The Lakers vs. Celtics game 7 of the NBA Finals was a barnburner. Excellent defense by both teams, horrible offense except for key moments, poor free throw shooting by the Lakers but excellent offensive rebounding. I still hold to my original contention of the 3 factors I said would make the difference in game 7 of the 2010 NBA Finals. With the exception of an unforeseen low scoring output by both teams everything else was to the script. Lakers 83 Celtics 79.
Prediction: Lakers 100 Celtics 98
The Lakers vs. Celtics game 7 should be a classic. My gut feeling though is that the Lakers will come out on top of the 2010 NBA Finals in this historic 12th meeting. Here is my top 3 reasons why I think the Lakers will win tonight’s Lakers vs. Celtics game 7.
1. Home court advantage (81% winning percent of NBA Finals).
In the history of NBA Finals, out of 16 game sevens, only 3 have been won by the road team (18.8%). In this year’s Lakers vs. Celtics NBA Finals both teams are 2-1 at home. The electricity that will be generated from tonight’s near 20,000 fans at Staples Center will be an undeniable advantage in game 7.
However, it must be noted that in this particular historic matchup, the Celtics have won all seven of their game seven appearances, including all four against the Lakers (you do wonder about divine favor and 3-leaf clovers at this point).
2. Kobe Bryant (has won 67% of his NBA Finals)
The Lakers vs. Celtics game 7 will come down to the best player on the court. For some reason, these rare “Michael Jordan” types of players are able to use their sheer willpower to decide the outcomes of these kind of games. I foresee deja vu in the making. Remember what happened in 1998 with the Jazz beating the Bulls by three with 40 seconds left? Jordan took over. He would hit a lay up, steal the ball, and hit the game-winning jumper with 5.2 seconds left to give the Bulls their sixth championship.
Kobe Bryant has won 4 of 6 of the NBA Finals he has been in.
3. Coach Phil Jackson (100% when winning game 1 of a series & 83% all-time in NBA Finals)
With the exception of losing the NBA Finals to Detroit (04′) and the Celtics (08′), Phil has amassed an amazing 10 NBA Finals championships as a coach and two as a player (70′, 73′ with the Knicks). Winning 10 of 12 NBA Finals = 83%.
According to espn.com, Jackson has an amazing 47-0 record when winning game 1 of a series. He has won an amazing 70 percent of the 317 playoff games he has coached (222-95).
The coaching matchup between “Doc” Rivers and Phil Jackson decisively favors the Lakers. However, an interesting note, this will be Phil Jackson’s first ever game 7 of the NBA Finals.