NBA Finals Preview: Boston Celtics vs. Los Angeles Lakers

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So far the NBA playoffs have been pretty entertaining as we have seen some intriguing matchups in some unlikely teams going deep in the postseason.

There is no doubting of the biggest surprise in the NBA playoffs so far has been the early exit of the Cleveland Cavaliers who lost to the Boston Celtics in the second round. Not only did the Boston Celtics start looking like the 2008 championship team once again, but they absolutely dominated with the lockdown defense that made them relevant in the NBA a few years ago.

Obviously, the biggest story of the playoffs so far has been LeBron James getting knocked out of the playoffs much earlier than anticipated. Now the Cleveland Cavaliers will have their hands full as they do all they can to convince LeBron James re-sign with the club for the foreseeable future.

After their early second round exit, the Cleveland Cavaliers chances of re-signing the two-time
NBA MVP seem very unlikely as LeBron may have lost faith completely in the franchise that drafted him number one overall seven years ago.

Even though LeBron James’ future is up the air, the Boston Celtics and the defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers have another epic NBA Finals matchup in their future as they are set to face off once again with game one of the NBA Finals being played on Thursday, June 3rd at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

If the Orlando Magic beat the Boston Celtics and advanced to the NBA Finals they would have been in the team with the home court advantage. The same goes for the Cleveland Cavaliers, if they were able to advance they would also have had home court advantage in the NBA Finals, but being the underdogs, the Boston Celtics will not have home court advantage and will have to play the first two games of the NBA Finals in Los Angeles.

Fortunately, Kevin Garnett and company were able to come out on top in their one game in LA during the regular season as Derek Fisher failed to hit the game-winner with time expiring the fourth quarter.

The one big difference in this game was that Kobe Bryant was injured and couldn’t play. So even though Boston Celtics might be confident playing in Los Angeles, they also might consider the fact that the only got a chance to play against the Los Angeles Lakers with Kobe Bryant once this season and when they did he had game-winning shot over Ray Allen with only a few seconds remaining on the clock.

Needless to say, in both games that these two teams went head-to-head this season, it was
extremely close in came down to the closing seconds in order to determine a winner.

These NBA Finals will be a classic matchup between the great offense and a lockdown defense as the Boston Celtics look to impose their will on the defensive the floor while Kobe Bryant and company try to light up the scoreboard their triangle offense.

Unlike last year’s NBA finals, this year has potential to be a series that goes the full seven games in one of the most entertaining NBA Finals series we have seen in a long time!

Boston Celtics advance to the NBA Finals

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Coming into this NBA regular season, the Boston Celtics were not really considered to be a title contender after having a disappointing season and their title defense, but they were able to upgrade the roster by adding veteran forward Rasheed Wallace through free agency in the offseason.

Even though this former All-Star is arguably on the downside of his career, Rasheed Wallace has a lot of playoff experience and has already won one NBA title with the Detroit Pistons few years back. Despite being one of the most versatile forwards in the league, Wallace still had come off the bench after joining the Celtics, but he has turned out to be exactly what they needed.

It was an interesting regular season for the Boston Celtics as they really didn’t impress anyone as the team seemed to be mediocre at best, but still playoff bound.

As the NBA regular season started to come to a close, the Boston Celtics were really struggling to get anything going as they lost a lot of games at season’s end and limped into the NBA playoffs. Despite being only the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference and no one thinking that the Boston Celtics could compete with the Cleveland Cavaliers or the Orlando Magic in the East, head coach Doc Rivers new that if his team was healthy they had the best chance of any team in the East of advancing back to the NBA Finals.

In the first round of playoffs, the Boston Celtics went head to head against Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat. Even though Wade and company gave Doc Rivers’ squad a run for their money in a couple games during this first round series, the Celtics ultimately advanced to the second round to face the number one seeded Cleveland Cavaliers and two-time NBA MVP LeBron James.

Needless to say, no one gave the Boston Celtics a chance to actually beat the Cleveland Cavaliers who are favored to make it always the NBA Finals and win their first NBA title in the LeBron James era. Coming into this second round matchup, the Cleveland Cavaliers were arguably the best team in the league as no one had an answer for LeBron and the Cavs role players finally were able to step up.
Despite the Cavs winning two games in the series, one of which in convincing fashion, the Boston Celtics seemed to finally come into their own get back to that lockdown defense that won them an NBA title in 2008 against the arch rival Los Angeles Lakers.

