2010 NBA Finals: Los Angeles Lakers vs Boston Celtics Preview & Prediction [Gallery of Lakers/Celtics Dancers] : The Lion's Den University
Class Notes - 10/01/14

10/01/14 - Class Notes

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There are several things that can

2010 NBA Finals: Los Angeles Lakers vs Boston Celtics Preview & Prediction [Gallery of Lakers/Celtics Dancers]

Game 1: Thursday, June 3 – Celtics @ Lakers 9 p.m.
Game 2: Sunday, June 6 – Celtics @ Lakers 8 p.m.
Game 3: Tuesday, June 8 – Lakers @ Celtics 9 p.m.
Game 4: Thursday, June 10 – Lakers @ Celtics 9 p.m.
Game 5*: Sunday, June 13 – Lakers @ Celtics 8 p.m.
Game 6*: Tuesday, June 15 – Celtics @ Lakers 9 p.m.
Game 7*: Thursday, June 17 – Celtics @ Lakers 9 p.m.

2010 NBA FINALS

Los Angeles Lakers

vs

Boston Celtics

Season Series: Split 1-1
Combined Score: 176-176

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The Los Angeles Lakers are the most skilled team in the NBA and through-out the 2010 playoffs have shown the world just why they are the best in the West, the defending champs, and back in the Finals for the third straight year ready to repeat. The Lakers dominated the entire season placing themselves first in their conference, securing home-court through the playoffs and were ahead by enough games late in the season to give star players much needed rest as the playoffs approached. In the first round, the Lakers were paired up against the Oklahoma City Thunder and in all honestly (if they stay together), the Thunder will be the up and coming power-house as the Lakers with in a battle with the eighth seed. Heck, if it weren’t for a Pau Gasol put back off a Kobe Bryant miss during the dying seconds of game six, that series could have gone the distance and who knows what would have happened. I’m sure the Lakers would have grind it out on their home court but regardless, Oklahoma City is for real.Fortunately for Los Angeles, the Thunder may be real but in the Western Conference, the Lakers are the only team who’ve got all the pieces to win (the Celtics have a very similar situation in Boston with four star players with a bench). After narrowly getting past the Thunder, the Lakers made quick work of the Utah Jazz by taking advantage of the extreme size differential and well as their depth. The Jazz feel victim in four straight while in the other series, the Suns swept the Spurs looking to move Nash and company closer to their first ring. The idea of Phoenix winning the Championship came to an abrupt halt when they traveled to the Staples Centre for games one and two of the Western Conference Finals. Game won was all Kobe as he put up forty points but when I say all Kobe, don’t forget Lamar Odom put up 19 points and 19 rebounds. Insane. The Lakers carried the momentum from their 21 point victory into game two and dominated in an 124-112 beat down of the Suns. Game three was much different as the series traveled back to Phoenix and the suns lead the entire way with Amare scoring 42 points with game four not being much different (but Stoudemire wasn’t as dominant). When the Lakers returned home for game five, after starting slow, they gained a huge lead before the Suns pulled back and tied it up with just over three seconds to go.Ron Artest put back the game winner of a Bryant air-ball (imagine the thought 12 months ago of Kobe hugging Artest… just saying’) and in game six, the Lakers closed out the series to become the Western Conference Champs for the third straight year.

The Celtics are one heck of a team and have the talent to take this series the distance with Los Angeles but I’ve got a feeling that Kobe will be winning his fifth championship, classifying himself as one of the greatest ever (not that he already isn’t). Although Lebron just won the MVP, and Durant may be the best up-and-comer in the league, Kobe Bryant is still without question the most valuable player on any team and also the best player in the NBA. While some think Kobe may be past his prime and that his career may winding down, Bryant has only improved with age and matured as a player while being surrounded with some of the best talent the NBA has to offer. Pau Gasol will tear you apart; the man is extremely skilled, bigger than he looks and can guarantee the Lakers a double-double performance, all while playing smart basketball. A huge reason things open up so much for Gasol is because of the dynamic duo of Bynum and Odom. Having a seven-foot (extremely talented) centre is one thing, but to be able to sub in another big man (who can shoot threes) is a scary thought for Los Angeles’ opponents and no one seems to be able to stop them. I’ve said it before and here I go again, the only player last year to give Kobe trouble in the playoffs was Artest, so the Lakers made the smartest move an organization could in picking up Artest when Trevor Ariza parted ways after last year. Not only has Artest given the Lakers a great veteran presence, he has also took on defending the opposing teams most talented players allowing Kobe to focus more on his offensive game and leading his team. Derek Fisher has been there many times, Shannon Brown has shown night-in-night-out he can come off the bench to his important trifectas, while Farmar is no slouch. Heck, I know Adam Morrison sucks as an NBA player but everyone knows he’s got more skill as a 9th-man than any 9th-man on any other roster. For all the Kobe haters… hate on, it’s not about show-time in Los Angeles anymore. Nor is it the Kobe-show. Yeah, he’s still the rock of the Lakers franchise and the cornerstone of a dynasty, but the only way to be on top is to have a solid foundation below you and Kobe’s support cast is deep.

