Ross Geiger’s NBA Mock Draft 3.0

1. Washington Wizards- John Wall, Kentucky

Oh how a year changes things.

2. Philadelphia 76ers- Evan Turner, Ohio State

3. New Jersey Nets- Wesley Johnson, Syracuse

4. Minnesota Timberwolves- Derrick Favors, Georgia Tech

5. Sacramento Kings- DeMarcus Cousins, Kentucky

6. Golden State Warriors- Ekpe Udoh, Baylor

7. Detroit Pistons- Ed Davis, North Carolina

8. Los Angeles Clippers- Al-Farouq Aminu, Wake Forest

9. Utah Jazz- Luke Babbit, Nevada

10. Indiana Pacers- Greg Monroe, Georgetown

11. New Orleans Hornets- Gordon Hayward, Butler

12. Memphis Grizzlies- Paul George, Fresno State

13. Toronto Raptors- Cole Aldrich, Kansas

14. Houston Rockets- Patrick Patterson, Kentucky

15. Milwaukee Bucks- Xavier Henry, Kansas

16. Minnesota Timberwolves- Lance Stephenson, Cincinnati

17. Chicago Bulls- Avery Bradley, Texas

18. Oklahoma City Thunder- Damian James, Texas

19. Boston Celtics- James Anderson, Oklahoma State

20. San Antonio Spurs- Craig Brackens, Iowa State

21. Oklahoma City Thunder- Kevin Seraphin, France

22. Portland Trail Blazers- Hassan Whiteside, Marshall

23. Minnesota Timberwolves- Larry Sanders, VCU

24. Atlanta Hawks- Solomon Alabi, Florida State

Kentucky is well represented in the 1st round.

25. Memphis Grizzlies- Daniel Orton, Kentucky

26. Oklahoma City Thunder- Elliot Williams, Memphis

27. New Jersey Nets- Jordan Crawford, Xavier

28. Memphis Grizzlies- Dominique Jones, South Florida

29. Orlando Magic- Devin Ebanks, West Virginia

30. Washington Wizards- Quincy Pondexter, Washington

31. New Jersey Nets- Keith “Tiny” Gallon, Oklahoma

32. Miami Heat- Gani Lawal, Georgia Tech

33. Sacramento Kings- Ryan Richards, England

34. Portland Trail Blazers- Stanley Robinson, UConn

35. Washington Wizards- Willie Warren, Oklahoma

36. Detroit Pistons- Eric Bledsoe, Kentucky

37. Milwaukee Bucks- Jarvis Varnado, Mississppi State

38. New York Knicks- Terrico White, Mississppi

39. New York Knicks- Trevor Booker, Clemson

40. Indiana Pacers- Da’Sean Butler, West Virginia

Butler was the heart of WVU, and he now goes to the city where Butler University plays ball. Coincidence??? Yes.

41. Miami Heat- Armon Johnson, Nevada

42. Miami Heat- Dexter Pittman, Texas

43. Los Angeles Lakers- Greivis Vasquez, Maryland

44. Milwaukee Bucks- Samardo Samuels, Louisville

45. Minnesota Timberwolves- Nemanja Bjelica, Serbia

46. Phoenix Suns- Thomas Heurtel- France

47. Milwaukee Bucks- Dwyane Collins, Miami

48. Miami Heat- Tibor Pleiss, Germany

Radford is also represented...

49. San Antonio Spurs- Art Parakhouski, Radford

50. Dallas Mavericks- Latavious Williams, USA (D-League)

51. Oklahoma City Thunder- Derrick Caracter, UTEP

52. Boston Celtics- Manny Harris, Michigan

53. Atlanta Hawks- Sylven Landesberg, Virginia

54. Los Angeles Clippers- Sherron Collins, Kansas

55. Utah Jazz- Jon Scheyer, Duke

56. Minnesota Timberwolves- Artem Zabelin, Russia

Looks like Kahn is going to steal Zabelin from Prokorhov

57. Indiana Pacers- Ben Uzoh, Tulsa

58. Los Angeles Lakers- Alexey Shved, Russia

59. Orlando Magic- Mikhail Torrance, Alabama

60. Phoenix Suns- Lazar Hayward, Marquette

Hey, Phoenix! DRAFT ME!!!!!!!!


