2010 NBA Finals: X-Factors for the Celtics and Lakers

Akash ACorrespondent IJune 3, 2010

BOSTON - MAY 28:  (L-R) Rasheed Wallace #30, Nate Robinson #4 and Tony Allen #42 of the Boston Celtics look on against the Orlando Magic in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2010 NBA Playoffs at TD Garden on May 28, 2010 in Boston, Massachusetts.  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 Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

The Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers have consistently outplayed and often dominated their opponents throughout this relatively unexciting playoff season.

Expect that to change.

The Celtics and Lakers are evenly matched. The Lakers can drop 100 points on any team, but the C’s can hold a group under 90 points on any given night.

It’s firepower versus firepower for these Finals games, and you can expect amazing to happen.

So, what will win either team a Finals?

It comes down to four key match ups.

Lamar Odom vs. Rasheed Wallace: Both players come off the bench for their respective teams, Lamar for LA and Wallace for Boston.

Both are extremely versatile, they can play strong defense, are viable threats to shoot the three point ball, and can post up smaller defenders.

However, both are also extremely streaky and fairly inconsistent. The team that has their sixth man play better in a game will win that game, because the Celts cannot match-up with Lamar and the Lakers cannot match-up with Rasheed.

Tony Allen vs. Kobe Bryant: Tony Allen was key in the Celtics' victory over the Cavs, as he played strong defense on LeBron a nd was actually a threat offensively, driving to the basket.

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Against Orlando, on the other hand, he was ineffective, as despite playing good defense, he was an offensive liability.

If TA can get to the rim and play with some control offensively, the Celtics have a major option in stopping Kobe.

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