JakeWatts23's Wiz-Blog

NBA Finals Preview – 6/3/2010 | June 3, 2010

Chronicles Official Finals Preview

The most storied rivalry in the NBA will take the biggest stage once again tonight in the city of cougars, plastic surgery, and Hollywood. Where The Hills meets pimp my ride meets NWA is where Jack Nicholson will be sitting courtside for tip-off. The rivalry that peaked with Magic vs. Bird has evolved to the Black Mamba and the Zen Master vs. the Boston Three Party and the stage is set to hopefully save the 2010 playoffs from being a complete catastrophy. Thanks for tuning in to Chronicles, the first official serious entry needed to be commenced with a 2010 Finals Preview, I hope you enjoy.

Match-ups: Who’s got the initial advantage and adjustments that will be made

Rajon Red Bull Rondo vs. Derek Fisher

I am going to coin this nickname to Rajon because of his recent endorsement deal to Red Bull, but it’s also going to be fitting going into this offseason regardless of the finals outcome because of the way he’s going to run Derek Fisher into his NBA grave. Poor D Fish has had to have the steep challenge of guarding two top five point guards in the Western conference playoffs in Deron Williams and Steve Nash in the Division and Conference Finals, after hitting the ground running in the first round by guarding future All Star and MVP sidekick Russell Westbrook (where Kobe’s had enough of watching Russell Westbrook use the D Fish Toilet Paper located in the Staples Center bathrooms that series). But now Fisher is up to his biggest challenge of the playoffs because of a few reasons: Rondo is riding more of a momentum wave than any of the other PG’s he’s faced thus far, he’s been worn out already for three series already, and it’s the Finals. Rondo is very much Boston’s X factor and is Derek Fisher’s biggest serving of “Oy Vey Sorbet” thus far. In the ’08 finals everyone regarded Rondo as the weak link, and now he’s being called the best player on the team that has three future Hall of Famers. While Rondo is nursing an injured back, his 16.7 PPG and 10 APG this playoffs has been remarkable and he seems to be winning the point guard match by a landslide in each series thus far. If Rondo comes to play at the biggest stage he will be the X Factor in the series and he will be a frontrunner at being the Finals MVP. EDGE – Rajon Red Bull Rondo

Key adjustment that will rollover the factors in the series – If Boston takes one game in LA because of another jaw-dropping performance from lil Rondo (ala Trip-Dub in G4 against the Cavs) don’t be surprised to see Kobe Bryant make a permanent defensive adjustment to guarding Rondo for the rest of the series. It makes too much sense to save Kobe’s knees/body to have him against Rajon instead of running through walls of screens set up for Jesus Shuttlesworth, shutting down or closing Rondo’s passing angles and forcing him to take his working class mid-range. This matchup will have a rollover advantage to shifting the emphasis on the series over to a different player.

Jesus Shuttlesworth vs. Black Mamba #24

Not only is this matchup the marquee battle of the series because of its resemblance to a Reggie Miller vs. Michael Jordan like matchup, it also has the best nickname vs. nickname matchup. The Black Mamba is the closest comparison to Michael Jordan that I will ever admit to until maybe pigs fly or hell freezes over. He is looking for his fifth title, his arrogance and desire to win and achieve greatness make him a near unstoppable force, I would rather have the ball in his hands over anyone present in the NBA with one shot to take on the biggest stage, and he is still the best player in the league. Look for Kobe to do whatever he can in this series to take the entire Laker team on his back and try to neutralize the big four of the Celtics, and he very well can do it in any game. Shuttlesworth on the other hand has the best/purest/wettest shot in the series. The entire city of LA will run out of air for everyone to breathe if the celtics run Shuttlesworth off of screens for meaningful three’s in clutch situations as the Lakeshow runs out of air. The safest bet to make is that in at least one Celtics win it will end with Shuttlesworth hitting that game-winning three as he walks down the court with a swagtastic strut as KG punches his chest and then he will chest bump Shuttlesworth and yell obscenitites in his face like an episode of MTV’s Scared Straight as ESPN pans to see JS’s mom with a diamond green celtics jersey celebrating and then panning to Kobe walking off the court about ready to kill someone. This is the marquee matchup and neither player will be completely shut down, but the EDGE goes to the Black Mamba. His greatness will outshine all in this series.