NBA Finals Game 6 Preview

Boston Celtics at Los Angeles Lakers- 9 ET ABC

Tonight's the night he takes home the hardware

Tonight it’s do or die for the Los Angeles Lakers at home inside the Staples Center for Game 6. Can the Lakers rallying behind and provide enough support for Kobe Bryant or will the Celtics bench continue to impress? Having taken the Celtics to win in 6 games before the NBA Finals even began, I definitely have to stick with my initial prediction. After all, it’s fair to say if the Celtics are going to win the title, they’ll have to do it tonight.

If the Lakers survive and win Game 6, all the momentum shifts and have no reason to believe that the Celtics can recover in a Game 7 scenario on the road. There’s just as much pressure on the Celtics to seal the deal tonight as there is on the Lakers to force a Game 7. I see the Celtics getting the job done tonight on the road which will definitely solidify them as the legitimate 2010 NBA World Champions. If Celtics win tonight, they’ll need an impressive outing from Rajon Rondo, if Rondo’s able to be the difference maker, he’ll not only help bring back the trophy to Boston, but he’ll also take home the Finals MVP honor.

Celtics- 108 Lakers- 104

Lakers vs. Celtics – NBA Finals Game 5

By: James Sargent

Los Angeles Lakers at Boston Celtics – 8 ET ABC

Game 4 was a gritty performance by Glen “Big Baby” Davis and Nate Robinson.  Doc Rivers left the bench in a little longer than he normally does in the fourth quarter against the Laker’s starters and the move was ingenious.  Davis and Robinson were unconscious and could not be stopped, and this was a good kind of unconsciousness for Davis.  If the Celtics want to head to LA with a 3-2 lead, the bench is going to need to step it up again and provide another spark.  This will be a very tough task to ask for because with each new game comes new counter strategies and ways to stop previous occurrences.  The Celtics will definitely need two of the “Big Three” and Rajon Rondo to have a steady game.

Shrek and Donkey could be the reason for another Laker meltdown

As for the Lakers, Kobe was shutdown in the fourth quarter and Andrew Bynum was hit with another knee injury, limiting him to only 12 minutes of play.  Bryant was pestered by many different Celtic defenders who held him to only two field goals in that pivotal fourth quarter.  Kobe said he felt miserable after the game and Phil Jackson said Kobe was very tired.  Could Bryant be going back into the funk he was in at the end of the season?  I don’t think so.  I believe with the two days off, Bryant will be rejuvenated and ready to bring his “A” game like he usually brings.

Pau Gasol will bring his usual intensity to the court and continue to reek havoc on the Celtic’s frontcourt.

Rajon Rondo will record an “almost” triple-double by scoring in double figures and having double digit assits, but he will only reach about 5-7 rebounds.

Now, I asked my dad to get his thoughts on the game, and I am going to stick with what he had to say.  Celtics need a must win since winning two in LA is very unlikely.  Also, Ray Allen is going to hit some three pointers and get back to his shooting ways.

Celtics- 97 Lakers- 94

Ross Geiger’s NBA Mock Draft 2.0

With the 2010 NBA Draft  just 2 weeks away, I give you my updated NBA Mock Draft 2.0. A lot has changed since my first mock draft: NBA Draft Combine was held, team scheduled workouts are underway, and player evaluations have improved. For the past two weeks, I’ve been staying up on my research of the top prospects: from their completed workouts, interested teams, to all the rumors. From everything I’ve compiled through the web, daily newspapers, magazines, and of course my own sources here’s how I feel this year’s NBA Draft will shakedown if the draft were to be held tomorrow. Enjoy!

1. Wizards- This pick is going nowhere, John Wall will be a Washington Wizard next season, I can assure you that.

Selection: John Wall, Kentucky

2. 76ers- As I mentioned in my mock draft, the 76ers aren’t 100% certain they’ll hold onto this pick. There’s definitely a possibility that the #2 pick could be sent away if I the trading partner is willing to take on Elton Brand and his long-term contract. Unless Brand is included in a deal, I see Philly keeping the pick, don’t see them involving Iguodala unless they’ll receive a high 1st round pick in return.