When the Boston Celtics beat Cleveland (easily) and moved onto Orlando, I really thought Orlando would give them more of a battle for Eastern supremacy but I’ll be the first to admit that I was completely wrong. The Celtics proved that if they are healthy, they are the team to beat in the East and possibly the entire NBA. Many thought before the playoffs got under way that the Celtics would struggle (when they dropped eight of their final thirteen games in the regular season) and don’t kid yourself, the road for Boston hasn’t been an easy one, although they’ve made it look that way by dominating their opposition. Boston quickly silenced any notion they’d struggle as they took care of Dwyane Wade’s Heat in five games, outscoring them in the series by 41 points. Decisive! Dropping games one and three against Cleveland didn’t stall the Celtics as they won game two before knocking off three straight in four, five and six. In their four victories, they won by a combined 69 points. Even more decisive and as easy as they made it look, keep in mind Cleveland held the best record of any team this season. After the Orlando Magic swept the Hawks in questionable the most boring series in NBA history, I (as well as many others) thought this could be Orlando’s year. They had won eight straight games, sweeping both opponents in the process and the addition of Vinsanity was proving to be pivotal. The problem was that Orlando didn’t have enough depth to match the vast amount of skill and talent that Boston yields. Rajon Rondo has taken over leadership for this team and ‘the big three’ (in my books) can now be considered ‘the final four’ because thats exactly where they are, primarily because of Rondo. While the other three players have been phenomenal, everyone, everywhere knows that Rondo is leading the Celtics to greatness. In games one and two in Orlando, the Celtics stormed out to huge leads only to have the Magic come back in the 4th quarter but neither time could they do enough as Boston rode a 2-0 series lead back home. Starting the game hot didn’t end when the Celtics came back home either. Game three was a blow-out from start to finish with a 94-71 slap to the face of Magic fans. In game four, Orlando found their way and refused to be swept which gave them the confidence to go out and dominant game five at home. In game six, with Rondo yet again playing stellar, the Celtics finally closed out the series to win the Eastern Conference Final for the second time in three years and move on to face Los Angeles. One thing is certain, the sigh you heard was Boston fans after one of their teams avoided another epic collapse.

As stated above, Rajon Rondo is a dominant force and I truly consider the Boston Celtics ‘his team’ but it hasn’t always been that way and if it weren’t for the players who surround him, it wouldn’t be. Two years ago when Boston won the Championship, Rondo adapted to what the team was doing and he’d find the open man. Now, the team adapts to Rondo’s style and no different from before, he find the open man. He’s just doing it better than he was two years ago. For opponents, it’s a nightmare to have the daunting task of having to cover four super-stars who can take over a game any given night. Having a vast amount of star talent, backed up with a bench that can come in and continue to keep Boston ahead could very well earn Boston the title and the Celtics won’t settle for anything less than 2010 Championship rings on their fingers. The thought could become reality and it is quite possible if the Celtics continue to spread the ball around and find whoever is hot on that night and make him the top scorer. In the opening round against the Heat, Pierce, Allen and Rondo all combined to be the leading scorers of different games through out the series, while Garnett, Perkins and Rondo switched up leading the way in rebounds. Round two, Rondo, Allen, Garnett lead the way scoring while Garnett, Perkins and Rondo yet again continued to dominate the boards. Against Orlando, Allen was game one’s high scorer, Pierce was game two, while big-baby Glen Davis put up 17 and lead the way in game three and so on… (Pierce brought in the most boards with nine in that game to lead his team for the first time in the playoffs). Boston did not have a player be their leading scorer in back to back game in all three rounds, which is incredible. Every quarter, of every game, in every series, the Boston Celtics play a full 48-minutes and leave their opponents black and blue in the process. Now the challenge begins. Facing a team that consists mainly of Dwyane Wade was easy, followed by the ‘Lebron Cavaliers’ wasn’t much different. A duo of superstars in Howard and Carter couldn’t match the size and skill of Garnett, Pierce, Allen, Rondo and company. The Lakers are a different story. Kobe, Gasol, Bynum, Odom, Artest and Fisher pose a much different threat… which will make for a much different story. It’s going to be one hell of a final, but a different result than two years ago, a repeat for Kobe (filling his hand with rings) putting him only one behind the greatest player of all time; Michael Jordan.

