Originally written on Purple and Gold Blog  |  Last updated 11/14/14
Ae


Contributed by guest writer Frank Palmasani


The lean, green, Laker-rival machine; Ray Allen is gone. Two of their three best players are old. Their all-star point guard is the Celtics final saving grace. So why are they the number 2 team to beat for the Lakers in the East?

Who knows.

If one truth will ever hold relevant, it is that the Celtics play their best against the Lakers. Though it’s a franchise rivalry, it isn’t the sports drama of Bird v. Magic or West v. Russell. However, an old age rivalry is a heated rivalry none-the-less, and while it seems to be more of a Kobe versus the entire team instead of Kobe versus Paul Pierce or Kevin Garnett it is still the same heated rivalry. The Celtics have put it all on the line in recent matchups with the purple and gold. The Finals, the ABC channel Sunday broadcasts, the fights and the complaining; all of it a product of this legendary rivalry.

But is a built in fire enough to ward of the new Lakers?

They have a point guard who has proven time and time again that he can orchestrate a team on court. He has not proven himself as a true leader, but easily a man who knows the right spot to put the ball and can score when he needs too. They have their old reliable, Paul Pierce. He is a proven leader, plays good defense, and has even proven to be clutch. And what of Kevin Garnett, you ask? Well he is still Kevin Garnett. Age will touch anyone physically, but his intensity still remains at its peak. Even on those days where his bones are aching and muscles are sore, he still has the same “I WANT IT” defensive mind set. In the past years that mindset has been huge difference maker.

But the Lakers have Dwight. And Kobe. And Nash. The confrontations will be hard fought, and of course will not be as one sided as the roster would imply.

Steve Nash going head to head with Rondo would be a mismatch for each at different aspects of the position. Steve Nash is easily the more seasoned and skilled passer, better handler, and twice as clutch. However, Rondo quicker and there is not much that Nash could do to impede his penetration. That will more than likely be the highlight of the game.

Kobe versus Paul Pierce, on the other hand, will not be nearly as interesting as watching Ray Allen and Kobe going at it verbally and physically. However, it is a match up none the less. Kobe plays a defense almost similar to free safety in football when playing the Celtics large in part to the fact Rajon Rondo has the three point game of Andrew Bynum. That may not change as Steve Nash is much better defensively as the aging Derek Fisher was. So he may find himself switching on Pierce often as pieces are moved around the court and Meta World Peace is switched off. Kobe has great hustle, quick hands, and is a proven first-team defender. The combination of having to handle a pit-bull like Meta World Peace and Kobe Bryant on a consistent basis would be too much to handle.

As far Dwight Howard versus Kevin Garnett, that is a no contest. In his prime KG would have easily controlled the post; Garnett was a defender who’s defensive smarts and timing were unmatched. However, in his later years, while the intensity still remains his athleticism has taken its toll. He will not be able to hold up an entire game with Dwight Howard. Feel about Dwight as you want but he is just to strong.

All these match ups aside, the game will remain hard fought and close.

It is just something about this rivalry that never lets it be simple.


Previous "The Competition" articles: New York Knicks, San Antonio Spurs, Oklahoma City Thunder, Los Angeles Clippers
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Lightning reach Stanley Cup Final with Game 7 win

Devon Still: Daughter has complications with transplant

Rivers denies report of problems with CP3 and Jordan

Orlando Magic hope Skiles can right sinking ship

Falcons waive Shembo over animal cruelty charges

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Tom Brady’s suspension appeal hearing set for June 23

Peterson is wrong (sorta): NFL players have great power

Scout: A-Rod 'looks like he doesn't give a (expletive)'

Belichick mum on Deflategate in first remarks since discipline

Dwight Howard suspended for first game of 2015-16 season

Bucs veterans missing Jameis while he's at rookie symposium

WATCH: Josh Hamilton hits first two homers of the season

Did Andrew Bogut take a shot at Mark Jackson?

$70 million Reebok deal is bad for UFC fighters

If the Warriors win the NBA title, the parade will be for Oakland

SEC no longer allows transfers with 'serious misconduct' issues

Klay Thompson officially diagnosed with concussion

Snoop Dogg hooks Texas A&M up with adidas cleats

WATCH: Stephen Curry rides a mini-horse

Metta World Peace gets ejected after five fouls in one minute

On satellite camps and the SEC crying over its self-protections

Four NFL quarterbacks set to take a step back in 2015

Spelling Bee co-champ wears LeBron jersey under shirt

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Lightning reach Stanley Cup Final with Game 7 win

Devon Still's daughter has complications with transplant

$70M Reebok deal is bad for UFC fighters

If the Warriors win the title, the parade will be for Oakland

Peterson is wrong (sorta): NFL players have great power

Dwight Howard suspended for first game of 2015-16 season

Four QBs set to take step back in 2015

Spelling Bee co-champ wears LeBron jersey under shirt

Top 10 stories from 2015 NBA Playoffs

Rangers-Lightning Game 7 preview

The can't-miss Prince Fielder

Chip Kelly: Tebow is a quarterback

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.