The Cleveland Cavaliers had absolutely no answer for this intensity on defense by the Boston Celtics and therefore went down six games. This loss to the Celtics sent shockwaves through the NBA as the Cavs were thought to at least get to the Eastern Conference Finals.

Not only were the Cavs favored to win this series, but losing to the Celtics the way they did had some serious consequences as Cleveland may have lost LeBron James to free agency as a result. Boston on the other hand were revitalized as their patent lockdown defense was back to form and got the league talking once again about Kevin Garnett and company possibly getting back to the NBA Finals.

In the Eastern Conference Finals, it was more of the same for the Boston Celtics as they dominated the Orlando Magic with their defense and got out to a quick 3-0 lead and seemed on the verge of pulling off the sweep. With the possibility of getting swept on the horizon, the Magic stepped up their game and got back into the series with two straight wins and headed into game six with the potential to tie up the series at 3-3.

Unfortunately for Stan Van Gundy, his squad just could hang with the Boston Celtics in game six and were blown out and sent packing.
Now the Celtics will be waiting to see who they will face in the NBA Finals with everyone wanting to see a rematch of 2008 against the Los Angeles Lakers.

Orlando Still Alive but Not Kicking

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All of us could see this coming – Dwight Howard exploding for a 32-point, 16-rebound performance in Game 4 facing elimination. Howard led an inspired effort by the Magic against the Celtics and managed to steal a game in Boston with an overtime victory. Jameer Nelson finally found a map to the Eastern Conference finals and played like he did in the Magic’s first two series. He made back-to-back three-pointers in extra regulation.

Although Orlando received a big game from Howard and late game heroics from Nelson, it doesn’t mean that they’ll pull off a “Philadelphia Flyers” comeback and win the series against Boston. The Celtics only lost by four points, it’s not like Orlando dominated the whole game. Howard got monster numbers but Boston hung in there ‘til the very end.

If not for a few Paul Pierce mistakes down the stretch, Howard and Co. would’ve found themselves sitting on a couch at home. The Magic victory in Game 4 is not because they played desperation basketball, but because Boston did not. Pierce decided to play hero and opted to go on isolation plays down the stretch. Head coach Doc Rivers failed to remind Pierce that the Celtics are not a one-man team like LeBron James’ Cleveland Cavaliers or Dwyane Wade’s Miami Heat. These Celtics thrive on playing team ball – great rotations on defense and crisp passes that lead to smooth ball movement on offense.

Still, the Celtics have nothing to worry about. This is not the NHL where the Boston Bruins committed the biggest choke in sports history by allowing the Flyers to win four straight games and steal the series. T his is the NBA where an educated guess can lead to the right choice. I’m not saying that I expected to see the Celtics within a win of the NBA finals. All I’m saying is with the way the Celtics have been playing in the playoffs; it would be a crime against humanity for them to collapse against a one-dimensional Magic team. One-dimensional meaning, dump the ball to Howard and wait for the defense to collapse and kick the ball out to an open shooter.

The Magic were lucky to survive Game 4. This would be a series if they won in a manner like the Suns did against the Lakers. Phoenix figured out how to stop the Lakers on offense. I didn’t see this last night from the Magic. They didn’t figure out anything. Nelson finally got out of the straight jacket Rajon Rondo was holding him in. Rondo had a bad game last night. With the way he’s been playing, don’t expect it to happen again.

Game 5 will be different. The Celtics will remember what got them here in the first place. In the words of Amar’e Stoudemire, it was a “lucky game” for the Magic.

Is Kobe Bryant this season’s real NBA MVP?

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Over the past two seasons in the NBA regular season, the Cleveland Cavaliers have seen their superstar forward LeBron James come into his own and become arguably the best player in the league. Gifted with the ability to dominate on both sides of the floor and finally getting the supporting cast he needs in the form of Mo Williams, Antawn Jamison and Shaquille O’Neal, LeBron seemed poised to lead his Cavs to an NBA title.

Unfortunately, even though he won two straight NBA MVP awards over the past two seasons, LeBron James has failed to produce in the playoffs and as a result the Cleveland Cavaliers have gone home early in two consecutive seasons.

Not only have the Cleveland Cavaliers failed to live up the hype and self-imposed expectations over the past two years, but people are starting to question whether or not LeBron James is really as good as everyone thinks he is.


Before LeBron James burst on the scene and started becoming the dominant player we see today with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers was considered to be without a doubt the best all around player in the NBA.

Obviously, LeBron James and Kobe Bryant are completely different basketball players with completely different styles of play, but their ability to take over a game at any given time sets them apart from everyone else in the league.

