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Insider

Kobe's revival right on time

Just call it the Half a Year Ago Finals.

As of Christmas Day, it wasn't hard to picture the Lakers and Celtics meeting in the Finals. The two teams both came out of the gate smoking at 23-5, but their late-season fades didn't seem to offer great omens for the playoffs. As nearly everyone has already noted, Boston gave virtually no hint of its playoff dominance between Christmas and mid-April, limping in with a 27-27 mark in its final 54 games.