|Posted by B-PAUL on June 2, 2010 at 9:40 PM|
We are less than twenty-four hours away from a Celtics-Lakers NBA Finals and I can feel the anticipation. I found myself pacing on multiple occasions today and doing a lot of zoning off thinking about the Finals. If you are like me, right now you are probably trying to get a big dose of NBA Finals news and opinions. With that being said, today I sat down with Rey Moralde from The No-Look Pass and got his opinons on the Finals. In return I also answered some questions for Rey.
GJ: So far this post season it is safe to say that the Lakers have not been matched up against a team with as good of defense as the Celtics. Is this something that worries you?
Rey: Yes. The Celtic defense has been as good as any team I've seen. Probably the best since... well, the 2008 version of this team. Not only did they defend and beat these guys, they pulverized them. The Cavs and the Magic? They didn't look anything like I've seen them all year. It's easy to point at the Celtics defense as the culprit for all their offensive problems. And with the Lakers' penchant of chucking up jumpers, it really doesn't bode well for L.A.
GJ: From a Celtics standpoint I struggle to figure out who on the Lakers has the ability to guard Rajon Rondo. In your mind what will the Lakers throw at him in hopes to contain him?
Rey: They'll throw everyone including Jeanie Buss at him. But for real, I expect to see Kobe Bryant and Ron Artest take turns guarding him. Jordan Farmar will probably be used as well due to his speed but Farmar's never been confused as an all-defensive first-teamer. I also expect the Lakers to treat Rondo like how the Lakers treated Steve Nash in the previous round; make Rondo a scorer instead of a playmaker.
GJ: I heard recently that Andrew Bynum had to once again get his knee drained, how important is it that the Lakers have Bynum healthy?
Rey: Very important. The Lakers need all the big bodies they can throw at Boston. Boston may not be as lengthy but they're physical as hell and they'll wear you down. Kendrick Perkins is a bull. Rasheed Wallace is crafty. Big Baby is... big. And Bynum's the most physical out of all the Lakers. If Bynum can't perform, all the onus will fall on Pau Gasol... and that's not a very comforting thought if you're a Laker fan.
GJ:One of the things that is talked about a lot in this matchup is the benches. On the Lakers side you have Lamar Odom, Jordan Farmar, and Sasha Vujacic. To go up against that the Celtics have Tony Allen, Rasheed Wallace, Glen Davis, and Nate Robinson. What side would you give the advantage to in the battle of the benches?
Rey: Lamar Odom usually covers up the deficiencies of the bench but if we see the Farmar and Sasha of 2008... then that would be awesome. But it goes like this: the Lakers have a star player on the bench while the Celtics have a deeper bench. And that bench is arguably deeper than 2008's team. If Odom shows up and gives the Lakers a double-double then that's good enough for L.A. If Sasha, Farmar, and Shannon Brown make contributions, the Lakers win the battle. But I expect the Celtics bench to come through more often than not.
GJ: In Phil Jackson's career he is 45-0 after his team wins Game 1. How important is it for the Lakers to come out and take Game 1 on their home court?
Rey: They need Game 1 badly. Get it in their head that the Lakers CAN beat the Celtics. L.A. beat Boston three of the last four times in regular-season play... but that's regular-season play. Everyone turns it up on the Finals. But if the Celtics go up, 1-0, then that cloud of doubt will go into the Lakers' heads. The Celtics aren't afraid of the Lakers. The Lakers have wanted the Celtics for two years... but do they still fear them? Game 1 is HUGE for L.A.
PREDICTION: The analyst in me says Boston in six. But then I would get killed in Los Angeles. Everyone knows where my heart is. If picking the Lakers is nonsensical then so be it. I'd rather be wrong
Rey's Questions for me:
1. Tell me how awesome your defense has been. Is this on par as the 2008 Boston team?
The defense has gotten us to where we are today. When this team allows under 90 points they are unbeatable and the numbers prove that. The one thing that seprates this year's team defensively from the 2008 team is that they still have struggled to play this great defense consistently. If you look at the games they have lost during the post season you will notice that they have allowed over 90 points in all six losses and over 100 points in all but one of those losses. Just like the NBA commercial says: It's all about the defense.
2. Well, L.A. is here. Don't lie to me. Does it make that much more special if your boys beat the Lakers?
Of course it does. There is nothing like beating your biggest rivals for the league's top prize. With the two teams winning the championship once each during the past two seasons it makes it even more special. This series will put all the questions aside. There will be no more asking, "What if KG was healthy?" Or "What if Bynum was healthy?" Both teams are beaten up, but still ready to go. It's the playoffs, the time when the boys are seprated from the men.
3. I know it's natural for you to hate the Lakers being from Boston. But when did this all start for you?
With me being not even 20 years old yet I was not around to see the days of Bird vs. Magic so that's a difficult question for me. I guess the simple answer would be to say the hatred started as soon as I came out of the womb and started being raised by a family that bleeds Boston sports. With the Celtics struggles during the 90's and early 2000's I really never got a chance to really hate the Lakers. 2008 definetly gave me that chance. After all, how can you like a team with Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Ron Artest, and.....THE MACHINE?
4. All right. Give me a few keys to beat the Lakers.
Defense, defense, and ummm defense. I've said it since day one and I'll continue to say it. No matter what kind of offensive flow this team has on a given night, if the defense is at top form they will be very hard to beat. Ray Allen has to step up defensively against Kobe and the guys coming off the bench (Tony Allen) also have to do a good job in limiting his production. From the offensive standpoint I am also going to be looking at Ray Allen to be the difference maker. You can talk about Rondo and Pierce all you want but if you look back to the 2008 Finals Ray Allen was the one that came through. When he is stroking it from behind the arc, 9 times out of 10 the entire Celtics offense will be clicking.
5. There's no need for predictions. We all know how badly you want to beat L.A. So any final words to everyone out there. Boston. Los Angeles. The NBA. Me. Whoever you want.
Well let's go down the list here starting with Boston. Boston fans this is our time, this is what this city and it's fans live for. We live for hanging championship banners. We live for making the TD Garden a jungle. And we live for throwing awesome championship parades. So whether your watching from the Garden, a bar, or at home I expect you to be unable to talk following each and every game of the NBA Finals.
Now onto Hollywood's finest. Enjoy your time in the spotlight. This starting lineup has never been beaten in the playoffs and it will stay that way. Appreciate the fact you have the privlige to play against the most storied franchise in the history of the NBA. Enjoy the series and good luck.
Words for the NBA... hmmmm... well I guess all I have to say is enjoy all the money your making off this series.
And to you Rey... Thanks for being a respectable Lakers fan, there's very few out there. You're a Lakers fan, though. So I still can't like you. Enjoy the series and I'll send you some pictures from the Celtics championship parade to put on TNLP.
Categories: Boston Celtics