Lakers Seek Revenge vs Celtics in NBA Finals

Redemption is sure to be the Los Angeles Lakers‘ battle cry when they face off with the Boston Celtics starting on Thursday in the 2010 NBA Finals. While the defending champions Lakers are considered favorites to retain their title, the way they lost the finals two years ago to the Celtics could provide a fitting backdrop to the best-of-seven series.

The Celtics clinched the title two years ago by thrashing the Lakers in Game 6, 131-92, a humiliating end to the series that Los Angeles star Kobe Bryant calls a “great learning experience.” In an interview after the Lakers defeated the Phoenix Suns in the Western Conference finals, Bryant said that facing the Celtics again will test their maturity. “It’s a great challenge for us to see how much we’ve improved, how much we’ve gotten better, to be able to go up against this team in a playoff series.”

The Lakers have changed a lot since 2008, winning the title against the Orlando Magic last year and acquiring hardnosed defender Ron Artest from the Houston Rockets in the off season. Although the Lakers struggled towards the end of regular season and in the first round against upstarts Oklahoma City Thunder, they have showed top form in beating the Utah Jazz and the Suns.

The Celtics, too, have been impressive in the playoffs, defeating two higher seeded teams on the way to the finals. Boston defeat the Miami Heat, 4-1, in the first round, before upsetting LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, 4-2, in the conference semifinals. The Celtics earned the ticket to the finals by outplaying last year’s finalist Orlando Magic, 4-2.

History will also come into play when the titanic teams clash, as the Lakers and Celtics are two of the winningest squads in the NBA with a combined 32 NBA titles. The Lakers will be seeking their 16th title while the Celtics will be shooting for their 18th championship.