Monday, June 16, 2008

Celtics can't close out Lakers, series returns to Boston

As with game 3 of this series, the LA Lakers were anything but convincing last night, but they did enough to take the series back to Boston.
Based on the three games played in LA though, it was only a stay of execution from the Lakers as Boston should have no problems wrapping up their first title in 22 years in game 6.
Again last night, the Lakers leapt out of the blocks and built a big lead(19 points), but rather than keep up the pressure, they went away from doing what got them there and Boston quickly got back into the game.
The Lakers defense on Paul Pierce was awful. Credit to Pierce though, he kept attacking the rim, drawing fouls and getting to the line. Vladamir Radmanovic should be banned from ever guarding Pierce again.
Kobe had 15 first-quarter points but then he stopped being aggressive. Whenever Boston has made a run in this series, the Lakers help them out by making silly passes and taking crazy shots. Derek Fisher has never been shy to shoot the ball, but he has even out done himself at times during games 3, 4 and 5.
Some other points from the game and the series:

  • I mentioned this during an earlier post, but how many times is Kevin Garnett going to be allowed to set a moving screen at the top of the key before he gets whistled for an offensive foul ?
  • Paul Pierce is an absolute certainty to win the finals MVP award, unless of course the Lakers do the unlikely and win the series
  • James Posey is one of those players who everyone hates to play against, but every team needs one like him. He throws his body around fearlessly and plays niggly defense
  • Jordan Farmar has been impressive for the way that he has attacked the hoop, if he can do it, then surely Kobe can too
  • Kevin Garnett missed two crucial free-throws late which would have tied the game.
  • Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom should have attacked Garnett as he was in foul trouble for much of this game

Some other sports news that requires mentioning, not related to basketball:

  • Tiger Woods' outrageous birdie putt on the final hole yesterday to force a playoff today was amazing. Exactly why they need 18 more holes to decide this tournament is ridiculous, but that's not the point.
  • Turkey came back from 0-2 down to defeat the Czech Republic 3-2 and make their way through to the sudden death games.
  • The Netherlands is my tip for EURO 2008, the competition which is full of teams that always show promise in these big tournaments but often fall apart just as they're getting close. I just hope that if the Netherlands need a penalty shoot out at any stage to advance further, that Jaap Stam is not mentioned !

more to follow later....

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