2010 NBA Finals: Lakers and Celtics, Strategy a Huge Factor for Victory

The teams are as uniquely disparate as the cities they represent.

The defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers are built around the star power of Kobe Bryant, one of the most remarkable athletes to play pro basketball or any other sport.

Bryant plays his home games at Staples Center not far from Hollywood. Regular courtside patrons include Academy Award winning actors Jack Nicholson and Dustin Hoffman.

If the Lakers are the team of glitz residing in the land of Hollywood, the Boston Celtics are the model of rock-ribbed municipal solidity. Boston is the city where the American Revolution was launched.

Later it became a city of strong ethnic identification with its Italian restaurants of the North End, and an Irish South Boston represented in Congress for years by either John F. Kennedy or Tip O’Neill.

Phil Jackson, the Lakers' coach who seeks his 11th NBA title, anchors his team around the sharp shooting of Bryant.

L.A. was bolstered by its acquisition of Pau Gasol from Memphis, a big man at home in the paint who combines finesse with muscle and has been known to come out to the perimeter to make impressive shots. Veteran gunner Derrick Fisher is at home from the 3-point line.

If the Lakers are a team seeking to shoot the lights out and decide a game’s outcome, the Celtics of Doc Rivers are a pesky team led by three future Hall of Famers in Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen that unnerves opponents by an ability to hang around.

The idea is to play steady basketball, do not beat yourself, and take charge down the stretch.

Early in the season when an injury-plagued Celtics team was being written off by many from any post-season life, Rivers said he liked the team’s togetherness and believed that if it could move past its woes that a bright dawn could beckon.

The team might have looked ragged at times during the ins...

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