NBA

NBA Finals Boast Familiar Foes

Kobe BryantStop me if you’ve heard this before: “The Boston Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Los Angeles Lakers will meet for the NBA Championship”. Yeah, I thought it sounded familiar, but familiar good more than familiar bad.

Every season we hear about upcoming stars, new super NBA  teams, and the word “dethroned” is tossed around like pizza dough. Yes we know of LeBron James, Chris Paul, Kevin Durant, Dirk, Nash and so on and so forth. However despite all we hear, and all we see, it is still these two main stay franchises with the modern cast of characters that continues to come up big. Once again, for the 12th time, the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers will play for all the marbles.

It seems that every generation has a story or a memory of this rivalry. The years of Russell vs Chamberlain, guys like Jerry West, Magic and Bird, Parrish vs Kareem, James Worthy, Danny Ainge, and of course the modern era of Bostons “Big 3” against the “best player in the NBA”. Everyone likes variety. Let’s face it, who really wants to see the same teams every year? Well in the case of this rivalry perhaps any hoops fan. The two most successful franchises, who have won 32 out of 63 NBA titles.

The flash of Hollywood and its stars Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol as well as NBA bad-boy Ron Artest matching up with the blue collar, hard-working guys from Beantown led by Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen. These teams that have won the NBA championship over the last two seasons. This is a  rubber-match if you will. If anything we know we will be getting pure entertainment from this series!

As much as the big stars need to do their things, and need to be leaders, there are some players who contribute or lead with new found skills. For example at point guard, Rajon Rondo has been huge for the Boston Celtics this season. He is much more developed than the guy he was a few years ago. He is currently second on the team in scoring and first in assists during the playoffs.  Kendrick Perkins is the top rebound per game average guy for Boston. The Los Angeles Lakers look for extra help from NBA Champ veteran and three point shooter Derek Fisher and the enigmatic, but still viable Lamar Odom. If anything, each team has some X-Factors that are crucial at this stage.

This series will be won by which stars come up biggest. These two teams are not about to deliver half-hearted efforts, and I don’t expect to see a lot of sloppy play. There is an understood dislike in these two teams. Yes some think the athletes don’t really care, but I can guarantee you that after the first hard foul, you will see tempers flare. This is more then just, “Hey let’s beat that team and be champs”, but more like “let’s rip these guys apart and be kings”.

For me I see it as a close series. It is very hard to make a clear prediction, but you all know me well enough to know I will take my shot. The Los Angeles Lakers carry the bitter memory of having their bus abused by Boston Celtics fans after the NBA finals a few years ago. They also know that as great as these two franchises are, the Boston Celtics seem to get more respect from NBA historians and modern day fans. The Celtics have the players, yet they are aging players and will need to find a handle for Kobe Bryant, who at times looks like a man amongst boys on the court. In the long run I think that the Boston Celtics are more of a team and are willing to work harder together. While Kobe is enough to lead most of the time, it’s still not enough here and I think Boston will take it again in six games.

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Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric's work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University's Fox School of Business.

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