Thursday, June 3, 2010


Los Angeles Lakers vs. Boston Celtics
ANALYSIS: Here we go again...Lakers/Celtics. Celtics/Lakers. Boston toughness vs. L.A. flair. The more things seem to change, the more they stay the same. The Lakers come in the Finals trying to defend their crown and having been tested well in the playoffs. Los Angeles may have won all seven of their postseason home games but they have clinched all three series on the road leading up to this point. The Celtics, on the other hand, look to stop another superstar in order to win championship No. 18. Boston may have finished the regular season at .500 with a 27-27 record, but have gelled together at the perfect time to pull together one of the more unprecedented title runs in NBA history. Both teams are at full strength so there should be no excuses to who wins (or loses) the title this time around.
SEASON SERIES: tied, 1-1 (both road teams won by 1...but Boston's win was without Kobe playing for L.A.)
PREDICTION: Celtics in 6
MATCHUP: Ron Artest vs. Paul Pierce (the two rivals strike again)
PIVOTAL GAME: Game 5 (For Boston to win this series, they must be ahead at this point or have clinched, it will be hard for them to win two elimination games on the road)

PG: Derek Fisher vs. Rajon Rondo
-Rondo has been amazing in the playoffs thus far, averaging 16.7 points and 10.0 assists per game on 46.7% shooting. Once seen as the guy that can hold the Big Three back, he has shown that he is more than capable of driving the fancy Benz and parking it too. Fisher is still a good point guard, but his past three match-ups (Russell Westbrook, Deron Williams, and Steve Nash) have resulted him to be on the losing end.

SG: Kobe Bryant vs. Ray Allen
-You do not have to like him, but you must respect him. Charles Barkley has said that Kobe is not as effective as he was, but he is shooting his best from the field since the 2006 playoffs and has his best playoff three-point percentage ever. Also, his 6.2 assists per game are the best that he has done in the playoffs, as he is learning to be much smarter. Ray Allen is still a clutch, pure shooter, but against Kobe...

SF: Ron Artest vs. Paul Pierce
-Like I said earlier, this is the key match-up. Artest is better defensively, while Pierce is better on offense. However, I will take "The Truth" over "The Tru Warrior" in this one, because Paul's defense is better than Ron's offense. This should be interesting to see, hopefully Artest does not try to pull on Pierce's shorts again.

PF: Pau Gasol vs. Kevin Garnett
-I hate to say it, but Gasol has the advantage over Kevin Garnett in this match-up. KG was barely existent in the Eastern Conference Finals, while Pau did well in the West Finals and exposed Amare Stoudemire for his lack of defense. Good thing is, Garnett is better defensively than Amare and he can play closer to the goal since the Lakers don't spread their players out like the Orlando Magic do, but Gasol still wins.

C: Andrew Bynum vs. Kendrick Perkins
ADVANTAGE: Push (Bynum could get hurt, Perkins could get suspended)
-Both players are not what you consider Patrick Ewing, now are they? In the least-glamorized match-up of the Finals, things can be alter on two things, Bynum's knee and Perkins' attitude. Bynum's knee is not getting better, and he had fluid drained out of it prior to The Finals, while if Perkins gets one more technical foul, he'll be suspended for a game (he can get suspended for every odd numbered technical beginning with 7).

BENCH PLAY: Lakers vs. Celtics
-How will Boston counteract when the Lakers put in Lamar Odom, with Rasheed Wallace or Glen Davis? If Nate Robinson goes off, does Jordan Farmar or Sasha Vujacic have an answer? My edge goes to Boston, but they both mirror each other like a Yankees-Red Sox series.