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Finals have been classic
June 14, 2010 - Neil Rudel
This year's NBA Finals is developing into a classic.
The Celtics will take a 3-2 lead back to Los Angeles on Tuesday night for Game 6 and while many (including yours truly) are wavering on their predictions of the Lakers in 7, no one can dispute it's been an unpredictable, entertaining series.
Each team has won on the other's floor. After the Lakers looked focused and dominant in Game 1, the Celtics surprisingly took Game 2. And then when most figured Boston would go home and take control with a win in Game 3, the Lakers won, forcing the Celtics to answer -- which they have, impressively -- by winning Games 4 and 5.
Great stuff. Here's a few more observations:
*While the stars come out in Los Angeles, all the old great players seem to come out in Boston. In part because they were part of the TV broadcast remembering John Wooden, Kareem Abdul Jabbar and Bill Walton were on hand for Game 3. Add the mix of former Celtics such as Bob Cousy, Dave Cowens, KC Jones and Hondo, and it's truly a who's who. Plus Magic's always around.
*Doc Rivers is outcoaching Phil Jackson, who made a stupid comment Sunday night about Boston losing more games in the fourth quarter than anybody else this year. It was especially stupid because Jackson knew he was "miked up."
*Paul Pierce should go down as one of the great Celtics of all time. (Larry McAleer always insists he'd force Pierce left).
*Kobe started forcing too many shots in Game 5.
*Not sure there' s a better non-starting defender in the NBA than Tony Allen.
*Kevin Garnett looked old to start the series, but he's been the best big man on the floor. How he plays Tuesday will be one of the keys to Game 6.
*Rajon Rondo makes more athletic plays -- steals, saves, offensive rebounds -- than any guard in memory.
*Bet Pau Gasol plays a lot better Tuesday night but not so sure about Lamar Kardashian. Ooops, I guess Kloie took his name.
*The series deserves a Game 7, but here's the bad news for Boston fans: If the Celts don't win Game 6, it's doubtful they'll win Game 7.
On the Tom Izzo watch: If he can't get LeBron to return a phone call, it's probably a good idea to stay at Michigan State.