6/4/08

Game 1 prediction

The legendary Boston writer Bob Ryan is jumping all over ESPN's Bill Simmons for his little reverse jinx on the NBA Finals in favor of his beloved Celtics. Our very own Phil just posted his series prediction on this site, and it was probably a little reverse jinx in favor of the Lakers too. Thanks cuz, but we won't be needing it. There are a many reasons why the Lakers win this series, but by now, you've read too many series predictions, so lets take this game by game.

The Lakers are calm and collected, just ask LO and Kobe. The Lakers matchup better than any other team in the NBA. We won't go in depth on those matchups, but the Celtics have a slight advantage in the PF positions with KG vs. LO and a huge advantage in the SF position with the 'space cadet' Vlad-Rad vs Pierce, it isn't so funny anymore is it? Even with the SF position, the Lakers have 2 other bodies in Walton and Ariza to throw at Pierce, so hopefully it should minimize the damage. That is where it ends. The Lakers have huge advantages in every other category. Forget the 0-2 regular season record. The Lakers did not steal Pau Gasol at that point, ahem, I mean, trade for him yet. You have got to be kidding me if you think Rondo stands a chance against Fisher's lock down defense. He just spend the last month and a half of his life guarding Deron Williams and Tony Parker, I think he can handle the young 2nd year guard out of Kentucky. And, of course, Kobe and Ray Allen get to rekindle their heated rivalry born through Ray Allen's choice words of Kobe in a preseason game. Kobe claims it is over, but being a fan of Kobe, I don't think the competitive edge in this rivalry is completely gone yet. Both players are seasoned veterans and it would be a shock if either got mentally phased should the rivalry continue, but with Allen's performance in these playoffs, I don't think it is out of the question.

The Celtics defense seems to have been getting worse these playoffs while LA's has steadily improved through the playoffs. The one soft spot in the Laker's game at the beginning of the playoffs was their defense, but that seems to have been fixed. It is pretty hard to tell how this game goes because the emotions are running so high. Boston has a lot of miles on their legs this post-season. Going to 7 games with Atlanta and the Cavs? They did get a little better in the series against Boston, but they have yet to get a consistent 2-3 legitimate impact from Ray Allen and the 'Big 3' collectively during the playoffs. The more mature team is going to come out on top in this game. It will be the team that can deal with all the hype, emotion, and drama. The team that handles the first 6 minutes of the first quarter with poise will be the winner. It doesn't necessarily mean the winner of the first 6 minutes, I'm predicting that the team that doesn't panic or solely feed off of emotion wins this game.

Like many NBA games come to, it is about the superstars. Look for a big game from KG with a little help from these. This is his first time and he is going to prove that he belongs. I think it is a 25 and 15 night for KG. Pierce will be slow to start, but will get back on track. Look for 20 and hard work on the defensive end (which shouldn't be too hard considering who he is guarding) and grab a few boards while doing it. Ray Allen is going to be terrible this whole series. I'm thinking the UConn star is not going to be able to find his groove, especially with #24 guarding him. If Allen is listening to this video from Tyson Chandler, he will know there is no hope for him.

Gasol will have to come out big this whole series for the Lakers to be wearing the rings next Fall. Look for Gasol to come out for a 20-10 game and be the defensive presence he has always been. Perkins' size probably wont be too much of a factor this series, and Gasol won't be taking fluff shots like Coach Jackson criticized him for. LO has to be consistent also. The Lakers can't afford stretches of time or even games for LO to not show up or get inside his own head like he crititicized himself for last series. LO goes for near a triple double. #24 is obvious. Big game from him. Kobe basks in the finals pressure and will explode for 35 with 7 boards and 7-9 dishes.

All I know is that my generation is truly privileged to see this historic rivalry reborn, and the generations before mine, are privileged to relive those glory days. We will be seeing the best player in the world and another future Hall of Fame player and a Hall of Fame coach on the same court battling it out on the biggest stage the NBA has to offer. It is going to be great.

Prediction: Lakers +2.5 over Boston in Game 1 (pick in bold)

4 comments:

rohit said...

The Lakers will win Game 1, but not because of a lack of Celtics defense. Boston's defense actually seems to have improved since they gave up an absurd point to both Atlanta and Cleveland. This is evidenced by the fact that Detroit, much of the time, seemed utterly incapable of getting a good shot attempt against the Celtics. Unfortunately for Boston fans, however, the same phenomenon occurred repeatedly on the other end of the court as well. Boston's offense has been miserable in the playoffs, and I don't think the Lakers will need to do much at home to get Boston into the same shooting slump that has plagued them for most of these playoffs.

Mark Hays said...

I don't know if anyone's seen this, but this is an interesting article about the Gasol trade and how pissed the Grizzlies people are, and about the possibility of Jerry West being involved in facilatating it. (This obviously relates directly to tonight's game, as the Lakers would be playing golf somewhere if it wasn't for Gasol). This is Mark by the way, I'm one of Izzy's friends from Wake.

Mark Hays said...

I'm an idiot, here's the link.

http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news?slug=aw-heisleygasol060308&prov=yhoo&type=lgns

Trilokesh said...

LO is the x-factor as always. big game from j-farm and the machine are critical. kobe needs to take it to the hoop and shoot with a high percentage. winning game 1 is imperative.