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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Lakers Finally Beat Celtics (Thanks Refs)

The Lakers are going to give a game away at some point if they do not stop this nonsensical play at the end of playoffs. While not as inexplicable as Kobe Bryant's shot early in the clock at the end of Game 4 against the Spurs, what was Lamar Odom thinking trying to dunk in the last 10 seconds of the game?

Why? Why? Why? I keep re-watching the sequence over and over again. The Celtics had given up, just let the clock run out. If this end of game craziness does not stop, someone will cost the Lakers a game.

I will stay away from the officiating in this game other than to say the Lakers benefitted from home court advantage.

Some observations from the game:

  • Lakers make it a series at 1-2. Is anyone surprised? I was a little nervous when the Lakers were off balance in the 3rd quarter. It did feel lucky to come out with the win with Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom playing awful. Luckily Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett were equally as awful.
  • Phil Jackson - What a Game 3 adjustment by Phil Jackson. The decision to put Kobe Bryant on Rajon Rondo for defensive was simply genius. Not only did it create a bad cross matchup for the Celtics on the defensive end, but Kobe was free to roam and double team on defense due to Rajon's lack of confidence shooting the ball. The result, Rajon was off the floor at the end of the game and there was interior penetration.
  • Traveling Calls -- More than I have seen in a long time in ANY NBA game. I guess Vladimir Radmanovic's 5-step trip around the world in Game 2 raised some eyebrows. Everyone knows you could call about 10 traveling violations in a game. I think we had 5 in this one.
  • Luke Walton - the guy can definitely pass and hit the occassional three. However, nobody misses more easy buckets than Luke. That was again the case tonight, a couple of easy layup misses. Even worse, Often times (in the 2nd quarter tonight) he decides that with 6 seconds left on the clock that he needs to take the shot. Rarely does he convert.
  • Kendrick Perkins -- I was surprised was he not T'd up with a technical foul in the 2nd quarter after he screamed in Kobe Bryant's face? Great he had a dunk, but in almost any other game that would be a technical foul for taunting.
  • PJ Brown -- The guy you love, if he's on your team. The guy you hate if he is not. He is always mixing it up, and tonight was no exception when he mixed it up with Jordan Farmar. Amazing how some guys always end up in the mix.
  • Sasha Vujacic -- Great performance and converting on the shots. Man has this guy turned it around from last year. With each playoff performance, I am more impressed.
  • Defense on Kobe the last 2 minutes. I thought trapping was a great strategy by the Celtics to get the ball out of Kobe's hand. Then Sasha hit the three and then Doc Rivers went back to 1x1 with Ray Allen. Fortunately, neither were effective.
  • Pau Gasol & Lamar Odom; the Lakers need you both. If these do not play better in the rest of the games, the Lakers cannot win.
  • Rajon Rondo -- hopefully you did not take too much offense to the "get him a wheelchair" chants from the crowd when you were injured. I bet you understand though.