Tag:Javaris Crittenton
Posted on: June 2, 2008 10:15 am
 

NBA Finals Preview and Predictions

(1) Los Angeles Lakers vs. (1) Boston Celtics

Los Angeles Lakers:

PG- Derek Fisher
SG- Kobe Bryant
SF- Vladimir Radmanovic
PF- Lamar Odom
C- Pau Gasol

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Boston Celtics:

PG- Rajon Rondo
SG- Ray Allen
SF- Paul Pierce
PF- Kevin Garnett
C- Kendrick Perkins

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Two of the best dynasties in NBA history, either the Los Angeles Lakers or the Boston Celtics will add another championship ring to their already large collection.

In Los Angeles, the stars went from Wilt Chamberlain, Jerry West, and Elgin Baylor, to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, James Worthy, and Magic Johnson, to the Shaq days, and now to what you could call the Kobe Bryant era.

In Boston, the stars went from Bill Russell, Bob Cousy, and John Havlicek to Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, and Robert Parish, and slowly to the Big Three era of Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, and Paul Pierce.

Now, one of these teams will win again, something that both of these teams sure know how to do.

On one side, you have the surprise team, the Celtics, who made huge changes in the offseason, acquired Garnett from Minnesota, Allen from Seattle, and rolled to the best record in the NBA. Also, a young prospect named Rajon Rondo showed he's not all hype.

On the other side, you have the Lakers, who are down but never out. Led by young prospect Andrew Bynum for the early part of the season, the Lakers looked stronger than ever. However, when tragedy struck and Bynum got injured for the season, the Lakers traded Javaris Crittenton in a package deal to Memphis for big man Pau Gasol. Gasol's impact on the team was amazing, as the Lakers rolled to the best record in the West.

The battle of the number one seeds should be a great one, but a quick one. The Cetlics' road woes throughout the postseason is a major cause of concern, and something the Lakers will look to take advantage of. The Lakers also have a problem, however, with being able to stop all of the Big Three, which will require some great defense throughout the series. Also, will the Celtics be able to stop the phenomenal NBA MVP Kobe Bryant? They did stop LeBron James, but remember that took 7 games to do. And the Lakers, unlike the Cavaliers, have other stars. Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom are both excellent options.

If you compare the matchups:

D.Fisher vs. R.Rondo (Advantage Fisher)
K.Bryant vs. R.Allen (Advantage Bryant)
V.Radmanovic vs. P.Pierce (Advantage Pierce)
LOdom vs. K.Garnett (Advantage Garnett)
P.Gasol vs. K.Perkins (Advantage Gasol)

Although the Lakers win the matchup battle three to two, the Rondo-Fisher matchup could really go either way, so the head-to-head matchups don't provide much help after all.

However, if you combine the Kobe Bryant factor, the Celtics' road woes, the Pau Gasol-Lamar Odom factor, the fact that Phil Jackson is still a great coach after all these years, and Doc Rivers is just okay at best, and lastly the fact that the Lakers are simply the better team, then you get the winner...

Prediction: Lakers in 5
NBA Finals MVP: Kobe Bryant

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com