TheCoach’s Pick: LOS ANGELES LAKERS in SEVEN

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  1. Greg says:

    You call yourself a Coach? How about an analysis of the matchups? Listing Bynum, Artest and Fisher as if they were stars is silly. You also have the problem that they have no one after that. The Celtics bench is short but its deeper than the Lakers. Also, you forget to discuss the one strength that the Celtics have that the Lakers haven’t faced–length. Gasol and Bynum now won’t be able to score simply because they’re tall. Gasol is better than Garnett and Kobe will be better than Allen or Pierce but the other three can (and probably) will be shut down. Can Gasol carry this team? Can Kobe have the energy to cover Rondo and score 30 to 40 points a game? Artest is a key addition to cover Pierce and gives the Celts only one clear offensive advantage: whoever Fisher is guarding. Will Ray Allen or Rondo be able to carry the load? Can Artest stay out of foul trouble because if not there is no one left to guard Pierce? This won’t be a game of who has the most stars. It will be a series about defensive matchups and smart basketball. Unfortunately for the Lakers, they haven’t faced that all postseason and the Celts having been playing that basketball for two straight series.

    • TheCoach says:

      I call myself the Lion’s Den University Coach… not a coach of the National Basketball Association.

      Bynum is a star. You didn’t list Odom in that group and he averages more points than both and a few less rebounds than both Gasol and Odom, while being a presence down low in his own end.
      He and Gasol block shots all the time. Isn’t that defense?
      Sounds pretty good to me considering he’s only twenty-two years old. What were you doing at 22?

      Furthermore, Artest has shown in the playoffs he has an important role in the Lakers success… he leads the team in steals (defense) and he’s hit game winners.

      Gasol is better than Garnett. Correct… so the Lakers have a better big man.
      Kobe is better than Pierce or Allen (A LOT BETTER). Again, you’re right, but shouldn’t you be pulling your foot out of your mouth by now?

      I have more faith in Odom, Bynum, Artest and Fisher than I do Rondo and ‘their other player who isn’t as good as Kobe’.
      Yes, Kobe can cover anyone and put up 40 on a given night but if you’ve noticed, he doesn’t need too anymore.
      Gasol doesn’t need to carry his team. The whole team carries itself. Solid foundation beneath Gasol (and Kobe).
      Ray Allen can’t carry the load, the Celts aren’t his team. Boston is Rondo’s team and I am not saying they can’t win the Championship (I did take the Lakers in seven so I am calling for a close series), but Rondo will lead the way and be the reason Boston wins.. IF they do win that is. NOT Ray Allen. Stop being delusional.
      Artest knows he has a chance for a ring, he will stay out of trouble and he’s finally feeling like he fits in as a Los Angeles Laker.
      A series of defense and smart basketball? Kobe and Gasol are smarter (and better) than any Celtics stars and you’ve said it yourself Artest can cover Pierce. Kobe can cover Rondo.
      Also, you are leaving out one of the most important aspects since you bashed me being ‘TheCoach’.. Doc Rivers or Phil Jackson? I’ll let you answer that one.

      HAA the Celtics beat a team that consists of LBJ, and than a team of Superman and Vince CryBaby. Neither team can be put in the same category as the Lakers, hence why Lebron can’t get it done in Cleveland and why Orlando LOST last year to the very same Lakers team (minus Ariza, plus Artest)…

  2. Greg says:

    1) Bynum doesn’t play more than 25 minutes a game, so no he’s not a star. He has the talent but he struggles against other big men (I don’t mean Channing Frye). I’m not sure why what I was doing at 22 matters. As you point he’s actually worse than the guy who comes off the bench to replace him (Odom).
    2) Artest isn’t a star anymore. He had a nice Game 7 with wide open shots but he shoots sub-40% from the field. Put Pierce’s or Allen’s hand in his face, he will struggle.
    3) Doc Rivers outcoached Jackson in ’08. Jackson has clearly been the better coach over the long run but Doc has come into his own. Also the Celts are clearly the better coached defense team.
    4) The whole team won’t carry itself. Its why the Cavs and Magic struggled against the Celtics. Their team defense is very effective at taking away role players. We know that Bryant can consistently score but that won’t be enough. Gasol needs to show that he can consistently score against tough defense. I don’t think we know if he can. He has the talent no doubt but I can’t point to a single playoff series where Gasol has scored against good defense.
    5) The Magic didn’t have the same team as last year since they had a healthy Nelson this year. You need a quick PG to beat the Lakers (in addition to length in the frontcourt).
    6) Odom is a secondary key figure behind Gasol. Odom is more talented but Gasol is a better player and more likely to show consistently. Has Odom every played an entire series at a high level? He’s a beast when he’s on but that’s only about 50% of the time.
    7) The Lakers have played a sequence of teams without interior defenses. This causes the defenses to collapse and opens up spaces for their outside shooters. The Celts interior defense allows them to play straight up without collapsing. The question is how do they respond? Do they fold like the Magic (who have a similar offense)? Or does Gasol make them pay? Gasol needs to play well enough for the Celts to help out down low. Does he have the talent to do that? absolutely. We just don’t know. This is a career-defining series for Gasol. Is he a finesse big man who eats up smaller interior defenses? Or does he have what it takes to beat strong interior defenses?
    8) We don’t know if the Lakers can play smart basketball. They certainly didn’t in the last few days against the Suns. To beat the Celts they will need to play TEAM offense and defense. That means moving the ball around on offense. That means making crisp rotations on defense. The Celts have been playing that way for two series. The Lakers haven’t needed to.
    9) Finally, the whole point of my original post was that you didn’t discuss any of this. Can you reasonably come out saying Lakers in 7? yes, of course. Especially with Kobe playing like a beast right now and the Celts banged up. But listing names doesn’t win series. If you just had to list names then Lakers would have beat the Pistons back in ’04. Despite their promotions, the NBA isn’t a star league. Lebron can’t win on his own. Kobe couldn’t win on his own.

