Staff writer Mike Bresnahan ties up some loose ends regarding the Lakers and
the Boston Celtics.
Q&A of the day
Question: In a seven-game series, coaching plays a pretty big part. Phil Jackson vs. Doc Rivers . . . are you kidding? I coach an AAU team and I'm pretty sure I can out-adjust Doc Rivers.
-- Mike Shearer
Answer: Apparently, points are already being scored in this series. Lakers fans: 1. Celtics fans: 0
Best-case Lakers scenario
The Lakers split one of two games in Boston and win the series in five games in front of a keyed-up Father's Day crowd. Kobe Bryant adds a Finals MVP trophy to the regular-season one he picked up last month. Lamar Odom and Pau Gasol are perfect complements to Bryant, as they have been throughout the playoffs.
Worst-case Lakers scenario
Candy cigars are passed out to the 18,624 fans at TD Banknorth Garden as Celtics pull away to win Game 7. Kevin Garnett finally gets a ring, as does classy vet Ray Allen. Red Auerbach's coaching legacy is safe for another season.
It must be magic
How good is Bryant these days?
"Nobody is going to be able to stop Kobe right now," Lakers minority owner and TNT analyst Magic Johnson said. "He's in a zone, he's focused, he's ready. And he is patient now. You saw him dish it off to Gasol on a big dunk [in Game 5 against San Antonio]. Last year or two years ago, he never would have done that -- he still would have taken a tough shot. This year, he's trusting his teammates and he's just having an MVP season and an MVP playoffs."
What he said
"I'm really looking forward to playing the Celtics, there is so much history between the two franchises, it's going to be an extremely special series."
-- Kobe Bryant, on facing Boston
Wow. It seemed as if it would never happen. The Celtics needed 20 out of a maximum 21 playoff games to get here. The Lakers navigated through the ever-challenging Western Conference. Enjoy the ride.
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Through the years
The two franchises have met in the NBA Finals 10 times:
*--* Year Winner Loser Series 1986-87 L.A. Lakers Celtics 4-2 1984-85 L.A. Lakers Celtics 4-2 1983-84 Celtics L.A. Lakers 4-3 1968-69 Celtics L.A. Lakers 4-3 1967-68 Celtics L.A. Lakers 4-2 *--*
*--* Year Winner Loser Series 1965-66 Celtics L.A. Lakers 4-3 1964-65 Celtics L.A. Lakers 4-1 1962-63 Celtics L.A. Lakers 4-2 1961-62 Celtics L.A. Lakers 4-3 1958-59 Celtics Minn. Lakers 4-0 *--*