Saturday, June 7, 2008

Boston Celtics def. LA Lakers 98 to 88 for 1-0 series lead

In what turned out to be a dramatic opening to a promising series, the Boston Celtics takes game 1 at home.

The Big 3 had respectable numbers, 24 for Kevin Garnett, 21 for Paul Pierce and 19 for Ray Allen. Rondo came up big with 15points, 7 assists and 5 rebs.

Did the Celts come out smoking--not exactly. The truth didn't catch fire until the 2nd half. This after he was literally carried off the court after he hurt his knee, came bounding back to the tune of Rocky, and came smoking with 3's galore! It's like he drank a Ray Allen potion or something!

This was very timely because at this point, KG (who for some reason decided he didn't want to mess it up with Pau Gasol just kept shooting jumpers) started missing his shots early in the third quarter. He was actually a whooping 8/11 before he started chucking shots--missing 9 straight jump shots before he put the exclamation point on this game with a slam dunk put back against a Lakers defense that went home early.

I think it's promising that Ray Allen played well. He was scoring, though his shooting touch was a little bit off (38% from the field and 33% from three), he was aggressive--finding himself on the charity stripe 8 times (double his usual numbers). and he played great 1-on-1 defense against Kobe Bryant who was forced to take more jump shots than is necessarily healthy.

The real Celts MVP for this game though is their team defense ( I know that sounds lame) but it's true. They were a monster on the boards especially KG (also Leon Powe was a monster on the offensive board in his limited playing time), and they kept their fouls to a minimum, allowing Kobe only 6 attempts at the line. It was also significant that their defense was able to put Kobe in "I am team" mode early in the 4th where he stopped passing altogether, forcing the Lakers to a 4th quarter output of only 15points. Now it would've been bad if he poured in 20 points in this quarter all by his lonesome (where 15 is actually all he needed) , but he only made 1 out of his 5 shots this final period finishing with a paltry24 points on a 9 of 26 shooting.

The Lakers have been 0-3 against the Celtics this year. In those games, Kobe's only made 24 shots out of 72 attempts and contributing only 12 assists. Let's see if they can adjust and pick themselves up for the next game. I'm not betting on it though.

No comments: