All the preparations are made and all the adjustments are set, the Lakers and Celtics are ready to battle in Game 5 of the Finals. Today’s game is perhaps the biggest game of the series and the winner of Sunday’s game will most likely win the series. The Lakers will either go back to LA up 3-2 or will face a 2-3 hole; in the eyes of most Laker fans, the health of Andrew Bynum is the key to a victory. Bynum had his knee drained yesterday and states that he will play in Game 5, but his efficiency is not guaranteed. As Game 5 approaches, the media is trying to put its fingertips on the game, and give its preview to the pivotal showdown.
The following links include all the news and all the previews to the Finals showdown on Sunday night, at 5:00PST.
If the Lakers want to win this series, they must close out games late in the fourth quarter. Throughout the season, Kobe Bryant has finished games with incredible shots and heroics. However, in these Finals Bryant has not been coming up clutch for the Lakers; if they want to win Game 5 and the series, Bryant must come up big down the stretch. [LA Times]
Most people point at the injury of Bynum as the reason why the Lakers failed to win in Game 4, but also point to him as the key to a victory. The Lakers know that his knee is perhaps the difference from going up 3-2 or down 2-3. [LA Times]
The 2008 Finals was obviously a tough loss for the Lakers, however, deep on the sidelines was a young man who played the whole series with shiny shoes and a tie. Andrew Bynum had not played in the ’08 Finals, and he is determined not to miss a rematch with Boston. He is focused on tonight’s game and will not allow an injury effect his play. [OC Register]
Game 5 is a must-win for both teams and history tells us that a victory for the Lakers, guarantees them a title. Those teams who have home-court advantage in a 2-3-2 format and go up 3-2, have won every series. The TD Garden is going to be crazy tonight, so the Lakers must stay focused and have to keep their intensity for 48 minutes. [Land O’ Lakers]
This series is starting to look like the rivalry of the 1980s, the teams are evenly matched and every game is exciting and intense. The Lakers and Celtics know each other very well and it is shown when they battle on the court. [Forum Blue and Gold]
This 2010 Finals has seen a lot of twists and a lot of surprises; from Bynum’s injury to Ray Allen’s 0-13 shooting. With perhaps 3 more games left to play, this year’s Finals may see a whole lot more surprises. [Silver Screen and Roll]
Lamar Odom played great in the first three rounds of the playoffs, he made big plays down the stretch of many games and always put up big numbers. However, the same cannot be said about his performance in the Finals. With the exception of Game 3, Lamar has essentially been a non-factor for the Lakers. In order to come out of Boston victorious, Lamar has the be the Lamar of old, a dynamic player off the bench. [Hang Time Blog]
In the meantime, there are many more headlines following the NBA at this point.
Tom Izzo is still debating whether or not he should leave his job at Michigan State to join the Cleveland Cavaliers. There is no question the Cavs are talented with Lebron, but without him they are a sub-par team. [NBA.com]
Despite the fact that the Lakers and Celtics are creating a great show for all fans, we all must pray for the family of John Wooden. They not only lost one of the greatest coaches of all-time, but one of the greatest human-beings of all-time. [NBA.com]
As an avid Lakers fans, I must say that this year’s Finals has been one of the best Finals in recent years. After Game 4 on Thursday night, the 2010 NBA Finals officially beat the 2008 Finals in terms of views. [NBA.com]