College of Sports Media Game of the Night:
For the 12th time in league history the Boston Celtics will play the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals starting tonight in California. Too say that there is some history between these two franchises would be an understatement. In head-to-heads the Celtics have the advantage. Most recently Boston took down the Lakers in 2008, which included a 131-92 game six beat down that clinched their 17th NBA title. The Celts have won the championship two more times then the Lakers – another edge for the franchise from Beantown. Where LA has the undeniable edge is in final appearances. This will be their league-leading 31 appearance in the finals (this will be Boston’s 21). Also the Lake-show are the reigning NBA Champions. Last season they played the Orlando and took down the team from the Magic Kingdom in five games. These two teams match up well against each other. LA plays like an Eastern Conference team. They have enough size up front to play in the paint and when that opens up the floor they have the talent to make shots from outside. Over the off season the Lakers added Ron Artest which made them a lot tougher and a player who play the post and hit bombs from beyond the arc. Forward Pau Gasol has been fantastic so far this postseason and centre Andrew Bynum, although hampered by a knee injury has contributed as well. In the back court they have one of the toughest veterans in the Association, guard Derek Fisher and oh yeah, they have that guy that is pretty good….Kobe Bryant. The Black Mamba is averaging a league best 37 points per game and I’m sure looking for a little revenge for the loss in ’08. No one expected Boston to go this far. Either Cleveland or Orlando were to represent the East in the finals – obviously the Celtics had other ideas. The season was not a great one for Boston, but they pulled things together at the right time and have been pretty dominant so far this postseason. This could be the last chance for another title for the three-headed monster in Boston. Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen are all over the age of 33. The years have taken their toll on the trio, but with all that veteran savvy they will be ready for this championship series. Guard Rajon Rondo has had a break out playoff. He’s averaging over 16 points a game and over 10 assists. He’s also made a habit off carving opposing defences on the way to the hoop. Forward/centre Kendrick Perkins has been one of the best defenders this extended season. He’s done a great job making life miserable for big-men like Shaquille O’Neal and Dwight Howard. At the end of the day both teams match up well against each other and this series will add to the incredible rivalry between the Lakers and Celtics.