Selection: Evan Turner, Ohio State

3. Nets- There has been some outside interest from around the league regarding their 3rd pick in this year’s draft but as of now don’t expect any deals involving the pick to happen.

Selection:  Derrick Favors, Georgia Tech

That's Right DeMarcus, you're draft stock is rising

4. Minnesota Timberwolves- Minnesota is all but satisfied with this pick and are exploring their options on moving up as well as out of the draft with their fourth pick. With two other first round picks in this year’s draft, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them get rid of the 4th pick if the right deal was on the table. The fourth pick is definitely available to all teams, if the price is right. If they don’t move the pick, I now see the Timberwolves selecting DeMarcus Cousins here at #3. Many would scratch their head to where exactly he fits in, but let’s not forget the Wolves kept surprising us last year, stocking up with point guards in each of their three first-round picks. They shipped off one of them in Ty Lawson and I see the selection of Cousins allowing them to ship off either Kevin Love or Al Jefferson (the more likely to be moved).

Selection: DeMarcus Cousins, Kentucky

5. Sacramento Kings- Each year it seems like nobody has a clue what the Kings organization has up their sleeve on draft night and once again the NBA world is kept pondering their options here. What I can tell you is that the Sacramento Kings have no interest in trading this pick. The question that remains unknown is whether or not they’d select Greg Monroe over DeMarcus Cousins. While Cousins is regarded as the player with most potential, Monroe is the safe pick who reminds Sac-Town of a young Chris Webber. I see Sacramento not rolling any dice and taking the safe pick with Monroe.

Selection: Greg Monroe, Georgetown

A sign & trade deal could point Wesley Johnson in a different direction come July

6. Golden State Warriors- If Wesley Johnson falls to the Warriors here at #6, there’s no chance they’ll pass him up. But I’m going to throw you a Oakland-like Zito curve ball to ponder, could the Phoenix Suns do a sign-and-trade Amare Stoudemire to Golden State in exchange for Wesley Johnson. No truth behind this happening, but I like the proposition. Amare gets his max contract with a good fit in Golden State, while the Suns get a nice piece to move towards the future with, just saying.

Selection: Wesley Johnson, Syracuse

7. Detroit Pistons- While the Pistons have been reportedly aggressively trying to move up into the 4-5 range, I just don’t see it happening unless they strike a deal with the Minnesota Timberwolves. I wouldn’t have the slightest idea what the Pistons would be willing to offer and what the Timberwolves would be willing to accept but I’d say Rodney Stuckey and/or Tayshaun Prince would be included in any deal. If Detroit doesn’t deal, expect them to take Al-Farouq Aminu. He’s a young, up and coming small forward that allows them to continue to shop Tayshaun Prince who they’re more than willing to get off their hands.

Selection: Al-Farouq Aminu, Wake Forest

8. Los Angeles Clippers-Lots of hype around the Web say the Clippers are hot on Gordon Haywood and that isn’t a surprise to me. He’s versatile, he’s a winner, and could pan out to be a great pick, even here as high as eight. I find their interest in Hayward comical because I see a lot of Mike Dunleavy in Gordon Hayward as an NBA prospect. Hayward will definitely be mentioned inside the Clippers draft room when on the clock but in the end I see them passing on him and going with Xavier Henry instead.

Selection: Xavier Henry, Kansas

9. Utah Jazz- ESPN’s Chad Ford wrote that the Utah Jazz have been high on Luke Babbit longer than most and they’ve continue to remain high on his potential. But do I really see them using their 9th pick on Babbit? Absolutely not, maybe this is just my own bias here, being that I’m not high on Babbitt as a top ten pick, but I see the Jazz going power forward. They know they’re losing Carlos Boozer this summer so why not go with a power forward with high potential to back-up the new starting power forward in Utah, Paul Millsap? I see Jerry Sloan and the Utah Jazz taking none other than Ed Davis as big with a high potential and basketball intellect.

