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2010 NBA Finals: Could Game 7 Be The Greatest NBA Game Of All Time?

LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 17:  Ron Artest #37 of the Los Angeles Lakers speaks during the post game news conference as he celebrates after the Lakers defeated the Boston Celtics 83-79 in Game Seven of the 2010 NBA Finals at Staples Center on June 17, 2010 in Los Angeles, California.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images)
Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images
James WalkerAnalyst IIJune 18, 2010

When it was determined that the Los Angeles Lakers would face the Boston Celtics in the 2010 NBA Finals, we all knew that it was going to be a great series.

Last night's Game Seven made it an epic series.

The history between these two franchises is incredible, and last night was the latest chapter in this ongoing story.

For the Lakers, conventional wisdom leads one to believe that it all starts and ends with Kobe Bryant.  Arguably the best player in the NBA today, he struggled early as the Celtics took an early lead at, one point up by 13 points.  When the game ended, Bryant admitted that he was out of gas.

There was Andrew Bynum battling injury but giving his best to contribute any way he could.  Lamar Odom, his contributions always questioned, played with a rare, but needed passion.  Derek Fisher, the heart and soul of the Lakers, was all over the floor and nailed a three when it mattered most. 

Then there was Ron Artest.  "Ron Ron," the loose cannon physically and mentally, playing hardcore defense and popping threes without making too many crucial mistakes.

The Lakers fought tooth and nail, clawed for every inch, and in the end came out on top.

The Celtics, on the other hand, left the starting gate strong, but ran out of steam towards the end.  Minus Kendrick Perkins in the paint, the Celtics could not stop the Lakers on the boards.  Too many offensive rebounds doomed the Celtics in the end.

Kevin Garnett's age showed in Game Seven.  He contributed, yes, but Garnett was not a factor in the end.  Paul Pierce, on the other hand, left his heart and soul on the Staples Center floor, as did Rajon Rondo.  Unfortunately for the Celtics, Ray Allen exhausted all of his 3-pointers in Game Two, and even missed a free-throw in Game Seven.

But when it was all said and done, the Lakers hoisted another championship trophy, and Kobe Bryant another Finals MVP.  The Celtics may have lost, but they surely left L.A. last night with their heads held high.  Too often professional athletes are criticized for lack of passion and commitment being only concerned with how much money they earn.  Last night, players from both teams left it all on the court and left no doubt that they wanted it badly.

It's too bad the game had to end.  It will be talked about for years to come.

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