Our prediction? Two matchups will determine the outcome of tonight’s NBA Finals Game 2 (8 p.m. EST, ABC): Kobe Bryant vs. Ray Allen, and Pau Gasol vs. Kevin Garnett. In breaking down Game 1, you could credit L.A.’s rout primarily to Kobe (and/or the refs) keeping Ray on the bench and out of rhythm, and Gasol treating KG like the hairy, sweaty guy did Ben Stiller in Along Came Polly … Garnett looked old and creaky on Thursday, but he’s gone back and forth from good days to bad days throughout the season, and could very well have a new chip on his shoulder. Gasol was talking to reporters after Game 1 and made some seemingly harmless comments about KG (and himself) having aged since ’08, but the story got blown up and made its way back to Boston’s locker room on some “Gasol said you’re washed-up” slant. KG said all the right diplomatic things when he was asked about it, but watch him work himself into a rage about it before tip-off … Kobe is going to stay aggressive and put Ray in a position to commit fouls, but if the refs give Ray some leeway and he stays on the court, the Celtics need his shooting. They went 1-for-10 beyond the arc in Game 1. And if Ray is cold, Doc Rivers could secretly put Ray’s mom out there in his place. She looks EXACTLY like Ray, and she’s in better shape than Rasheed Wallace … During the Finals, both teams usually practice at the arena — presumably because it’s easier to accommodate the larger media contingent — but yesterday the Lakers and Celtics got kicked out of the Staples Center because the arena was booked for a Jill Scott/Maxwell concert. Both teams practiced at the Lakers’ regular practice facility in El Segundo. Remember when one of Denver’s playoff games last year had to bump a WWE show from their arena? We’re still disappointed that didn’t lead to an on-air confrontation between Vince McMahon and David Stern. You know Vince would wear his muscle shirt, too, just to highlight the size difference … This summer the Lakers have to make some decisions about their point guards. Derek Fisher, Jordan Farmar and Shannon Brown (who has an opt-out clause) could all be free agents, Farmar has made it clear he wants to start, and Fisher is 35 years old. Fisher may decide to retire on top should L.A. win a ‘chip, but recently he said he wants to go one more season. Honestly, we can’t see a scenario where Fish doesn’t play for the Lakers, but would you want him on your team for the right price? … Now that the Bulls have Tom Thibodeau, the rest of the NBA coaching vacancy dominoes can fall. (It actually started on Friday, when the Hornets hired Monty Williams after Thibodeau turned them down.) Expect a decision from the Nets soon now that their top choice is gone, which will impact what the Hawks, Cavs and Clippers do next … Nobody is surprised to hear about Cleveland shopping Delonte West (good luck with that), but we didn’t expect Mo Williams to also be the subject of trade rumors. You have to assume every personnel move the Cavs make or try to make right now revolves around LeBron, and MO is one of the guys LeBron seems to trust the most on the court and get along with best off the court … Did you catch the Miguel Cotto/Yuri Foreman fight? The last time Cotto was in the ring he was getting carved up like DeJuan Blair‘s knees by Manny Pacquiao, so this was like a Tae-Bo session by comparison. He was already winning the fight when Foreman slipped in the 7th round and hurt his knee, and moving around like George Forman after that, he got TKO’d in the 9th … We’re out like Delonte …
Smack / Jun 6, 2010 / 4:27 am
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