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Lakers Seek Revenge Over Celtics | The Sports Report Girl

Lakers Seek Revenge Over Celtics

2010 NBA FinalsWestern conference champions Los Angeles Lakers vs. Eastern conference champions Boston Celtics

Lakers regular season record: 57-25
Celtics regular season record: 50-32

Season series tied 1-1
Jan. 31 Lakers 90, Celtics 89
Feb. 18 Celtics 87, Lakers 86

Road to the Finals

Quarterfinals
Lakers defeat Oklahoma City Thunder, 4-2
Celtics defeat Miami Heat, 4-1

Semifinals
Lakers defeat Utah Jazz, 4-0
Celtics defeat Cleveland Cavaliers, 4-2

Conference finals
Lakers defeat Phoenix Suns, 4-2
Celtics defeat Orlando Magic, 4-2

The Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics renew their rivalry as the NBA finals tip off on Thursday. These teams have won the last two NBA titles with the Celtics hoisting the trophy in 2008 while the Lakers are the defending champions.

Although the Lakers are the team to beat they have a lot to prove after dropping the 2008 series. Their toughness was questioned, but they rallied to win the title. But it didn’t come through Boston, the Lakers’ nemesis who has denied them championship glory so many times.

This will be the 12th time the Lakers and Celtics play for the title; Boston has won nine times.

Why should it be any different this year?

Los Angeles has too much championship experience. This is its third straight appearance in the finals. Boston is on its last leg. The Celtics were a little long in the tooth when they won in 2008. Now, they are two years older and a slight step slower.

But the overwhelming difference will be Kobe Bryant. If he wasn’t considered an all-time great before this year, a fifth championship should solidify a spot.

Bryant torched the Suns in the Western conference finals. He should do the same to the Celtics, who don’t have the athletic James Posey to guard him.

Of course, Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom and Derek Fisher will help. Ron Artest will harass Paul Pierce as best as he can.

The Celtics will try to win with defense, rebounding and nastiness in the paint. They banged the Lakers around in 2008 and have bullied their way past the other East contenders this year.

Kevin Garnett, Kendrick Perkins, Glen Davis and Rasheed Wallace will be the big men who will try to impose their will against the Lakers’ frontcourt.

Rajon Rondo will run the show for Boston. He’s no longer just another guy on the team. Rondo has matured into the type of player who can dominate games, filling up the stat sheet with rebounds and assists. His scoring has improved, but his outside shooting can still be suspect.

Ray Allen must knock down jumpers to give the Celtics a chance. Pierce must do the same. His effort in the 2008 finals earned him MVP of the series.

This time, however, the Lakers will counter with more muscle. Andrew Bynum sat out the entire playoffs when the Celtics won. Los Angeles probably could have used a 7 foot starting center against the physical Celtics.

And Artest is too strong a defensive player to let Pierce have his way. Pierce will still get his, but he’ll work hard to score.

The Lakers added toughness and the determination of Bryant will be the difference in this series. Expect dirty, low scoring games with Bryant finishing off games in the clutch.

Lakers in six games.

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