There is no doubting that Kobe isn’t getting any younger and every passing game is one step closer to his last in the NBA, but not being considered the best player in the league or the world for that matter is something that needs to change.

This league loves young players and hyping them up so much for that living up to the expectations are damn near impossible at times. LeBron James is a perfect example of that as he does display the skills of the dominant force in the NBA, but has failed to get anything done in the playoffs and never seems to come through when his team needs him the most.

Kobe Bryant on the other hand, has an NBA MVP trophy, NBA Finals MVP trophy and four NBA titles to his credit during his time with the Los Angeles Lakers. By the end of this season he might have one more title and a handful of rings.

A lot of people believed that the Lakers success in the past was due to the dominance Shaquille O’Neal in the paint and that definitely had a lot to do with it, but during this time without Shaq as a running mate in Los Angeles, Kobe is shown time and time again why he is by far the best player in the NBA.

Not only can Kobe Bryant put up 40, 50, 60 or maybe even 80+ points on any given night, but in my opinion he has the smartest player in the NBA when it comes to figuring out a defense and knowing exacting dissect it. Along with is extremely high basketball IQ, Kobe also get done on the defensive end of the floor and has been the best closer in this league since the days Michael Jordan with the Chicago Bulls.

The MVP award is regular season award and it would be hard to argue that the Cleveland Cavaliers didn’t have the best regular-season of any team in the league led by LeBron James, but I still believe that Kobe Bryant is the best all around player in this league needs get much more consideration for being the most valuable player in the NBA.

Mark Cuban wants LeBron James in Dallas

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Throughout the history of professional sports in this country we have seen some pretty outspoken owners from the MLB, NFL and NBA franchises.

Most owners take the approach of not being in the public eye and keeping to themselves while watching their teams play from a luxury suite, but then there are quite a few others that like to take a more hands on approach and be involved as much as possible.

In the MLB, there is George Steinbrenner of the New York Yankees. Although he isn’t seen much by television cameras anymore, Steinbrenner makes his presence felt with his checkbook as he has no problem dishing out the big bucks to get players like Alex Rodriguez and C.C. Sabathia.

In the NFL, there are two prominent NFL franchise owners that frequently make headlines for their antics. One of which is actually a former head coach in the Oakland Raiders Al Davis. Even though he has been around a long time and been quite successful for the most part, his Oakland Raiders have really struggled over the past decade and Davis has done his part in alienating players and coaches alike to show his discontent for losing.

Along with the near senile Al Davis, the NFL also has one other owner that gets a lot attention in the Dallas Cowboys Jerry Jones. Much like Steinbrenner with the New York Yankees, Jones has no problem putting up the money to sign big name players or to build billion dollar stadiums.

Even though all of these famous owners have been around for quite some time now, the one owner in professional sports who makes more headlines than any of them these days is the Dallas Mavericks Mark Cuban.

Jerry Jones, Al Davis and George Steinbrenner may have the championship rings and banners to display in their stadiums, but Mark Cuban is still trying to do everything within his power to make the Dallas Mavericks a title contending team in the NBA.

Over the past decade or so, Cuban has been able to completely turn around this struggling NBA franchise as he has made a point of it to sign and or trade for big name players like Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Kidd, Shawn Marion and Caron Butler in
order to compete for an NBA title every single season.

Even though Cuban seemed to have the right pieces to the puzzle back in 2006 when the Dallas Mavericks made it all to the NBA Finals, the Miami Heat were able to comeback from a 0-2 deficit and beat the Mavs to win their first NBA title in franchise history. This was a severe blow to the Mavs to say the least as they seemed destined to win a title that year, but just couldn’t play consistently well in the NBA Finals against Dwyane Wade and Shaquille O’Neal.

Needless to say, Mark Cuban had a taste of what it could have been like to win an NBA title and has been dying to get another taste ever since. Unfortunately, the Mavs just haven’t been able to compete with the best of the best in the Western Conference and have been knocked out of the early rounds of the playoffs ever since that magical season in 2006.

This summer things could drastically change for the Dallas Mavericks as arguably there will be a number of big name free agents available to the highest bidder, including Dirk Nowitzki who could opt out of his current contract.

Even though there are plenty of game changers out there like Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and Amare Stoudemire, the one free agent that every NBA franchise wants to get their hands on is LeBron James.

Obviously, chances are that LeBron James will just re-sign with the Cleveland Cavaliers, but there is a possibility that he might go elsewhere and that has led Mark Cuban to believe that he has a legitimate shot at landing arguably the best player in the league today.

