Friday, May 30, 2008

Rivals Face Off

And so it’s them once more. But this time, there are no no-look passes from Magic Johnson, no sky hooks from Abdul-Jabbar, no elbows from McHale, and no game-winning shots from Bird. Those things were remnant of what transpired more than 20 years ago.It’s the same rivalry, though different. A different generation but determined just the same.

For the Boston Celtics, the NBA Finals Championship is measure of their worth, especially for Kevin Garnett. The 2004 NBA MVP desires a championship more than anything else. With him, the Boston Celtics transformed into one the league’s most dominant powerhouses. And they have proven a lot. But winning the NBA Finals is not just the icing on the cake; it is certainly more than that. Victory at the Finals will end the 22-year championship drought.

For the Los Angeles Lakers, winning the NBA Finals will only prove one thing. They do not need Shaq. 2008 NBA MVP Kobe Bryant has a circle of able-bodied men to bolster the Lakers’ chances of securing the crown: Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom. These three men will be their core. Utah didn’t beat them. Defending champs San Antonio Spurs was overwhelmed by them. And the Celtics will just have to get through them.

It’s them once more.