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Same Song, 33rd Verse

30 May 2010

The stage is set for the NBA Finals.  The Los Angeles Lakers beat the Phoenix Suns 111-103 on Saturday. 37 was the magic number.  The Lakers scored 37 points in the first quarter and Kobe Bryant scored 37 points for the game. The Phoenix Suns mustered up a late charge in the 4th quarter, but the Lakers simply had too many offensive weapons.  The Lakers will face the Boston Celtics for the NBA Championship in what is considered the most storied rivalry in professional basketball.  Of the 63 NBA Championships, 32 of them have been won by either the Lakers or the Celtics. The teams have played each other 11 times in the NBA Finals with the Celtics pervailing 9 of those times.

Key Players:

Kobe Bryant-  Lakers player who averaged over 33 points per game against the Suns in the Semifinals.
Phil Jackson- Coach of the Lakers who has won 10 NBA Championships.  He coached Michael Jordan when he was with the Chicago Bulls.
Rajon Rondo (pronounced Ruh-john)- Point guard for the Celtics.  He is one of the most intense, exciting players in the league.  He has been a leader on the court in the absence of Kevin Garnett.
Kevin Garnett- 6’11” player for the Celtics who has battled injuries the past couple of seasons, but seems to be 100% for this series.  Even if his playing time is limited, he is the heart and soul of this team on and off the court.
One Liner: “They really drag out this stupid NBA series.”  The NBA Playoffs have been going on for almost 2 months and if the finals go to a game seven, it will last two weeks.  Game one of the series is on Thursday and the second game isn’t until Sunday.  Most fans would want to see games at least every other night.

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The Basics

-The Lakers and Celtics will meet in the NBA Finals beginning Thursday.

-The Lakers or the Celtics have won 32 of the 63 NBA Championships.

The NBA is divided into two Conferences, the Eastern and West conference.  Each conference has eight (8) teams vying for their respective championship in a best of seven series playoff.  The winners of the Conference finals meet in the NBA finals in June.   Much like baseball, no one really cares about the regular season unless it involves some traditional rivals (Los Angeles Lakers vs. Boston Celtics is the current gold standard).


Conference: A group of teams, usually geographically associated.  In the case of the NBA, there are the Eastern and Western Conferences.

Triple Double: When a player achieves double digits in three of five statistical categories (points, assists, rebounds, blocked shots, and steals).  For example a player with, 10 points, 11 rebounds, and 12 assists in a single game would have attained triple double.

Rebound: After an attempted shot that does not go in the basket, the act of retrieving the ball after the miss is called rebounding.  The player that retrieves the ball gets a rebound in that statistic column.

Assist: When a player gives the basketball to another player who then immediately scores.

Fast break:  a play in basketball in which a team moves quickly down the court in an attempt to score before the opposing defense can get set up