Lakers-Celtics XII: Breaking Down The NBA Finals

We've seen this one before, haven't we?

Starting Thursday night, the Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics will meet in the NBA Finals for the 12th time, easily the most frequent Finals match-up in league history.

This will be a rematch of the 2008 Finals, where we saw the Celtics take home their record 17th championship in six games.

Oh, wait.

It's also a rematch of the Finals from 1959, 1962, 1963, 1965, 1966, 1968, 1969, 1984, 1985, and 1987.

In fact, the Lakers will be making their 31st Finals appearance, while the Celtics are returning for the 21st time.

Considering no other team has more than nine appearances (Philadelphia), and that there are seven franchises that haven't even sniffed the Finals, it's safe to say that this is one of the most storied rivalries in all of American sports.

The two teams have also combined for more than half of the 63 league titles ever won—the Celtics having won 17, and the Lakers with 15 banners to their credit.

So, you get it. This is really what we all wanted to see, right?

We should be getting ready for a couple of weeks of straight-up, hard-nosed, bang it out basketball.

There's no LeBron distraction, no Steve Nash's broken face distraction, no Manu Ginobili/Anderson Varejao flopping, and so on.

Both teams are playing their best basketball of the season at the perfect time, which should actually provide for quite the compelling series.

Considering how lackluster and unexciting these playoffs have been up to this point, Celtics-Lakers should give us exactly what we've been expecting all along.

So, what should we expect? Let's run through some things.



Typically I hate coaching comparisons, but since it was such a crucial point in the '08 Finals, I'll channel my inner Peter King and do it anyway.


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