Who will win the 2010 NBA finals between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics?
The simple signs to the LA Lakers. Best current player, Kobe. Best current coach, Phil Jackson. That adds up to Kobe’s 5th and Phil’s 11th ring.
These teams have some similar strengths. Huge front lines battling against each other. If Gasol plays well, expect it to be over quickly because Garnett is starting to wear down in these playoffs. Garnett’s biggest game of the Orlando series was 14 and 12 in a loss, and he didn’t make more than 5 FGs in any of the Orlando games. Garnett had some big games in the Cleveland series, especially in the clinching game, 22 and 12, making 11 of 19. Gasol has had a couple low scoring games, but for the most part, he’s been an underrated player in these playoffs. He’s scored more than 20 points in 9 of 16 playoff games. If Bynum can be serviceable, he will be should be able to deal with the Perkins/Baby combo. Throw in Mr. Khloe Kardasian, and the Lakers appear to have an edge over the Celtics.
Other big questions are, can Artest shut down Pierce? It’s one of the reasons the Lakers got him. He can give players like Durant, Pierce, and LeBron more trouble than Ariza could have. It looks like the Lakers were smart betting they would end up in the finals against LeBron or Pierce.
Rondo is the Celtics best chance. But, Kobe is still athletic enough and one of the smartest basketball minds on the court, and Phil is the smartest player on the sidelines in the NBA. Expect Kobe and Phil figure out the best way to defend Rondo to shut him down. Rondo is a fantastic player, but he has too many weaknesses that Kobe and Phil can exploit.
Ray Allen has made big 3s, but it seems like Fisher can guard him well enough, and make a few big shots of his own to cancel him out. Phil could also use Shannon Brown to hound Ray and be physical to try to throw him off of his game a little.
Also, expect Boston’s age to start to show if this series goes 6 or 7 games.
All of these factors look to give the Lakers an edge in this series. Lakers in 6.