08 June 2008

NBA Finals thoughts

So far, so good for the Celtics. They got exactly what they needed out of Game 1. Kobe was intent on taking difficult shots from the get go; I watched him attempt at least three tough fadeaways from the baseline in the first quarter alone.

And after realizing he wasn't getting touch-foul calls (like he did against Utah), he started settling even more for long jumpers. You can't stop Kobe, but the best thing you can do it force him into tough looks and hope the shots don't fall. On Thursday, they didn't.

Kevin Garnett, Powe and Perkins manhandled Gasol and Odom, just like Boston needed. Rondo played very well, an unexpected bonus. Allen, while not scorching from outside, got to the free-throw line and hit his freebies. And we all know about Pierce.

Kobe took 26 shots; his teammates took a combined 51. Perfect.

Now, Boston can't expect 70% shooting out of Pierce every night, nor rely on Rondo to give you 15 and 7 on average. But as Simmons has been saying, this team is full of guys who will step it up one game and disappear the next. The Celtics don't need six guys to play spectacularly every game; they just need KG, Allen and Pierce to play well and then some combination of the remaining 12 to show up. Risky, but it's worked so far.

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