Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Celtics Are The Better Team, Period

This post isn’t one of those where does Kobe Bryant rank all time posts. Truth be told those are about as over rated as Bryant himself. While he may be the best player in the NBA Finals he’s up against the seemingly insurmountable task of knocking off the best team in professional basketball.

One thing that the NBA Finals has shown us this year is the team beats individual. Going back to June 5th had you told me that a team would be in position to close out the series in Game 5 then I would have surely bet on the Lakers. Bryant had been phenomenal in the playoffs while the Celtics had struggled on the road. However, reality was just the opposite and Boston is poised to finish tonight what they were a turnover away from doing Sunday night.

Has Boston bought a World Championship? Well, sure they have but in today’s sports scene that’s the way it is done. L.A. could just as easily been given a championship when the Grizzlies sent Pau Gasol to the Lakers for a box of Cracker Jacks. The difference is that this Boston team has been playing together since the season started.

Gasol and Kobe hooking up may have fanned the flames of an NBA Championship in L.A. but by that time Boston was already a raging inferno. The Celtics have been noticeably hungrier than the Lakers. They’ve been more physical and aggressive and are winning on hustle points. They’ve confused and frustrated L.A. to the point where we’ve seen five players on the floor at times for the Lakers that even make the cotton candy vender scratch his head in wonder. I mean seriously, who knew until Sunday that Chris Mihm was still on the roster for L.A.?

The main difference in the Finals to this point has been that the Lakers entered hoping to win another championship while Boston entered knowing that they would. It’s the kind of confidence that comes with knowing that your team is better than one great player.