Lakers vs. Celtics, Game Seven: Seventh Heaven and a Chance at Destiny
This 2010 season was supposed to be the year of LeBron; fortunately for the rest of us, we have a match-up that only the basketball Gods could make possible.
You can feel the tremor of excitement permeating the air, the rear ambrosia of a Game 7 that leaves everyone waiting in anticipation.
Game 6 is done and now it’s on to basketball's version of Shangri-la, a Game 7. This is no ordinary game. This is an arena reserved for special teams who know how to embrace special moments.
Game 7 allows the participants to taste the nectar of the Gods and know in their hearts that they have reached and been somewhere special.
All the pretenders were swiftly cast aside and then there were two teams left to reach their goal. Two teams whose history laid the foundation for what championship caliber teams should look and play like.
The Lakers hope that home-court advantage and of course the closer of the NBA in Kobe Bryant will be enough. He of the four championship rings and a thirst to impose his will in any game and on any situation.
Kobe's offensive arsenal often wreaks havoc on his opponents' psyche. If his moves were a drug it would be of the psychedelic kind because his masterful command to get his shot off in awkward situations leaves you in awe.
All that being said, it is up to him to curtail his instinct to strike early and often and not become the 21st century version of Jerry West. He could win the MVP trophy but lose the game that counts the most.
If Andrew Bynum cannot go the Laker bench gets smaller and that will give the Celtics a slight edge. If Gasol and Lamar Odom have a game similar to Tuesday's output, then they will more than make up for those short-comings.
The Lakers need another stand-up game from their role players and hope that Ron Artest hasn't visited the rabbit-hole since his Game 6 revival.
For the Celtics, they have to win this championship in order to sit at the round table with the other Celtic greats.
Kevin Garnett must adjust to life without his defensive mate Kendrick Perkins, and Rajon Rondo must take the necessary steps to run this team the right way.
Paul Pierce and Ray Allen must stay and help on the boards because the Lakers will look to continue to pound the offensive boards.
It is a tragedy that they won't have Perkins, but this may help them in their quest to championship glory. They can plug Glen Davis or Rasheed Wallace in the middle. This can give them added quickness and give them the ability to run a little bit more.
Each one of these players represents a different problem for the Lakers. Wallace plays solid defense on the Laker bigs and has Pau Gasol guessing his every move. He can also stretch the court with his three-point shooting. Game 7 also eliminates the possibility of him being suspended. Therefore, we might see more of the emotional 'Sheed.
Davis is surprisingly agile for such an earthbound man, and he gets great position on the boards and has a decent mid-range shot. He is the best offensive rebounder per minute on the Celtics. If he can only remember that some black men can't jump and pass the ball out to the wing he'll be okay.
The Celtics must also remember to be aware of Derek Fisher; he is the most dangerous player on the Laker team after Kobe Bryant. He is due to make at least one meaningful three-pointer before this series is over.
Game 7 is about desire, it is about each team being able to look at themselves in the mirror and say, "yes I gave my all."
If either team can do more and use more of what pumps the blood beneath those team colors, then to the victor will go the spoils of Game 7…an NBA Championship.