While the start of the 2012-13 NBA season is less than a month away, it will only serve as a formality to make way for the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers to once again square off for all the marbles.
It would mark the third finals matchup between the teams in the last six years and an unprecedented thirteenth meeting in the history of two of the most storied franchises in the NBA. The Celtics came out victorious in 2008, while the Lakers got the better of them in 2010.
Who doesn’t love a trilogy?
Sure, it’s no secret that last season’s top two teams have only gotten better this past offseason. Common sense would suggest that a rematch between arguably the two best players in the game—LeBron James and Kevin Durant—is inevitable.
It is, but just not this year.
With their numbers constantly declining in recent years, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett are entering what is most likely their last productive season with the Celtics. Riding into the sunset on top will definitely serve as sufficient motivation for a pair whose drive to win has been known to prosper even when there’s a lack of skill.
The defending champion Heat will serve as the Celtics’ biggest roadblock to making their 22nd trip to the finals.
During last season’s conference finals, the Celtics held a 3-2 advantage heading home, before eventually falling to the Heat in seven. It was a shock to many that the injury-stricken Celtics even made it past five, let alone held a series advantage.
The acquisitions of Courtney Lee, Jason Terry, Jared Sullinger and Fab Melo have only helped to make the Celtics far more talented and versatile than they were a year ago.
On the other hand, after winning back-to-back championships, the Lakers are coming off a couple of years where they’ve watched youth get the better of them. This year, they’re ready to show these young guns that sometimes experience and wisdom are far better weapons to have in your arsenal.
During the offseason, the Lakers brought in Steve Nash, Dwight Howard, Antawn Jamison and Jodie Meeks.
The move did two things: it gave them an added boost in the starting lineup while also strengthening the team’s bench.
With a starting lineup that boasts four, if not five, future Hall-of-Famers, the Lakers will be a nightmare for anyone they come across in the playoffs.
Youngsters, class is in session.
While a Lakers-Celtics finals matchup lacks the same flair and marketing opportunities as a Kobe-LeBron matchup would, its history is unparalleled by any other potential matchup. We’ll eventually get our Kobe-LeBron fix, but after this season it might be quite some time before we get to witness another Lakers-Celtics duel.
When faced with a choice between history and what’s trending, always side with history.
So without further ado, here’s how the Lakers and Celtics would match up.