DAR Sports: 2008 NBA Finals- Lakers vs Celtics

By @TrueGodImmortal 

We've covered quite a few series in the NBA Finals with two of the most storied franchises of all time, the Lakers and Celtics. The two teams would end up meeting in the 2008 NBA Finals, the same year that Kobe Bryant walked away with his MVP title during the regular season. The storied history between the two teams had seemingly calmed down a bit, and it appeared as if the Lakers and Celtics wouldn't really revive itself, that was until the Celtics implemented their big 3 and became a huge factor going forward in the NBA. The KG, Allen, and Pierce era was truly one to marvel at, and while the Lakers had a great team as well, I personally believe on paper, the Celtics were easily stronger.

Their paths to the Finals were both rooted in a bit of a contrast. While the Lakers had a fairly easy path, the Celtics barely made it to the second round. A tough 7 game series saw the Celtics just edge the Hawks, while their semifinals against the Cavs went 7 games, before they pulled out a victory and got taken to 6 games by the Pistons. The 66-16 Celtics did not look like the dominant team they were during the regular season, but they would regroup in the Pistons series some. The Lakers had a fairly easy path, as they would sweep the Nuggets in 4 games, beat the Jazz in 6 games, and the Spurs in 5 games. With the stage set for an epic rekindling of the rivalry, could the Lakers overcome the 66-16 Celtics?

*Game 1

-Taking place in Boston, the first game would prove to be telling of how the series would play out. The Celtics and Lakers would trade leads through the first three quarters, but Paul Pierce would go on to score 15 in the 3rd quarter to give the Celtics the lead going forward. The Celtics would win 98-88 to take a 1-0 lead in the series. Pierce pulled an interesting move, creating what some would call a "Willis Reed" moment, as he seemingly suffered a serious injury but marched back onto the court soon after to help his team secure the team. Kobe would finish the game with 24 points, but Kevin Garnett would end up with a double-double at 24 points and 13 rebounds. With game 1 in the bag, could the Celtics take game 2?

*Game 2

-The Lakers would play hard all game, but unfortunately they would come up short in this game, as the Celtics would win 108-102 and take a strong 2-0 lead in the series. The Lakers started strong, but the Celtics would get to the line and shoot much more free throws than the Lakers, securing the win 100% for the in essence. The Celtics were winning by a 24 point lead, and the Lakers made a huge run to come back, and were only down 4 with 14 seconds left, but the Lakers couldn't get the ball to Kobe and two free throws sealed the deal for the Celtics. Pierce would be the high scorer for the Celtics with 28 points, while the Lakers had Kobe put up 30 points and 8 assists. Game 3 was make or break essentially for the Lakers.

*Game 3

-The Lakers came to play and it paid off in a way, as the Celtics big three really couldn't get anything going, while Kobe shined at home. 36 points to lead the Lakers over the Celtics 87-81, to make the series 2-1, giving the Lakers momentum again to move forward. Pierce would have a rough game and that instantly be a factor in the Lakers favor, as they would capitalize on it. Both teams knew they had to neutralize the star players and by doing so, the Lakers walked away with a win. Going into game 4, they had to play tough and smart as well.

*Game 4

-This would see the Lakers get out to an amazing start and they seemed like they would end up leading 35-14 after the first quarter and maintained a 21 point lead at halftime. It was the third quarter that saw the Celtics come back and eventually win the game 97-91 as the Celtics would end up outscoring the Lakers bench and they held Kobe to just 17 points, a feat in itself. The Celtics took a crucial game 4 win and a 3-1 series lead. It would be do or die for the Lakers. Could they pull it off?

*Game 5

-The Lakers would go on to win this game and they would have a strong lead starting off yet again in the game with a 43-24 lead during the second quarter but the Celtics would come back and garner a lead, before the Lakers would pull away on the 4th. The Celtics once again would come back to tie the game at 90 and late in the game, a breakaway Kobe dunk sealed the fate for the Celtics and managed to win the game for the Lakers. Kobe finished with 25 points to lead the Lakers while Pierce had an epic night for the Celtics with 38 points. He just didn't have enough from his teammates. With Game 6 approaching, could the Celtics close it out or would the Lakers do what they needed to for the series to continue?

*Game 6

-Talk about a statement being made. The Celtics would win the title here and murder the Lakers 131-92. There is not much I can truly add to this outside of the fact that the Lakers were truly outmatched and suffered the worst defeat in a series clenching game. The Celtics would set a record for most games played in the playoffs with 26, but in the end it was worth it because they would get their 17th title. For the Celtics and Paul Pierce, victory couldn't have tasted any sweeter. Pierce would become the NBA Finals MVP and put his legacy to a new level with the championship win. This would not be the last time these two teams would meet in the Finals. There would just be a different outcome the next time.

Your 2008 NBA Champions, Boston Celtics!



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