I’m still struggling with who to root for in the Finals, and with tip-off merely a few hours away, I thought I’d break it down and see who I liked best at each position.
Remember, this isn’t who I think is the better player, it’s who I would root for in a one-on-one matchup.
Rajon Rondo v Derek Fisher
I don’t know why, but I’ve never liked Fisher. Maybe it’s an anti-lefty bias, or perhaps just leftovers from the Laker 3-peat, but I just don’t care for the guy. Rondo, on the other hand, is fun to watch and always capable of doing something exciting.
Ray Allen v Kobe Bryant
Um, gee, that’s a tough one. Bottom line: I refuse to cheer for someone who 1) gave himself a nickname, and 2) made that nickname “Mamba.” Go, Ray, go.
Paul Pierce v Vladimir Radmanovic
Another easy one. How can you root against a guy so obviously willing to make himself look foolish? Do you think Pierce would be willing to sport this outfit? Of course not. Edge, Radman.
Kevin Garnett v Lamar Odom
I’ll admit, I love Kevin Garnett. I love his intensity, I love the way he sort of resembles a creature from another planet, I love his -5% body fat. Can you think of two more diametrically opposed personalities in the entire league than Garnett and Odom? I’m rooting for KG, thank you very much.
Kendrick Perkins v Pau Gasol
I like Spain, and Spaniards in general, but I’ve never warmed up to Pau. Maybe it’s because he always looks as if someone stole his moped, but I just can’t get excited about rooting for him. Perkins, alternatively, is fun to cheer for, simply because he’s almost like a real, old-fashioned NBA center. I like that he is 0-for-6 in his career in 3-point attempts. I like that he has more in common with Earl Cureton than Earl Monroe. Centers are supposed to push people around and get rebounds, right?
Celtics v Lakers
Well, Boston’s got PJ Brown, who I’ve always enjoyed, as well should-have-been-a-Sonic Glen Davis, who’s sort of a Danny Fortson for the Facebook generation. The Lakers have Sasha Vujacic (ick), Luke Walton (double-ick), and Jordan Farmar (who the what now?). If it wasn’t for Ronny Turiaf I could honestly say that I have no positive opinions about anyone on the Laker bench. (Although, I have to admit that I had a feeling back in February that Vujacic would become famous in June for making a 3-pointer at one point in the Finals; you just get that Steve Kerr-ish feeling from him). Definite edge to Boston here.
Doc Rivers v Phil Jackson
I know the Zen Master is annoying, but I like that he admits he’s annoying, or at least admits that the whole press-coach relationship is a bit of a game. I’m siding with Mr. Jeanne Buss.
Boston vs Los Angeles
On the one hand, you’ve got Boston, which seems to have marked its territory around every major sporting event. On the other, you’ve got late-arriving Laker fans. Can I just call it a push?
So, the calculator says Boston wins, by a score of five to two. Which means, yours truly will be rooting for Boston for the next week or so.
That, and for a certain someone special to have to make a plane trip to Seattle. That would be extra sweet.