As lame as it is that we have the Lakers and Celtics in the final again, deep down there is that support for the cliché/super predictable type of outcome. It’s like having a really heartwarming happy ending even in a movie even though you know it was a completely stupid way to end the movie and it was not original at all.
But the Finals have been decided and it will be another showdown between the Lakers and the Celtics. Hopefully this won’t be as lame as the 2008 Finals and I think whoever is the winner of this epic showdown, the loser’s fans better suck it up and admit that the other team is the better team. This is it. The no bullshit, no whiny Lakers fan going “oh but Andrew By-” yea, Andrew Bynum is still the biggest pussy of a 7 footer in the league.
For this Finals, I’m hoping for an insane Game 7 that goes to double overtime with clutch 3s by Ray Allen to force overtimes and then with the Lakers down 1 with 5 seconds remaining, Kobe does a crossover, Pierce stumbles a little, Kobe elevates as Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo come over to contest the shot… The ball leaves Kobe’s hands, the whole arena is silent… swish.
And I don’t even want the Lakers to win. But that would be the storybook ending, and at this point all I want is some great basketball. A fight or two would be excellent as long as no one gets suspended. Ron Artest and Paul Pierce beef? Count me in!
But anyway, here are 10 reasons why this Finals should be better one of the better ones in recent years.
1. Both teams want to win
Obviously every team wants to win once they get to the Finals, but this year there is no clear favorite. Both teams know they are championship material and both teams are coming out HARD.
2. Rivalry renewed
It’s a little hard to rub in, but the Lakers have now been in the Finals 3 years in a row. To me the ’08 Finals was only a rivalry because they were the Lakers and the Celtics, but now it’s not just Lakers vs Celtics, but Kobe/Gasol VS Rondo + Big 3.
Everyone on the rotations have either been to the finals or are experienced basketball players… Except for that lousy piece of shit called Bynum. So everyone that you expect to contribute in the playoffs is experienced in some way or another. Artest stepped up on the big stage last season as a Rocket. No more Trevor Ariza running around and Courtney Lee missing bunnies. Everyone here is for real.
4. Rise of Rondo
Judging from what I’ve read, most people are predicting this series to go 6 or 7 games. I think it has the potential to go 6 or 7 but Rondo is the X factor here. Depending on his play, this is the difference between a close series and domination. Rondo is no longer the same player he was 2 seasons ago and his biggest weakness doesn’t even seem like that big of a weakness anymore. During these playoffs, how many times have you seen Rondo hit a jumpshot you didn’t think he was going to hit? I’m going to put the blame here on Fisher… the Lakers’ biggest weakness is a quick point guard capable of scoring. The last couple years, Aaron Brooks, Deron Williams, Russell Westbrook, Steve Nash and the Bobcats point guards have all given the Lakers trouble.
5. Last chance for Boston?
I’ve seen trade proposals of the Celtics Big 3 being thrown around (especially those with Ray Allen) in packages for younger talent to surround Rondo with. If the Celtics lose, this could be the last we see of the current Celtics starting 5. That would also spell the end of the Big 3’s championship chances without signing for a contender and playing a diminished role. Here’s a semi interesting stat… The starting 5 of Rondo/Allen/Pierce/Garnett/Perkins has never lost a playoff series… yet.
6. Heading strong into the Finals
No complacency this time around. Both teams were in position to close out the series in 4, maybe 5 games, but Game 6s were forced on both teams. Both teams finished strong in Game 6 and hopefully the same mistake isn’t going to happen twice. Both teams are going to head in to the finals playing HARD.
7. 2 more until Jordan
Kobe’s ring count is at 4. He’s 4 wins away from ring number 5. Even if Kobe wins 6 rings, it will still be hard to put him over Jordan, because Kobe will be Finals MVP for only half of them. But the way Kobe is, he’s going to want to close that gap.
8. Ron Artest and Rasheed Wallace
2 of the biggest characters in the league. Hopefully no ejections that change the series dramatically. Look for Artest to play physical against Pierce and look for Rasheed Wallace to contest some calls.
9. Role players stepping up
Throughout the 3 earlier rounds, we’ve seen most of the role player step up from time to time… Even Sasha Vujacic decided to show up recently. Tony Allen has been playing better and may be relied on down the stretch to contain Kobe. Most of the Lakers guys went MIA last time they played in the Finals and Kobe was being shut down. The Lakers are probably a lot more confident this time around.
Kobe is lying. He has that killer instinct and the Celtics are not just ‘another team’. It’s the Celtics that smashed the Lakers 2 years ago. These are the fans that raped their team bus after they lost the championship that same year. Watch Kobe average mid to high 30s in this series. The Lakers want to take the Celtics out. The Celtics will want to make a statement that they are the team to beat and they would’ve been in the Finals last year if it wasn’t for Garnett’s injury.
Could be a really amazing and exciting NBA Finals. The current playoffs have been a bit of a let down so I hope this one is awesome.