How Do the Boston Celtics Match Up with the New-Look Los Angeles Lakers?

Nikhil BaradwajSenior Analyst IAugust 12, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 17:  Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers is double-teammed by Rajon Rondo #9 and Paul Pierce #34 of the Boston Celtics in the third quarter of 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 Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

With Superman landing in Tinsel Town, the Los Angeles Lakers now look like a legitimate threat to Western Conference supremacy.

The Oklahoma City Thunder better look out because the Lakers have possibly the best frontcourt and backcourt in the league.

However, L.A. lacks a deep bench, which will especially come into play because the Lakers are an older roster.

The oldest and one of the best rivalries in the league is between the Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers.

Let's see how both of these teams match up with each other. Each component of each team is rated like a boxing match, to see whether the Lakers or the Celtics have the advantage next season.

Rajon Rondo over Steve Nash: 10-8

Kobe Bryant over Avery Bradley: 10-7

Paul Pierce over Metta World Peace: 10-8

Pau Gasol over Brandon Bass: 10-8

Dwight Howard over Kevin Garnett: 10-7

Celtics' Bench over Lakers' Bench: 10-8

Doc Rivers over Mike Brown: 10-8

Shockingly enough, the Celtics actually tie the Lakers using this point system. 

Here's why:

Rajon Rondo and Steve Nash have equal impact on their rosters offensively, as both have the ability to average 15+ points in a postseason series. In addition, Rondo and Nash positively help other starters on their teams as they are the best passers in the league.

However, Rondo is a much better defender than Nash, which gives him the edge over the former two-time MVP.

Avery Bradley is an up-and-coming perimeter defender, and his offensive game is improving, especially with Rondo being his point guard.

However, "The Black Mamba" is on a different level and one of the top five players in the league. He gives the Lakers a huge edge at the starting 2.

Like Bryant, Paul Pierce is the heart of the Celtics and the best scorer on the team. He averaged 19-5-5 last season and was an All-Star-caliber small forward, while also having the reputation as a great clutch performer.

He posts a huge advantage over World Peace, who is a shell of what he once was as a Pacer or Rocket.

Both Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard post a combined five-point advantage over Brandon Bass and Kevin Garnett, giving the Lakers a sizable edge in these two positions.

Gasol is far more skilled than Bass and will greatly benefit from having Nash as his point guard. In addition, the Spaniard is a legitimate seven-footer, while Bass is only 6' 8''.

While Kevin Garnett was a revelation last season in the playoffs and is still one of the best defenders in the league, he cannot keep up with the best big man in the league.

Dwight Howard is much bigger, stronger and more athletic than Garnett and will impose his size on KG. D-12 will also benefit from Nash, giving him a top-tier point guard for the first time in his career.

The Celtics have a major advantage over the Lakers in the last two categories: bench and coaching.

Unluckily for L.A., Boston has arguably the best second unit and head coach in the league, making it difficult for them to compete with the C's.

With Jason Terry, Courtney Lee, Jeff Green and Jared Sullinger just to name a few, Boston is as deep as their 2008 championship roster.

Likewise, Doc Rivers is one of the best coaches in the league and outmatches Mike Brown in all facets of the game, even defensively.

With all of this information in mind, it will be a treat to see these two teams play.

Younger teams like the Heat and Thunder better watch out. L.A. and Boston are back and better than ever.


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