Time To Defend A Championship

The worst part of potentially losing to Boston would be the reaction from Boston. Many New Englanders and Bostonians will be quick to duly note what Doc Rivers has been preaching all postseason- that the Celtics have never lost a series with their current starting 5. Then there’s going to be speculation whether the Lakers championship from last year was legitimate, since Kevin Garnett wasn’t healthy enough to play. Can we just stop with the “what ifs?” What if Bynum was fully healthy? Would the Lakers be the ones up 3-2 in this series and not the Celtics? And what if Bynum was healthy two years ago? Would it have had any effect on the outcome of that series? I’m tired of hearing all these inane hypothetical questions. None of it matters. Injuries are part of the game and it’s something all teams must deal with.

June 10, 2010 - Boston, MASSACHUSETTS, UNITED STATES - epa02195829 Boston Celtics players Ray Allen (R) and Paul Pierce (L) try to block a shot against Los Angeles Lakers player Kobe Bryant (C) during the first half of game four of the NBA Finals at TD Gardens in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, 10 June 2010. The Lakers lead the series over the Celtics 2-1.

I will, however, give credit where its due. If the Celtics beat the Lakers in one of the next two games, they deserve to win this championship, dismissing even the most valid explanation any Lakers fans may come up with. In a 7 game series, the better team always wins. Even though the officiating has been questionable to say the least, let’s not blame the refs. Egregious calls have gone against both teams in this series and its up to each team to win at all costs.

While many consider the Lakers to be the more talented team, it doesn’t necessary make them the superior team. Keep in mind that this Celtics team has already beaten the two best teams in the NBA during the regular season. If they beat L.A. once more, it’s a championship that’s unexpected but well-deserved. However, I’m not jumping to any sort of conclusions yet. The Lakers still have two games to defend their title at home. And at some point, all champions must overcome adversity. Honestly, the Lakers haven’t been this vulnerable since the first-round of the playoffs.

They’ve always had championship talent but not necessarily championship heart. They now have their backs against the wall, but it’s a rarity for the Lakers to lose at home in the playoffs, let alone three consecutive games. It’s been a crazy and unpredictable series and it only seems fitting that it will go the distance. If it goes to Game 7, all bets are off. As Kevin Garnett most eloquently stated after the Celtics won it all just two seasons ago, “Anything is possssibbbbaaaaallllllllll.” Also, it wouldn’t hurt if Paul Pierce decides to make another bold prediction regarding the outcome of this series.

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