Be careful what you wish for.. it just might come true. We are all guilty of wanting the dream final and now we have it. The Phoenix rivalry is more of an annoyance than a proper rivalry, San Antonio just took advantage of the low spell in Lakers history, The Pistons two titles were on the down-side of Magic and capitalised on the break-up of the Shaq-Kobe marriage. No, if you want rivalry it must be the one between the two most storied of NBA franchises, the Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics.
12 meetings in the finals are just around the corner, what are the keys for the Lakers to pull off the Dream?
Kobe be Kobe. Be the best 2-guard in the league like you've been all playoffs - score when needed, facilitate and don't leave Allen open for 3! Mix it up, not all jumpers, but get to the foul line as much as you can.
Pau limit KG to outside jumpers. KG will get some points and rebounds, but as a jump shooter he's far less effective. On the offensive end if Pau can make KG step out it will create space for our cutters like Kobe and Lamar.
Lamar Odom raise your game against Pierce. Pierce is almost unstoppable going to the rim, but only a so-so jump shooter. If he can turn him into a shooter rather than the pentration player he wants to be..
Fisher just be ready to shoot that shot you get when Kobe sucks in Rondo and Garnett.
Watch out for Perkins - let's not make an average player into the hero for the Celtics.
Realistically this is a tough series to call. Boston has two anchors - Garnett is their defensive stopper and everything revolves around his presence at that end of the floor. If he can be made to step out we'll be fine and win in 5 or 6. Pierce is the heart and soul of their offense. We need to stop his penetration using Lamar and Kobe. Kobe and Pau balance well with Garnett and Pierce, but who matches up with Lamar?
Ultimately that's my key to the series. How big will Lamar be? If he can dominate and average 15 and 11 I think it's ours. If he disappears and Perkins matches or betters him it will be really tough.
My pick? Lakers in a huge game 7 in Boston with Kobe rolling across the top of the key and delivering a junior junior junior junior sky hook over Garnett, Pierce and Allen. Again, be careful what you wish for..