Flashback, game 5 of the Western Conference finals between the LA Lakers and the Phoenix Suns, with 1 minute to go and with just a three point lead, Ron Artest missed a jumper that Pau Gasol rebounded. Gasol brought out the ball by passing it to Ron Artest who in turn took an open three pointer that rattled off the rim once again. After that play the Suns equalized after Jason Richardson sank a three pointer with less than 4 seconds remaining. The Lakers then went to their superstar Kobe Bryant who missed the jumper, luckily the unlucky Ron Artest who only scored two points, got the rebound and miraculously sank the field goal that gave the mighty Lakers the pivotal win to get into their third consecutive NBA final appearance.
As if scoring the winning basket was not enough Ron Artest came out scorching hot in Game 6 as his early exploits in the first half was more than what the doctor ordered. The Phoenix Suns employed a modified Zone defense to challenge the shooters of the Lakers. The unlikely shooter in Ron Artest suddenly emerged as he sank 3 three pointers enroute to a 17 point first half. That 17 points gave the Lakers a 13 point half time lead - the Suns never recovered as the Lakers went on to win 111-103 and enter the NBA finals for the third consecutive year.
Ron Artest was egged on to shoot by the Phoenix zone defense as he was often left open and he gamely obliged as he scored 25 points, the most he has scored in a play-off. Steve Nash and Amare Stoudemire failed to lift the suns again as Nash became the leader in games played without making it to the finals. It seems as though the Suns will have their hands filled in trying to get Stoudemire back since he will be a free agent come July 1.
In the second half, the other MVP went to work as the man they called Kobe Bryant took it upon himself to score when needed to close out the Suns. It was evident that the Lakers are raring to go since the day before their historic win, the Celtics have already booked themselves to the finals and are waiting for the Lakers to dispose the Suns. His 37 point explosion moved him ahead of Jerry West and is now in a tie for second place for the most 30 point playoff games scored at 75, Michael Jordan holds the all-time mark at 109.
As predicted, the NBA Finals will feature the two best teams in the NBA, the two most winningest franchise and the two teams with the most fans worldwide. Wait for the NBA to erupt, its gonna be Purple vs Green and the fun starts just right now. A fitting title for the finals could be Rivaly Renewed: Revenge or Redemption!