The old cliché, “It’s not over until it’s over” should be the one thing we have learned from watching this series so far. There seems to be a lot of hype that Boston is now favored to win their record 18th NBA championship. After game five Jimmy Golen of the AP wrote,
“It’s looking a lot like 2008 again, with Paul Pierce carrying the Boston Celtics to victory in the NBA finals and leading them to the brink of yet another title.”
Oh really? How soon we forget that most basketball analysts were quite confident that the Lakers were soon to win their 16th NBA championship after completely dominating game one of the series in a 102-89 victory. I repeatedly heard the stat on local sports talk radio shows that Phil Jackson has won forty-seven straight playoff series after winning Game one.
There’s no question that the Celtics have to be excited that they only need one more win to achieve greatness and snub Kobe yet again. And with only one more win to go they shouldn’t hold anything back. Paul Pierce said in the post game that he doesn’t want to have any regrets after the series. Kevin Garnett later said that he would ‘go all out’ in L.A. Things are clicking for the Celtics, who were able to put together the first pair of wins in this series, but unfortunately for them, the one win that they still desire will have to come in Los Angeles.
The series is exactly where it should be right now, Boston has played three home games, L.A. has played two, hence the 3-2 advantage. Boston will need another record breaking performance from someone and a sub-par performance from the Lakers to pull off the upset in game six. Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol are too talented and have come too far to let Boston walk away with the trophy without a major battle. Kobe tried to put up a fight in game five, but he didn’t have any help from his teammates. Pierce said that Kobe was hitting some of the toughest shots that he’d ever seen while he was on the court during the second half of the game. Kobe knows what’s at stake and he will be hitting those same types of shots in game six if he needs to. Because the game is at home, the Lakers will be in much better shape meaning that the rest of the starters will probably show up for the game.
To say that the C’s are on the brink of another title may be a bit optimistic. If the last two games were going to be played in Boston then that statement would make more sense. Until the Celtics or the Lakers are up by a comfortable margin in the fourth quarter of a close out game, neither is on the “brink.”