those were the exact words that came out of kobe bryant as he was trash-talking with courtside celtics fans during the first quarter of game 6 of the 2008 nba finals. that was probably what the nba experts were thinking at the very same moment also. you see, entering this finals, practically ALL the nba experts predicted a lakers championship. 9 out of 10 columnists of a prominent sports site predicted the lakers will win. on another site, they put up a multiple choice question for visitors to answer regarding who will win this series and the choices were:
- lakers in 5 games
- lakers in 6 games
- lakers in 7 games
- celtics in 7 games
utter disrespect for the celtics. we all know now what happened. not only did the celtics win the championship… they destroyed the lakers.
so to the so-called nba experts, to quote kg in his post-game interview, “what you gonna say now?” 🙂
while they, the experts, were unified in predicting a lakers win, we, the samsung (and ex-samsung) nba fanatics, were in agreement as well… in agreement that the celtics will be the champs. sure, i was kinda off with my playoff predictions but i was spot on with my finals prediction: celtics in six (or quite possibly in five). 🙂
let’s review what the “experts” said would be the keys that made them decide it would be an easy lakers victory:
1) the lakers offense is better than the celtics defense. first of all, that ain’t true. secondly, the lakers will need to play defense too… and their defense is porous. if leon powe can dribble almost the length of the court for an uncontested two-handed jam off a baseline throw-in… that’s not how you play defense. remember, in sports, offense wins games but defense wins championships.
2) the lakers “bench mob” will overpower the celtics bench. this one i really did not understand. is farmar, vujacic, walton & turiaf really that much better than brown, powe, posey, cassell/house? talent-wise: no. experience-wise: it’s a mismatch.
3) phil jackson will school doc rivers. coaching is not all x and o’s. motivation and encouragement is a big part of it. this is where doc excel at… even more than phil.
4) the lakers has kobe bryant. so? 😆
even though the series lasted six games, the celtics practically dominated it. the swing game was game 4 where they overcame a 24-point deficit to beat the lakers and go up the series 3-1. that game took the heart out of the lakers. they evaded elimination in game 5 but that only set them up for a date with the very loud celtics fans for game 6… and what a game 6 it turned out to be (at least for celtics fans. 😀).
it was the biggest winning margin in a clincher. 39 points. the lakers showed that they were a team without a heart as they checked out of the game as early as the second quarter. they just gave up and it didn’t help that the celtics were determined to finish them off. records were set that game as the celtics dismantled the lakers.
- most steals in finals game: 18 (celtics)
- most 3-pointers in a finals game: 7 (ray allen tied with scottie pippen)
- most 3-pointers in a series: 22 (ray allen)
- most games played in the playoffs: 26 (celtics)
it was the perfect culmination to the greatest single-season turnaround in nba history. just last year, the celtics were te lowest-ranked nba team and this year, they’re the champs. incredible. 🙂
what happens next season? will the celtics repeat? will the lakers rebound? who knows? i’ll think about that come november. in the meantime, olympic basketball is just around the corner. that too would be exciting to watch. 😉
photos courtesy of cnnsi.com and msn.foxsports.com