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2010 NBA Playoffs: Lakers vs. Celtics Rivalry Renewal?

Kobe Bryant has proven he's one of the NBA's best Kobe Bryant has proven he's one of the NBA's best

It’s a great time of year for sports fans. The 2010 NBA playoffs are in full swing and have provided incredible ups and downs. Kobe Bryant and the L.A. Lakers look dominant in the west, while Kevin Garnett and the Boston Celtics surprised everyone by shutting down Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavs.

The big story has absolutely been the Boston Celtics. The Celts had a lackluster regular season, but the team of veterans led by Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, and Paul Pierce have shown they know how to step up when it matters.

First Boston knocked off the Dwayne Wade led Miami Heat, as predicted. But they made it look easier than anyone thought. In fact, at the time most people were saying that maybe the Heat were due for a complete overhaul.

But in the second round the Celtics made even the league’s best regular season player, LeBron James, along with his teammates on the Cleveland Cavs look average. The Cavaliers were the NBA’s best team all season and most people’s pick to win the championship this year, but Boston had other plans.

Now the Celtics have proven equally impressive in the Eastern Conference finals by shutting down Dwight Howard and the #2 seed Orlando Magic.

In the Western Conference, the Los Angeles Lakers survived a scare from the plucky Oklahoma City Thunder in the first round and went on to sweep the Utah Jazz in the second.

So far in Round 3, the Phoenix Suns, who impressively swept the San Antonio Spurs in the conference semi-finals, have struggled to find an answer for Kobe Bryant, Lamar Odom, and the Lakers.

All this is shaping up for a revival of one of the great sports rivalries of all time. If the Lakers and the Celtics meet in the NBA finals, it will be shades of the days when Magic Johnson and Larry Bird led their respective clubs to final showdowns in the ‘80s.

That’s something every hoops fan would be excited to see, even if the modern day version of that series will lack the superstar vs. superstar element that made the original Lakers/Celtics match ups famous.

Even without a single megastar to match up head-to-head with Kobe Bryant a la Bird vs. Magic, the Boston Celtics have a lot of star power to match the Lakers. Allen, Pierce, and Garnett may each be past their absolute prime, but they are all still effective NBA superstars and among basketball’s all-time greats. And if either the Suns or Magic can turn things around, then between Steve Nash and Dwight Howard, the championship finals will serve up something exciting for hoops fans.

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Last modified on Tuesday, 14 June 2011 06:07

Happy is a regular contributor to RosebudMag.com and has written for various other publications, including Black Belt, Inside Hockey, and FoxSports.com. He transitioned to life as a writer following a decade-long career as a touring musician. He lives with his son in Vancouver, British Columbia

Website: www.rosebudmag.com/hkreter

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