The Boston Celtics got some R&R (as in Ray and Rondo), and the Lakers got a glimpse at the perils of overconfidence. The “We Can Win By Showing Up” crowd got caught in expressway traffic and missed Ray Allen’s blistering first half performance. Too bad. It was a beaut!
The Celtics stole this game…
1) When you block 14 shots (28 points), you’re SUPPOSED to win the game. That the Lakers lost this game in this fashion should be tremendously troubling. Andrew Bynum was outstanding and the Celtics won anyway. Even with all of those blocks and lost opportunities for points, the Celtics won by 9.
For me, that means the Celtics are still over-penetrating (especially Pierce), but also failing to hit wide open mid-range jump shots (especially Garnett). If Boston tweaks their approach and Garnett finds his shooting touch, they can expect to win 2 of 3 in Boston.
2) The officiating has significantly impacted both games. If folks want to complain about phantom calls on Kobe in Game 2, they should acknowledge the impact of touch fouls called on Ray Allen in Game 1.
When the Lakers play the Celtics, there are no officials. There is only grit, resolve and execution.
So far, Gasol and Bynum have checked in for duty. MIA — Lamar Odom.
3) After Game 1, I said that offensive rebounding was a big key for Boston. Rondo had 4 in Game 1 and 4 more last night (and a game-high 12). Glen Davis saved the day with 5 offensive rebounds. For all the Lakers interior dominance above the rim, none of them had more than 3 offensive boards.
4) I’m not to go off on Paul Pierce or Artest for their play in this series. Both of these guys do the dirty work that allows everyone else to have pretty stat lines. People like to bitch and moan about Pierce and Artest shooting or hacking or flopping, but they’re the 2 guys that no one else on either roster really wants to tussle against. It’s perfect that they’re facing each other in a pitched battle of wills.
5) Lakers were +15 in Free Throw Attempts, +11 in Blocks, +2 in steals and they lost at home. Wow.
6) Bynum and Fisher were the only Lakers with + for the game (Bynum +1, Fisher +4). Bynum’s performance and impact was obvious…but Fisher’s will go under the radar — again. He doesn’t do everything, but he ALWAYS does something. How does Fisher escape this game with a +4 in 34 minutes? Amazing.