With my first real post in more than five months, I figured the NBA Finals would be a perfect spot to begin. Last night’s Game 3 between the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers was not won by the team that played better, but by the team that made fewer mistakes. The Lakers managed to squeak by with an 87-81 victory, but they cannot be happy with how they played. They had few good offensive possessions, but it was not because of the Celtics’ defense. The Celtics seemed lethargic, slow to play help defense, and just plain bad last night. Kevin Garnett, the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year, was weak on the defensive glass, slow to react to Lamar Odom’s reckless spin moves, and never seemed to have the unbelievable energy that he had possessed all season.
Yet, Los Angeles could not take advantage of the sloppy defense. They shot 43.5% from the field (30-69) and a miserable 61.8% from the free throw line (21-34). With the exception of Kobe Bryant, the other four Laker starters scored a combined 22 points on 7 of 28 shooting. Starting point guard Derek Fisher had only one assist while Lamar Odom had five turnovers. Vladamir Radmonovic played only 13 minutes because of foul trouble while the rarely-used Ronny Turiaf played 19 minutes, the most he’s played throughout the entire playoffs. Continue reading “NBA Finals: Game 3”