It’s official, the 2010 NBA Finals will be the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics — the 12th time in the league’s history that the two teams will battle it out for the championship.
The news comes as the Lakers closed out their series against the Phoenix Suns on Saturday (May 29) in a four games to two, while the Celtics closed out their series against the Orlando Magic on Friday (May 28) in six games.
The Lake Show will be going for their second straight title. The Celtics are making a return after missing out last season.
Both teams have storied histories in the NBA. Last year, the Lakers hung their 16th championship in team history, while the Celtics have 17th, their last coming with their defeat of the Lakers in their 2008 series.
Now, Kobe Bryant has a chance to avenge that lose, when they meet again on Thursday (June 3) at the Staples Center in L.A.
The Lakers, however, know they have a tough series ahead of them.
“We’ll see, we’ll see how much we matured,” Bryant told the Associated Press. “They challenged us extremely well in the finals a couple years ago. Now is a chance to see how much we’ve grown.
“We remember more than anything losing on our home court, a situation where we had some defensive lapses and they took advantage of it,” Lakers coach Phil Jackson added. “This year we have homecourt advantage, and we look forward to the rematch with great intensity.”
The Celtics have a 9-2 advantage over the Lakers throughout the decades, and have a chance to improve that record this upcoming Finals series.
The defending champion Lakers are making their third straight finals appearance, best since they won three in a row from 2000-02. That was when Bryant was the sidekick to Shaquille O’Neal, but the ’08 finals was his first chance to win one alone.
However, the series didn’t go the way he planned, and Byrant had to wait until the following season to seize his ring at the hands of the Magic.
The Lakers will host the first two games before the series shifts to Boston for the next three, if necessary.
Who are you rooting for?