NBA Finals Game 1 Commentary
For the second time in the last three years the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers are squaring off in the NBA Finals. There are many subplots to talk about. Is Pau Gasol going to exact his revenge against Garnett and co? Is Kobe going to come one step closer to MJ's 6 rings? Can the aging Celtics grab one more championship before Ray Allen departs? In my opinion, this time around I think the Lakers will defeat the Celtics. Gasol has developed chemistry with his teammates and is a fixture in the lineup, unlike the first time when Boston beat L.A. His numbers last night are a testament to his dominance. Kobe seems motivated to win again, and is playing the best playoff basketball I've seen in recent memory. While I do like the Celtics' bench over the Lakers (Big Baby Davis, Rasheed Wallace, Tony Allen, Nate Robinson, etc.) I feel as though Ray Allen and Rasheed Wallace are not what they used to be, and the younger Lakers will dominate. Ron Artest frustrated Paul Pierce, and even though Pierce finished with good numbers, he couldn't steal the game like he did years ago. If this match up continues throughout the series, it will be short. Garnett is more of a defensive impact than an offensive machine, and Kendrick Perkins is not going to win them games with his offensive prowess. The Celtics need Rajon Rondo to be the impact player that he was in surprisingly decisive wins over the Cavs and Magic. He should be dominating Fisher all day, and this will be the key to the series. If Rondo can rebound and put up some big scoring and assist numbers, the Celtics have a chance to steal a game in L.A. His -17 on the floor is not going to win championships. I look forward to a physical game 2, where Rondo, Pierce, Allen and Garnett can band together to diminish the impact of Kobe and Gasol. If they don't, I can see the Lakers easily stealing a game in Boston, and ultimately repeating as champs.