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Tag:Pau Gasol
Posted on: June 2, 2008 10:15 am
 

NBA Finals Preview and Predictions

(1) Los Angeles Lakers vs. (1) Boston Celtics

Los Angeles Lakers:

PG- Derek Fisher
SG- Kobe Bryant
SF- Vladimir Radmanovic
PF- Lamar Odom
C- Pau Gasol

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Boston Celtics:

PG- Rajon Rondo
SG- Ray Allen
SF- Paul Pierce
PF- Kevin Garnett
C- Kendrick Perkins

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Two of the best dynasties in NBA history, either the Los Angeles Lakers or the Boston Celtics will add another championship ring to their already large collection.

In Los Angeles, the stars went from Wilt Chamberlain, Jerry West, and Elgin Baylor, to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, James Worthy, and Magic Johnson, to the Shaq days, and now to what you could call the Kobe Bryant era.

In Boston, the stars went from Bill Russell, Bob Cousy, and John Havlicek to Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, and Robert Parish, and slowly to the Big Three era of Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, and Paul Pierce.

Now, one of these teams will win again, something that both of these teams sure know how to do.

On one side, you have the surprise team, the Celtics, who made huge changes in the offseason, acquired Garnett from Minnesota, Allen from Seattle, and rolled to the best record in the NBA. Also, a young prospect named Rajon Rondo showed he's not all hype.

On the other side, you have the Lakers, who are down but never out. Led by young prospect Andrew Bynum for the early part of the season, the Lakers looked stronger than ever. However, when tragedy struck and Bynum got injured for the season, the Lakers traded Javaris Crittenton in a package deal to Memphis for big man Pau Gasol. Gasol's impact on the team was amazing, as the Lakers rolled to the best record in the West.

The battle of the number one seeds should be a great one, but a quick one. The Cetlics' road woes throughout the postseason is a major cause of concern, and something the Lakers will look to take advantage of. The Lakers also have a problem, however, with being able to stop all of the Big Three, which will require some great defense throughout the series. Also, will the Celtics be able to stop the phenomenal NBA MVP Kobe Bryant? They did stop LeBron James, but remember that took 7 games to do. And the Lakers, unlike the Cavaliers, have other stars. Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom are both excellent options.

If you compare the matchups:

D.Fisher vs. R.Rondo (Advantage Fisher)
K.Bryant vs. R.Allen (Advantage Bryant)
V.Radmanovic vs. P.Pierce (Advantage Pierce)
LOdom vs. K.Garnett (Advantage Garnett)
P.Gasol vs. K.Perkins (Advantage Gasol)

Although the Lakers win the matchup battle three to two, the Rondo-Fisher matchup could really go either way, so the head-to-head matchups don't provide much help after all.

However, if you combine the Kobe Bryant factor, the Celtics' road woes, the Pau Gasol-Lamar Odom factor, the fact that Phil Jackson is still a great coach after all these years, and Doc Rivers is just okay at best, and lastly the fact that the Lakers are simply the better team, then you get the winner...

Prediction: Lakers in 5
NBA Finals MVP: Kobe Bryant

Posted on: May 12, 2008 5:49 pm
Edited on: June 3, 2008 8:43 pm
 

Harst's NBA Mock Draft

1. Miami Heat- Derrick Rose, PG, Memphis

The Heat need a PG even though Chris Quinn has shown flashes of being able to lead them. Derrick Rose can do it all, and the Heat will benefit tremendously by taking a productive point guard. A lineup consisting of Rose, Wade, Marion, Haslem and Blount could be dangerous next season.

2. Seattle SuperSonics- Michael Beasley, SF, Kansas State

A fierce double-double machine that will give you 20 and 10 on an off night. His presence on the Sonics alongside Kevin Durant will make the Sonics a surprise darkhorse team to watch out for next season.

3. Memphis Grizzlies- Brook Lopez, F/C, Stanford

With the loss of Pau Gasol, the Grizzlies need a big man to take over the role. Lopez has great offensive potential, and with a slight upgrade to his defense, will be a force to be reckoned with very soon. This is a young team that could be really good in the East.

