The NBA Finals match-up between the Lakers and Celtics seems to strike me more as a heavyweight boxing fight than a basketball series. Just as any big fighter knows, much of the hype surrounding a fight is in the months leading up to the actual event, and as we sit here waiting for the Finals to begin that feeling is very much reciprocated. The history behind the two teams is vast, and everyone knows the history. It is clear that over the past three years these two teams have been the most dominant in the league, and both feel that they will walk away this year with another Larry O’Brien trophy.
The first thing that needs to be done when considering this NBA Finals is to throw out all the excuses. Whenever any team reaches the NBA Finals they aren’t going to be completely healthy, and that is the case with both Boston and Los Angeles. Both teams are beat up, so claims that injuries are going to cost either team the title are outlandish and incorrect. There are always excuses for losses, and both Lakers fans and Celtics fans have made excuses the past two seasons.
Many Boston fans claimed that if Garnett was healthy during the 2009 campaign they would have beaten Orlando and ultimately the Lakers to win the championship again. If this is a game that you want to play consider this, in 2008 the Lakers had injury problems of their own. Starting center Andrew Bynum missed the series, and Trevor Ariza barely contributed after coming back from surgery of his own.
Any Lakers or Celtics fan who wants to claim injuries cost them a ring from the past two years, stop it. All teams face injuries, and both Boston and Los Angeles have had their fair share in the previous two years. The players won’t be making excuses for this series, so as fans we cannot either. What we can do, however, is recognize this NBA Finals as the biggest series in all of sports in years. The implications that are going to come out of the next seven games or fewer are going to have major implications for the rest of our lives, and probably much further than that. Needless to say, for both teams, this series means everything.
Next: What is on the line…