Thursday, August 19, 2010

2010 NBA Preview: The Finals

With the college football season just two weeks away from kickoff, there is more conference realignment/movement/reconstruction what have you. I fully intend on blogging on that which means it's time to complete the 2010 NBA Preview.

The classic Finals rivalry continues with another Lakers/Celtics matchup.

The Lakers are coming off of two tough series' against the Thunder and Jazz. Last season Utah was just a cakewalk for the Lakers. Jack Nicholson referred to that series as the intermission of the playoffs for the Lakers. The 2010 matchup still ends up the same result just a lot closer and more competitive. Boston comes off of a seven game series against the favorite out of the east Miami Heat. That will raise alot of eyebrows and create much press. With that spotlight, the Lakers may be able to use that against Doc Rivers and the Boston Celtics. Lets look at the matchups.

The Point Guards: Rajon Rondo looks to prove his worth in the NBA as well as his worth to becoming a franchise player for the Celtics. He has Derek Fisher and Steve Blake guarding him. Rondo will have the best performance of his career in this series. D-Fish is close to the end of his career. Rondo will be too quick and smart for Fisher. I don't really know what to say about Steve Blake other than he will do nothing to threaten Rajon. Boston takes the point guard edge by a disgusting margin.

The Shooting Guards: Phil Jackson may look to have Kobe Bryant guard Rajon Rondo. That may be a good idea but it may not. Derek Fisher could do well guarding Ray Allen I guess. Ray doesn't pose that much of a threat driving to the basket. So that could be a wash. As far as the Kobe Bryant vs. Ray Allen matchup, the Lakers have the edge. Obviously. No disrespect to Ray Allen who I think will still hit some big shots for Boston, Kobe Bryant will be playing for ring number six and another NBA Finals MVP award.

The Small Fowards: Paul Pierce was the 2008 NBA Finals MVP as he made heroic performances for the Celtics. Ron Artest and Matt Barnes do not care. They will both be all over Pierce. Look for some heated battles and tempers flare. We all know Ron Artest is a hot head and Matt Barnes plays scrappy. They will get into Paul's head and cause some tention. I give the Lakers the edge here at the three.

The Bigs: This is where the series gets interesting. During the Lakers last threepeat the MVP was Shaquille Oneal each time with Kobe being the sidekick. Shaq will now be known as "The Big Shamrock". He will find himself in the Finals again as a member of the Celtics. He will likely come off the bench with Kevin Garnett and Kendrick Perkins the starters. Glen "Baby Shaq" Davis and Jermaine Oneal will be the next bigmen off the bench. The Lakers will have Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol starting with Lamar Odom as the sixth man. L.A. also added vetern shot blocker Theo Ratliff. His minutes will be limited  but he will still be a decent presence when he's on the floor. The difference here to me is Jermaine Oneal, Daddy and Baby Shaq. KG and Gasol will be a wash as they both are a threat inside and with their jumpshots. Perkins and Bynum will battle and watch for tempers flaring there also. Some have been saying the if Perkins were healthy for game seven last year, the result would have been different. Lamar Odom is unpredictable. Some nights he's the X-Factor off the bench putting up 20 and 15. Other night's he'll have 3 points. If they can stay healthy and out of foul trouble, Boston should always have a well rested front court. A front court that is too stacked for the Lakers twin towers and Odom to handle. I cannot wait to see the big matchups between these two teams but I give the Celtics the edge here with the very much stronger bench. The Oneal's off the bench will make all the difference.

The Result: There is no doubt Kobe Bryant will put up MVP like numbers. He will battle to his best abilities for that sixth ring. But I am giving him the benefit of the doubt when I say his threepeat will end in six or seven games to Boston. Rajon Rondo and the major line on the front court  will be too much for the two-time defending champs. Rondo will utilize that front court and lead his Boston Celtics to victory as the NBA 2010-11 Champions. He without a doubt will be the Finals MVP.

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