Overall, the Lakers win this match-up, and this is what it should have been in the finals. If these fierce rivals meet again, no way would Kobe let us be beat.
Edited by Heir, September 21, 2008 - 07:15 PM.