The biggest thing to take away from Thursday's thrilling (ugly, yes, but thrilling) Lakers win in overtime over the Boston Celtics was the realization that this rivalry is really in its death throes. With both rosters chock full of stars that came of age during the late 1990s, the gritty (but, darnit, thrilling) back and forth was a clear indication that the teams that met during the 2008 and 2010 Finals were playing out the string. Even if, and we mean this, they catch a few good matchups and one or both of them make it to the Finals again this June.
Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski, in his usual must-read way, pointed out as much early Friday morning. A few hours before that, Kobe Bryant took a little bit of time away from the Celtics/Lakers rivalry to throw some cold water on everyone's new favorite NBA talking point: New York Knicks guard Jeremy Lin.