Los Angeles Lakers Strotty
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Los Angeles Lakers Strotty
By earjerseyqq135 on Feb 28, 2014 07:49 AM
Los Angeles Lakers Strotty
Kobe and the Lakers Will Win Tonight, Bring Home Another Title
Come on, it was destined to go seven games. The Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics will battle to become the newest NBA champion when they square off in Game 7 tonight. Every game of this series has felt like a Game 7 and there is no www.cheapsunglassesstore.co.uk/ray-ban-sunglasses35 reason to believe tonight will be any different, but Replica Ray Ban Sunglasses at the same time it hard to imagine the Lakers not Fake Oakley Active Sunglasses pulling this one out when it all said and done.
After the Celtics took a commanding 32 lead following a Game 5 win, it was strange to see how calm the Lakers were and how the momentum, that should have been in Boston favor, was still even at best. With the Lakers going back home for the next game and a potential Game 7, many assumed the Lakers still had the advantage. One game later, that assumption is now fact.
A Game 6 blowout win for the Lakers, led by Kobe Bryant 29 points and Pau Gasol www.cheapsunglassesstore.co.uk/oakley-sunglasses6/active-sunglasses13 near tripledouble, has them feeling extremely confident as they prepare for the series finale at home. No one in the Western Conference had a better home record (347) than the Lakers this season, and they are 101 in the playoffs when playing at the Staples Center.
The personnel factor is also in the Lakers favor, as Boston Kendrick Perkins has been ruled out of tonight game after tearing knee ligaments early in Game 6, while LA Andrew Bynum is expected to play through a sore knee. Perkins hadn made much of a dent in the box score this series (averaging 5.8 points and 5.8 rebounds), but his defensive impact in the paint was something the Celtics will not be able to replicate. The team that has won the rebounding stat is 60 in the series, meaning Boston could be in deep trouble.
The Celtics have been great this season, but it hard to bet against Kobe Bryant in a Game 7 at home. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Instead, Doc Rivers and the Celtics will counter with a combination of Rasheed Wallace, Glen Baby Davis, and Shelden Williams. What was once considered to be an advantage for the Celtics in the series, their bench disappeared in Game 6 and will have to be expanded further tonight with the loss of Perkins. On the other hand, the Lakers bench combined for 25 points andstiflingdefense that contributed to the win. With the crowd behind them and the Celtics now being forced to jumble rotations up after 90+ games, the tides have turned in the bench department.
For as much as an NBA title would mean to each franchise, with the Lakers looking for backtoback titles and the Celtics looking for title No. 18, there are also personal accomplishments and even legacies on the line. Phil Jackson looks for his 11th NBA title in the last 20 years (he also receive a $2 million bonus from the Lakers) and Adam Morrison will attempt to bring home his second title in as many years. OK, that was a joke.
But when it all said and done, the spotlight will be on one player and one player only: Kobe Bryant. It near impossible for a player with four titles, an MVP trophy, and a Finals MVP to have his legacy determined by one game, and tonight will be no exception. Bryant and the Lakers had the most talented roster from top to bottom, but the Celtics are competing closely to be considered the league best unit. A loss by the Lakers won ruin __ incredible seasons from Bryant, but at the same time a win could make his legacy that much stronger.
With a win tonight, Bryant would rack up his fifth NBA title as well as his second NBA Finals MVP (which he might do even if the Lakers lose). It would put him that much closer in the debate over best ever and put him one more Finals closer to Michael Jordan. He hasn reached Jordan by any means just yet, but a win tonight puts him that much closer to one day doing so.
This game could go down to the wire, and each team will make their respective runs in the game, but it awfully hard to imagine Bryant walking off his home court as the Celtics celebrate an NBA title. He hasn been spectacular in the Finals and he got one heck of a supporting cast around him, but tonight game will be won or lost by Kobe Bryant. I won be betting against him when the lights go on.
LakersMagic: Six Keys To Success Revisited
Before the start of the 2009 NBA Finals, six keys were brought to the table as the things that either the Magic or the Lakers would need to do in order to hoist the Larry O Trophy at the end of the series. Let take a look at how each of these keys played out in the five games that took place.
1. Will Dwight Howard take over the series or can someone slow him down?
The 6 manchild averaged 15.4 points and 15.2 rebounds per game in the series and overall played pretty well. However, Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum did enough to make sure that he did not take over the series. It became evident as the games went on that www.cheapsunglassesstore.co.uk/oakley-sunglasses6/asian-fit-sunglasses14 Howard does not have very many moves in his arsenal down low. Also, the Lakers did a good job of denying Howard the ball, which on occasion, led to offensive fouls.
Defensively, Howard really played exceptionally well. He averaged 2.6 blocks per Ray Ban 31 Cheap game including a nineswat performance in game four and shutdown the Lakers frontcourt pretty well. Pau Gasol got his expected averages of 18.6 points and 9.2 rebounds, but outside of him the Lakers were quiet in the paint. It seemed that only Kobe was able to get in the lane and do any damage. Unfortuantely, that was enough.
Overall, Howard had an excellent series but, outside of Game 4 on defense, he never took over a game like he did against Cleveland. The Lakers took this key and it proved to be big for the Lakers.
2. Can the Lakers step up their three point defense or will the Magic shoot freely?
In what would prove to be the biggest key to the series (as it had been for the Magic the whole playoffs), the Lakers stepped up big and did not allow the Magic to beat them from beyond the arc.
Mickael Pietrus struggled all series to get shots off.
For the series, the Magic were 38 of 115 from downtown, good for a 33 percent average. That percentage and the 7.6 threes they made per game were both down from their season averages (10 3pg, 38.1 percent) and playoff averages (8.4 3pg, 36 percent). They shot the same amount of threes as their playoff average at 23 per game but they did not fall.
While it was evident the Magic were trying to work the ball into Howard, the transition game never got going and because of it, the Lakers took this key as well.
3. Can Orlando find their "XFactor" to cancel out Lamar Odom?
No, they could not. Odom, while his numbers were not huge, played a Replica Oakley Asian Fit Sunglasses key role in the Lakers bringing home the title. As did Trevor Ariza, who singlehandedly brought the Lakers back in game four, scoring 11 of the Lakers 13 points during a key run. Odom shot 54 percent from the field www.cheapsunglassesstore.co.uk/ray-ban-sunglasses35/ray-ban-3137 and put in 13.2 points per game while grabbing almost eight rebounds. Foul trouble cost him some minutes but overall Odom was huge.
Ariza played solid in Orlando after having two terrible games in the Staples Center. He played his usual fantasitc defense and was a spark in the Lakers lineup.
The problem was that the Magic were looking for a player to cancel out these two role players and could not get it done. In the preview, we mentioned Mickael Pietrus as an Xfactor type guy that could have a big impact on the series.
It was interesting to note that in Pietrus only real good game of the series, game three, the Magic won. Outside of that game, the France native never got anything going and struggled much of the series to find his shot. He only shot 12 threes in the entire series.
4. Can Jameer Nelson give the Magic good minutes or will he just mess with the chemistry?
I really thought this was going to be one of the biggest factors going into the series and it is up for debate on whether or not it actually mattered. In no game did Nelson receive more minutes than starter Rafer Alston, but after game one Alston said that Nelson being in the game threw him off. While some saw it as an excuse for Alston two for nine shooting slump, I fully believed him.