David Stern and that national TV network giggle with glee to see the major market matchup that is Celtics versus Lakers. The Suns didn't have enough size and the Magic wilted under the pressure. Here we are, presented with a classic matchup. It's a story of retribution. The Celtics physically beat the Lakers, talked smack the whole time, and now everyone is now aware of how the poor Lakers were harassed on the team bus as they waited to depart for the hotel (I also heard there was no Kleenex on that bus to dry the alligator tears). Remember Paul Pierce's comments after the finals back in July of 2008? Pierce took a shot a Kobe saying that Kobe was not the best player in the world, as he thought himself to hold the title.
These things fuel the Lakers as much as crumpled newspaper does a forest fire. Kobe looks like his usual self, unstoppable. The Lakers will also have Bynum and Artest to body up Boston's bigs. The Celtics bench looked thin, until Nate Robinson stepped in to give the C's energy and scoring. The Lakers dusted off Sasha Vujacic in the last few games of the conference finals to counter the Suns bench energy. Perhaps Phil Jackson can get some three point shooting out of Vujacic if the Celtics try to copy cat the Suns zone.
In a drawn out NBA playoffs, this is the best possible match up. There is no apparent favorite. One could argue the Lakers have the advantage with home court and Kobe Bryant on fire, but the Celtics have beat the Heat, Magic, and Cavs to earn their place in the finals. Tough call, but I'll take the Lakers in 6 games. Kobe will dance on that leprechaun at the Garden and show Paul Pierce that number 24 is still the best player in the world.