The only way that LeBron could come to Dallas though would have to be through a sign-and-trade deal. This way the Cleveland Cavaliers aren’t left with nothing and would have the possibility of getting Dirk Nowitzki in the exchange.

The future is still very much uncertain for LeBron James, but one thing is for certain and that is Mark Cuban will do what he can to bring him to Dallas.

The Boston Celtics are Rolling

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Magic superstar center Dwight Howard found himself staring into space after the conclusion of Game 2. They were outsmarted, outhustled, not to mention out-defended by one of the oldest teams in the league. After winning eight straight in the playoffs, the team from the magical kingdom find themselves without answers. These Boston Celtics are cut from a different cloth that the teams from Atlanta and Charlotte. Atlanta barely made it out of the first round against a Milwaukee team without Andrew Bogut and Charlotte was making their first playoffs appearance. Add in Captain Jack’s penchant for chucking up 20 shots a game and the Bobcats were doomed from the beginning.

No, these Celtics have been there and done that. Only two years removed from a championship, critics were quick to dismiss Boston as too old. Who can blame them? The Celtics struggled during the season desperately trying to find the switch that would turn back time and remind us why the Celtics beat the LA Lakers in the Finals two years ago. After trashing the Cavs and dethroning self-proclaimed “King” LeBron James, the Celtics not only found the switch but took their gauge to another level.

If Game 2 was any indication, Boston was flying under the radar and the true team to beat in the Eastern Conference. Their lost last year to the Orlando Magic in seven games was a fluke. Kevin Garnett’s absence was sorely missing last year. When healthy, Garnett is still the league’s best team defender. Not to mention the player that drops the most F-bombs in a game. The intensity we can take but the F-bombs makes him a douche. With all the expletives out the way, Garnett has saved his intensity and energy for all the physical things needed to show on screens and help on defense when Howard catches the ball deep.

The Celtics captain Paul Pierce has more energy on offense now to expend. He is now asserting himself more and providing the Celtics with a consistent scorer. He was thought to be washed-up in their series against Cleveland. Turns out he was just exhausted trying to defend two-time MVP James. Of course, he now has to guard Vince Carter but come on. Just stay in front of Carter and make him shoot jump shots all day long. Problem solved.

Ray Allen has also located his stroke in the dumpsters of Seattle. His efficient shooting is opening up the lane for Pierce and Rajon Rondo. Rondo. The appointed Big One. This is his team now. Without him, Pierce, Garnett and Allen would be lost. He is also forcing Jameer Nelson into bad shooting nights.

Team defense is the key for the Celtics. They can think about scoring later. Boston has defended Orlando’s three-point threats like white on rice. Rashard Lewis is doing his best Mo Williams impression of disappearing in the playoffs. Carter, on the other hand, is doing his best Nick Anderson impression. And this is the guy that was supposed to replace Hedo Turkoglu? He missed two free throws with about 37 seconds left that could have brought the Magic within one. Career 80% free throw shooter, career choker in the clutch.

The Celtics are threatening for another title. If everyone stays healthy and focused (Attention: Rasheed Wallace) they’ll hand the Lakers their second Finals loss in three years.

The Magic need to make adjustments quick or else they’ll be the dust that gets swept up in Boston.

What happened to the Orlando Magic in Game 1?

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Orlando’s 14 game winning streak – 8 in the playoffs and 6 during the season – was snapped by the aging but game Boston Celtics. Boston was up by as much as 20 points and dominated the rest of the way. The Magic desperately tried to make up for lost time in the fourth quarter but the Celtics beat them to every lose ball and rebound to preserve the win.

Heck, even the Celtics medical staff somehow revived Rasheed Wallace’s corpse. Wallace scored 13 points, including a buzzer beating three over Rashard Lewis which was a sign of things to come.

Boston played with the intensity, seriousness and physicality yet to be seen by the Magic in the playoffs. Not to mention a sense of urgency knowing that this may well be their last chance at a title before the trio of Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen completely break down. Dwight Howard was dominating in the series against the Hawks but against the physical big men of the Celtics, “Superman” turned into Jimmy Olsen. The combination of Wallace, Glen Davis and Kendrick Perkins took turns hammering Howard and keeping him out of the paint. Together that same trio combined for 12 fouls – they made sure that every foul counted and that Howard would definitely feel them.

Many wanted coach Doc Rivers to bury Wallace at the end of the bench during the regular season because of his penchant for launching ill-advised threes and slow-footed defense. Only now are the Celtics realizing his real value It’s clear that this year’s version of the Celtics was built not to beat the Cavs but to oust the Magic in the Eastern Conference.

