Bring it on! Another Celtics vs Lakers NBA Finals promises to dazzle us all. The names have changed over the years. Bill Russell, Bob Cousy, John Havlicek, Jerry West, Elgin Baylor, Dick Barnett & Wilt Chamberlain of the 1960's. Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Robert Parrish, James Worthy & Kevin McHale of the 80's. Now, going toe to toe in the Finals for the 2nd time in 3 years, a new Celtics vs Lakers era features the likes of Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, Rajon Rondo, Paul Pierce, Andrew Bynum & Paul Gasol. Get ready. We're soon to witness a great series.
Boston Celtics (50-32, 12-5) - One of the NBA's most celebrated franchises. Perhaps in all of sports second only to the New York Yankees. Boston's winning ways have stood the test of time. 17 NBA Championships includes a record 8 in a row from 1959-1966. Two years ago they won their 17th in six games vs the Lakers.
The Celtics are clicking. They seem to be doing just about everything right. Pierce (19.1), Allen (16.8), Rondo (16.7) & Garnett (14.8) have been near unstoppable. C's passing game has worn out defenders. Transition offense has been one of their keys. Too many weapons to defend. Orlando was stunned at how handily they were defeated. Boston had better beware. 2010 LA defense is stingier than 2008 match up.
Los Angeles Lakers (57-25, 12-4) - 15 NBA Championships. Will they take home #16? At times, there's no finer team than LA. At other times, LA looks completely lost on the court. 100% focus and composure needs to be maintained or else this will be another Lakers team notched upon Celtics belts. Kobe (29.4) needs early support when he dishes to open players. When he's on it doesn't seem to matter if teams play double teams. Paul Gasol (20.0) seems to sink every shot (56.5%). How he plays against a stingy Boston D could very well determine LA's fate. Ron Artest (11.5) has been one game on, one game off. Complete failure at the free throw line shooting a dismal 61%. Odom, Fisher & Bynum have provided valuable defense and quite a few momentum changing baskets this post season.
Prediction: Expect to see fast and furious action. Rondo and Kobe will be pushing the ball looking for quick baskets or open lanes. Celtics own offensive edge as a team. Many weapons available if one individual has an off night. On the other hand, the Lakers have to attack the basket when Boston closes in on Bryant. They can't miss easy layups or open 12 footers. Both squads will play a spirited defense. Celtics transition offense brings it home. Raise another banner in Boston.
Celtics win in 6.