Breaking Down the NBA Finals: Looking At The Position Battles
While some may argue that the Celtics are going to dominant every aspect of the NBA Finals this year because they did it in 2008.
Both the Lakers and Celtics are very much improved and it cannot go unnoticed.
Both teams have added new players to their teams to make them better and have also been playing with one another for two more years.
Basketball is nothing but a game of match ups. Looking at each individual position and comparing the two teams players at that specific position is an accurate way of predicting the winner.
Point Guard (Fisher vs. Rondo)
Derek Fisher is an aging, aggressive point guard. He is solid defensively and is a streaky shooter.
Fisher is the kind of player who will do anything to fire up his team. In last year's conference semi-finals he got ejected from a game after elbowing Luis Scola, this fired up his team and led to them winning the game.
Rajon Rondo is a quick point guard who loves to push the ball.
I triple-double threat Rondo is starting to be considered as one of the league's elite point guards.
In 2008, the Celtics got to the Finals because of the big three, this year they are in The Finals because of Rajon Rondo.
Rondo has a way of taking over a series by out hustling the opposing players and by driving to the hole.
Shooting Guard (Bryant vs. Allen)
While these two players have a rivalry that is a continuation since the 2008 NBA Finals, this match-up can hardly be called a rivalry.
A rivalry is a match-up between two evenly matched players that play the same position.
These two players may play the same position but their abilities are not similar.
Defensively they match up nicely, they are both lock-down defenders that can do a will do a good job on each other throughout this series.
But at an offensive standpoint there are only a couple players in this league that can match up to Kobe Bryant.
Small Forward (Artest vs. Pierce)
If these two players met in the 2008 NBA Finals, I would have been comfortable giving the advantage to the Celtics.
This year however, I cannot decide which team has the advantage at this position.
Pierce has the edge on the offensive end and Artest has an advantage at the defensive end.
This position will be a wash in this series. Neither team will dominant the battle at this position therefore it's effect on the series as a whole is negligible.
Power Forward (Gasol vs. Garnett)
Kevin Garnett is a player who, in his prime, won the MVP award, and was selected to the All- NBA first team four times.
He won defensive player of the year in 2008 and is one of the most determined players on the floor most of the time.
Garnett is the leader of this team and is still the best player.
Gasol is an outstanding player but does not match up to Garnett offensively or defensively.
Gasol will put up a fight at this position but will not outshine Kevin Garnett.
Center (Bynum vs. Perkins)
Andrew Bynum's knee is not 100 percent and the Lakers are going to be hurt by his injury.
This is due to his lack of mobility, Bynum was never a mobile center and with this injury to his knee, Bynum is going to struggle guarding Kendrick Perkins.
Perkins is a smaller center that uses his speed and power to get rebounds and points.
Bynum's lack of mobility will hurt the Lakers in the post and may even cost them the series.
The Laker's lack of big men to compete with Boston in 2008 is what lost them the series and it could be a similar scenario in this year's match-up.
The Lakers bench is much stronger than it was in 2008.
The Lakers have a young athletic guard in Shannon Brown and a veteran in Lamar Odom to lead their second unit.
In 2008, Boston won the battle of the benches but this year it may be much different.
Boston has a strong bench as well but the Lakers have too much talent on their bench in Brown, Odom, Farmar, and Morrison to contest with that of Boston.
Conclusion: Boston Celtics
After looking at each individual match-up the Celtics look like the far superior team. T
he only thing that the Lakers have that the Celtics do not, is Kobe Bryant.
The Celtics have proven that they can guard superstars this postseason when they shutdown Lebron and the Cavaliers.
The Celtics will prevail once again against the Lakers, but not without a memorable performance from Kobe Bryant.