Monday, June 7, 2010

Back to Boston
It was a good bet that the Boston Celtics could win Game 2 of the NBA Finals against the Lakers Sunday, which they did, 103-94. So now it's on to the next move of the chess match between Doc Rivers and Phil Jackson. So far, Rivers has a slight edge over Jackson in the gamesmanship department, planting the seed early on that age and weariness had taken their toll on Boston in Game 1.
The Celtics didn't look too old Sunday, with Ray Allen breaking the Finals record for 3-point goals and Rajon Rondo scoring a triple-double. In fact, it was the Lakers who looked gray, with Lamar Odom yet to show some form in the series and Ron Artest, the Jekyll and Hyde of the Lakers, deciding to take Sunday off, going 1-10 from the field and scoring just 6 points in 40 minutes.
Now it's back to the parquet floor Tuesday night where the Lakers historically have not played well in the Finals, going all the way back to the 1960s. In those days, the teams of Jerry West and Elgin Baylor matched up well against the Celtics with the exception of one position--at center. The Celtics had Bill Russell, the Lakers had Gene Wiley, Darrell Imhoff and Mel Counts. Russell was the difference, even after the Lakers acquired Wilt Chamberlain, who already had a reputation of struggling against Russell in big games.
The Lakers are a good road team and as Magic Johnson pointed out on ABC's post-game show Sunday, have closed out their series against Oklahoma City, Utah and Phoenix all while wearing their purple uniforms.
But Boston is different and it will be interesting to see if the Lakers can keep that streak going.
I still like Los Angeles in seven games.

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