Ep. 584: NBA Finals Preview

On today’s show, Skeets and Tas breakdown, setup and predict the highly anticipated 2010 NBA Finals. Can we really call this a rematch from ’08? How will Phil Jackson and the Lakers attempt to slow down Rondo? And who are both teams’ wildcards? All that, plus the 2-3-2 format, the Celtics bench production and more.

(Reminder: Don’t forget to make your TBJ Book-Off picks.)

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Comments (36)

  1. TBJ Army: Make sure to leave your predictions and prognostications below.

  2. Celtics in 7, epic series

  3. Celtics in 5. Just not that close really.

  4. Nick, I expected that prediction from you, but I expected a little explanation as well!

  5. I say Lakers in 5. “To motivated will Kobe be from 2008 ” said in Yoda Voice

  6. Ron Artest is the PERFECT counter for Paul Pierce. Perkins & Bynum will be fun to watch (it’s too bad Bynum is hurt). I agree with your arguments about limiting Rondo (patient offense), and Phil Jackson has been really successful at dictating pace on offense & defense in the playoffs this year.

    Lakers in 6.

  7. Lakers in 5. Just not that close really.

  8. Lakers in 4

    Gasol is gonna make KG his B

  9. Celtics in 6, KG and Perk are just too tough on D.

  10. Lakers in 5. X-factor: Artest versus whining Pierce and the referees. If referees somehow fall into Pierce’s fake falls, it might be 6 games but not more. The Lakers are the Western Conference champions- that is to say the elite in the NBA.

  11. Celtics go as far as Rondo will take them. He is their best player…but Lakers are just too big.

    Lakers in 6

  12. Is Skeets wearing a John Wall shirt?

  13. Hmm, maybe I should have finished watching before asking

  14. Lakers in 5. KG is just not as good as he was. The big 3 are old and dragging a bit. Even Rondo won’t make them good enough to win. Artest will be big and Gasol and Bryant will dominate.

  15. This will go down one player….

    Reasoning:
    1) I think Gasol is a much better and tougher player than he was in 2008, KG won’t bully him and he will have his hands full.
    2) I am not buying that Artest gives them any kind of physical edge because Pierce has a gift for drawing fouls and agitating players as well.
    3) Rondo even at 80% will breeze by Fish.
    4) Kobe is at another level in the playoffs and will be the best player
    5) Odom and Wallace are a push cause neither are consistent despite amazing skill.
    6) Perk and Bynum whether injury or 6 techs is a push. Similar player, great post D
    7) Celtics bench imo is better than the Lakers.
    8) Coaching is a slight edge to Phil Jackson cause of experience, but both play great team defenses and are great w/ their offensive sets.

    Which leads me to who will be the key to the series (drumroll) RAY ALLEN! I think Ray will step up big time this series w/ his jumpshooting knocking 3′s via Rondo’s drives and kickouts which will stymie the Lakers defense.

    Celtics in 7

  16. I believe the 2-3-2 format originated due to Bill Russell’s dominance and the league wanting to shake things up, and since BOS held home-court most of the time, the subsequent 3 games in the opponent’s arena would fuck up the flow. And are you guys high? Fisher was there in 08. In the end, does not even matter, Lakers are sweeping, bring out brooms! Lakers in 4! We’re puttin’ Boston in the coffin!

  17. I think the 2-3-2 format will allow LA to win in 6.

    Bynum and Artest will make a big difference this time and Kobe/Gasol will get theirs. The defense and toughness is way different from the 08 finals so I see the Lakers winning this time.

  18. I don’t necessarily think the 2-3-2 format is gonna truly decide the series. Celtics and Lakers have won on the road when they have needed to. I just can’t buy into the that being the ultimate reason why.

