2010 NBA Finals
Los Angeles Lakers (1) vs Boston Celtics (4) @ Staples Center
Game 1 - Lakers WIN 102 - 89
LAL Leads Series 1-0
Was I the only one nervous as hell before tip off? In my mind, this NBA Finals is the most important one that I've been a part of. L.A. can win back to back NBA championships, win their 16th title, beat Boston for team redemption from '08, and tell the world that winning last years title was not a fluke just because Boston wasn't there. A lot is jeopardized.
Tonight's win was monumental as the champs set the tempo early in the series and now have momentum coming into game 2. Lets face it, winning in Boston won't be easy so entering TD Garden 2-0 will be a BIG cushion to have. Kobe's performance was simply awe-inspiring. He facilitated with poise, pushed teammates to get involved, and led the game with 30 points. Team Captain was just that, Team Captain. He led his team and composed a perfect 2010 NBA Finals Game 1.
Another Laker who shined tonight was the #2 punch Pau Gasol. I remember in last years championship celebration sitting in the blazing heat waiting for the champs to make their entrance into the Coliseum I heard for the first time, "Pau Gosoft". That bugged me because we just had won the title and I didn't expect to hear any Laker criticism that day. After tonight's performance, Gosoft should never be spoken of again. Pau Gostrong dominated in all areas of the game. He out-physicaled his defenders especially KG, containing him to just 16 points, he brought in 14 REBS (8 of those OREBS), scored 23 points and had 3 blocks. He did EXACTLY what he needed to do to make the early statement.
I have to admit I was among the Artest dislikers (hater is a strong word) when he joined the team. Now I feel stupid and applaud the decision to bring him on board. The move was designed to bring in more physicality and help defensively. Artest passed with flying colors but to be an offensive threat too? Artest is making his shots now, especially at the 3 point line. He went 3-5 tonight behind the arc. He has become a legitimate scorer and reliable outlet receiver for the open jay. Wait, there's more surprises to Ron Artest. Yes, I instantly thought of Rodman when I heard of Ron coming to L.A. and all the drama that usually comes with the label. Mental breakdowns, a flurry of fines, technical fouls, I mean an ultimate distraction for the champs. Boy was I wrong to assume that. Yes, he's had some social media issues but that really is nothing compared to is claim for the biggest fan related fight in NBA history. Let me share what I've read today if you haven't heard already.
I don't typically pay much attention to TMZ as their focus is on celebrity scorn but today they had an exclusive story on Artest. Ron paid out of his own pocket $18,0000 for two court side tickets to tonight's game. He said that most of his fans can't afford to buy tickets to games so he decided to partake in a local radio station contest for the giveaway to two lucky fans who would win. Throughout the season I would hear stories about Artest tweeting fans as to where he would be after local games so they can join him in celebration but I honestly wouldn't believed it. I came to be that Ron is just one of the guys who doesn't allow his celebrity status affect who he really is deep down inside. I can respect that 100%. Good for you Artest!
Game 1 seemed to be a fairly easy win and if the Lakers continue to play like this I predict a clean sweep!
Click here for tonights box score courtesy of Yahoo Sports!
Here are the Laker Highlights