I am going to predict the result of the 2010 NBA finals.
I will not use statistics to justify my prediction. I will not discuss how many PPG either team is averaging. I will not dig into offensive or defensive statistics for either side. I have to break the news to every sports fan.
In the playoffs, statistics do not matter!
I don't care how great a team performed during the regular season. Having the best record in the regular season doesn't guarantee you anything in the playoffs, except home-court advantage. Even then, there's no telling how deep the team will go in the playoffs(see 2010 Cleveland Cavaliers).
Once you hit the playoffs, all stats are thrown right out the window. This is the time of the year where players show what they are made of. This is where players show whether they have what it takes to play the best teams in the league. This is where teams show how much heart they have.
The Boston Celtics absolutely destroyed the Orlando Magic. Yeah I know, Orlando managed to win a few games to prevent the sweep. Realistically, the Magic didn't stand a chance. Everyone watching the series clearly knew who the better team was.
Boston simply outplayed Orlando in every aspect of the game. Throughout the playoffs, Boston has managed to play harder than every team they faced. They earned every win they've gotten so far.
The problem is though, that they haven't played the Lakers yet.
The Lakers have faced the young, rising stars in Oklahoma City in the first-round. It was a close series because the Thunder put up a great fight. But the Lakers ultimately came out on top.
After that series, the Lakers trampled over every other team they faced. With each win, the Lakers seem to be getting better and better. They can almost smell the championship ring.
One of the biggest factors to their success is that Kobe Bryant is as hungry as ever to win another championship ring. He knows very well what is on the line here.
The Boston Celtics as a franchise have won 17 championships, the most in the history of the NBA.
Who has the second most?
You guessed it, the Lakers with 15.
Winning a championship this year for the Lakers will bring them one step closer to being the winningest franchise in basketball history.
Another key factor to the series is that if Kobe can pull this off, he will have five rings.
In the constant comparison of Kobe to Michael Jordan, who has six championships, Bryant as a chance to prove that he has what it takes to even be in such a conversation. Bryant can show that he knows how to win just as much as Jordan did.
However, Kobe isn't looking to just be at Jordan's level. Kobe wants to be in his own class. He wants people to say that he is the best basketball player ever. Nobody wants to be in another players shadow.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying Jordan is any less god-like if Kobe happens to win more rings. Jordan will always be, in the minds of almost every basketball fan, the greatest ever.
But Kobe knows he wants to be the best. That's what has driven him thus far into his career. This is why he has been so successful.
As far as the Lakers/Celtics match-up goes, Kobe Bryant has never defeated the Celtics in the Finals in his career. This series will help establish his legacy as being the player who beat the best teams in basketball.
Bryant's supporting cast has risen to another level as well. Ron Artest has blossomed in this post season. Pau Gasol has been extremely effective in every game he has played in. The Lakers bench has been superb. Not to mention that they also have a coach in Phil Jackson, who has 10 championships. The man only knows how to win.
The Lakers are what we like to call, a championship caliber team. They have it all.
Let's face the facts. The Lakers are hungry. You can see the intensity they bring out in every game. You can see the determination and hustle in their players eyes. Come on, the Lakers' bench has outplayed most of the opposing teams starters in the playoffs.
So you can say what you want about how great Boston has been. You can take all the stats you want that convey the Celtics' success thus far.
Just remember, this is NBA Finals. The only thing that matters is how much these players want it. It comes down to who wants it more.
After watching Kobe knock out the Phoenix Suns with his ridiculously clutch shots, Celtics' fans have to hope that he will cool off soon in order for them to stand a chance.
Boston needs to leave it all on the court if they plan on making this series last longer than four games.
My prediction: The Lakers knock off Boston in four games.
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