The Lakers dominated Game 6 winning 89-67 to set up what is sure to be an intense Game 7. There is really no point in dwelling upon Game 6. The Celtics aren’t going to play anywhere near as laid back as they did in Game 6. So what can we expect going in to Game 7?
There’s no point in looking back at the games in this series to make a prediction for Game 7. None of these Games have been alike. Pau and Kobe carried the Lakers in Game 1. Ray Allen put on a shooting clinic in Game 2 and Rondo had a triple double. Game 3 say Ray Allen cool down like none other, with the Lakers grinding out a win in a slooooow game. We saw Donkey and Shrek (Big Baby and Nate Robinson) win Game 4 with a fourth quarter explosion for the Celtics. In Game 5, Boston shot 56%, nobody outside of Kobe showed up for the Lakers and it was still somehow only a 6 point win for Boston. Game 6 saw the Celtics effectively say, “Screw it, we’ll just show up for Game 7.” Certainly a game similar to one of those six could happen in Game 7, but we’ve yet to really see a duplicate game.
It does look like Kendrick Perkins will be out for Game 7. Perkins is believed to have strained his PCL and ACL and will get a MRI later to check for any ligament tears. While Bynum will probably suit up and even start, both teams will essentially be without their starting centers for Game 7. Doc Rivers has said that either Rasheed Wallace or Big Baby will start in place of Perkins, but regardless the Celtics lose frontline depth and length with Perkins injury. This certainly will not help the Celtics cause.
Its worth noting that in the first half of Game 6, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, and Kevin Garnett did all shoot well. However, they did not get any help offensively, play defense well, or rebound well and that was how the Lakers opened up a 20 point halftime lead. Rondo should play better in Game 7 as he was almost non-existent in Game 6. While defense and rebounding will take a hit in Perkins’s absence, it should be better than it was in Game 6. These will certainly help the Celtics cause.
These teams are both top quality and that’s why we’ve seen each team be able to win on the other’s court and mess up each other’s normal flow of play. Either team would certainly be a worthy champion. Ultimately, I believe the Lakers will win. Losing Kendrick Perkins will be a big loss for the Celtics and the Lakers’s role players tend to play considerably better at home.