Breaking Down the Finals with Coach Bill Peterson




In preparation for the tip-off of tomorrow night's NBA Finals, we asked Bucks Assistant Coach Bill Peterson to lend his expertise on the starting matchups for each team. We've gone with each of the starting five for Boston and Los Angeles and listed Peterson's comments along with some numbers to give an idea of what to expect in the Finals.

Enjoy coach Peterson's analysis and check back with Bucks.com for other information on the finals as well as Draft Central for the latest on the Bucks draft.

Point Guards
Rajon Rondo
Derek Fisher
Rajon Rondo
Derek Fisher

Obviously Rondo has the edge athletically with his quickness and speed. Fisher is a very good shooter, especially late in games. The edge probably goes to Rondo. One thing the Lakers will have to do is not let Rondo get a lot of easy baskets around the rim. With their length and size they might be able to contest some of those and Rondo won't be as effective going to the basket. If Rondo really gets going, I could see the Lakers putting Kobe (Bryant) on him at some points.

Postseason stats:
Rajon Rondo: 16.7 points, 5.3 rebounds, 10.0 assists, 2.1 steals in 41.4 minutes (17 games/17starts). 46.7 FG%, 38.9 3FG%, 66.3 FT%.

Derek Fisher: 11.1 points, 2.3 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 1.4 steals in 33.8 minutes (16 games/16 starts). 45.9 FG%, 38.5 3FG%, 76.9 FT%.

Shooting Guards
Ray Allen
Kobe Bryant
Ray Allen
Kobe Bryant

It's a great matchup from the standpoint that Ray Allen is playing really good basketball at this point in the playoffs. He's a great shooter coming off pindowns. Kobe is going to have to be alert and stay after him. He won't be able to leave Allen to look for steals and double teams as much because he has to stay on Ray Allen because they run him off so many singles and doubles (screens). On the other side, Allen guarding Bryant is going to be a chore. Bryant is obviously going to take him in the post and shoot his turnaround jump shot midrange. Bryant has the edge there, obviously, but he's going to have to be aware of Allen shooting the J and shooting from three.

Postseason stats:
Ray Allen: 16.8 points, 3.6 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.0 steal in 38.2 minutes (17 games/17 starts). 45.8 FG%, 42.3 3FG%, 81.8 FT%.

Kobe Bryant: 29.4 points, 5.1 rebounds, 6.2 assists, 1.0 steal in 39.6 minutes (16 games/16 starts). 48.3 FG%, 40.5 3FG%, 82.1 FT%.

Small Forward
Paul Pierce
Ron Artest
Paul Pierce
Ron Artest

Pierce is the better offensive player and the better overall player. This is probably the main reason the Lakers got Ron Artest, to be able to shut down Paul Pierce. If Artest does a great job on him, then that could easily turn the series in the Lakers favor. If Artest isn't able to corral him or shut him down, then that would be a huge edge for Boston and turn the series their way. This matchup could almost be a draw if Artest comes to play. If not, then obviously Pierce is going to have the edge.

Postseason stats:
Paul Pierce: 19.1 points, 6.2 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 1.1 steals in 38.3 minutes (17 games/17 starts). 43.7 FG%, 39.0 3FG%, 81.0 FT%.

Ron Artest: 11.5 points, 3.7 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.6 steals in 36.8 minutes (16 games/16 starts). 41.2 FG%, 27.1 3FG%, 61.1 FT%.

Power Forward
Kevin Garnett
Pau Gasol
Kevin Garnett
Pau Gasol

I think Gasol maybe has a little bit of an edge there just because he's fresher. It should be a great matchup around the basket. KG has to take away some of the easy baskets that Gasol gets. Gasol has to get out to KG on pick and rolls and contest his jump shot. This matchup really could be a draw, they're pretty even.

Postseason stats:
Kevin Garnett: 14.9 points, 8.2 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.0 steal in 34.0 minutes (16 games/16 starts). 48.8 FG%, 00.0 3FG%, 81.1 FT%.

Pau Gasol: 20.0 points, 10.9 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 1.9 blocks in 38.8 minutes (16 games/16 starts). 56.5 FG%, 00.0 3FG%, 78.4 FT%.

Center
Kendrick Perkins
Andrew Bynum
Kendrick Perkins
Andrew Bynum

Bynum isn't a real big offensive threat, but he can do some damage with his length and size defensively. Perkins has done a great job in their other series guarding people. I think he'll do a good job on Bynum and Bynum won't be much of a factor. Perkins probably has a little bit of an edge here because of his experience.

Postseason stats:
Kendrick Perkins: 5.6 points, 6.4 rebounds, 0.9 assists, 1.9 blocks in 25.5 minutes (17 games/17 starts). 49.3 FG%, 00.0 3FG%, 57.9 FT%.

Andrew Bynum: 9.1 points, 7.7 rebounds, 0.8 assists, 1.7 blocks in 24.2 minutes (16 games/16 starts). 57.0 FG%, -- 3FG%, 66.7 FT%.

Overall Matchup
Boston
Lakers

I think the Lakers are going to win because they have home court and they're a little fresher. It wouldn't surprise me if Boston won either because Boston is such a good road team. It should be a really good and interesting series.

Stats:
Boston regular season: 50-32, 99.2 points, 48.3 FG%, 34.8 3FG%.
Opponents: 95.6 points, 45.1 FG%, 34.2 3FG%.

Los Angeles regular season: 57-25, 101.7 points, 45.7 FG%, 34.1 3FG%.
Opponents: 97.0 points, 44.6 FG%, 32.8 3FG%.

Boston playoffs: 12-5, 96.6 points, 46.1 FG%, 38.4 3FG%.
Opponents: 91.4 points, 43.8 FG%, 32.9 3FG%.

Los Angeles playoffs: 12-4, 105.7 points, 47.7 FG%, 34.8 3FG%.
Opponents: 101.7 points, 43.7 FG%, 32.5 3FG%.