Sunday, July 05, 2009

Rasheed Wallace to Celtics, Ron Artest to Lakers

The last two NBA Champions, the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics each added a key veteran superstar to their lineups within the past week or so. Just last week, the Los Angeles Lakers signed Ron Artest, a nemesis of Kobe Bryant and the Lakers. Clips have been shown repeatedly of their fierce battle during the playoffs, including Artest's antics while jawing with Kobe. Kobe's Lakers got the last laugh with the series win and eventual championship, and then quickly gobbled up the defensive stalwart Artest in a move to help solidify their chances of a repeat. Add Artest in with Gasol, Bynum and Odom, and you've got some nice frontcourt depth going.

Meanwhile, a team that definitely was disappointed this postseason was the Boston Celtics. They were hurt most by Kevin Garnett's injury which caused his playoff absence. Although they outlasted the Bulls in 7 games, they just didn't have the frontcourt presence to compete with Orlando, who eventually went on to the NBA Finals. Smartly, the Celtics just recently signed Rasheed Wallace from the Detroit Pistons. The move comes right after Detroit landed free agents Ben Gordon from the Bulls and Charlie Villanueva from the Bucks. Cleveland also added Shaquille O'Neal in the past few weeks, Vince Carter went to the Magic during the NBA draft, and Pistons guard Allen Iverson has been hunting for a new team.

It's ironic that the Celtics and Lakers signed two of the more controversial players in the NBA, but also two extremely talented stars. These teams most likely will embrace these two hotheaded stars who tend to rack up the technical fouls, and they have the coaches and other players capable of keeping them in a less volatile state. At Boston you've got KG, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce, three amigos and class act workmen on the court, who Rasheed should fit in nicely with. Artest will be aligned with Kobe which can't be a bad thing either, and Phil Jackson is no stranger to coaching bizarre, hard to handle talent, such as Dennis Rodman.

It's hard to speculate which team has made the best moves this postseason but it seems several of the top dogs are looking to once again fight for the top position and records en route to an NBA title.

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