Selection: Ed Davis, North Carolina

10. Indiana Pacers- Maybe the scenario is too perfect but if Gordon Hayward is still on the board, we all know the talk will be how in the world could Indiana pass up on him? I see them buying into the idea of selecting him for a variety of reasons. Not only will he help sell seats and be a great fit building toward the future, but it gives the Pacers the ability to unload Danny Granger. I remain high on the idea that the Timberwolves will strike out in snagging restricted free agent Rudy Gay and will elect to trade for Danny Granger. Pacers then get either Kevin Love or Al Jefferson in return which replaces departing free agent Troy Murphy (after next year) and they’re future finally gets on the right track.

Selection: Gordon Hayward, Butler

N.O. could be a perfect fit especially as Whiteside draws the Tyson Chandler comparisons

11. New Orleans Hornets- The Hornets could go any direction outside of drafting a point guard at the eleventh position. But of all their immediate needs, I see them selecting a center with this pick. With Okafor everything but impressive in his first season with the Hornets, it’d be wise that they take the opportunity to draft a big man to develop. If there was a time to do it, the time is now. This year’s draft at pick #11 offers a variety of attractive centers that could potentially blossom into stars. The three top candidates for this pick if they decide to look inside would be Cole Aldrich, Hassan Whiteside, and Daniel Orton. Though it’s pretty clear that Aldrich is the most NBA-ready center to step right in to contribute I see the Hornets drafting on overall potential and athleticism. With that being said, I see New Orleans taking Hassan Whiteside, a prospect often compared to Tyson Chandler type player around the basket. Last time I checked, Chris Paul played pretty well with the real Tyson Chandler, maybe Whiteside can tandem to do much of the same down the road. But there is some definite concern, it has been reported that Hassan Whiteside and Daniel Orton both got schooled recently by Rockets center (& former Hornet draftee) Hilton Armstrong, take it for what it’s worth. I know that hearing that kind of concerns me, but I’m still a buyer on Whiteside’s potential.

Selection: Hassan Whiteside, Marshall

12. Memphis Grizzlies- I don’t hear much drift out of the Memphis Grizzlies camp but credible sources around the league have said that the Grizzlies are set on selecting Luke Babbitt if he happens to fall into their hands at twelve. Personally, I don’t like the pick nor Babbitt as an NBA prospect, but this is the same team that drafted Hasheem Thabeet 2nd overall last year.

Selection: Luke Babbitt, Nevada

How is he not a perfect fit in Toronto if he falls to them at #13? Can he play for the Maple Leafs too?

13. Toronto Raptors- With Chris Bosh departing, drafting a power forward is a must for the Toronto Raptors this year.  Or do they? Last year Toronto signed their former first pick Andrea Bargnani to a 5 year, $50 million dollar extension. If Cole Aldrich is still on the board, I see them picking him in a heartbeat; they’d not only select the most NBA-ready talent, but add toughness at the center position. This selection is also key in allowing Bargnani to move over to the starting power forward position. Obviously losing Bosh will be a huge loss, but having the ability to take Aldrich with the 13th pick should help Raptor fans restore some sort of optimism looking towards the future.

Selection: Cole Aldrich, Kansas

14. Houston Rockets- Even after acquiring Jordan Hill near the deadline last season, the Rockets need to invest in drafting another power forward to turn too next year. I see their man being Ekpe Udoh at #14. Udoh bring the long, defensive minded power forward they’d love to have down low. Never underestimate Rockets GM Darryl Morey and his “numbers” system, Udoh might solve his math problem with what to do at the 14th pick.

Selection: Ekpe Udoh, Baylor

15. Milwaukee Bucks- If all goes as planned in this mock draft, the Bucks are left scratching their heads on what to do here with this pick. All of their favorite prospects have been taken, not one of them has slid down to them at the midway point of the draft. Even I, as someone who covers the Milwaukee Bucks am left confused on what to do here with Ed Davis, Hassan Whiteside, and Xavier Henry off the board. So I see them taking the best available player which at this point is easily Paul George. While George is labeled a small forward, I think the Bucks would experiment with placing George at the shooting guard position since it’s such a slight change as far as the Milwaukee Bucks offense is concerned. George could very well end up being a blessing in disguise for the Brew City, could it be two straight years of successful draft picks for the Milwaukee Bucks?! We’ll have to wait and see….

