And it all comes down to one….

For those of you not planning on watching tonight’s Game 7, you are a fool.

As many predicted, the NBA championship will be decided by one game. In a much anticipated series against the two most storied franchises in NBA history, the final game of the season will determine who calls themselves World Champions.

Will Kobe and the Lakers make it two years in a row? Or will the Big 4 make it twice in three years?

Most of tonight’s game will be determined by the effectiveness of Glen “Big Baby” Davis and Rasheed Wallace filling in for injured Kendrick Perkins. Losing Perk is a huge deficit to much of what the Celtics like to do defensively. He is a large body and takes up a lot of space in the paint, as well as being an adequate defender against both Bynum and Gasol, and a very important rebounder. My guess is that Doc Rivers starts Davis. His contributions during Game 4 were a huge difference in the game, and Wallace’s back is ailing and hasn’t been playing more than around twenty minutes per game in the series.

Big Baby is drooling over the opportunity…

Davis said in the offseason that he may pursue a pro football career after he becomes an NBA All-star. I don’t know if that’s a reasonable goal, but a big time performance stepping in tonight will help his career path tenfold.

Aside from a contribution from Davis and Wallace, the Big 4 (Allen, Garnett, Pierce, and Rondo) are going to have to play their best collective game of the series. A veteran team, their defensive intensity must be high, and offensive efficiency at the max.

In closeout games, Kobe Bryant is a man among boys. He’s the best player on the planet, and can carry the Lakers to a title, but he’s going to need some help. Who is it going to come from? Pau Gasol looked lost in Game 5, but has played fairly well the rest of the series. Lamar Odom has been up and down, much like the season where he has become a barometer for the team’s success. Derek Fisher has been on every championship team with Kobe and knows what it takes to win, but how effective will he be? Bynum’s beat up, can he provide some offense?

Artest is an idiot, I would not even ever pass him the ball if I were Kobe. Missing two free throws in the stretch run of the 4th quarter comeback in Game 5 denied the chance of Kobe to win the game for them. And his flop when Rondo, who is easily 100 pounds lighter than him, pushed him with one hand, was an absolute joke. The guy is a moron, and does not deserve to be an NBA champion.

As much as I hate the guy, I think he will get a ring. The Lakers are too good at home, and Kobe is the best player in the world. Phil Jackson is the best playoff coach in our era, albeit he has had arguably the two best players in the last 20 years.

If the Celtics can defend and rebound, run the fast break and have crisp and efficient offensive sets, they’ve got a chance. They have got to tell themselves that if Kobe gets 50 and the rest of the team gets 30, they give themselves a chance to win the game.

If the Lakers can get two or three other contributions besides Kobe, they’ve got to think they’ve got a good shot at winning the game.

It comes down to which team can do what they do the best.

So who do you take? Phil Jackson, who has 10 titles as a coach, or Doc Rivers, who has one?

I predicted before the series started that the Lakers would win in 6. Although its come down to a seventh and final game, I think the Lakers still win, as much as I would hate to see Artest win a title. Kobe deserves it. But so do the Celtics, beating the Cavaliers and Magic, who had the first and third best regular season records.

As a (wannabe) sportswriter/analyst, I hope my prediction is right. As a fan, I hope I’m wrong. I want KG to get another ring, I don’t like the Lakers, but I sure do respect them.

Will Kobe make it 5, and another MVP trophy?

Let’s hope for a good game. It’s a head on collision with the best team being crowned.

Enjoy

-KP

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