What a disappointing display of basketball in the 4th quarter for the Pistons. They just got out worked by Boston down the stretch. Yeah, they probably would have lost the series anyway, but anything could have happened back in Boston in game 7. I think Dumars needs to make changes because the attitude that Detroit can just turn it on anytime just doesn't work anymore. That attitude starts with the coach. Thanks for the memories Flip.
Lets take a quick look at the match ups:
D Fish vs. Rondo
D Fish was able to hold his own against Tony Longoria and Deron Williams. Although Rondo will be tough to keep out of the lane, D Fish is one of the better defending PG's in the league, and Rondo is no Deron Williams. Fish will be up for the challenge and should be able to defend Rondo well. D Fish also has the advantage of being in the finals before. Advantage...Fisher.
Kobe vs. Shuttlesworth:
Although Ray Ray seemed to have found his stroke over the last few games Kobe will be ready to play a great all around game in his first finals appearance without Shaq. Moreover, Ray Ray is not a good defender by any means and will have trouble getting his shot off while exerting so much energy trying to guard the best player on the planet. On top of that Kobe and Ray are not the best of friends becuase of some comments Shuttlesworth had in the past about some of their enocunters. Kobe has a great memory and will do his best to embarrass Ray Ray on the defensive end. Allen will get open shots and may hit some in streaks, but I don't think he'll get enough shots to make a difference since the genius Doc Rivers doesn't run any offensive sets for his only dead eye shooter. Advantage....Kobe.
Radmoanovic/Odom vs. Pierce
Although positions dictate Odom will match up with Pierce, Odom will spend most of his time guarding Garnett while Radmanovic will guard Pierce. Either way, this will be a tough match up for the Lakers. Pierce can take Rad and Odom off the dribble, but Odom should be able to hold his own when Pierce tries to post up. The difference in this match up will be how hard Rad and Odom make Pierce work on defense. Rad must hit shots and Odom must get the basket. Advantage .....Pierce.
Odom/Gasol vs. Garnett:
Tough match up for the Lakers either way. Odom must try to stay out of foul trouble against the slightly taller Garnett. I think Garnett's mind set will be different depending who is defending him. He will be more aggressive and more of a bully against Gasol but a finesse player against Odom. On the flip side, Garnett will have problems trying to defend the wide array of moves of Gasol,and the two the basket ability of Odom but neither player has been in this situation before and both have been known to disappear at times (Gasol/Garnett). I call this match up a wash. Advantage....nobody.
Gasol vs. Perkins:
I can't imagine even doc will spend to much time matching up Perkins against Gasol. Gasol will take Perkins to the cup all day long. Perkins did have a beast of a game against the Pistons in game 5, but I just don't see that happening against the better than advertised defense of the Lakers. Advantage...Gasol
Don't look for things to open up in this series until game two. Both teams will be tight and I have to honestly say that I believe the Lakers will win game 1 in Boston. Both teams will be tight and the game will be close down the stretch in game 1. This gives the Lakers a slight advantage because the Zen Master, Kobe and D Fish have all been their before. The Lakers will go home with a split and this series will never get back to Boston. Barring injuriesor brain freezes from the refs the Lakers win this series in 5. Sorry Celtics fans. Better luck next year.