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2008 NBA Playoffs: NBA Finals, Los Angeles Lakers vs. Boston Celtics, Series Preview

Information about games of the L.A. Lakers vs. Boston Celtics series in the 2008 NBA Playoffs, with score, recap, pictures, stats, highlights, quotes and Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol performance.

2008 NBA Playoffs NBA Finals
Los Angeles Lakers vs. Boston Celtics

Series Index:

Game 1: Celtics 98, Lakers 88 at Boston   Game recap & pictures
Game 2: Celtics 108, Lakers 102 at Boston   Game recap & pictures
Game 3: Lakers 87, Celtics 81 at Los Angeles   Game recap & pictures
Game 4: Celtics 97, Lakers 91 at Los Angeles   Game recap & pictures
Game 5: Lakers 103, Celtics 98 at Los Angeles   Game recap & pictures
Game 6: Celtics 131, Lakers 92 at Boston   Game recap & pictures

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NBA Playoffs 2008 - NBA Finals - Series Preview

Los Angeles Lakers vs. Boston Celtics

Series Preview

Los Angeles LakersBoston CelticsJune 2: When the 2007 NBA Playoffs crowned the Spurs as the Champions, nobody could have even dreamed about a Lakers-Celtics Finals in 2008.

But the planets started to align when the Celtics got a ridiculous trade for Kevin Garnett and added Ray Allen. Kobe Bryant asked to be traded was he request was not conceded. Andrew Bynum started to shine, bringing championship hopes to L.A. but he went down with an injury and Pau Gasol appeared from nowhere to turn the franchise upside down. The Lakers ended with the best record in the incredible strong Western Conference and the Celtics had the best record in the league.

The 2008 Finals will feature the NBA's greatest rivalry, Lakers and Celtics have met each other 10 times in a final instance. The Celtics who won 11 titles in 13 season starting in 1956-57, defeated the Lakers 7 times and were the nightmare of Jerry West and Elgin Baylor.

Then in the 80's the rivalry relived when Magic Johnson and Larry Bird arrived to the NBA to become part of two of the best teams the world have ever seen. When they met in the 1984 Finals, the Showtime Lakers had already won two Championships and the Celtics one, but Boston defeated them once again, for the 8th time. L.A. would finally have its revenge by winning the final two meetings against each other in 1985 and 1987. Those 3 epic battles took place in the middle of a 9-year span where the two franchises totaled 8 championships.

They will their faces in the playoffs for the first time in 21 years, and although the mutual hard feelings are not what they used to be, it promises to be a great basketball show and, maybe the beginning of a new era. These are the NBA teams with more titles won, 16 the Celtics, 14 the Lakers, no other team is even close: the Bulls are in the third place with 6 championships.

  Guards Forwards Center Key reserves
Los Angeles Lakers
Los Angeles Lakers
Derek Fisher
Derek Fisher
Kobe Bryant
Kobe Bryant
Vladimir Radmanovic
Vladimir Radmanovic
Lamar Odom
Lamar Odom
Pau Gasol
Pau Gasol
Sasha Vujacic
Jordan Farmar
Ronnie Turiaf
Luke Walton
Boston Celtics
Boston Celtics
Rajon Rondo
Rajon Rondo
Ray Allen
Ray Allen
Paul Pierce
Paul Pierce
Kevin Garnett
Kevin Garnett
Kendrick Perkins
Kendrick Perkins
James Posey
Sam Cassell
Leon Powe
P.J. Brown

In the Regular Season, the Lakers lost twice against the Celtics (107-94 and 110-91) but the games were early in the season and L.A. was a pretty different team still without Gasol.

To arrive to the Finals the Lakers have played 15 games easily eliminating teams that looked strong beforehand: 4-0 vs. Nuggets, 4-2 vs. Jazz and 4-1 vs. Spurs; while the Celtics have played 20 and had real trouble with the 8th seeded Atlanta and went twice to a 7th game: 4-3 vs. Hawks, 4-3 vs. Cavaliers and 4-2 vs. Pistons.

The Celtics have found the way make their superstar trio happy, but Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce have 32, 31 and 30 and age could be a factor like it was with San Antonio, considering that Boston's bench contribution is pretty poor. On the other hand they also have had improved efforts from second-year point guard Rajon Rondo and physical 23-year-old center Kendrick Perkins.

The Lakers have the lead of Kobe Bryant, who is playing better than ever (he's averaging 31.9 points and 5.8 assists in the playoffs) but also have found an excellent ball movement, centered in Pau Gasol in the paint and in Lamar Odom's mentality which is staying strong even when things don't go right for him. Derek Fisher is playing great defense on the opponent's point guard, Radmanovic spreads the rival's defense with his 3-point threat and Jordan Farmar, Sasha Vujacic, Luke Walton and Ronnie Turiaf have had their moments coming from the bench.

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