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Blog Entry

Lakers and Celtics rematch?

Posted on: May 13, 2009 11:58 am
Edited on: May 13, 2009 3:36 pm
 

   The Lakers and Celtics are on a crash course for an NBA championship rematch. I know it might be hard to believe at the moment with the Cavs dominating in the east and the Nuggets looking like the better team in the West, but believe it. 
   With both winning game five in their respective series last night, the Lakers and Celts displayed their championship pedigree which in my book, is why they should be the favorites to advance to the NBA championship in 2009. Why you ask? Well, I'll tell you.

Coaching

   Phil Jackson and Doc Rivers are the two best coaches remaining in the playoffs. Both continue to put their players in a position to succeed, as displayed in last nights wins. Jackson -realizing his mistake in game four - went big against the Yao-less Rockets. Starting both seven footers (Gasol and Bynum) and the 6-8 Trever Ariza, the Lakers dominated in the paint from the get go.
    Doc Rivers continues to make the best of a difficult situation with Garnett out for the postseason. Rivers knows how to get the most out of the remaining players, including Eddie House, Glen Davis, and Stephon Marbury. Assuming the Celts advance, expect Rivers to have a solid gameplan drawn up for his team designed to slow down Lebron and make the rest of the Cavs roster beat them. In a seven game series, my money is still on the Celtics. 
    In contrast, George Karl and Mike Brown are solid - but not spectacular coaches. Karl's teams have exited in the first round in 7 of his last 8 postseason appearances, with the lone exception being the 52 win Bucks team that was bounced in the Conference finals. Mike Brown has just three seasons under his belt as a head coach, and although he has made the playoffs in all three, his postseason record was just 25-20 prior to this year, twice losing in the conference semi's. He did take the Cavs to the finals in 2007, but the east was weak that year, and he was clearly outcoached by Greg Popovich in a 4-0 series loss to the Spurs.

Deeper Rosters

I'll admit, the Cavs are deep this year, much more than in years past, but I still like the Celtics and Lakers to get better play off the bench in the conference finals. Let's take a look at the benches to see how they stack up:

Lakers: Andrew Bynum, Luke Walton, Shannon Brown, Jordan Farmar, and Sasha Vujacic.

Celtics: Stephon Marbury, Eddie House, Brian Scalabrine, and Mikki Moore.

Cavaliers: Joe Smith, Daniel Gibson, Wally Szczerbiak, Ben Wallace, and Sasha Pavlovic.

Nuggets: Chris Anderson, Dahntay Jones, Anthony Carter, and Linas Kleiza.

     As I said, the Cavs bench may end up playing well against the Celtics, but I still give Boston the edge. As for the Nuggets, I don't see how they keep up with the Lakers in a seven game series. This ain't Dallas we're talking about. When the starters rest in that series, the Lakers will be adding to their lead. 

Nuggets and Cavs are overrated 

     Before you fly off the handle, let me say that I respect what Cleveland did this year in the regular season - especially at home - but I still don't think that they're as good as advertised. I'd like to be impressed by their sweeps over the Pistons and Hawks, but I'm not. Neither of those teams showed up, and I have little doubt that the Celtics and Lakers would have easily dispatched these teams if given the chance. In contrast, how would the Cavs be doing if their first two rounds were against the Jazz and Rockets? Hard to say for sure, but my guess is that they would still be playing instead of resting.
     As for the Nuggets, they're the flavor of the month. The acquisition of Chauncy Billups has certainly made them a better team this year, but let's not forget that these guys had the same amount of wins in the regular season as the Blazers who are long gone. Add to that their 21-20 road record this season and it's hard to see how they're going to compete with the Lakers in a full seven game series. Granted, Denver has looked like a contender while playing the Mavs, but beating the Mavs in the postseason isn't exactly an indicator of future success.   

The fact is, we would all like to see Kobe vs. Lebron in the finals this year. I want it, you want it, and the NBA wants it so bad it can taste it. But I don't know if we'll get it. Conventional wisdom says that we will, but my gut tells me that we're much more likely to see a Boston - LA rematch. I hope I'm wrong, really I do, but I don' think that I will be. All things considered, these are my final predictions for the conference finals: 

-Lakers over Nuggets in five

-Celtics over Cavaliers in seven

I'm sure that you all agree with me (tongue planted firmly in cheek), but just in case you don't, I'll open up the floor for arguments sake. Discuss amongst yourselves.



 

 

Comments

Since: Jan 22, 2008
Posted on: May 16, 2009 4:25 pm
 

Lakers and Celtics rematch?

A simple no would've been alrightTongue out



Since: Jan 15, 2008
Posted on: May 14, 2009 8:18 pm
 

Lakers and Celtics rematch?

