Prior to these NBA Finals, the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics have battled for eleven championships, four of them going to a Game 7 with the Celtics taking them all.
In his 12 previous trips to the NBA Finals (10 wins) Los Angeles Lakers head coach Phil Jackson’s never had to win the ring in a Game 7. He did win a ring as a player with the New York Knicks in a Game 7 win in 1970 over the Lakers.
Lakers guards Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher have been to the Finals six previous times never having to win it all in a Game 7.
All the current Boston Celtics have never gone to a Game 7 with the ring on the line.
There’s a first for everything and everyone.
It’s a must win for both teams with both team leaders looking at it as just that. Kobe Bryant and Celtics forward Paul Pierce know what’s on the line and know it’s just about one win.
So, here we go. Sure I’m biased. But, honestly, this series should never have gone this far. The Defending Champion Lakers are, clearly, the superior team and should’ve taken this thing in five games.
In game five, the Celtics took the 3-2 series lead at the Garden playing desperately as they should have. They shot over 60 per cent holding the Lakers to about 33 per cent. The Celtics looked like the 1992 Dream Team. The Lakers looked like the 2009-10 New Jersey Nets. Yet, the Celtics were fortunate to come away with a 92-86 win. Kobe Bryant was the only Laker who showed up knocking down 38.
The unbeatable Lakers showed up in Game 6 holding the Celtics to 67 points while the Lakers tallied 89 points for the win. Pau Gasol, Ron Artest, Lamar Odom and the Lakers bench turned it up and showed the world why they’re the defending champions.
Unfortunately for the Celtics, center Kendrick Perkins is out damaging knee ligaments in the first quarter of the last game. That leaves plenty of room for Gasol to have his way in the paint. “Big Baby” Glen Davis, Rasheed Wallace, KG and others will platoon to defend Gasol. He’ll have another double-double.
Perkins’ injury makes it a “push” with Lakers center Andrew Bynum nursing a knee that will be operated on after the series. Difference is Bynum’s playing. Bynum’s been tough averaging about eight points, four boards and three blocks in limited minutes. That’s all they need.
It’ll be close for awhile. But look for a Lakers Repeat with another 20 point win. Time for L.A. to party……with championship number 16!