Friday, June 4, 2010
TWTWTNBA: The Finals Preview
From 30 to 2. With one trophy that two will fight over. Who will win? We will know the first step tonight.
How they survived the Conference Finals: Both teams advanced 4-2 in their respective series. The losers (Suns and Magic) both won two straight games in those series. Lakers won with offense, as all of their games with the Suns went over the century mark (Of course, it bears noticing that they are facing SSOL 2.0). In addition, the last time they were held below 100 in this stretch was Game 6 of their 1st round series with Oklahoma City. On the other hand, the Celtics scored between 92-96 points the entire series, winning with physical defense. Other than the Game 5 outlier, Beantown smothered Orlando.
X-Factors: For LA: it remains to be seen how effective Andrew Bynum is at this point. He was "the missing link" in 2008. If he can give them Kendrick Perkins-like numbers (9-8-1 blk), it would be of great help. Ron Artest, by being Mr. Queensbridge, is an X-factor by himself. For Boston: Perkins cannot get any more technicals. I hope he had Anger Management lessons. Boston does not really have a go-to-guy on their bench like Mr. Kardashian has been for LA, but anything additional from either Big Baby, Sheed, Tony Allen or even Nate Robinson will be highly welcomed and encouraged.
Keys: Making Kobe excessively work on the defensive end. That would be up to the Boston perimeter guys and Rajon. It is expected that Kobe will play heavy minutes, so any way you can get him to expend more energy that he would like would be welcomed. KG's play. We all know this is not the KG that was dominant in 2008. But any approximation of his play (not his mouth) from that time will be appreciated. Rondo. If you want to know how us here in the islands play ball, watch Rajon. In 2008, he was the caddy to the Big 3. Two years later, he's the floor generalissimo. And yes, that four straight tough PG matchups for Fisher, Farmar and Brown (@russwest44, @D_Will_8_4real, @the_real_nash).
Prediction: Yes, I was wrong in picking the Suns. I hope I can make it up with the Lakers in 6. I expect a split in LA, then 2 wins for the Lake Show in Boston. It will be close, though.