08 June 2008

Well, L.A. made it interesting

The Celtics seem intent on giving as many of their fans as possible a major heart attack this postseason. How do you let the Lakers come back from a 20-point deficit with under eight minutes left?

Well, for one, KG disappeared. Garnett's last contribution to the game was a hitting a jumper with 7:54 remaining. This made it 95-71. After that? Nothing. No rebounds, no made baskets, no blocked shots, nothing. He did miss two shots, so maybe he was somewhat involved.

And for two, the Lakers made a bunch of threes. Fisher hit one, Vujacic made two, Radmanovich made one... it was raining 3-pointers for those last few minutes.

And for three, Boston got dead lazy. I know that the lead seemed insurmountable, but you can't just stop playing with over seven minutes to go. Pierce made a lazy pass that Radmanovich took in for a dunk, no one rotated onto Fisher for the three he hit, and overall, the offense for Boston looked stagnant.

As much as I enjoy bagging on Kobe, I can't really put this loss on him. Sure, he went into full I AM KOBE FEAR ME mode in the third quarter, taking bad shots, making bad passes, staring down his teammates, sulking on the bench, but other than that, he was great. 30 points, eight assists, four rebounds on 11-23 shooting is good enough to satisfy me.

For most of the third and fourth quarters, defense was the problem for L.A. When Leon Powe is getting dunk after dunk after dunk, you may want to rethink your strategy, Phil.

Looks like most of ESPN's "expert picks" are hanging by a thread, if not completely blown up already.


If the Lakers don't win the next four games, seven of these ten "experts" are wrong. How can I get one of their jobs? I can be wrong as often as they are, I promise!

I think part of the problem here (re: the predicitons) is that the Lakers run through the West wasn't as impressive as many people believe. Yes, the Western Conference was very very deep this year. Yes, there were eight 50-win teams at the end of the regular season.

Buuuut... the road for L.A. wasn't exactly grueling. Denver was a joke. Until Utah develops a modicum of interior defense, they're not going to give a great team any problems. And San Antonio is not the San Antonio of 2007. Duncan was great, but faltered down the stretch more than once. Manu was hurt, and the role players didn't play their roles very well.

I don't want to take away too much from the Lakers, who are a very scary team and will remain so for a long time, but I think the way they ran through the West is a bit misleading.

So on we go. Given the Celtics' inability to win on the road in the playoffs, I wouldn't be extremely surprised if they lost all three in L.A., but it would be an impressive move for the Lakers. I say the Lakers win two of the three, then win Game 6, forcing a Game 7 in Boston.

Finally, how impressive has Rajon Rondo been? He follows up a very solid 15 and 7 game by handing out 16 assists and only two turnovers in Game 2. He didn't shoot especially well, but if he's getting his teammates going like that, I don't care. The way this second-year 22-year old has adjusted to the bright lights of the Finals has been fun to watch.

Oh, and a quick thought on the officiating. Can we please stop looking at free throws attempted as a sign as to whether the officiating was fair or not, announcer guys? I know the Lakers were outshot 38-10 from the line tonight, but show me clear-cut examples of fouls against L.A. players that were not called and then we can discuss unfair officiating.

The times I've complained about free-throw disparity for the Jazz, I've had at least four or five examples to point to in support.

And besides, Laker fans complaining about the refs is as laughable as anything there is in the NBA.

Back to Los Angeles we go.

12 comments:

Filbert Karo said...

Hmmm

Leon Powe= Luckiest game of his life {and in years to come}

Paul Pierce= injury is FAKE big time

Rajon Rondo= mostly pass, not much scoring

Ray Allen= overrated tired fart

AND THE LIST GOES ON, I just wanted to let you know about the truths.

Brandon said...

Lakers = 0

Boston = 2

I just wanted to let you know about the truths. :)

Filbert Karo said...

Hey, I got some more...

Doc Rivers= he wouldn't be named a great coach if he didn't get KG and Ray Allen.

Kendrick Perkins= Paul Pierce's co-faker.

Thank you

Brandon said...

My turn.

Filbert Karo= doesn't allow comments on posts where the Lakers lose.

Phil Jackson= highly overrated. Winning championships with Kobe, Shaq and MJ... yawn.

Gasol= weak European pansy-boy. Too much whining, not enough dunking.

Thank you

Filbert Karo said...

Huh, you're pretty good. MY TURN.. AHAHA... But I will allow comments if the Lakers lose. IF!

This may have nothing to do at all with the Finals, but here I go. It's just some news from around the league....

Mehmet Okur= Can't dunk, can't block, more of a weak SF.

LeBron James= WAAAAAAAAAY overrated, if he had GOOD players around him, he would suck.

Carlos Boozer= Needs to start blocking shots, like Amare or Ben Wallace

Rasheed Wallace= Where Technicals happen

Dwyane Wade= Getting weaker because of injury a couple years ago, very overrated now..

That has NOTHING to do with the Finals.. I'm good. HAHAHA....

Filbert Karo said...

Oh yeah, you spelled Radmanovic wrong...

Brandon said...

You lost me at LeBron is waaaaay overrated.

I guess you win.

Matty Gibb said...

It's true, LeBron is overrated, but he's still pretty dang good on offense. When he develops some semblance of consistency with a jumpshot, he will be as good as most people already think he is.

True: LA's run through the West wasn't as impressive as it looks, although that would not be said if they were 1-1 or 2-0 right now.

Also true and more unexpected: Boston's stumble through the East was apparently not as crummy as it looks. Huh.

Matty Gibb said...

Oh, and LBJ needs to shoot a minimum of 80% from the line as well. Overall, he needs to work on shooting this summer. Seriously, think how good he would be if he could shoot more consistently. I know he has his occasions when he catches fire, but you know that jumper needs work.

Brandon said...

LeBron: Better stats than Kobe when they have been in similar situations (ie. crappy teams). Yes, he can stand to work on his shooting, but even without being a deadeye from the field, he's doing pretty well (outside of the series vs. Boston this year).

Matty Gibb said...

Well, LeBron's skillset really has nothing to do with Kobe. It only has to do with him concentrating on what he needs to work on. The point is, there is a simple way to defend LeBron and it will shut him down almost completely: just don't let him get in the paint. So, until he is able to counteract that by consistent jumpshooting, his postseasons will always end when he runs into a team that can actually implement that defense (Boston and San Antonio have both succeeded).

Filbert Karo said...

Well, yeah LeBron is good, it's just that he needs better players or else they won't make it past the second round. Like Kobe's stats went down {except for assists and FG%, they went UP!} because he has guys like Andrew Bynum, Pau Gasol {my Pau jersey arrived today! Yeah!}, Lamar Odom, and you could throw Sasha Vujacic and Derek Fisher if you want to.