Selection: Paul George, Fresno State

NBA Finals Game 4 Preview

Los Angeles Lakers at Boston Celtics- 9 ET ABC

Rondo will come up big with his back against the wall tonight

Before the series began I predicted the Celtics to win the NBA Finals over the Lakers in six games. After dropping Game 3 at home, that prediction looks a little unreal having to win three straight against the Lakers. But as series shifted to Boston, I felt the Celtics would win 2 of the 3 games. Going into Game 4, I’m sticking to that prediction which would it a 3-2 series in Boston’s favor heading back to Los Angeles for the final two games.

Tonight, I fully expect Rajon Rondo to dazzle us all yet again like he did in Game 2 with a triple-double performance. And finally expect Paul Pierce, who has been a huge disappointment thus far, to step up tonight in a critical Game 4.

Mark My Words: If the Celtics lose one of the next two games, the series is over. They can only hope to win one of two in Los Angeles, so these next two home games are key to having any chance in becoming the 2010 NBA Champions. As for tonight, the Celtics veterans will show just why they’ve been champions before and will continue to work towards showing the league that again this year.

Celtics- 102 Lakers- 100

Blackhawks @ Flyers- Game 6 Stanley Cup Finals

By OTC Hockey Contributor Sean Waters

The Chicago Tribune posted this photo of Pronger in a skirt. As if teh Flyers needed more motivation, they now have it.

I was going to start this preview with saying, why is the NHL hurting its own ratings by placing their games on the same nights as the NBA Finals. Well, it didn’t hurt them on Sunday night when they posted the highest non-overtime Game 5 in the Stanley Cup finals in over eight years. What a great game to what if you enjoy watching a lot of scoring. But tonight, I am pretty sure that there will not be 11 total goals scored between there two teams. Up to this point in the series, the home team has won ever game so far. With this, the Flyers have to be happy they are flying home for game six. And a little bit of a history lesson here, the last three times that the Hawks have had a chance to close out the Stanley Cup, they have lost.

Going into this series, the goalies on both sides were said to be the factors of the series. Well so far they have come only a few goals of the record of most goals allowed in Stanley Cup history through game 5 (40 goals). It is not a good thing when you can say that 1 out of every 4 shots is going in the net. But even though Leighton had a bad night on Sunday, I am positive to see him between the pipes tonight playing like his old self.

Here are the keys to victory for the Flyers: 1) They need to play better defense. It is not all the goalies fault, their needs to be more passes broken up and shots blocked. 2) Leighton needs to play better. You just cannot let three goals get by in 20 mins. If he does that tonight, series will end tonight. 3) The crowd is going to be going nuts, keep them going nuts all night long. 4) Don’t give Chicago any hope at winning this game. Chicago can score quick and often so control the puck and stay on offense as long as possible.

Here are the keys to victory for the Hawks: 1) Shoot as much as possible. 1 out of every 4 went in last game, see if this is still there. 2) Get the crowd out of the game. I believe this can be done with a fast first period. 3) Don’t turn over the puck, giving the Flyers easy goals. 4) Don’t commit stupid penalties. 25% of the goals scored so far for the Flyers are on the power play. Don’t make life harder for yourself.

I predict that the Flyers will win this game 5-4 in overtime and we will be fly back to Chicago for game 7.

Lord Stanley's Cup will be in Philly tonight, but it will be travelling back to Chicago without an owner.

Lakers vs. Celtics- Game 3 NBA Finals

Los Angeles Lakers at Boston Celtics – 9 ET ABC

These two must combine for a big night

It doesn’t matter whether we’re talking about a specific play or team, but when you choose to shoot the three-pointer you ultimately live or die by it. In Game 2, behind Ray Allen’s record-breaking 8 three-point field goals made, the Celtics lived by the three. As a team they knocked down 11 of 16 attempts (nearly 70%), as for the Lakers well, they died by it at home, connecting on just 5 of their 22 attempts from long range.

