After facing one of the worst defensive teams ever to make the finals in 2009 (Orlando), the Los Angeles Lakers will have to face a tough defensive team in Boston. Kobe and the Lakers lost to Rasheed Wallace and the Pistons badly in 2004. In fact, Kobe and the Lakers have lost twice in the NBA Finals in the last seven years to tough defensive teams.
Rasheed Wallace showed the world how intimidation is key to win a series. He knows lots about it, even to Kobe. Wallace recently got under Howard's skin and in 2004 when the Pistons beat the Lakers 4 games to 1, he got under the whole Laker team's skin, especially Kobe.
In the 2004 NBA Finals, Kobe was surrounded by greatness. His center was Shaq, his power forward was Karl Malone and his point man was Gary Payton. How could they not win against a team of rag-tag semi-all stars like Ben and Rasheed Wallace, Tayshaun Prince, Rip Hamilton and Chauncey Billups?
The Lakers lost game one. Kobe was played for 47 minutes and took 27 shots. He only made 10 shots. He missed five out of six three point attempts. He played some defense and had four steals and two blocks and four rebound and four assists but he also had three turnovers. He ended up with 25 points.
Game two went into overtime as Kobe actually shot over 50% with a 14/27 performance from the field. He was only 1/5 from three point range. He dished off for eight assists and had three steals, but had five turnovers in the victory where he played 49 minutes.
In game three Detroit clamped down on Kobe big time. They held the star to 4/13 shooting from the field and he missed all four of his three pt. attempts. In 45 minutes he scored 11 points and five assists with one steal. Pistons won.
In game four Kobe played 45 minutes and shot alot but only hit on 8 of 21 shots he took. he was 2 out of 6 from three range and had 2 assists and 20 points. The Pistons won.
To finish out the series in five, the Pistons schooled the Lakers and let Kobe shoot 22 shots, of which he only hit seven! He hit three of nine three pointers but it was not enough as he was held to 24 points. Pistons win title!
In that series Rasheed Wallace scored 13.0 pts per game and averaged 7.8 rebounds per. Chauncey, Finals MVP, put up 21 pts and 5.2 assists. Rip scored 21.4 pts per, and Ben Wallace put up 10 pts and 13.6 rebs per in the series. Prince added 10 pts per game.
In the 2004 NBA Finals Kobe averaged 22.6 pts, 3.6 turnovers in 46.2 minutes per game. He was held to 38.1% shooting for the series, and 17.4% from three range for the series.
Forward to 2008 where Gasol essentially 'replaced' Shaq. Kobe came out firing in game one and yet only hit on 9 of 26 shots and 0 for 3 from three range. He had 24 pts in the loss.
By the end of game two the Lakers were down two games as Kobe shot better, but Boston still controlled, with team defense. Kobe did have three steals and hit 11 of 23 shots from the field, but he only hit one of three from three range.
Lakers won game three as they did not want to be down 0-3. Kobe hit over 50% on 12/20 shooting, but he only had one assist. He scored 36 and the Lakers won.
Boston did not let up in game four and they pushed the series lead to 3-1. Kobe decided to pass and had 10 assists, but he should have shot more, or at least better. He was six for 19 shooting and missed both three attempts. Kobe scored 17 and the Lakers lost.
In game five the Lakers put together a fine team effort but in the end the superstar Kobe missed 13 of 21 shots he took and took a crazy amount of threes with nine. He did play great defense and recorded five steals, but he also had six turnovers and four fouls. He hit four of nine three attempts in the win.
Boston closed out the Finals in amazing for for the biggest Finals closer in NBA history. Kobe was 7 for 22 and 3/9 from three range. His three rebounds and one assist didn't help either.
Last year, the Lakers faced an offensive team who is good at defense, but their coach and players have not figured it out yet. This year they will play Boston. In 2000, 2001 and 2002 the Lakers beat the Pacers, 76ers and Nets, but they had Shaq back then, He was the Finals MVP all three times after all.
In 2010 the Boston defense will once again do what others fail to do. Play tough, 90's style defense on Kobe and you will win! The Laker should bring MJ out of retirement, after all Jordan NEVER lost in the Finals and never once had under 20 points in any finals game he played in! Look it up.