  19. It will be a different series than in 08. I think the Lakers are CLEARLY a much better team that the 08 version and the Celtics (apart from the bench) are playing better ball than in 08 so it should be exciting. I’m gonna take the Lakers in 6 the reasons why:

    Artest on Pierce – I can’t believe that some “experts” like Chris Sheridan are picking Pierce to be the MVP of the series and dominate (even if the C’s win I don’t think it will be fueled by PP offensive outbursts). I just don’t see it. With all due respect to PP skills he is exactly the guy that Ron Ron thrives against. I’m not gonna say he’s gonna “shut down” Pierce but he is sure as hell gona make life very difficult for him

    Gasol – This guy is still underrated. Not a lotta people remeber that after the 08 finals he hit the gym and become stronger and proved it time and time again since then (although he had some weaker games this season). It will be a tough series for him but I fully expect him to produce good numbers.

    Celtics D vs. Kobe – I think Kobe will come down to earth in this series, I expect it to be tough for him. With that being said, he will play much better than in 08 and having no posey doesn’t help the C’s

    Bynum – Even limited he can still be a factor on both ends

    Lastly, The C’s were clearly the better team in 08 but because of the game 6 blowout the impressions was made that the C’s destroyed the lakers. They did in THAT game but you have to remeber that it was still a six game series with the Lakers almost tying it in Staples befere the gigantic meltdown that turned around the series. It was closer than we remeber it to be (and that with the Space Cadet playing SF, Sasha undersized Ronny Turiaf etc)

  20. I’d have to say… C’s in 7….

    The Lakers’ starting 5 has most matchups going for them (except FIsher, and depending on the Bynum injury), but the difference is gonna come from the bench and the guy Fisher has to guard (Rondo and/or Ray)…

    I mean: Farmar and Shannon Brown can’t really replace Fish in the 5, and they are kind of the only Bench firepower, especially if Bynum goes down and Odom has to step up to the starting 5….

    It may simply come to Bynum’s health… But even with him healthy, they’ll have trouble denfending Ray and Rondo at the same time while keeping a point-guard in the game…

    It’s going to be interesting ‘tho, with, again, a lot of matchups seemingly going the Lakers’ way (Artest defending Pierce, Gasol vs. KG, Ray or Pierce denfending Kobe), but not by a lot…

  21. @nick L: my, my.. rather high and mighty aren’t we? to think you’re just a couple months removed from wishing your team was a lottery team.

  22. Skeets, the last 3 LA-BOS games have been decided by 1 point. There was that game a season ago many called the “game of the year” when the Lakers won in Boston in overtime, their first visit since the 39-point blowout.

    My prediction – LA in 6. The games are going to be tight with Kobe and Ray making big shots down the stretch. I see Boston winning at least one cuz of a Ray 3-pointer. He was money in the clutch in the CHI series and I see it happening again. The Lakers will lose one cuz of a terrible play by Ron Artest. In LA’s last game in Boston he drove to the basket with 40 seconds to go with KG on him and somehow made a poor shot. Will it happen again?

    I’ve waited for this for 2 years, now I have to wait 30 more hours? Urgghhhhh!

  23. Boston in 6.
    They win 1 in LA, then 2 in Boston, because Perkins will be out for a game due to a tech. They return to LA to humiliate fakers at home!! :)

    Hopefully NBA will provide the best refs, so they won’t be the 6th player.

    Can’t wait….

  24. Celtics in 7.

    Rondo eats Fisher alive, forcing Kobe to switch and leaving him drained for the offensive end. Artest contains Pierce but doesn’t shut him down. Gasol v Garnett plays out to a draw. Despite a strong series from Kobe, Ray-Ray is the difference-maker. The Lakers and the Staples Centre eat it at home in Game 7.

  25. Boston in 6.

    Boston wins all 3 home games.

    I don’t trust the Lakers wing players, except Kobe, to handle that relentless Celtics defense.

  26. Agree with BlueD, the x-factor in this series is the officiating. If the refs stay on the C’s bandwagon and make it 8 on 5, continue to give the Celtics an exemption from handcheck rules, allow the defense to push baseline drivers out of bounds with no call as they routinely did with Howard and Nelson, let Pierce use a stiff arm every drive, then this could be a long series with Lakers winning in 7. (JVG loves this) Without help from the officials this will be over in 5 or 6.

  27. Lakers in 6.

    X-factor is Odom. The guy has the potential to be the second best player on the floor… and I think it might show.