One of the best parts of the majority of the past NBA Finals is that each game in the best-of-seven series often times offers new challenges, which forces teams to make improvised adjustments almost on the fly. The Lakers must be concerned as they step out on the floor for tonight’s Game 3 matchup. While the Lakers are currently the reigning champs, their chances to defend that title will drastically improve or crumble in Game 3. It’s important to note unlike the first three rounds of the NBA Playoffs, the NBA Finals schedule is much different. The Celtics (technically) have the chance to close out this series in Boston without ever having to return to Los Angeles. The next three games are in Boston, which gives this experienced Celtics team a huge opportunity to finish their business.

The Truth will be told in Game 3, expect a big night from him

A Game 3 win for Boston means a commanding lead in the series as they’ll continue to maintain their momentum. On the other hand, a big Game 3 win for Los Angeles guarantees that them that the series will shift back to the west coast. The sooner the Lakers get that win, they better they’ll feel going into the rest of the games in Boston. Tonight, expect the Celtics to continue to control momentum. Ray Allen played out of his mind in Game 2, but Paul Pierce was nearly non-existent contributing on the offensive end of the floor. Pierce will be ready to go tonight and he along with Rajon Rondo won’t disappoint on their home floor.

Celtics- 99 Lakers- 91

Hopefully, Big Baby doesn’t get knocked out yet again….

NBA Finals Game 2 Preview

Boston Celtics at Los Angeles Lakers- 8 ET ABC

By now you’ve probably already read the pregame posts from other news sources around the web, so here at the OuttaTownClowns preview of Game 2 we’re going to shake things up. Much like this post, I believe the Celtics will also shake things up that will lead towards shaping up this series as 1-1 series heading back to Boston. Here’s my Top 5 Boston wins Game 2 Guarantees: (At least 2 of the following 5 must happen)

1. Celtics bench scores more points than Ron Artest and/or Derek Fisher & Andrew Bynum combined

2. Rajon Rondo nearly records triple-double

3. Paul Pierce & Kevin Garnett combine for 48 points or more

4. Ray Allen hits 4 or more three-pointers

5. Celtics’ defense holds Kobe Bryant under 30 points

Of those five, I see #1 & #3 happening tonight inside the Staples Center, Boston comes up big with a win in Game 2.

Boston- 103 Lakers- 98

Even to this day, NBA fans can’t believe it either Phil…

Stanley Cup Game 4 Predictions

Well we now have a series. Game 3 was everything that a hockey fan would want to see out of a championship game. There was a lot of hard hitting, many great saves with many greatoffensive sets, power play goals, and even an overtime winner. For the first time in this series the Flyers have got to be feeling very good going into their next game. They hold a lot of momentum going into game 4. They now know that they can get past the Chicago defense and Niemi. With this, Philadelphia’s first line was very successful on Wednesday night, something that hasn’t really happened up to this point in the series. The Flyers received goals from Briere, Hartnell, Leino, and a game winner by Giroux in overtime. On the other side, Chicago played very well. Even though they had a long road winner streak going into this game, it is still very hard to win on the road no matter whom you are. Even though Chicago lost, I would still be feeling pretty good about myself going into game 4. There were still a lot of positives that came out of game 3 for Chicago. For one thing, the first line finally started to do some work on the offensive side with Kane scoring a goal and Keith recording his second of the playoffs.

Here are some facts that come out of Game 3

–          The Flyers ended a seven-game losing streak in the Stanley Cup finals games going back to 1987

–          Patrick Kane recorded two points ending his streak of six straight playoffs games without a goal.

–          The first three game of the finals so far have all been decided by on goal for the first time since ‘98

–          Ville Leino’s 15 points these playoffs tied the Flyers record for points by a rookie.

–          The Flyers are now 8 and 1 at home this postseason

–          Chicago’s 11 goals, so far in the Stanley Cup, have been scored by 10 different players.

–          With Chicago losing, it snapped a seven game winning streak and also snapped a seven game road-winning streak.

