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Who Has Advantage in Lakers/Celtics Matchups? (Article)

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 Who Has Advantage in Lakers/Celtics Matchups? (Article)
Unread 5 years agoclass of '06 - away - #1
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Storchaveli 84 heat pts84 space
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Forget about all the blarney that's being bandied about in the media about the historic finals competition between these two storied franchises. Bill Russell, Larry Bird, Jerry West, et al, are retired, the series will be played in the here-and-now, and will be decided by the Lakers' considerable advantage in the various matchups.

Ray Allen vs. Kobe Bryant
Inevitably, the focus of both the media and the Celtics defense will be on Kobe Bryant. But, even though Boston managed to control LeBron James, subduing Kobe is an entirely different story. This is because, although LBJ knows how to accumulate MVP numbers, he still doesn't fully understand how to play the game.

Notice that virtually all of LeBron's passes are meant to be a.ssists. Not simple reverse passes, or passes that lead to a.ssist-passes, but only home runs. Also, aside from his shaky outside shooting and his powerhouse attacks on the rim, LeBron has no middle-game. Not to mention his dismal performances in critical playoff games.

Kobe, on the other hand, is the only player, alive or dead, who can reasonably be mentioned in the same breath as His Airness.

As such, there's no way that Ray Allen, Tony Allen, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, or even Tom Thibodeau can hope to hamper Kobe's offensive explosions. In order to somehow dim Kobe's brilliance, the Celtics will have to come up with drastic defensive schemes. But doubling him -- whether on the catch or on the move -- is dangerous because he's such an unselfish and alert passer, and because the Lakers move so well without the ball. And playing a zone is heresy in Boston. The Celtics will simply have to overplay Kobe on one side or the other and try to force him into help areas.

Good luck.

At the other end of the equation, Kobe has the quickness and the determination to find his way around and over the perpetual screens that the Celtics must necessarily set to generate good looks for Ray Allen. Should Kobe get hung up on one of Kendrick Perkins' marginally moving screens, Pau Gasol has the length to reach into Allen's kitchen from a distance if a switch is called for. Plus, Perkins isn't much of a threat when rolling after screening, so LA's baseline rotations will be elementary.

Paul Pierce vs. Ron Artest
The Lakers' other lopsided matchup pairs Ron Artest against Paul Pierce. At age 33, the Celtics' money man has lost his million-dollar first step. Moreoever, his game is frequently reduced to chump change when facing a defender who's stronger, but still has quick feet and quick hands. Artest has all of these qualifications, along with a mean streak and an almost-maniacal desire to be the ultimate stopper. This means that Boston's routine top-of-the-key clear outs for Pierce won't yield the same dividends that they normally do.

At the other end, Artest can bull through Pierce on his way to the hoop and the offensive glass. The Celtics will smartly challenge Ron-Ron to knock down open shots while they point their defense at Kobe. And if Artest can repeat his Game 6 accuracy, the Lakers could sweep.


Kevin Garnett vs. Pau Gasol
Garnett is another Celtic who finds himself on the short end of a Finals matchup. Gasol has the size and the tricks to bury KG in the low post, while Lamar Odom is likewise taller, longer, quicker, and much younger. How much help can Boston afford to provide Garnett?

Meanwhile, Garnett is well past his prime and has been reduced to being little more than a jump shooter. He's certainly capable of dropping mid-range and turnaround springers, but he'll surely give up more points than he scores.

Rajon Rondo vs. Derek Fisher
Rondo has nearly every conceivable advantage over Fisher. Quickness, speed, rebounding prowess, creativity in the paint, along with an incredible defensive presence. But does any right-minded NBA fan still insist that Fisher is the Lakers' weak link?

Fisher's mastery of the triangle offense enables him to find open spaces from which to launch his super-clutch jumpers. And he's also the NBA's best position-defender at the point.

For sure, Rondo will wreak his usual havoc, but Fisher will also make his mark known. After all, on the heels of dealing with Steve Nash, guarding Rondo is a picnic — one with lots of ants crawling all over everything in sight, but a picnic nevertheless.

In the end, the Lakers will dare Rondo to make jump shots. The question will be, can he make them?