Key adjustment – Notice how I didn’t make a defensive mention here. Both players are going to score, Shuttlesworth will contain Mamba in the Boston victories, but Mamba will switch to guard Rondo eventually this series so #24 won’t be able to return the favor. When Kobe switches to guard Rondo, who will Phil Jackson put on Ray Allen (Shannon Brown/Farmar/Please!!!!). If LA does not solve this riddle Ray Allen will be the finals MVP, but my edge still stands because I believe Phil will.

Paul Pierce vs. Shin Shin Artest

Ron Artest is my favorite character in the NBA. In my time at ESPN last summer he earned this status because of his phone interview on live radio interview that he did via the toilet, his persistence at my executive producer to hook him up with a reality TV show (which he had no power to do), his admittance of drinking at halftime with the Bulls, his use of the asian term ‘shin shin’ (very zen like), and the hebrew writing in his bleach blonde hair. Ron Ron appears to be very, how do I put this nicely, well stupid, but he continues to impress me every year with his self-awareness. That is exactly why I like him to rewrite the outcome to this finals when compared to the ’08 finals. There’s no denying that Paul Pierce has ‘It’ when it comes to being clutch. The Truth showed his true colors in ’08 and has proven to be the go-to guy in this Boston Tea Party campaign. If Boston wins this finals Pierce will be at the top of his game and he will prove me wrong because I don’t think that he will overcome Artest’s containment. The two have visibly gotten under each others skin in both meetings this year (true Artest style). In the two games they met this year Artest held Pierce to 15 and 11 points, well below is 18.3 PPG season average. I am looking to see Pierce being held below expectations because of the Artest factor, and Boston needs Pierce to be “The Truth”.

Edge – Pierce, he’s still a better player than Artest, that’s why he get the edge but…

Actual Edge – LA because the containment of Pierce will mean more to winning the series than Pierce scoring 13-17 in the series

Mr. “Anything is Possible” vs. the Soft Spaniard

In the ’08 finals, this matchup was all Garnett. He was better, he was hungrier, he was harder, he was the enigma that exposed Gasol for being soft. It is up to Gasol to get revenge this time around. Everyone can agree that the playoff resurgance of KG has been huge for Boston not only against Cleveland but also against Orlando. He’s hitting shots, he’s getting boards, he’s shutting up for once, and more importantly he’s okay with taking a backseat to Rondo’s emergence. KG is older than Gasol and it Gasol needs to bring it all to be the better player in this matchup. Things have changed since 2008 though: they each have a title now, in ’08 it was Gasol’s first finals appearance which may explain his Downy brand softness, Gasol has now been to three straight finals so he is more seasoned like a well done steak, and the Lakers have a better team now than in ’08. Still I don’t see how I can give the edge to Gasol because of the ’08 finals.

Edge – Garnett, this may be proven wrong immediately after game one, but he still has the edge until Gasol proves me wrong

Key Adjustment – If Bynum’s knee becomes too much of an injury for him to play with this matchup will become Garnett vs. Odom in which event Gasol will switch to guarding Perkins. I still give Garnett the edge but if Bynum goes out it will be just a different layout of matchups and will subtract from the Lakers’ overall bench, swaying the Celtic’s odds greatly.

“Always Mean Mugging” Perkins vs. Future Jermaine O’Neal Bynum

I am saving you from reading anything here. Perkins will miss a game because he will get a T and Bynum has been a non-factor thus far

Edge – pick em, analyzing this matchup would be like putting a bet down on the Cleveland Indians vs. the Kansas City Royals, only the addicts want the action.

Doc vs. Phil

After game one this matchup will probably be the biggest indicator to who wins this coaching battle. If the Lakers win, it’s over. Phil Jackson not only has 10 rings already, he is 47-0 in playoff series after winning the first game! Let me restate that sentence.  Phil Jackson not only has 10 rings already, he is 47-0 in playoff series after winning the first game! You can only be a Boston loyalist to hold any hope that lowly Doc can change this stat if he drops game one. Not to mention Phil has a career 70% winning percentage in the playoffs while Doc is just about .500 with a 54% career playoff winning percentage. I actually think Doc is a very good coach and I respect him a lot, but Phil is a coaching immortal and is just that much better. Phil has the best player, he’s been there five (not counting this year) times with Kobe, three times with Shaq, six times with MJ and Scottie, and he knows how to get it done.

Edge – The Zen Master

Key Adjustment – Phil will need to be able to come up with how to guard Ray Allen if he has to put Kobe on Rondo. He will also need to use his bench effectively and find ways to successfully motivate Lamar Odom to bring the 19/19 Odom, and not the 4/5 Odom.

