Boston was billed as the tougher, more physical team coming into the 2010 NBA Finals. Game One of the Finals didn't prove that billing to be the truth, as the Los Angeles Lakers came out and established their dominance down low, defeating the Celtics in nearly every aspect of the game on their way to a 102-89 win.
The Celtics stayed in the game for most of the first half because they got to the line more than the Lakers did and had success there. They couldn't keep up in the third quarter when the post players of L.A. took over offensively as well as defensively.
Gasol, Bynum, and Odom led the way to a 16-0 advantage in second chance points for the Lakers in Game One.
This game was mostly played inside the three-point line, with both teams combining for only 20 three-point attempts all game long.
The Lakers definitely have the advantage in length down low, so maybe the Celtics want to call on Ray Allen in future games to take over from the outside in order to put a different kind of pressure on the LA defense.
Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol simply played their games and came out with very impressive stat-lines; 30 points, seven rebounds and six assists is right in line with what Kobe has been doing all post season. For Gasol, 23 points and 14 rebounds is what the Lakers need from their big man if they want to dominate this series.
Ron Artest was visibly stoked during the game, pumping his fists during a play in which he ripped the ball away from a Celtics post player going for a layup. His first NBA Finals game was a success, even with Paul Pierce scoring a solid 24 points.
A big part of this game was the production from the Lakers bench when Kobe Bryant, Derek Fisher, and Andrew Bynum got into some early foul trouble.
Luke Walton, Jordan Farmar, Shannon Brown, and Lamar Odom all got in solid minutes during the second quarter and helped the Lakers build an 11 point lead at the half. Even though the bench only scored a combined 15 points in this one, they did a lot of small things to contribute to the win.
You could see it from the beginning to the end of the game, and even in the post-game press conferences. Kobe Bryant, Ron Artest, Pau Gasol, and the rest of the Lakers didn't get too much joy out of this win because of their extreme focus on winning another championship.
That's the killer instinct that the Celtics need to find in order to have a chance in this series.
Nothing in this game was completely out of the ordinary on either side, but Boston certainly has the ability to step their game up physically and get more stops against a Los Angeles offense which shot 49 percent from the floor in Game One.
We'll see how they respond in Game Two, but it will be tough to match Kobe Bryant's intensity.