Kendrick Perkins vs. Andrew Bynum
Kendrick Perkins is more polished than Andrew Bynum, who has exceptional hands but unexceptional footwork. Setting bulwark screens and boxing out are Perkins' primary duties on offense, while Bynum will get several chances to score in the pivot — chances that Perkins will simply overwhelm.

However, guarding Gasol won't be quite so easy for Perkins. Yes, he bullied Gasol in 2008, but the Lakers' longsome center — he's listed at 7-1, but by personal experience he's at least 7-3 — had been with LA for less than half a season back then. These days, there are several more triangular options that Gasol can go to, including face-ups and operating from the high post.

Actually, Rasheed Wallace is better suited to properly defend Gasol. However, any potential Odom-Wallace pairing also favors the Lakers because LO is comfortable playing defense in 3-point territory and should also be able to escape Rasheed's clutches with his speed, quickness, and full-court versatility.

The Battle of the Benches
Other important backup and/or off-the-bench matchups include the following:

• Jordan Farmar versus Ray Allen at the point, with the former being too quick and the latter being too smart. Also, Farmar's streaky shooting and penchant for making mistakes gives Allen the edge.

• Farmar versus Nate Robinson. Can Robinson be trusted to produce positive results at this level of competition? A few treys, perhaps, but he's sure to get discombobulated by the triangle offense.

• Shannon Brown is a wildcard at both backcourt spots. He's another spotty spot shooter, but he can jump and touch a star. Trouble is that Brown is so dunk-conscious that he commits too many charging fouls.

The Finals word
In the long view, Odom's scoring potential trumps whatever points Boston's subs can manage. If the Lakers defense is most vulnerable against screen/rolls, the Celtics don't normally employ as many as either Phoenix, Utah, or Oklahoma City. The Lakers' younger legs will run them into more easy scores, but the longer periods between games will benefit Boston's high-mileage pedal extremities.

Boston's defensive rotations will have to be impeccable, and Ray Allen will have to shoot the lights out for the Celtics to play on even terms with LA. Both possibilities are well within the realm of probability.

But ultimately, there's no getting past the reality that Kobe has both the will and the way to dominate the series, which is why the Lakers will triumph in six games.


Lakers match up better with Celtics this time - NBA News - FOX Sports on MSN
:agreement6: Celtics fans get shook. :greetings10: image

Last edited by Storchaveli; 05-31-2010 at 03:42 AM..
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2 peeps gave props to Storchaveli Effit (05-31-2010) , hot topic  (05-31-2010)

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Unread 5 years agoclass of '09 - away - #2
mattnesss 1 heat pts space
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:agreement6::agreement6:
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Unread 5 years agoclass of '10 - away - #3
beast mode 21 heat pts21 space
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you could have said the same when the celics faced the cavs and the magic and look what happened to them....this is why games are played on the court and not on paper
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Unread 5 years agoclass of '07 - away - #4
Avon_Barksdale 2714 heat pts2714 space
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Lakers Road to Finals = Thunder, Jazz, Suns

Celtics Road to Finals = Heat, Cavs, Magic

Last edited by Avon_Barksdale; 05-31-2010 at 03:51 AM..
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Unread 5 years agoclass of '04 - away - #5
ktbballplaya 13 heat pts13 space
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Guarding rondo will be a picnic? This article is straight a.ss
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Unread 5 years agoclass of '05 - away - #6
Hold That 95 heat pts95 space
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Easier said than done. Artest will be in foul trouble during this whole series.
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Unread 5 years agoclass of '05 - away - #7
Junior G 78 heat pts78 space
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Heat, Cavs, Orlando >>> Phoenix, OKC, Utah

it aint close neither
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Unread 5 years agoclass of '04 - away - #8
A.G 27 heat pts27 space
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MARTIAN MAR said:
Heat, Cavs, Orlando >>> Phoenix, OKC, Utah

it aint close neither
What the hell does that matter?

This is a series where both teams get a week off.