Boston Bench vs. LA Bench

Edge – Boston’s supporting cast of Sheed, Big Baby, Tony Allen, Nate Robinson and Scalabrine (Jackie Moon Honorable Mention Squad)

I give the edge to Boston’s bench because they provide more size in Big Baby, who continues to improve, and Sheed. Rasheed has been on this platform more than anyone coming off the bench and he has proven to hit some big shots in this years playoffs. Tony Allen has been nursing a sprained ankle but if he puts one or two games together like he did against the Cavaliers this year or like James Posey did in 2008, then he will be a huge factor to give Pierce, Shuttleworth some needed rest minutes. Brian Scalabrine gets my “Jackie Moon Honorable Mention” shout out because let’s face it. He’s unathletic, he’s a ginger, he’s extremely white, he’s extremely Boston, and if there’s anyone who screams “Everyone Love Everyone!” during a team dispute, it’s Scalabrine.

KEY NOTES: The NBA Finals is a 2-3-2 format where games 6 & 7 will take place in Los Angeles, swaying it heavy in the favor of LA.

-Rajon Rondo was quoted at being 60-70% on Tuesday but has recently said “I’m feeling better and better each day. The more time I get, the better I am. [Thursday], I’m sure I’ll be back almost at 100 percent.” – ESPN.com

-Other injuries to keep an eye on are Rasheed Wallace – back, Tony Allen – sprained ankle, Marquis Daniels – concussion, Big Baby – concussion, Andrew Bynum – two old ass knees.

-No fear, Lamar Odom has said that he has not gotten Khloe Kardashian Pregnant so there will be no talks of her ugly, overprivledged body getting any bigger, she may get beer thrown her though at the Garden which would be worth the viewership.

My Pick : Los Angeles Lakers in 7

I wanted to pick the Lakers in 6 because everyone’s picking this series to go 7, but I can’t disagree. Both teams are equally as old, both teams have played just about the same amount in this playoffs, the Lakers are the defending champs but Boston has had a hotter playoffs. The leadership on both teams is extraordinary. This is the three Basketeers last chance at a title together and probably their last shot at a title in their careers and there will be no quit in them, only defeat. Kobe knows what this title means, it’s his fifth. He wants to be better than Jordan and the only way he can state his case is to get six, but he knows better than anyone, you can’t get to six without getting five and this may be his best shot at putting a final three-peat to get there. In the end though it comes down to coaching and heart. Phil Jackson is the better coach in this series and Kobe is the best player in the series, and those two things mean the most when it comes down to it and that is why I am going with the Lakeshow to bring home the 2010 Finals with Bryant as the MVP.

““If you meet the Buddha in the lane, feed him the ball.” – Phil Jackson



  1. This series all depends on how the Lakers play on the road. Apparently, the Lake show can only play well in a game six in any postseason road game (excluding the Utah series where they won 111-110 and 101-96 given free throws at the end). They need to stay hot at home and win both against a veteran Boston Three Party who has seemed to have no trouble not only winning on the road, but winning big on the road (i.e. Cleveland series). If they can do that and steal 1 of 3 on the road, then they win in 6. If the Celts take 1 on the road and keep the road struggles going for Kobe and Co. then I see KG crying tears of joy again in 6 or 7.

    Comment by Mack Watts — June 3, 2010 @ 9:19 pm

    • The X factor is Lamar Odom too amongst many others. If he shows up in 4 games then the Lakers win all 4 thus winning the series. I think a few givens are that Kobe will average 25+, but if he gets 30+ PPG its over, Shuttlesworth will definitely have a big series, Gasol vs. Garnett will be a wash but a wash of productivity for both teams. It really comes down to whether Paul Pierce can emerge from Ron Artest’s D because a tough series for Pierce usually leads to an unsuccessful venture for the Celts. Additionally Rondo needs to elevate his game another level and show himself for four quarters for four games. If either bench goes off look for that team to immediately gain a huge edge.

      Comment by wizjakewatts23 — June 3, 2010 @ 9:55 pm

  2. so gasol proved he’s going to be a force to be reckoned with but i think kg just wasnt expecting that kind of fire from a euro trash flopper. like mack said all boston needs is one on the road and its over in 6. doc obviously gave up about halfway through the 3rd im guessing in an attempt to have the big 3(4) freshershist for game 2. this is such a tight series any one of 18 things could swing any game to either team, its gonna b a fun series to watch for sure.

    Comment by joe crack — June 4, 2010 @ 4:00 pm

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