    This will be a fun (and tough) series. The Lakers team will be tested. If they win this year, there will be no more doubts. No more whispering of “soft”. They will have earned their rings this year.

    • TheCoach says:

      1) Bynum and Odom split time. And he isn’t ‘worse’ than Odom. They both contribute to the team and give each other much needed rest. The Celtics would take Bynum and Odom any day (just like any team would)… Most 6th men as good as Odom would leave a team if they aren’t playing enough. Odom knows he’d be leaving something too special.
      2) Artest is still good. You won’t change my mind and the addition has helped the Lakers.
      3) Doc Rivers shouldn’t be in the same sentence as Phil Jackson. Period.
      4) The Cavs and Magic CAN’T carry themselves. If LBJ has a bad night… Cavs are done. If Dwight played bad.. Orlando is done. In Los Angeles, we’ve seen when Kobe struggles that everyone else picks it up (and same goes when Gasol isn’t playing well)…
      5) Don’t even put Nelson in the same category as Rondo andnd yeah, I am saying Rondo will give the Lakers trouble. Big-time.
      6) Odom is only on the court 50% of the time because if you look at the vast talent Los Angeles has down low. Gasol, Bynum, Odom.. two positions, three stars. It’s impossible for him to play 75%
      7) The Lakers have made their way through the Western Conference which by record and competitiveness, is head and shoulder above the East. I agree, this is a career-defining moment for Gasol but at the same time, it will put Kobe in elite company as well…
      8] The Lakers can play smart basketball. Don’t kid yourself. At the same time, don’t think I’m writing the Celts off by any means. Just defending my pick.
      9) I didn’t need to discuss any of that… If I did, it’d be a novel and no one wants that. It’s long enough as is. I predicted what I did, and listed what teams have done, and what I think they will do… figured it was enough but since it wasn’t, for anyone who wants more, they can gladly read this.

      When did I EVER say the NBA was a star league? I stated LBJ can’t get it done and in prior posts that Kobe couldn’t get their again until he got a supporting cast who could help. Same reason Wade hasn’t been back since Shaq became old and left. And I didn’t say Kobe will do it on his own. This is what I said…
      “For all the Kobe haters… hate on, it’s not about show-time in Los Angeles anymore. Nor is it the Kobe-show. Yeah, he’s still the rock of the Lakers franchise and the cornerstone of a dynasty, but the only way to be on top is to have a solid foundation below you and Kobe’s support cast is deep.”

      It will be a fun and tough series for both teams and you are right.
      If L.A. wins, they will have earned the Championship.
      Same goes for Boston, and I’ll be the first to admit if they win, they deserve it.

  3. koko says:

    now that’s heat. let’s just watch the games, we’ll see what!

  4. this was a good convo.. coach i agree, to many options. In 08 Lakers had no Bynum to do anything. This year we have another 7′ to come in and do something. Artest yes smells his ring that he has traveld threw the league to gt. He will do wht is asked of him, DEFENSE. Nobody on the lakers team remmebers 08 better thn lamar , kobe, gasol. It will nt be easy bt the lakers r ready this year. In 2008 the Lakers were in the finals before they were prepared Boston should have and should have won it or bust. The Lakers were taught a lesson in 08 that won them a title in 09 now in 2010 we gt or true chance… Go L.A. ….. Garnett is a very dirty player the whole dame Boston team is thts wht Doc teaches … To Be Dirty .. ashamed.. Goodness will proveal

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