    Game 1 is obviously huge.

    Where is John Tesh?

  28. i had Celtics in 6 before i watched this but u guys got me scared so im taking celitcs in 7 yes really just because of there toughness, there rotations on D and in the 4th Q they just go to ray allen if fisher is on him and if fisher is on rondo then its rondos game. he may not drop 20 in the 4th but hell get in the paint and find some guys off the collapsing D

  29. Illmatic-1: I’m not really sure what you mean. But, I am just a few years from them being a lottery team, and I’m going to relish it. High and mighty for sure.

    Tas: analysis:

    As you guys said, Rondo will be like Westbrook was against Fischer. What will they do? Fischer will get fried. If they put Kobe on him, it might backfire. Fischer chasing Ray through all of those screens? Couldn’t agree more with Skeets, best way to defend Rondo is to hold on to the ball, hit the offensive glass, and not miss shots.

    Pierce has had big series against Artest in the past. In fact, he had a 40 point game and 2 30 point games against him when Artest was in Indy (2003?). Both players have obviously deteriorated since then, but I think Pierce has a better all around game (obviously not quite the athletic scorer he once was, but so effective still).

    KG may not be offensively what he was in ’08. But, he’s been stellar on defense in these playoffs (not getting NEARLY enough credit for that). Pau the llama is a phenomenal player, but KG will make things more difficult for him than they have been so far.

    Perk’s techs and Bynum’s knee….not the same thing. Perk can still play effectively (and don’t forget, he missed a game in ’08). Bynum has an injury that has limited him.

    Boston bench: superior. TA, Big Baby, and Sheed will all be huge. Nate gaining momentum.

    Cs play better team ball.

    Also, the ultimate “this guy is not michael jordan” moment for Kobe came against the Cs in ’08 (game 4). he’s incredible, but I don’t fear him.

  30. clarification: Saying I was just a few years from them being a lottery team was me appreciating how much better this is than ’06 or ’07. By no way was I suggesting that they will soon return to being a lottery team.

  31. @ Nick L.: I understand your position man, i wasn’t knocking you for being high and mighty. You should be like that, the celtics are in the finals. I just found it very amusing that not too long ago you were saying how you missed the days when the celtics weren’t very good except for pierce because they weren’t living up to expectations and now you have ultimate confidence that the celtics are going to easily dispose of the lakers. Once again not knocking you for that. i got the lakers in 6

  32. an asteroid in 1. pleasepleasepleaseplease

  33. Lakers in six. The Celtics will rely too heavily on Rondo and he’s just not a capable enough scorer to win them this series. People compare him to Westbrook, which is fair. If you watched the OKC series the way Westbrook was able to be so effective against the Lakers was with some never before seen outside shooting touch. He was hitting pull up 20 footers like he’d been doing it for years. This opened up the floor even more for him.

    If Rondo can all of a sudden develop this kind of shooting touch and be the scoring threat that Westbrook was in the OKC series than the Celtics definitely have a good chance at the series.

    If Pierce guards Kobe I don’t see how he’ll be able to accomplish much on the offensive end when a VERY determined Ron Artest bodies him up.

    Personally I think the game will be decided on the inside…will Perkins miss a game? Will he miss two games? Will Bynum be able to contribute and stay on the floor despite being quite hobbled? Will Pau be able to score on KG? Will LO be able to come in and contribute? Is Big Baby gonna get hot? These are the most important factors to the series.

  34. Silly people, don’t you know that the Lakers are going to win. Making it a best of three for next year. While all the new superstar teams fail and crash, Boston and the Lakers with play for the best of three in which the Lakers will win because only Rondo will not be on crutches. At least it won’t be LeBron and Dwade’s crazy team that loses in the first round. Thus being the biggest bust ever.

  35. Celtics in 6….possibly 5 if stern doesn’t get greedy and hand a game to the lakers like he did with Orlando in the ecf. Greedy fuck

  36. Illmatic: I’ve got you man. I forgot about that meltdown e-mail (which was caused by Kobe’s last second shot). This will be a great series.

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