The Boston Celtics have an extremely balanced team, and pose the greatest threat to the Los Angeles Lakers this postseason.
If the Lakers want to take down the Celtics for the second year in a row, they are going to have to do more than play great basketball. The Lakers must take the Celtics far away from their comfort zone in the following ways:
First, the Lakers need to get Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett angry. Both players have flaring tempers, and the Lakers need to exploit this potential weakness.
For example, stick Artest on Pierce, and completely stymie his outside shot. Or give him a hard foul if he heads to the rim. Or, for good measure, keep Artest on him even if he's due for a rotation out. Send Pierce the message loud and clear: We are taking away your jump shot.
If the Lakers want to win, they'll have to do the same thing to Garnett. When Garnett gets used as a small center during rotations, keep Bynum in, and have him guard Garnett with all his might. I'd like to see how quickly Garnett gets a technical after Bynum rejects him a few times at the rim.
The Lakers must also control the tempo of the game. Veteran players on the Celtics love to dictate the speed at which they play the game, disrupting the flow and rhythm of many teams. If the Lakers want to beat the Celtics, they're going to have to control the tempo and throw the Celtics off their game.
Once the Celtics' hot-heads are out of their comfort zones and they lose control of the pace of the game, the Lakers will be able to keep calm and utilize their many weapons to bully the Celtics.
Have your own take on what the Lakers need to do to win the Championship this season? Let the round table begin!