I hate to make any predictions this NBA offseason, but if history is any guide, the Boston Celtics should prevail in the 2010 NBA Finals.
NBA history has made one lesson plain. If you have a Finals matchup featuring an “Excellent Offense/Average Defense” against an “Excellent Defense/Average Offense”, 9 times out of 10 the Defensive team wins. And I may be understating those odds.
If the defense the Celtics have played thus far this offseason is for real, then they should win in six games. I just cannot state that definitively because the team basically sandbagged the second half of the season. But I don’t see why they wouldn’t show up strong in these Finals.
Another thing to consider is that the Boston Celtics have played better against better competition, plowing right through two of the best regular season teams in Cleveland and Orlando. Utah and Pheonix were formidable in their own right, but not so much as the former.
Below I have links to the Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics Regular Season and Playoff Win Charts. The Charts purport to assign credit for each team’s regular season and playoff wins and losses, respectively.
You will notice if you look at the Lakers Charts that Kobe and Gasol are right on their regular season numbers this postseason and that Andrew Bynum has really stepped up big time. However, Ron Artest, despite some memorable heroics, has struggled mightily.
For the Celtics, its been Rajon Rondo both in the regular season and the postseason. Everyone else has been close to their regular season numbers, with Baby Davis improving upon his. Kendrick Perkins numbers have shrunk, but he’s gotten a steady diet of Dwight Howard the last six games, so his numbers aren’t terrible.
I’d like to make the case for the Lakers, because I love their frontline, with Odom, Gasol, and Bynum. But unless they revitalize their defense in a hurry,