Celtics and Lakers are playing game 3 of their Finals series tonight at Td Garden, and the two biggest rivals in the league are ready for a matchup that can be defining, though it is clear that Boston is the team with the edge since they will be playing 2 games at their East Coast headquarters.
Of course the “Beat LA” chants can be heard all over town, as Celtics fans know that their team is closer than ever of obtaining their 18th title if the just managed to do things well at home by winning all three matches at their arena or even lose one and return to Los Angeles to close the series at Staples Center.
The Lakers certainly don’t want to lose the series at Boston, as they don’t want to be humiliated again by Celtics fans like in 2008, when they were booed as they were leaving the Garden after a beating of 131-92, while the Big Three celebrated their first NBA title ever.
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The current format of the Finals of 2-3-2 was actually implemented back when matchups between the Lakers and Boston were quite common, and it was done in order to avoid continuous coast-to-coast trips, and if the Celtics manage to win all 3 games at home, they won’t need to make the trip back to Los Angeles this time, but I hardly think that will happen, as both teams are playing outstandingly, and I just cannot believe Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol are going to give up so easy.
The secret for the success of the Celtics in game two had a lot to do with their defense, which they applied in a more precise way than in the first match of the series as they limited Bryant to only a 41% shooting, and Rajon Rondo was more effective in terms of rebounds, allowing Boston to fire up their fast break.
And, if the Lakers wish to find success at TD Garden, they will have to do the same: apply a better defense and keep an steady control over Boston’s top point guard in Rajon Rondo, who finished game 2 with triple doubles (the fifth time in his career) as he scored nineteen points, and contributed with twelve rebounds and ten assists.
Games one and two were important, but game three is decisive.
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