With the big men of the Celtics, Howard found himself always on single coverage. Not an extra Celtic defender collapsing on him. Suddenly, Howard had no clear pass to open teammates. Rashard Lewis, Vince Carter, Matt Barnes, JJ Redick, Jameer Nelson and Mickael Pietrus didn’t even have enough air around them to clearly see the rim from the perimeter. The Magic shot a miserable 23% (5 of 22) from beyond the arc.

Boston looked like the younger and hungrier team in Game 1. They definitely wiped the smile off Dwight Howard’s face with their constant slapping, tugging and pushing.

Pierce came alive in Game 1 and played his best game so far in the playoffs. He made six of his eight attempts en route to 22 points.

If the Magic are going to win this series they have to play with urgency and desperation like the Celtics. Smiling and dancing around won’t help their cause, just ask LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Phoenix Suns vs LA Lakers Series Preview

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The LA Lakers are still stinging from the two straight years the Suns eliminated them from the playoffs. Of course this was all before the Lakers acquired big man Pau Gasol. In the two years the Lakers were eliminated by the Suns, the Purple and Gold had no one to provide Kobe Bryant with consistent help. It’s all a whole different ball game with Gasol’s presence.

The Lakers aren’t the only team that has experienced changes. Phoenix acquired Channing Frye during the offseason. His three point shooting will spread the floor for the Suns and pull either Andrew Bynum or Gasol away from the basket. The lane will be wide open for Steve Nash to unleash his bag of creativity and deception. Jason Richardson and Jared Dudley are also key players for the Suns.

Don’t assume in any way that Kobe has forgotten what the Suns did to them during the post-Shaq, pre-Gasol era. He’ll be motivated to settle the score and avenge their past playoff failures against the Suns.

Match-ups:

Steve Nash/Goran Dragic vs Derek Fisher/Jordan Farmar

Two-time MVP Steve Nash will run circles around Derek Fisher, but Fisher’s consistent outside shooting will also keep Nash on the defensive. The best chance the Lakers have defending Nash is Shannon Brown. His athleticism and length are the right weapons to bother Nash. Not to mention the mind games Phil Jackson has already unleashed against Nash. Dragic is capable of catching fire at the right time – just ask the San Antonio Spurs. What Dragic needs to work on is his consistency instead of suddenly exploding for a single night.

Advantage: Suns

Jason Richardson/Leandro Barbosa vs. Kobe Bryant/Shannon Brown

Kobe is locked in and you know how he is when he is determined. Richardson and Barbosa will get their turns against Bryant. One of the most fun match-ups is seeing Brown chase Barbosa around on fast breaks. Barbosa has yet to have a big game and I figure he is due for one against the Lakers.

Richardson is the x-factor for the Suns. If he plays like he did against Portland in Games 2, 3 and 6, the Suns may actually steal this series. It may be difficult to do against Ron Artest.

Advantage: Lakers

Grant Hill/Jared Dudley vs. Ron Artest/Luke Walton

Hill will be spending his time trying to slow down Bryant while Artest will try and keep Richardson from having a big game. Dudley is one of the biggest surprises in these playoffs. His energy and defense are just what the Suns need. He is a younger and fresher version of Raja Bell. Artest’s outside shooting remains erratic.

Advantage: Draw

Amar’e Stoudemire/Lou Amundson vs. Pau Gasol/Lamar Odom

Gasol is a tough customer down low and Amundson’s overeagerness on defense will lead to more baskets for the Spaniard. Gasol will only be ineffective if the Lakers’ guards forget to feed him the ball. Odom’s been playing great defense as of late and seems to have found the passion to rebound again. Besides Bryant, he too remembers the elimination games handed to them by the Suns.

Stoudemire is in a contract year, so expect him to play at his highest potential. Nothing motivates a player like impending free agency. STAT has finally learned that defense is needed to win in the playoffs. He will not be guarding Gasol the entire game to keep him from getting in foul trouble.

Advantage: Lakers because Odom brings more to the table than Amundson.

Robin Lopez/Channing Frye vs. Andrew Bynum/DJ Mbenga/Josh Powell

With Bynum’s knee worsening, the Lakers will have a hard time clogging the lane and preventing those twisting Nash layups. Frye’s outside shooting also assure the Suns of wide open driving lanes. Lopez will be one of the defenders to try and slow down Gasol.

