The match-up that the Lakers Nation has waited for two years; a NBA Finals’ re-match with the hated Boston Celtics. These two Franchises have a rich history and are the league’s most storied franchises. This is the series that everyone wanted to see. The Los Angeles Lakers will face the Boston Celtics in the NBA Finals for the 12th time. Cue the Mills Lane’s famous saying, “Let’s get it on!”.
There have been several reports that have stated that this series will be identical to the 2008 NBA Finals. Anyone who believes that needs to check themselves. These are two different teams and believe me when I tell you that this series will come down to who wants it more. The Celtics were the tougher and better rebounding team. The roles have been reversed in 2010 and your Los Angeles Lakers are the team that is both physically and mentally tougher.
P.J. Brown, James Posey, Sam Cassell, and Leon Powe are no longer Celtics. Vladimir Radmanovic and Ronny Turiaf are no longer wearing a Purple and Gold jersey.
The Lakers are ready to match the intensity of the Celtics and do what it takes to win the title. Kobe Bryant is unstoppable and literally on a mission to be the best. He simply will not be denied. The Celtics, rightfully so, receive a lot of credit for their defense, but their offensive playbook is extensive.
The Lakers and Celtics split their two games in the regular season with both teams winning on the road. However, there’s a huge difference between the regular season and the post-season.
The key to the Lakers winning this game and the series is their defense. The Celtics run a pick and roll play very similar to the one the Phoenix Suns had some success against the Lakers utilizing Jason Richardson. Richardson curled around the screen and attacked the basket. The Celtics will use Ray Allen who will use the screen to get off a jump shot. The Lakers have to communicate and play sound screen and roll defense.
The Celtics will post-up Kevin Garnett on the left block, but he can knockdown his turnaround jumper from either block. Pau Gasol will have to be able to play him straight up, keep his body between Garnett and the basket as well as force him to shoot contested jump shots. Paul Pierce is the go to guy for Boston and the team likes to swing the ball from one side of the court to the other and get Pierce the ball of the wing to attack the basket or shoot an open jump shot.
Back in 2008, Paul Pierce put up huge numbers being defended by Luke Walton and Vladimir Radmanovic. Things will be different and much more difficult because in this NBA Finals he will have Ron Artest in his face. Ron Artest was brought to the Lakers squad to lock up alpha dog players and it is one of the reasons the Lakers returned to the Finals. He draws the assignment of slowing down Pierce.
The Lakers will have to stop the dribble penetration of Rajon Rondo. He in one of the best point guards in the league and if his play hadn’t improved, the Lakers would be facing another opponent tonight. The Lakers have already faced a group of the league’s best point guards, in Russell Westbrook, Derron Williams and Steve Nash. The Lakers have devised a game plan to beat them and they will do the same for Rondo. Don’t be surprised to see Kobe Bryant defend Rondo and Derek Fisher chasing Ray Allen.
The Lakers front-line of Andrew Bynum, Pau Gasol and Ron Artest have to be aggressive, use their size advantage, and attack the basket. This group, to include Lamar Odom, needs to score 50 points per game. The Lakers will continue to see a zone from the Celtics and will have to use dribble penetration and excellent ball movement as well as excellent player movement to beat it.
The Lakers are a rhythm team that is playing in a good rhythm. The Celtics will attempt to be physical with the Lakers again, but the Lakers won’t hit first, be pushed around or back down either. The entire team needs to step their game up and get involved. It is about tough defense, rebounding and execution. I’m expecting to see passion on every possession from the Lakers.
The Los Angeles Lakers will be ready tonight, will you?
Tupac under the alias Makaveli said it best with his verse, “I ain’t a killer, but don’t push me revenge is the sweetest joy next to getting p_ _ _ y”.
Lakers will win this series in 6 games and raise a 16 banner.
Tip-off: 6:00 PM PST
- Los Angeles: ABC
- Boston: ABC
- Los Angeles: 710 ESPN (Spero Dedes & Mychal Thompson)
- Boston: 850 WEEI (Sean Grande & Cedric Maxwell)
- Shannon Brown (Sprained Right Thumb)
- Kobe Bryant (Avulsion Fracture, Right Index Finger)
- Andrew Bynum (Small Tear in the Meniscus of his Right Knee)
- Luke Walton (Pinched Nerve, Back)
Marquis Daniels (Concussion) Listed as Day-to-Day