Thursday, June 3, 2010

Renewed Rivalry - Revenge or Redemption!

As the curtain raises for another epic battle of the two most succesful franchises in NBA history, the world awaits how this battle will be fought. This time around the tables have been turned and the favored team now is the team that rose from the West - the Los Angeles Lakers. The other team, the Boston Celtics is definitely on a roll and are no pushovers. That is why this 2010 NBA Finals will determine who is the best since it is the battle of the 2008 Champion vs. the 2009 Champion.

The Lakers and their 2009 Trophy

Two years ago, the Boston Celtics rose to the occasion by beating the Lakers in 6 games which is still at the back of the minds of the Lakers since the final game was over with two quarters left as the Celtics won by 39 points. This time around the Lakers hold the home court advantage and have yet to lose at the Staples Center where their fans are guaranteed to help the team in purple get back at their 2008 tormentors - REVENGE!

The 2008 Champions celebrate

Last year the LA Lakers captured their 15th league title and Kobe Bryant's 4th with LA and 1st finals MVP. The Celtics on the other hand were without all-star center Kevin Garnett at the start of the play -offs but still managed to eke out a morale boosting series win against the Chicago Bulls but fell to another beast from the east - the Orlando Magic. This year, they fell off target when some of the key players got injured but got a big boost when the team became complete. Just like what they did in 2008 the Celtics are out to redeem themselves from their dismal 2009 season - REDEMPTION.

2009 Champion and finals MVP Kobe Bryant

The Lakers have the best offensive weapon in the league under the name Kobe Bryant. That weapon averaged 24 points in the first round, 32 in the second and 34 by the conference finals. There is nothing on earth that can stop this guy from scoring. The difference of Kobe and Lebron James is that Kobe is a better shooter and has a better supporting cast. One key contributor is Pau Gasol whose inside presence has improved tremendously since he is now being described as unstoppable. For the Lakers to win he has to be in the 20 points 12 rebounds mode and not the 13 points 4 rebounds player as seen in their game 4 loss against the Thunder. Ron Artest is the defensive guru who can put the cuffs on Paul Pierce. He is out to seek the truth and put an end to his scoring onslaught and as we know where the truth goes, Boston follows. Lamar Odom, the man everyone calls as lucky will play a big role because when he plays good it takes the load off Bryant. Another factor is Andrew Bynum, after being a force against the Thunder by coming out with 21 pts and 11 rebounds in their game 5 win, he scored 2 points and pulled down 2 rebounds in their Game 3 loss to the suns. Another thing to wait for is for Derek Fisher to sink another game winning three pointer! The supporting cast should step up to get those important wins. For the Lakers to win the series they have to be the same offensive team in the Suns series and run the ball against the aging Celtics. The Lakers has not lost a game at Staples Center and by just defending their court, it will give them the back to back.

The Celtics: Team Redeem

Rajon Rondo is definitely the fourth weapon and the most important Celtic in the roster. He has put all the intangibles on the floor and now the veterans are following his lead. In 17 games in the first three rounds he has averaged close to 17 points per game, dished out an average of 10 assists per game, stole the ball at 2.1 times and had a rebounds average of 5.6 per game. A very rare find this Ragin Rajon Rondo. Kevin Garnett was outplayed by Dwight Howard and is ready to give Gasol some headaches. Paul Pierce should be ready to find ways to score since Artest will most probably get his goat. On the other hand, Ray Allen is the silent worker whose loaded gun seems unstoppable when he is on a roll. The beauty of this CEltics team is that Doc Rivers can count on anyone from the bench to step up any given night may it be Rasheed Wallace, Glen Davis, Tony Allen or Nate Robinson. For the Celtics to win, their signature defense should go to work by shutting down the other Laker scorers and tire out Bryant in the end. Come crunch time, 4 veterans against 1 superstar would be hard to beat.

Ray Allen will play a big role for the Celtics

When all has been said and done, it is usually the things not talked about that determines the winner so do sit back, relax and enjoy this series. This renewed rivalry will determine who is more determined, the team that is out for revenge or the team seeking redemption. Take your pick!

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