Coming into the NBA Finals, many people believed that there was no clear favorite to win the NBA title. The Los Angeles Lakers may have a little edge in this series coming in, but most people agree that the Boston Celtics have just as much chance to win their second NBA title in three years as Kobe Bryant and company do of winning their second straight.
After the first four games of the NBA Finals, the series is dead even at 2-2 and the plot continues to thicken as it is anyone’s game and now it comes down to just a best of three series.
During game one of this series, the defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers were able to establish themselves as the better of the two teams with some impressive play on both sides of the floor and dominant performances by Pau Gasol and Kobe Bryant.
Even though the defending champs were able to take the early series lead, Rajon Rondo and company came out looking to prove a point in game two and as a result were able to beat the Lakers on their home floor in somewhat convincing fashion. Rondo and Ray Allen lead the way as the All-Star point guard had yet another triple-double and Allen went off for a career night with 32 points and an NBA record eight three pointers.
Despite the impressive performances by both Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo in game two, the defending champs knew they had to make an impression in game three and retake control of this series before it got out of hand.
Fortunately, Kobe Bryant and company did just that as they were able to beat the Boston Celtics on their home floor in the first of three straight games in Boston. This was a big game for the Lakers as it really set the tone for the defending champs as it will be tough for them to play in the devil’s den so to speak for before heading back to Los Angeles.
One of the biggest concerns for the Los Angeles Lakers in this series has been the health of two of their best players in reigning NBA Finals MVP Kobe Bryant and center Andrew Bynum. Even though Kobe has been banged up for the majority of the season, the Black Mamba has had some of his most impressive playoff performances and is holding up just fine so far.
Andrew Bynum on the other hand, is playing through some tremendous pain his knee which now has been drained twice. Unlike the last three years, Bynum has played refused to take time off and played up to the best of his ability, but as the NBA Finals continues he has really struggled and the debate on whether to keep him out rages on.
The one thing that Andrew Bynum brings to the table against the Boston Celtics is his length as he is a force to be reckoned with in the paint and at times a real problem for Kevin Garnett and company around the basket.
Even though Bynum’s body was able to hold up in the game four loss to the Celtics, he knee is not getting any better, in fact it is getting progressively worse, but Phil Jackson is sticking with him as long as he is will to play through the obvious pain.