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After watching the Celtics play the entire regular season with the least bit of troubles, and then seeing them struggle throughout the playoffs but recently get back on track, I have to say that I see the Celtics winning this series in six games.
Paul Pierce vs Kobe Bryant: Who would say anything else? I believe that Pierce will be guarding Kobe during this series similar to the way he covered Lebron during the Cleveland series. Kobe might be the shooting guard and techincally matched with Ray Allen but I truly believe it will be Pierce that is covering him. I do not think that Ray is quick enough or as good as Pierce on defense to match up with Kobe.
However, if Allen isn’t covering Kobe he’ll guard Vladimir Radmanovic, who is a bit bigger than him and it could cause problems and give the case for Pierce covering him. But, I still believe that Pierce and Bryant will square off in this series and go toe to toe the entire way.
Now I know that the Celtics have looked shaky at times in the playoffs and that the Lakers have been solid throughout but I still think the Celtics have a good chance to pull away with this one in either six or seven games.
The Celtics need to be able to shut down Kobe like they were able to do to Lebron James early in the Cleveland series. However, they cannot purely focus on Kobe as there are other guys on the Lakers that can still hurt them. Perkins needs to play the way he did in the Detroit series if the Celtics are to win this series, and Rondo needs to stay consistent as well.
So, therefore lets hope that Ray’s slump is over, KG can beat up on Odom, the Celtics bench gives good numbers in key minutes, the extra rest does some good, and that Pierce and Kobe battle each other the whole way through. This is going to be a great NBA finals and is history repeating itself once more, and I think I represent all Boston fans by saying: Go Celtics, Beat L.A.!