Lakers-Celtics: The Best of the West Meets the Beast from the East

Jose GonzalezCorrespondent IMay 30, 2008

This is basketball heaven on all it's glory. This is the match up where some superstars would write their names on the history books. Kobe Bryant and Paul Pierce are about to join an exclusive club with the likes of Wilt Chamberlain, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird , Bill Russell and the list continues.

The Lakers and the Celtics hold one the greatest sports rivalry of all times. But who would thought that these teams would meet on the Finals a year ago. A season ago, Kobe was ready to leave L.A. for a team that could become a real contender. Thank heavens, that didn't happen or better yet thank Mitch. Mitch Kupchak did all the right moves to make the Lakers contender. Kupchak acquire Dereck Fisher, a strong point-guard with the leadership skills to guide the young players along with Bryant. He didn't traded Andrew Bynum, who before his knee injury became one of the breakthroughs of the year and show some talent that makes a lot laker fans confident about the future. Mitch Kupchak just like Kobe Bryant saved his best moves for last,he made the blockbuster trade of Kwame Brown and Javaris Crittenton for Pau " La Bestia" Gasol. (Mitch takes the ball , dribbles up the court, takes the jumper and it's good.)

The East didn't fall short from their fairy tale story. After Paul Pierce and the Celtics finish last season with one the worst records of the franchise( 24- 58), Boston fans were wondering if their teams would ever rise to the greatness that they once had.The basketball gods answered their prayers and in return they were blessed with the Boston Three Party Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen were added to the roster and faithful Celtic Paul Pierce was rejuvenated with hopes of finally having a contender.( If he only knew what was about to happen). The Celtics also build their bench with players vets like P.J. Brown, Eddie House and former Garnett teammate Sam Cassel. If that wasn't enough to cheer everyone in Boston,even the Patriots (....pssss..What too soon?), they also have valuable young player like Rondo, Perkins and Davis.

A year sure makes a difference,but the past is the past and with four wins aways from the Championship and history both of these teams they keep their eyes on the price and not on past.

My prediction is this one. It's going to be an all out war and both teams have weapons a mass destruction. Look for Pierce and Garnett having big games and help their team. The Fisher vs. Rondo match up is going to be a key for both teams but I think experience and strong are going to help Fisher to take on young Rondo.Perkins is a bit too slow for  either Pau  or Odom on the low -post so look for Garnett to help him. Now the main math up for this series is going to be Bryant against Allen. Both players can shoot the ball, but Allen is going to be consistent on both defense and offense if the Celtics want to win. If the Finals is all-out war then Kobe Bryant is L.A's atomic bomb. Kobe is going to be aggressive and he's going to need to get Allen on foul trouble to keep him on the floor. Also, with the low-post being on of their key scoring spots look for Kobe to create for Odom and Gasol off the double-team. If Kobe is able to do this I see Los Angeles taking on five or six games. As basketball fan I want to see seven games but as Laker fan I want that trophy as soon as possible. But who knows anything can happen in the Finals and a better match-up we could ask ,The Best From the West face off against Beast from the East.