Lakers set ring tone in opener, 102-89
If there’s such thing as delayed payback, the type that sits for two years and accrues interest in the angriest of currencies, the Lakers unveiled it on Thursday.
They beat the Boston Celtics, 102-89, their lead swelling as large as 20 points in Game 1 of the NBA Finals, but they also decisively swatted down the continual questions all week that probed their character and picked at their alleged lack of strength directly related to their flameout two years ago against the Celtics.
Kobe Bryant had 30 points, seven rebounds and six assists, looking as if he never left his soaring statistical parameters against the run-and-fun Phoenix Suns in the Western Conference finals…
Kobe and Pau: two personalities, one brilliant combo
This was the season when the duo’s dynamic was questioned for the first time. Validated with a championship stamp, Pau Gasol felt empowered enough to send up passive-aggressive flares about Kobe Bryant when he wasn’t following the inside-out gameplan. There was even a time or two, privately, when Gasol couldn’t resist an eye roll at the tidy smiley-face storyline that Bryant had evolved into the consummate teammate.
And now we are seeing definitively just how good they are: good at what they do and good with each other. It’s healthy to communicate with people we care about, even at the risk of a little confrontation or awkwardness, yet it’s one of the hardest things to get through our heads. The best way to sum up Bryant and Gasol? They have a healthy respect for each other…
Lakers 102, Celtics 89: Who’s Soft Now?
Having the two best players in the series is no guarantor of success in the NBA Finals – Lakers fans need only think back to June of 2004 to be reminded of this – but it’s an awfully good place to start. Here in June of 2010, Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol are the two best players in the Finals, and the drop down to number three is steep. Kobe and Pau tonight put their full panoply of skills on display against a Boston Celtics team that seems poorly equipped to stop them, with or without the assistance of wheelchairs, and the result was a resounding 102 to 89 Laker victory. As you’ll hear maybe once or twice in the next few days, Phil Jackson-coached teams are eleventy billion-and-oh when they prevail in Game One, so have fun chewing on that factoid, Celtics fans…
Silver Screen and Roll