Lakers vs. Celtics 2010: Jackson, Rivers in Spotlight for 2010 NBA Finals

Call it tempting fate.

Call it a fatal attraction.

Despite a 2-9 series record against the Boston Celtics in the NBA Finals, the Los Angeles Lakers find themselves in a familiar predicament, matched against Boston in Game Seven—a situation where the Lakers are 0-4.

Consistency will meet intensity in the most anticipated NBA finals matchup of the 2000s. The best team, player and head coach of the 2000s (Lakers, Kobe Bryant and Phil Jackson) will be on display as Boston tries to prove that teamwork and defense wins championships while the Lakers battle history to enhance their legacy.  

Coaches in the Spotlight

The only NBA coach with 10 championship rings, Lakers head coach Phil Jackson’s reputation as a coach of superstars instead of a superstar coach will finally be tested in a winner-take-all NBA Finals Game Seven.

Similarly, Celtics head coach Doc Rivers faced the same labels and stereotypes after welcoming Allen and Garnett in the summer of 2007.

The media microscope will be aimed at Jackson and Rivers and their adjustments, substitutions and play-calling.

Jackson didn’t sit an injured Andrew Bynum in a non-elimination Game Five—Bynum scored six points and only grabbed one rebound in 32 minutes—but the Lakers coach rested Bynum in the second half of Game Six (the Lakers were up 17 points at halftime).

Jackson also rested the playoff-proven Derek Fisher for most of the game, as the 35-year-old point guard only played 15 minutes and should be fresh and ready to play major minutes down the stretch in the decisive Game Seven.

How Jackson monitors Bynum and manages the Lakers rotation will be an interesting aspect of the game.

Rivers has plenty of huge decisions to make in Game Seven.

If the Lakers continue to leave Rondo open for outside jumpers, he has to decide whether to direct his po...

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