EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Sports

June 5, 2008

Don't believe the hype: Celtics in 6

Bill Burt

It seems like months ago when the Boston Celtics barely skimmed past the Atlanta Hawks, leaving doubters at every corner.

The Los Angeles Lakers, on the other hand, are the sexy pick. They had no such struggles against three very good teams in Denver, Utah and finally San Antonio, the defending champs.

The Celtics have only one semi-regular player with a world championship, and that's sixth man James Posey.

The Lakers have the league MVP in Kobe Bryant, who has been on three world championship teams.

The Celtics are from the East, which has been a punching bag, losing in the finals seven times in the last nine year, while the Lakers are from the West. Enough said.

A case can be made that the Lakers are not only the team to beat, but have everything in place for a romp.

But don't believe the hype. In fact, a closer look at the personalities and the key numbers, like opposing field goal percentages, and the Celtics look like the team to beat.

Here are 10 reasons why I believe the Celtics will win their 17th world championship:

1. Paul Pierce

I wouldn't suggest he is better than Kobe Bryant, but for this series he will eliminate the Kobe Advantage. Pierce has the most to gain or lose in this series. This is his day to shine, on the biggest stage, and finally get something he's always craved — his due.

That will come not only with a championship but an MVP performance.

Los Angeles is where he grew up as a youth. Boston is where he grew up as an adult.

You couldn't write a better script. Only a leading man, like Pierce, could make it happen.

Kobe will have average more points, probably in the high 20s maybe even the low 30s. But Pierce will be around the mid-20s, which will offset the MVP.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports

Local Sports Videos
Sports Videos
Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft NHL playoff preview: Boston Bruins vs. Detroit Red Wings NHL playoff preview: Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Montreal Canadiens NHL playoff preview: Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Columbus Blue Jackets Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - Carolina Panthers NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - Atlanta Falcons Too Hot or Too Cold: Brewers and Rangers NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - Baltimore Ravens NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - Arizona Cardinals NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs – Oakland Raiders NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs – Houston Texans NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs – Jacksonville Jaguars Olympic Great Michael Phelps Ending Retirement Draft Preview: Chris Davis Draft Preview: Jay Prosch Watson: 'I'm always going to cry' Is the use of pine tar considered cheating? Draft Preview: Jake Matthews Draft Preview: L'Damian Washington
Boston Sports
Iginla hungry for first Stanley Cup Running Strong: How the Bruins National Anthem brought Boston together Patriots Talk TV: Should the Pats abandon the 2 TE system? Brad Stevens: Hopeful season was a 'learning experience' for young Celtics Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft NHL playoff preview: Boston Bruins vs. Detroit Red Wings NHL playoff preview: Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Montreal Canadiens NHL playoff preview: Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Columbus Blue Jackets Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday McAdam: MLB replay system already affecting Sox Running Strong: Marathon Sports Manager, Shane O'Hara reflects back on Marathon bombings Merloni: An imperfect game we're trying to make perfect Felger sounds of on the MLB replay system McAdam: Pedroia D.L. stint 'not hard to imagine' NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - Carolina Panthers NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - Atlanta Falcons Too Hot or Too Cold: Brewers and Rangers NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - Baltimore Ravens NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - Arizona Cardinals NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs – Oakland Raiders