5. Defense Wins Dynasties
After the Lakers won the title, Kobe Bryant was asked how this one compared to his previous four. “This is the sweetest, because it was against them, and because it was the hardest one." The "them" was the Lakers' historic nemesis Boston Celtics, and while the game was nowhere near a thing of beauty, a hard-fought Game 7 between the two most successful franchises in the NBA is a must for this list.
It was an offensive struggle all night long for both squads. Bryant hit just 6 of 24 shots and Paul Pierce made just 5 of 15. The Lakers hit 33 percent from the field and the Celtics were slightly better at 38 percent. But the Lakers looked like the more determined bunch down the stretch. They trailed by as many as 13 points in the second half but won with a team effort. There was Ron Artest’s defense on Pierce, Pau Gasol’s work on the offensive glass, Lamar Odom with multiple put-back buckets, and Derek Fisher knocking down a huge three with Rajon Rondo right in his face.
The Lakers won, 83-79, to repeat as champions and grab the franchise's 16th title - just one shy of the Celtics’ record of 17.