That being said, I respect them mightily. So as a loyal Lakers fan, there was only one thing for me to do. I convinced myself to watch highlights from Game 6 of the 2008 Finals. I officially hate them again. HATE is good.
Here are my keys to victory.
1) They need to play rough (read: dirty) defense on Rondo, similar to how the Celtics defended Dwight Howard. It's time for Gasol to man up and knock down speedy point guards. Or bring in Mbenga, he's got six good fouls to give. Kobe will give Rondo a hard time but Rondo will still get past Kobe at times. It's up the big men to send a message.
2) Put Fisher on Ray Allen. Fisher plays tougher on D than Kobe. He's not good for defending speedy point guards, but he's good at following people through screens. Also Fisher is good at drawing illegal screens (read: flop).
3) Ron Artest must shut down Paul Pierce one on one.
4) I'm not worried about Garnett and Perkins, because they get looks only by the actions of the other players. (It is true in NBA Live and in real life).
1) Kobe needs to take smart shots. Those shots versus Phoenix in Game 6? I'll be a bit pissed if he takes those in the first quarter of Game 1. There's a nice balance between scoring and facilitating, and in these playoffs Kobe has walked that line like a pro.
2) Gasol needs to find a way to score with the Celtics roughing him up. I'm a bit concerned because the Cs shut down Dwight Howard, but I have hope because Gasol is ten times as talented as Howard.
3) Fisher and Artest need to make open shots. Period.
4) Can our bench please grow some balls? Please?
5) The X-factor in my opinion is Lamar Odom. He got owned by KG in 2008. This series is about toughness. I think in terms of offensive firepower, both squads are equal. It's going to be defensive mentality that wins the series. Odom can cover Pierce or Garnett. On defense he needs to limit whoever he guards and on offense he needs to attack and draw fouls on the Celtic's big men. This is his golden chance because the Celtics will concentrate on Kobe and Gasol.
I won't make one, but I want the Lakers to win :-)
WALTHAM, Mass. -- Paul Pierce is excited to return to the NBA Finals and his hometown for the next round in the league's greatest rivalry.
Boston's best player isn't exactly thrilled that Los Angeles' welcoming committee includes Ron Artest, a physical, tenacious defender.
"He likes to bang you," Pierce said Monday, "grab you, hold you, pull your shorts down. He's going to try anything."
Hmmm sounds like RAPE!
Some More Hatin-spiration
Finally, I will play this song at the beginning of Game 1 tonight. Damn you NBC, you used your money to choose the XFL over the NBA? I will never forgive you for letting this epic theme song die out!