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Will the Lakers Beat the Celtics?

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I really hate to do this. I’m a Laker fan. I was supportive of the team and was whooping it up when they beat the Orlando Magic in the NBA Finals last season. I advocated for the Lakers to have their victory parade despite all the naysayers in the city.

Now going up against the Boston Celtics for the 12th time in the Finals and the second time since 2008, I just don’t see how the Lakers will get it done.

People will point to the two one-point games they played during the regular season splitting the series with the road team winning each game. Sorry folks, the regular season doesn’t matter. Not only does it not matter, the Celtics are a completely different team in these playoffs. The Celtics of the regular season could not have beaten the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Orlando Magic in a seven-game series. But they just did that to get into the Finals.

People will also point out that the Celtics are an old team, that the Big Three of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen are nowhere near where they were in 2008. That may be true, but they have proven that given enough rest in between games they can recapture those 2008 moments and force their will against their opponents. Each game is separated by two days of rest with the exception of one day between Game 3 and Game 4 in Boston on Tuesday and Thursday and Game 6 and Game 7 in Los Angeles the following Tuesday and Thursday if necessary.

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Let’s face it. The Celtics have a size and aggression advantage over the Lakers. Pau Gasol is going to get mauled by Garnett, Kendrick Perkins, Glen “Big Baby” Davis and Rasheed Wallace. And seeing how ineffective he was after the Phoenix Suns employed the zone defense during the Western Conference Finals, it seems highly unlikely he will be able to come out unscathed in the Finals.

Yeah, Kobe Bryant will get his points. But which Lamar Odom will show up? Are the bench going to contribute or just be content to be spectators as they did in 2008 and most of this playoff run.

There’s a lot of optimism flowing here in LA whether it be the home-court advantage or whatever is being secreted from Vic “The Brick” Jacobs’ bamboo. Unfortunately no amount of haikus will be the magic elixir to toughen up the Lakers.

Like I said, I hate to do this. I really do want to be proven wrong and have to eat crow. As much as I want to say the Lakers will win in six games, unfortunately the Celtics will win the NBA Championship in six games. Sorry.