Thursday, June 5, 2008

NBA Finals 2008 Preview

For the 11th time, the Boston Celtics will meet the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals. The Lakers were composed in their dominance of the Spurs while the Celtics ultimately proved too good for the Pistons. The key to this series is going to be how Boston fares when they travel to L.A. When the Lakers have a good team it’s the toughest playoff road trip there is and I honestly can’t see Boston winning a game there. The interesting thing is that the Celtics have home court advantage after finishing with the best regular season record. They achieved this by repeatedly hammering various downtrodden Eastern Conference teams; meanwhile the Lakers battled in the tough Western Conference. The stage is set, so let’s look at the players to watch out for.

Kobe Bryant: Kobe is so good that NBA.com has set up the Ultimate Kobe Page which has everything Kobe except information about off-court indiscretions. The man is really that good. At times in his career it has seemed as if he can score at will; nowadays it seems he can score at will and can help his teammates score as well. If this man plays for the U.S.A at the Olympics, the gold medal is a foregone conclusion people. And if the Celtics can’t find a way to shut him down, so is the 2008 Championship.

Kevin Garnett: “KG” is going to have to be Finals MVP for Boston if they are going to win this series. He needs to dominate down low, dominate the boards and dominate Pau Gasol. It’s a simple plan but easier said than done. If Garnett gets into foul trouble through the series, the Celtics will be in serious trouble.

Pau Gasol: Lakers coach Phil Jackson has been critical of Gasol, especially during the playoffs. He has been upset with Gasol’s “softness”; fancy little hook shots rather than taking it strong to the rack. The reason Gasol plays this way is that he is white. If he was black he would take it to the rim but you would have to go back a long way to find a white centre who doesn’t prefer a dinky little hook shot. Nevertheless, Gasol is a seven footer who will score points, grab rebounds at both ends and fill up the middle with his size. And this is his wife:

Paul Pierce: Pierce is no doubt an important part of the Celtics line-up but will play a role that will look to compliment Garnett’s inside game. With Ray Allen struggling in the playoffs from deep, Pierce will need to get his three point shot going. His nickname “The Truth” was accorded to him after Shaq said this to a very obedient Boston reporter:

"My name is Shaquille O'Neal and Paul Pierce is the motherfucking truth. Quote me on that and don't take nothing out. I knew he could play, but I didn't know he could play like this. Paul Pierce is the truth."

It's hard to argue when Shaq puts it so eloquently...Lamar Odom, Vladimir Radmanovic and Derek Fisher are the other likely starters for L.A. with Allen, Rajon Rondo and Kendrick Perkins taking the tip for Boston. The bench of the Lakers runs deep. Just about everyone will get time in this series and each will have a set role. The Celtics are skinnier in terms of depth so will rely heavily on their big three.

PREDICTION: Lakers win. Most likely 4-2. Any sort of foul trouble for Boston's big men will be exploited. The Lakers bench will boast too much depth. The Celtics will go down in all three matches on the road. Kobe Bryant MVP. Series tips off in Boston, 11.a.m Friday AEST on ESPN.

1 comment:

Professor Chaos said...

I am not a basketball fan, as you well know el Capitan, but I will be watching this based on my pure loathing of all teams from the New England area.

Three great joys for me this year would be:

A Pats loss in the Superbowl
A Celtics loss in the NBA finals
A Redsox loss (go Brewers) in the World Series.

Just to see those pompous cretins from New England eat cock in three sports finals would make the Prof a happy man.

Fuck, I am still enjoying hearing the constant "We were raubed in the bowl. Go Welkaaaahhhh!" But to have that joy in three sports...