The NBA finals 2010 are now just a day away. However, the finals are already ramping up, as the Lakers and Celtics can't wait to take the court. Phil Jackson upped the ante by calling the Celtics a 'smackdown' team - though that style both helped and hurt Boston against Orlando. Has the break healed them well enough for them to smack the Lakers down, as they did in 2008? Or has Los Angeles learned from their mistakes , making a repeat more likely? The NBA finals 2010 will begin to answer those questions tomorrow at the Staples Center.
Boston and Los Angeles are the last two champions, and are meeting again under unlikely circumstances. The Lakers were supposed to be here, but the window of opportunity for the Celtics was thought to be closed. Now that it's wide open again, the Celtics come in as underdogs for the NBA finals 2010, instead of the favorites they were in 2008.
Home court made a different for Boston back then, as they took the first two games in the Garden, then returned for a Game 6 walloping. This year, the Lakers have home court, and have not lost at the Staples Center all postseason. If Boston is to pull the upset, they must win at least once in L.A., which has seemed unlikely.
However, although the odds are against the Celtics, the NBA finals are still regarded as a close call. Given the Lakers-Celtics rivalry hype, they certainly won't predict it to be a lopsided series. Plus, after Boston handled Cleveland and Orlando so convincingly, the Celtics bandwagon has become crowded again. Yet after shutting down Dwayne Wade, LeBron James and Dwight Howard, Boston now has Kobe Bryant to contend with.
A main finals subplot is Bryant taking on the Celtics again, after he couldn't deliver against them two years ago. When Bryant lost to them, there were still doubts on whether he could win with Shaq. Those questions have already been answered, but the media perceives that Bryant won't be happy until he avenges 2008.
The odds are in favor for Bryant to do this, although the league would like some suspense first. Before the NBA finals 2010, there were three second round sweeps and two conference finals that only got interesting late. A six or seven game series between the Lakers and Celtics would fix that, but with the league's luck, and with the Lakers' home court success, Los Angeles could be able to finish things in Boston.
No matter what, the NBA finals 2010 start tomorrow at 9 pm est in Los Angeles, with the Larry O'Brien trophy on stand-by for next week and beyond.
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