4. Minnesota Timberwolves- Eric Gordon, SG, Indiana

Gordon will give the Wolves a high scoring threat who they will welcome happily. They skip on Bayless here only because Randy Foye is getting the job done, and Bayless would just be seeing the bench.

5. New York Knicks- Jerryd Bayless, PG, Arizona

Point guard is the main position the Knicks need to be worried about in the draft. With Rose gone by now, Bayless is the obvious best point guard still on the board. Also, a backcourt combination of Bayless and Jamal Crawford could be deadly.

6. Los Angeles Clippers- O.J. Mayo, SG, USC

Mayo has tremendous upside...but also tremendous downside and could fall lower, although this is not a bad spot for him to go. The shooting guards that the Clippers have now aren't getting the job done, and Mayo could be the answer. (Minus the issues he has going on right now.)

7. Milwaukee Bucks- Anthony Randolph, SF, LSU

I don't think this is too early for Randolph to go. The Bucks could use Randolph in the future if not now. I think he will be able to start, but if not, he should have a decent season off the bench. I don't see Bobby Simmons or Desmond Mason doing enough right now for the Bucks.

8. Charlotte Bobcats- Kevin Love, F/C, UCLA

A big man next to Emeka Okafor will give the Bobcats a young, strong frountcourt that will keep the Bobcats in possible playoff contention a couple of years down the road. Many critics say that Love can't adapt to the NBA-style of play, but I think he can do well. Not great, but enough to silence the critics.

9. Chicago Bulls- DeAndre Jordan, C, Texas A&M

The center position should be the Bulls main concern in this draft. Jordan gives them a great big inside presence that they could desperately use. The scary thing is, he's only a freshman.

10. New Jersey Nets- Roy Hibbert, C, Georgetown

Hibbert's offensive abilities aren't superb, maybe, but his defensive presence inside will give the Nets a great big body that can help shut down some of the big men in the East. There is a lot of risk that goes with this pick, but I think it's the right one because I believe Hibbert is a major sleeper pick who can help out a lot of teams with his 7'2 frame.

Rest to come at a later date...

Posted on: May 3, 2008 6:47 pm
Edited on: May 4, 2008 4:07 pm
 

NBA Semifinals Preview and Predictions

SEMIFINALS ARE HERE!!!

(1) Los Angeles Lakers vs. (4) Utah Jazz

The Lakers have shown that they can score, but can they stop scoring? The Jazz are one of the most well-balanced teams remaining, and I expect them to put up a fight against the Lakers. However, the Kobe/Pau combination is at an all-time high, and I think that duo will just overpower the Jazz in the end...

Prediction: LAL 4-2

(1) Boston Celtics vs. (4) Cleveland Cavaliers

The Celtics' suffocating defense is amazing, but stopping LeBron James will be their toughest challenge yet. After watching the first round, my perspective on both of these teams have changed tremendously, but not the result. LeBron is unfortunate that he has to play the Celtics by himself... Kevin Garnett was on a roll against the Hawks, and it won't end here...

Prediction: BOS 4-2

(2) New Orleans Hornets vs. (3) San Antonio Spurs

I doubted the Hornets earlier, and look what they did. David West is showing how to win and be an under-the-radar guy at the same time. Chris Paul got snubbed in the MVP voting and will show the Spurs and Gregg Poppovich why he should have won it. Tim Duncan vs. West/Tyson Chandler will be very exciting to watch, and it could determine who wins the series. Tony Parker will have a hellish matchup with CP3. Manu off the bench could hurt the Hornets... so many variables, so little time...

Prediction: NO 4-3

(2) Detroit Pistons vs. (3) Orlando Magic

Detroit took too long to dispose of Philly, which could bite them in the back in this series. With this series, once again, you have one variable: Dwight Howard. It's this simple. If the Pistons can shut down Howard, they win. If they can't, the Magic win. I say the Pistons rebound after a not-so-good opening round, shut down Howard somewhat using a combination of Sheed/Maxiell/Amir Johnson, and use some balanced teamwork to pull through...

Prediction: DET 4-2

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com