Lakers vs. Celtics Game 1: It’s Already Clear, These Are Not the 2008 Lakers

It's only one game.

But the Los Angeles Lakers' 102-89 victory over the Boston Celtics in game one of the NBA Finals was actually more of a route than the final 13 point margin indicated.

Most people expected the Lakers to summon up a strong effort after their dismal showing against the Celtics in the 2008 NBA Finals, but I'm not sure those same people were expecting such a dominant performance from Los Angeles.

It's only one game.

But the only time Boston managed to hold a lead in the entire game was at 2-0, and after halftime, the Celtics were never able to get any closer than 10 points and faced deficits as large as 20 points.

Each time the Celtics mounted a charge, the Lakers turned them back with the superior leadership of Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol serving as an instructional model for the rest of the team.

Boston promised to bring the same physical presence and intensity they did in their 2008 Finals victory over the Lakers, and in the first 27 seconds of the game, they made good on their promise as Ron Artest and Paul Pierce were each assessed technical fouls when they became entangled and sprawled to the floor.

Instead of folding beneath the Celtics' brutal play, the Lakers stood firm, and eventually the superior talent and length of their roster began to take its toll on Boston.

Consider, the Lakers dominated the rebound category grabbing 42 to the Celtics' 31, and Gasol's 14 rebounds included eight of the offensive variety, which was the same number of offensive rebounds the Celtics grabbed as a team.

The Lakers' dominance on the boards led to a 16-0 advantage in second chance points and was another indication of Los Angeles' superiority in the paint, which leads us to a very interesting point.

Many people assumed the post players of the Celtics would overwhelm the Lakers' post players with their tough defense and...

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