Advantage: Suns

This is Nash’s best chance of making it to the Finals. It’s now or never for him.

Lakers in 7.

The Cavs bow out to the Celtics

Celtics are moving on

LeBron James was miles away better in Game 6 than Game 5. It still didn’t matter because it yielded the same result. The Celtics beat the Cavs 94-85 in Boston to advance to the Eastern Conference finals. The Orlando Magic await them.

James chalked up a triple double – his fifth in his young playoff career – 27 points, 19 rebounds and 10 assists but made only 8 of 21 shots. The soon to be New York Knick, if he decides to opt out and leave Cleveland, was much more determined and forceful than his lackluster performance in Game 5.

Kevin Garnett turned back time and played like his days in Minnesota making 11 of his 19 attempts from the field for 22 points. He also grabbed 12 rebounds. Point guard Rajon Rondo, who was the series changer, scored 21 points and dished out 12 assists.

The Celtics built a 76 – 67 lead after three quarters. James hit back to back threes to bring the Celtic lead down to four points early in the fourth – that was the closest the Cavs would get. Rondo hit a layup, Pierce knocked down a three, Wallace knocked down a three and Garnett’s dunk pushed the lead to 14 points with a little under six minutes left in the game.

Mo Williams scored 20 of his 22 points in the first half. His disappearance in the second half played a huge role in the Celtics victory. Boston knew that James would come out and play is heart out, so they concentrated on containing James’ supporting cast. Shaquille O’Neal scored 11 points for Cleveland. He’ll likely retire after the season.

The Cavs struggled as a team shooting a horrendous 29 percent from beyond the arc and 38 percent from the field. Boston didn’t fare any better, 44 percent from the field and 29 percent from three, but made shots when it mattered – down the stretch.

Paul Pierce had a terrible shooting night scoring only 13 points on 4-13 shooting. Ray Allen also had an off night attempting five threes and making none. He finished with eight points. Their performance went unnoticed since in the playoffs it’s defense that matters. Both Pierce and Allen played great defense.

Undoubtedly, the player of the series was Rondo. He turned the tide of the series with his epic 29-point, 13-assist and 18-rebound performance in Game 4.

LeBron James has a long summer ahead of him. His decision will likely affect the Cleveland franchise and the franchise he decides to play for. Cavs coach Mike Brown is on the hot seat after failing to lead his team to the Finals for the third straight year.

Are the Boston Celtics back to championship form?

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A couple of years ago there was no team in the NBA better than the Boston Celtics. In just a single season, the Celtics had gone from arguably the worst team in the league to the cream of the crop in the NBA after they acquired both Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen to play alongside Paul Pierce.

The combination of Garnett, Allen and Pierce was a deadly one to say the least, but to make things even more difficult for Boston’s opponents, the Celtics had drafted one of the most promising young point guard in Rajon Rondo.

With four out the five starters for the Celtics being All-Star caliber players and amongst the best in the league at their positions, there seemed to be no stopping Boston as they made it all the way to the NBA Finals in 2008 to face off against an old rival in the Los Angeles Lakers.

Despite the Lakers really coming into their own that season, due to the addition of All-Star forward Pau Gasol, Kobe Bryant and company were not able to hold off the reeling Celtics from winning an NBA title.

In 2009, the Celtics had high hopes of repeating as NBA champs, but started to feel their age during their title defense as injuries became a common thing, especially for forward Kevin Garnett. Even though KG’s body was able to hold up for the majority of the season, he was a no-go for the playoffs and the Boston Celtics were ultimately knocked out much earlier than anticipated.

This season the Boston Celtics were thought to have one more chance, with their Big Three (Garnett, Allen and Pierce) still intact, in order to compete for an NBA title. Throughout the regular season the Celtics played extremely well, a bit streaky at times, but nonetheless a force to be reckoned with in the Eastern Conference once again.

Along with having relatively the same roster intact, the Boston Celtics were able to sign a welcome addition to the team in All-Star caliber forward and NBA champion Rasheed Wallace. The versatile veteran was thought to be huge upgrade to the Celtics frontcourt that could spread the defense and another big body to throw at the Orlando Magic’s Dwight Howard if they should meet in the playoffs down the road.

Unfortunately, even though Wallace has been solid at times, the signing of the versatile forward has been somewhat of a bust as he hasn’t been the player Boston expected to get off the bench.

Needless to say, the Boston Celtics have been able to mount another charge into the playoffs once again with their aging superstars and veterans, but now face a serious uphill battle against the Cleveland Cavaliers in the second round.

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