Just like in 08 where the Lakers beat Denver, Utah & San Antonio.. Was anyone talking about how Boston struggled with ATL, Cleveland and Detroit?
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Unread 5 years agoclass of '09 - away - #9
Knowledgeable 24 heat pts24 space
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Lakers in 6
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Unread 5 years agoclass of '07 - away - #10
keithbm1111 96 heat pts96 space
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ktbballplaya said:
Guarding rondo will be a picnic? This article is straight a.ss
This.

and @ you only highlighting stuff for the Lakers...but hey if you wanna think your gonna win because some tool wrote an article, thats fine
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Unread 5 years agoclass of '05 - away - #11
CallmeJR  space
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Im a Laker fan and this article is too biased for me to finish reading it.
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Unread 5 years agoclass of '04 - away - #12
billieskeet 5 heat pts space
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I was okay with most of it, until the writer said compared to nash that guarding rondo will be a picnic. Fisher has shown not be able to cover pg's that are much quicker than him. nash is good, but I've never heard nash described as fast.
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Unread 5 years agoclass of '08 - away - #13
malikmoore9  space
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Oh how oh how can this be true that we are sitting here saying that the road to the finals for Boston was harder than the Lakers when the OKC thunder had the same record as the Celtics in the regular season. Or a Magic team that shot all the jumpshots in the regular season and couldnt hit any during the eastern conference finals. Of course when you have a team like the magic in the playoffs their going to be easy to knock off when you have inside presence. Or Cleveland who has always been a joke in the playoffs. The Thunder was a challenge from hell for any team in the playoffs and then the suns could put a whole second line up in like Hockey and come back in games. Easy road
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Unread 5 years agoclass of '06 - away - #14
smokeweed101. 4 heat pts space
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beast mode said:
you could have said the same when the celics faced the cavs and the magic and look what happened to them....this is why games are played on the court and not on paper
Plus it is LA bias, any good reader can sense so.

I can bet my account KG outplays Gasol, or at least complicates his offense. Kobe will be unstoppable but not Gasol. and Rondo will s**t on Fisher.

The Celtics have advantage over Fisher and Gasol just like Kobe does over anyone we defend on him.
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Unread 5 years agoclass of '07 - away - #15
genobee 17 heat pts17 space
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damn this article is bias

Lakers don't have a advantage over the Celtics other than kobe.
the only think the Lakers got on defense is tall a.ss big men and ron, they are not a defensive minded team. Celtics play hard-nose defense much better than the Laker, so if you Lakers fans think this will be easy, then your just an idiot.
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Unread 5 years agoclass of '07 - away - #16
Dope Bai 1 heat pts space
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I'm rolling wit Kobe and LA, but It ain't gonna be that easy. It's gonna be a tuff series. You can never underestimate Bostons toughness, and inside presence. If Gasol plays soft like how he played in the Suns series, Odom and Artest will have to pick up the intensity. Kobe gon hold it down, and Artest should lock down Pierce for the most part.
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Unread 5 years agoclass of '06 - away - #17
smokeweed101. 4 heat pts space
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malikmoore9 said:
Oh how oh how can this be true that we are sitting here saying that the road to the finals for Boston was harder than the Lakers when the OKC thunder had the same record as the Celtics in the regular season. Or a Magic team that shot all the jumpshots in the regular season and couldnt hit any during the eastern conference finals. Of course when you have a team like the magic in the playoffs their going to be easy to knock off when you have inside presence. Or Cleveland who has always been a joke in the playoffs. The Thunder was a challenge from hell for any team in the playoffs and then the suns could put a whole second line up in like Hockey and come back in games. Easy road
Magic and Cleveland had better records than LA, PHX, OKC, UTA etc. So that argument is useless, try something better.

We already destroyed the myth that our regular season play was our best play. So at this point bring on another better record.

Last edited by smokeweed101.; 05-31-2010 at 08:04 AM..
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Unread 5 years agoclass of '04 - away - #18
jaybizzle  space
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as a Laker fan this article is trash!!, im expecting a battle with the Celtics, i just hope the refs realize this is basketball not football like these green f**gots like to play
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Unread 5 years agoclass of '06 - away - #19
ThaShark316 85 heat pts85 space
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Guarding Rondo a picnic?

someone forgot that the reason the Lakers had to go 6 games vs OKC was because of Westbrook.
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Unread 5 years agoclass of '08 - away - #20
malikmoore9  space
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Magic and Cleveland had better records than LA, PHX, OKC, UTA etc. So that argument is useless, try something better.

Sorry but comparing records of teams in the east and west is just ridiculous if you play toronto four to five times or chicago or even the wizards your records just dont count
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