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LA Lakers Vs. Boston Celtics

2008 NBA Finals
LA Lakers and Boston Celtics Series Preview

This match up carries a lot of weight—television ratings and revenue; iconic and mythological memories and lots of musings comparing the past era of Bird versus Johnson to the present time. So many people wanted to see this series, and now it will be played out starting Thursday, June 5, at 9:00 PM ET on ABC-TV.

These are the two best clubs in their respective conferences. The Celtics finished with a 66-16 record to top the east, while the Lakers ended up the best in the west at 57- 25. At plus-10.2, Boston was best in the league in point differential, scoring an average of 100.5 and holding opponents to 90.3. The Lakers managed a plus-7.3 PF/PA average, as they scored 108.6 per game and allowed 101.3. In the regular season series, Boston took Los Angeles in both meetings. The first game was in November and ended 104- 97 while the second contest had a 110- 91 result.

For the Celtics to take the championship, they need Kevin Garnett to play big and Kendrick Perkins to produce too. Perkins has been a key ingredient in the playoff mix. Paul Pierce has been waiting for this opportunity for a decade. Look for him to make the most of it. In the backcourt, second-year man Rajon Rondo continues to play like a vet. Ray Allen has not played his best in the playoffs but rest seems to help him.

No one player can win the NBA title. So, along with big games from Kobe Bryant, the Lakers will need to get important output from Pau Gasol. Chances are that Boston will give Bryant the outside shot. If they do, he’ll take it. If he drains enough of them, the Celtics could be in trouble. Still, it’s certainly worth the chance, especially if the C’s can control the boards. Still, Lamar Odom and Andrew Bynum will have something to say about who takes charge in the paint.

In the end, this game comes down to the Celtics’ defensive controlling the explosive Lakers’ offense. Bryant is a total player. Even if they shut him down, they still have at least three other guys with which to contend. Boston must have its inside game running smoothly and perhaps share one less pass a possession. Ultimately, ball control will win the series for Beantown. The players from the City of Angels will find victory by putting the ball up as many times as they can.

Maddux Sports Series Prediction:

Boston Celtics in 7 Games

Enjoy Maddux Sports' NBA playoff coverage throughout the 2008 postseason.

 

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