Tale of Two Halves – Celtics Deliver a “Kick in the Backside” to Lakers

Game one was thrilling. Lakers lead 51-46 at half. Celtics allowed them to shoot 50% then shot 13 for 39 in the second half (33%). The game had something like 12 or 13 lead changes and a similar number of ties.

Other numbers to focus on: shot attempts/made; rebounds; turnovers; assists; fouls.

Gasol – 1 rebound every 6 minutes; 8 rebounds to Garnett’s 13. 15 points to Garnett’s 24. I think his lower offense is less important than his lower rebounds. Garnett is much faster and more fluid and watching highlights I saw a few plays where Garnett had the ball and read Gasol’s feet, then made his move. Gasol, though listed as taller than Garnett, was beat by Garnett with bookend dunks uncontested. One in the first quarter and one in fourth.

Garnett – established himself with a psychological advantage over Gasol with the first quarter uncontested dunk. Smart. Garnett needed to control the paint more in the final quarter though. He admitted in the post-game conference that he didn’t adjust when the mid-range shots started to fail rather than fall. With Odom and Gasol in foul trouble, I wanted to see Garnett dominate and challenge in the paint to send them home with a reminder of how poorly they matched up. Expect Garnett to make the adjustment.

Odom on the bench in the final minutes. We need to exploit the chance to get him in foul trouble.

Pierce – 15 of his 22 in the third quarter. Fierce. You saw him come back and take over. His collapse in the third with the meniscus strain might have been as much an emotional collapse fearing that his ten years in the desert might come to an end at the gates of the promised land. He came right back and established himself as a presence offensively and defensively. Reminded me of when Ray Lewis of the Ravens tore his triceps and got right back in the game throwing a penalty just to establish that he might be injured but was still to be reckoned with.

2-3-2 format – Makes second game HUGE. Both sides must look at game two as a must win for the psychological advantage as well as the objective advantage winning it will hold.

98-88 – victory – how many times have the Lakers been held to 88 points? aAnyone?

Posey’s three pointers – don’t discount how important these uncontested shots were. The Lakers will now have to account for defending him closer whenever he’s on the floor. That leaves them spread a little more thin defensively.

PJ Brown’s numbers don’t show the importance of his play. He was blocking shots, rebounding under the basket as well as showing his poise and experience. Watching the good players positioning themselves for where the rebound will land, like baseball outfielders playing off the walls, shows their skill and focus.

Boston’s defense – just beginning to understand the complexity of the defensive schemes. Earlier this season in one of the post-game conferences, Garnett or Pierce mentioned working on improving how the team shifts through the defensive options together, real-time. So much more than simply choosing man-on-man or zone, elite defensive teams have several options they have to be able to choose from in sync with each other as the game unfolds.

Ray Allen is a fantastic defender. Hadn’t appreciated his skills until I saw him up against Bryant. Not baited by a shake and bake move or head fake. Launching at precisely the right moment to get a clean hand in the face or on the ball, without fouling. 19 points; 8 rebounds; 5 assists.

Derrick Fisher – remember his steal in the paint? He’s so prepared and so skilled at reading the whole floor, he can anticipate where the pass is going to come from and go to. He is never surprised, he’s always aware. Even if his shots aren’t falling as they usually do, he must always be accounted for on the floor and he’s always a significant part of the team’s success.

Kobe mentioned “bunnies” he’d missed, the Lakers will come back like that other famous bunny – the Energizer bunny. Don’t expect them to be held to the same stats in Game two. They’re better than that, individually and collectively.


~ by jacqueline1230 on June 7, 2008.

One Response to “Tale of Two Halves – Celtics Deliver a “Kick in the Backside” to Lakers”

  1. […] in Boston. As usual, the husband and cats are sleeping. We had a very full day of recuperating from last night’s Celtics-Lakers game, followed by an incredibly disappointing Sox game today. (The Sox game last night was wild, too.) […]

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