If the Hawks want to win, they need Toews at his best

The keys to game 4 remain between the pipes. With Niemi having 28 save on Wednesday and Leighton having 24, there are no signs of these two slowing down anytime soon. It is very easy to see that goaltending is the reason why teams win Stanley Cups. For Philadelphia, I believe they need to carry the momentum that they have right now into game 4. Everyone knows that the crowd there is going to be going crazy, big question is if the Flyers can take advantage of that. Philadelphia is doing a great job of wearing through the Hawks defense and is something that should be attacked on Friday night. For Chicago, they really need three things. First off, they need a power play goal. They are yet to score on the power play in these finals so far. Along the same lines they need to do a better job defending when Philadelphia is on the power play, 4 of the Flyers 10 goals so far in these finals have been on the power play. Third is that the Hawks need to take control of the third period. This is the second straight game now that they were out shot 15 to 4 in the third. In my opinion, Niemi and Chicago’s defense have been very good but if the Hawks are just going to allow themselves to be out shot by that margin again, I see a very similar outcome as the one in game 3 with Philly winning.

My prediction is that the Flyers are going to live off of the overtime victory and Wachovia Center is going to be going crazy from the second that arena opens. I believe that Philadelphia will go up early but then Chicago will come back and take game 4 on the road by a score of 4-2.

2010 NBA Finals Game 1 Preview

Boston Celtics at Los Angeles Lakers- 9 ET ABC

Being a man who possesses an ultimate passion for the NBA game, it’s always quite ironic that the NBA Finals begins a day or two before or after my birthday on June 4th. This year it falls just one day short of being the perfect present, but for good reason. While this NBA Finals should be an interesting one, it’s all but what I would’ve hoped for.

While I could be crazy, I truthfully believe the day my team makes the NBA Finals, the NBA will just so happen to start the series on my special day which will surely be a sign to what’s to come.

But nonetheless, this year’s NBA Finals is battle amongst two teams with a great history, the Celtics vs. the Lakers.

Can Kobe earn that first ring wearing #24?

The Lakers led behind arguably the best player in the game, Kobe Bryant. A championship season would bring Kobe his fourth ring and the all-so-important first ring without Shaquille O’Neal.

The Celtics led behind long-time team catalyst, Paul Pierce. Let “The Truth” be told, if Pierce can capture his second ring, he must go down as one of the greatest Celtics of all-time. Many might even argue that Pierce has already earned that honor, but a second ring definitely solidifies it.

Throughout this year’s playoffs, the Los Angeles Lakers have been nearly unstoppable at home. For them to really give themselves a shot at winning the series, they really need to protect their home court in the opening two games of the series. The Celtics have done a great job stealing road games, swinging home court advantage their way, and then never looking back. I believe it’s the Celtics year to win it all if they’re able to take one of two in Los Angeles, sending a split series back to Boston.

Paul Pierce will continue to be the Paul Pierce we’ve come to know. Kevin Garnett will need to do a heck of a job on Pau Gasol. Ray Allen will help lead the charge in delivering the daggers from outside the perimeter, and Rajon Rondo will have his official, “OMG, Coming Out Party”.

Go Ahead: Roll Out the Red Carpet, It's Time for Rondo's Coming Out Party, Finals MVP Here He Comes

I predict that Rondo will be the difference maker in the series, he’ll tally a couple triple-doubles, and be the deciding factor that helps his Boston Celtics team take the Lakers down in 6 games. If the Celtics win the NBA Championship, then Rajon Rondo will win the Finals MVP Award.

If I’m dead wrong and the Lakers come out on top, I see the Finals MVP going to the Kobe Bryant’s running mate, Pau Gasol. But let’s get one thing straight, the Celtics realize this is their final stand as a group on the brink of claiming yet another NBA title together. Next year, regardless to their NBA Finals success, this team will be broken up. Of all the Celtics that know what’s currently at stake is Kevin Garnett. Having already neared and arguably passed his prime, Garnett’s hungry for one more ring that he’ll earn with his significant contributions. One last time for “The Big Ticket” to seriously be a big ticket on the biggest stage, if he needs any motivation, my advice to him would to be look at Rasheed Wallace. Sheed was in a similar position a few years back with the Pistons. With a much more experienced Celtics bench, I think they’ll get the job done, even if it’s on the road in Game 1.

Celtics- 101 Lakers- 95

Lakers-Celtics Rivalry Top 10 Plays