Last night in Boston, the Celtics silenced the Lakers for good, demolishing them by a score of 131-92. Yes, you read that correctly. The 39 point deficit was the largest in NBA Finals history, as the Celtics out-rebounded the Lakers 48-29.
Simply put, it was a lackluster performance by the Lakers, who were dominated from start to finish by the lock-down defense from the Celtics.
Kobe endured another lousy shooting night as it took him 22 shots to amass 22 points. The rest of the Lakers were virtually nonexistent as the Celtics flat out embarrassed them.
The turn-around for the Celtics is complete, going from 24 wins last year to World Champs this year thanks to the summer acquisitions of Ray Allen and KG.
What I saw last night was a Celtics team that wanted it more than an uninspired Laker team. They out-hustled and out-rebounded the Lakers every play as the Lakers recorded an NBA Final record low two offensive rebounds. Fittingly, Paul Pierce was named Finals MVP and the Celtics captured their 17th Championship.
Plain and simple, the Lakers quit. They quit on their fans, they quit on their coach, and worst of all, they quit on themselves.
Looking forward to next season, I see no reason why the Celtics can't win the East again. Yes, they will be a year older but no one else in the East will knock them off. Detroit is looking for a change of scenery, Cleveland has to acquire a big time player, and Orlando, Toronto, and Atlanta don't have the firepower to deny the Celtics.
On the other hand for the Lakers, they will get Andrew Bynum back from a knee injury to form the deadliest front-court in the league with Gasol and Odom. Add Kobe into the mix and make for another competitive team next year.
Face it, the Lakers were the younger more inexperienced team this series, but that is no excuse for their poor play. This team is angry and will come back next year with a vengeance.
Its been another fantastic season in the NBA as the finals have come to a close. And so once again, I will say, Congratulations Celtics, 2008 NBA Champions. You deserved it.