17th NBA Finals Title for Celtics
The Boston Celtics hammered the Los Angeles Lakers, 131-92, in Game 6 of the NBA Finals, leaving no question who the NBA Champion is for the 2007-2008 season. The Celtic defense continued to hound MVP Kobe Bryant, who shot a putrid 40% in this series.
Ultimately, like so many champions before them, the Celtics played dominating defense that no team or superstar could handle. The Lakers had made strides defensively, but had no where near the talent and cohesion of the Celtic defense, especially at home.
The NBA Finals MVP was Paul Pierce, who has been the scoring leader all year (all decade, really) for the Celtics. In Game 1 Pierce came back from what looked to be a scary leg injury. And came back he did, knocking down clutch 3's throughout the series and being one of the gang of Celtic wing defenders to slow down Kobe Bryant.
Ray Allen's inconsistency in the earlier part of the playoffs disappeared later on, and his 7 / 9 three point shooting for 26 points helped put the Lakers away early in Game 6. Allen also has been well documented for his work on the perimeter defending Bryant and the other Laker guards, and was doing well in the previous series' too (except against Joe Johnson).
Kendrick Perkins was striken with foul trouble and was not really a factor, but James Posey hit 3 threes and had 3 steals to help off the bench. Rondo had a beastly game defensively with 6 steals, and despite 8 / 20 shooting Rajon had 21 points 7 rebounds 8 assists to go with the steals. Besides Kevin Garnett, no player for the Celtics has had the type of impact on defense than Rajon Rondo.
Kevin Garnett had one of his best games in the playoffs in Game 6 at Boston, with 26 points 14 rebounds 4 assists 3 steals. More importantly it was Garnett's role as the anchor of this top-notch defense. This Laker team was not slowed down much by San Antonio but they were definitely at a loss for handling the Celtics. Even in the Celtic losses, it was close.
Pau Gasol was rendered ineffective throughout as well, clearly frustrated by the physicality in the post from Perkins and Garnett's athleticism. Gasol collected a fair amount of rebounds, but recorded just 3 blocks in the entire series which is indicative of the defense at the Laker rim. Having a healthy Andrew Bynum would have and will make the Lakers defense much better, but the fact of the matter for this series is that Paul Pierce and the Celtics got to the rim with little trouble.