Boston Celtics at Los Angeles Lakers- 9 ET ABC
After what can be summed up as a very disappointing year for the NBA Playoffs, the Finals have been far from a let down. Tonight this year’s champion will be decided by one final game in Los Angeles. It’s been a rollercoaster of a series with both team’s having faced their ups and downs.
Game 1: It was Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol who led the Lakers to a victory in the opening game of the series.
Game 2: Ray Allen connected on 8 of 11 three-pointers and Rajon Rondo recorded a triple-double which helped the Celtics head back to Boston with a split series, swinging home court advantage in their favor.
Game 3: Celtics’ Game 2 hero Ray Allen shot 0-13 from the field scoring only 2 points that he earned from his only trip to the charity stripe. Allen’s disappointing performance played a huge role in why the Lakers came away with a big Game 3 win on the road. The loss showed just the league just how important Ray Allen’s contributions are to the Celtics success in big games.
Game 4: Glen Davis and Nate Robinson provided the much needed spark and production off the Celtics bench leading their team to the crucial bounce back win at home. Tying up the series at two games apiece.
Game 5: Kobe Bryant’s 38 points wasn’t enough for the Lakers to earn the victory on the road which would’ve given them a commanding 3-2 series lead heading back home for the remainder of the series.
Game 6: Down but not out, the Lakers recovered back at home when faced with elimination. Unfortunately for the Celtics, they experienced an early buzz-kill losing starting center Kendrick Perkins to a knee injury. The Lakers held control of the lead throughout the entire game.
Game 7: With both teams one win away from taking ownership of this year’s Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy, you can best be sure it’ll be a battle down to the end. For the fifth time in their twelve NBA Finals meetings the Celtics and the Lakers are faced with a Game 7 matchup. Going into tonight’s matchup the Celtics must overcome all odds. Not only are they on the road for the biggest game of the year but they’ll be without Kendrick Perkins. While Perkins may not be the most prolific scorer, his toughness on both ends and defensive presence will most definitely be missed. It’ll be interesting to see just how Doc Rivers decides to approach the Lakers size down low with Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol.
I’m totally against the idea of starting Glen Davis tonight and instead I’m going with Rasheed Wallace. Sheed has been everything but impressive all season long, but these are the types of games a guy like Rasheed Wallace steps up. He’s a proven veteran whose been faced with similar circumstances before, he’s not afraid of attacking the tasks at hand, and being that he’s at the end of his career he’ll lay it all out on the line for the entire 48 minutes.
It’ll be especially important that Rasheed Wallace and the rest of his Celtics team get out to an early jump. You cannot play from behind inside the Staples Center, instead you must force the Lakers hand to keep up with you. That most likely will be decided as the first quarter nears the four minute mark as we begin to see both coaches turning to their benches. If the Celtics bench can come up big tonight, the Celtics have a chance. If not, I see Kobe Bryant determining the fate of his Lakers team and when it’s for all the marbles, I’ll go with Kobe.
A Celtics win will occur if Rajon Rondo has a fantastic overall night and if the Celtics bench can provide the much needed spark and scoring load.
A Lakers win will occur if Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol play up to their standard. Obviously, the chances of this happening is much more likely than the Celtics bench being able to produce to the level needed to have a chance.
Behind a brilliant performance from Kobe Bryant the Los Angeles Lakers will be crown the 2010 NBA Champions with Kobe Bryant taking home the Finals MVP honor.
Lakers- 107 Celtics- 101