2010 NBA Finals: In the Forum and Allen vs. Odom

Erik LandauCorrespondent IJune 14, 2010

It has now been a decade since the NBA has played a game in the Great Western Forum (now simply known as the Forum), but wouldn't it be something if Game Six and the possible Game Seven were in the Forum.

I know, I know, this is not going to happen, but go with this possibility for a moment.

It's the Lakers and the Celtics. The most storied rivalry in basketball history. So many memories within the years of play—from the days of West and Baylor versus Russell and today with Kobe and Pau against Pierce and K.G.

The Boston Garden is torn down, done for. It has been gone and so has the ability to see ball being played there on that bright green court. The city of Boston cannot physically bring back the past.

The Forum, on the other hand, still stands barely used today—except for church services of the Faithful Central Bible Church.

On Oct. 9th of 2009, we were able to witness a preseason game played here, but it's just not the same. What we need is an annual agreement that when it's Celtics vs. Lakers, that Inglewood is the place that is buzzing.

Games Six, and possibly Seven, would be fitting for this series.

I understand that the crime rates around Inglewood are higher and that more measures would need to be taken for security. That being said, the Lakers and Celtics in the Forum is worth the extra security.

We always like to compare who's better than who and what's better than what. Why not have the team's today play under the standards that Chamberlain and West played  under when they won the title in '72. The type when Russell carried the Celtics over the Lakers in '69 or the classic Bird vs. Magic matchups of the '80s.

Playing for the title in these conditions would only intensify the push to the title.

Paul Pierce himself, is a native of Inglewood, and it would hold some irony that a man of Inglewood would come in trying to destroy it (in a manner of speaking). Kobe would get a chance to redeem himself from his lackluster performances against Utah in the Forum and a new generation of fans would be able to reconnect to the Golden Era of basketball.

I know, and most other people know, this won't happen because of the financial aspects of the situation, but there would be something purely golden about seeing Boston versus L.A. in the Forum.

Ray Allen and Lamar Odom what have you done for me lately?

These two have always to me been the benchmark by which you can tell how these teams are doing. To give Allen credit, he did have a big Game Two and a satisfactory Game Five, but he is still lacking Ray Allen-like stature.

Allen, has been guarding Kobe on the defensive end and one can give him credit for his energy expelled on that side of the court. Still, more has to be shown than missing 17 straight three-pointers.

Sometime in Game Six, or possibly Seven, his name is going to be called to make a decisive shot in this series. Who knows, it could come down to him hitting the final shot for the title. One can only wonder what he'll have left in his weary legs guarding Kobe.

On the other side, where have you been Lamar Odom?

I feel like he's playing for the Clippers the way he's shown up in this series. He needs to forget about his Kardashian pregnancy and make sure the only insertion he worries about is the basketball in the rim.

In Game Three, he was 5-5 from the field and had 12 points to go with five rebounds. Outside of that, his efforts have been neutral at best. In Game Five, he had eight points and eight rebounds, but they weren't at critical points.

Odom, needs to show up in a big way. Bryant and Gasol can only do so much to carry this squad.

Fisher came through in Game Three; but that is not a man that can be expected to lead this team.

The Celtics are too thorough of a squad to just let two players beat them. The Celtics are showing the defense that gave them the title in 2008. Odom is the key to any hopes of the Lakers bringing back a title back to the City of Angels.