At this point, with commanding 2-0 series leads by both L.A. and Boston, the remainder of the Conference Finals appears to be a mere formality. The outcome isn’t what’s in doubt; the only question seems to be, When do the real games begin?
Everyone — save for fans of both the Suns and Magic — is just about ready for the main course to be served.
For the second consecutive game, with another victory over visiting Phoenix secured, Staples Center patrons loudly chanted, “We want Boston!” They’re ready for their team to try and get their revenge against the squad that humiliated them in the 2008 NBA Finals.
With the historic rematch seemingly on the horizon, Yahoo! takes a look at the restlessness in both Boston and Los Angeles:
Phoenix just doesn’t look capable of beating L.A. in four of the next five games. The Magic not only would have to do the same to the Celtics, they’d have to win twice in Boston. So here in California they dream of green. And in Boston Saturday, the “Beat L.A.” chants are sure to start early.
The Celtics have a record 17 NBA championships. The Lakers are second with 15. The two franchises have met 11 times in the Finals with Boston winning nine of the series. The back and forth in the 1980s cemented this as a rivalry for the ages, but the 2008 Finals (Boston in 6) are the most relevant should the teams meet again.
It’s that one that the fans here can’t forget. Nor can Kobe Bryant … When our Marc Spears asked Bryant earlier this week who he wanted to see in the Finals, Kobe just responded with a knowing smile. If losing to Phoenix in the early rounds with flawed teams still grinds him, then imagine what that Finals defeat to the Celtics meant? And don’t think for a second Kobe has forgotten or forgiven Boston fans for throwing rocks at the Lakers’ team bus as it tried to pull away from the Garden after the final Game 6 loss.
There are three days prior to the next Conference Finals game, three days for people to look ahead to what’s starting to feel more and more like an inevitability.