The cavs beat the lakers in Boston with both teams' playoff roster (pretty much)Nobody in the east is gonna beat the cavsAnd with the lakers stumbling, nobody in the west might be able to either



Since: Aug 29, 2006
Posted on: May 14, 2009 6:41 pm
 

Lakers and Celtics rematch?

HAHAHA I love the response. Probably the best movie quote in the history of Earth.



Since: Apr 15, 2009
Posted on: May 14, 2009 4:32 pm
 

Lakers and Celtics rematch?

I also award you zero points for being unoriginal and stooping to quoting billy madison.



Since: Oct 10, 2006
Posted on: May 14, 2009 3:45 pm
 

Lakers and Celtics rematch?

If Karl had half a brain the disparity in playing time would be even more significant, as Smith is a far superior player than Jones in my book.

This just shows how little you know about the Nuggets.  The reason Jones is the starter is that he helps the Nuggets set the tone defensively.  Don't underestimate his offense, either.  He's not a great outside shooter but he is great at finishing at the basket, especially on the break.

Plus, with J.R. Smith coming off the bench, the Nuggets have an offensive spark that most teams just do not have.  When most teams are going to weaker bench players to hold down the fort while the starters get a breather, the Nuggets are getting a spark from Smith, who can provide instant offense.

So keep underestimating the Nuggets, but if the Lakers do I can guarantee you it will be the Nuggets advancing to the NBA Finals, not the Lakers.



Since: Apr 2, 2008
Posted on: May 14, 2009 3:39 pm
 

Lakers and Celtics rematch?

Personally I'd like to see Kobe take it to LeBron and the Cleveland Caveliers.  The Celtics are not as good as they were last year and I beleive it would be a sure bet that the lakers would smoke 'em in the finals...    Now Lebron & Co., that would be a great series for everyone to watch.  This year's MVP vs. last year's MVP.  A young superstar against a Hall of Fame bound veteran superstar.  That would by far be the best series possible....  The Celtics vs. Lakers would have been a great rematch in the NBA finals this year if only the Celtics didn't SUCK!!!  Like all Boston teams and fans!!!!Surprised



Since: Feb 7, 2009
Posted on: May 14, 2009 3:38 pm
 

Lakers and Celtics rematch?

You listed Dahntay Jones coming off the Denver bench when he is in fact a starter, and you failed to even mention the 6th Man runner up, J.R. Smith.  This demonstrates an overall lack of NBA knowledge.You're right, Jones is technically the starter, but JR Smith has always played more than Jones:  

MPG in the regular season:  Jones 18.1, Smith 27.7

MPG in the post season:  Jones 18.6,  Smith  26.9

So although it's true that Jones starts the games, I consider him more of a bench player than Smith, since he spends more time on the bench. Make sense? So break it down however you want, but JR Smith is your shooting guard. If Karl had half a brain the disparity in playing time would be even more significant, as Smith is a far superior player than Jones in my book.    



Since: Oct 10, 2006
Posted on: May 14, 2009 2:11 pm
 

Lakers and Celtics rematch?

If you had any credibility left near the end of your blog, you lost it all when you started comparing the benches.  You listed Dahntay Jones coming off the Denver bench when he is in fact a starter, and you failed to even mention the 6th Man runner up, J.R. Smith.  This demonstrates an overall lack of NBA knowledge.

As for the Nuggets being the flavor of the month, they've been tearing it up since the beginning of March, it's just that no one really noticed it until now.  Don't forget, the Nuggets put a beatdown on your Lakers the last time in Pepsi Center to the tune of 90-79.  The Nuggets were 1-2 against the Lakers this year with Chauncey, and one of those losses was way back in November before the Nuggets had really had a chance to gel with the current lineup.  This is a different Denver team the Lakers will be facing.

Lakers in 5?  Honestly the way both teams are playing right now, I think Denver is more likely to win in 5 then the Lakers are.

This doesn't even address the Eastern side of your bracket, where I would give Boston about a 0.01% chance of advancing past the Cavs.



Since: Jun 6, 2008
Posted on: May 14, 2009 1:04 pm
 

Lakers and Celtics rematch?

what has Phil done without Kobe and Jordan??   you can't fault Doc for having good players to coach all of a sudden.  I have never seen a good coach make a winning team out of bad players but I have seen many Bad coached make bad teams out of good players.  I am a celtics fan do I think they will be the CAVS prob not (I am not counting them out by the way) but i do know that doc writes up some of the best plays out of time outs, the team plays the best TEAM defense, and the players seem to be willing to walk through walls for him what more do you want from a coach?



Since: Mar 16, 2008
Posted on: May 14, 2009 12:25 pm
 

Lakers and Celtics rematch?

I am a Heat fan so I don't really care who wins - I will tell you that it isn't going to be Boston in the finals. They might not make it out of their series with Orlando and they sure aren't going to beat Cleveland.


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