Saturday, June 7, 2008

Finals Breakdown

As promised, here's the finals break down. And in case you're wondering, the Game 1 Lakers loss has not swayed me from my Lakers in 5 prediction. Here's why:

Point Guard

Derick Fisher vs. Rajon Rondo


Rondo is a lot better than what people give him credit for. Meanwhile, Fisher is still a solid veteran, but he can get torched from time to time. Rondo has the physical capabilities to do so, but the way he gets jerked around its no telling where his head is at.

Advantage: Push

Shooting Guard

Kobe Bryant vs. Ray Allen


Kobe is the MVP. Ray Allen has looked done for most of the playoffs. I expect Kobe to drop 50 at least once in the Finals, Allen will be lucky to top 30.

Advantage: Lakers

Small Forward

Vladamir Radmonovic vs. Paul Pierce


Pierce has proven me right in saying he's the true Celtics MVP. Meanwhile, Luke Walton should probably start here. Either way, its the Lakers weakest position

Advantage: Boston

Power Forward

Lamar Odom vs. Kevin Garnett


Of course this is going to KG. The end of the fourth quarter was the first time I've ever seen KG demand the ball and be aggressive at the end of a big game. However, the 20, 10 and 5 he gives u is his ceiling. Despite how good he is, Garnett just isn't a 40 point, 20 rebound type guy. With Odom, his head has always prevented his talent from being completely utilized. He looked pissed that he was on the bench to end game one. This can either motivate him or make him more annoyed and hurt his game.

Advantage: Boston

Center

Pau Gasol vs. Kendrick Perkins


Personally, Gasol hasn't been as good as people have been hyping him up to be. That said its better the Lakers have him instead of whoever they would be starting at center. On the other side, Kendrick Perkins is really playing like Andrew Bynum was, minus the hype. That said, I'll give this one to Gasol because of his experience.

Advantage: Lakers

Bench

Boston has all the talent in the world on their bench, but they are too deep for their coach to handle. Leon Powe should play every game, but he doesn't get any burn in a lot of games. Sam Cassell is done, but his "veteran" presence and surly demeanor when he doesn't play has earned him playing time.

Meanwhile, the Lakers bench is underrated. They all play well together and with the starters and everyone is used to their role. Phil Jackson usually doesn't surprise people with his rotations like Doc Rivers.

Advantage: Lakers

Coaching

Speaking of which, this is the Lakers' biggest advantage. Phil Jackson is one of the greatest coaches of all time and Doc Rivers is one of the worst coaches in the league.

Advantage: Lakers

Intangibles


The Lakers main intangible is the ability Kobe Bryant has to take over a game. He's the most dangerous player in the league and can go off for 50 at any moment. If he gets hot down the stretch in any close game, its over. While this didn't happen in Game 1, Kobe has been basically Mariano Rivera in the playoffs so far.

Boston's biggest intangible is their home court advantage, which is the best in the league. Also, the league wants this to go at least 6 if not 7 games. This could lead to some suspect officiating in any of the three LA games. Not that I'm a conspiracy theorist or something.

Advantage: Push

Verdict


If Boston had a halfway decent coach, I'd definitely consider them. But I can't take a team coached by Doc Rivers against Phil Jackson and Kobe Bryant in any circumstances. Sorry Boston fans.

Lakers in 5.

1 comment:

Chris Iafolla said...

I hear where you are coming from on the Doc Rivers thing, he has made questionable decisions when it comes to the rotation. But to call him one of the worst coaches in the league is a bit of a stretch. He is not an X's and O's guy, but his players love him and his emotional leadership should not be overlooked. In addition, much of the improvement in Rondo's play can be attributed to the mentorship of Doc Rivers. I'm not disagreeing with you that Rivers needs to figure out a rotation, but I don't think it is fair to call him one of the worst coaches in the league.

That said, I think you have the right team in your prediction in the wrong amount of games. I'm going with Lakers in 6.