NBA Finals: Game 4

Wow. Really Wow. If you haven’t heard about the Celtics extraordinary comeback last night, you’re living under a rock. Down 21 after the first quarter and 18 at half time, the Celtics held the Lakers to 33 points throughout the entire second half to pull off one of, if not, the greatest comebacks in the history of the NBA Finals. After looking like an old, slow group of washed up veterans in the first half, Boston came out with intense defense that stopped Los Angeles right in their tracks. As the Lakers missed shot after shot, the Celtics became aggressive on the offensive end of the floor, drawing fouls, and making free throws.

After the first two quarters were completed, a Lakers’ victory was a forgone conclusion, but the Celtics refused to give up and it eventually paid off. Point by point, they chipped away at the Lakers’ lead until they were within two points by the end of the third quarter. When the fourth quarter rolled around, LA looked out of gas as they weakly strolled up and down the court, playing lazy defense and running miserable offensive possessions. On the few plays that the Lakers were able to get a good shot from they field, they missed. Role players such as Luke Walton, Jordan Farmar, and Game 3 hero Sashs Vujacic shot a combined 3 of 18 from the field. Kobe continued to struggle on offense as Ray Allen and Paul Pierce shut him down the entire night. He ended up making only 6 of his 19 shots, scoring 17 points and dishing out 10 assists. Continue reading “NBA Finals: Game 4”

NBA Finals: Game 3

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”

At The Top of the NBA

With over a month of the NBA season complete, the top of the league is a crowded. The usual Western Conference powerhouses, San Antonio, Phoenix, and Dallas, are all up there, but the Eastern Conference is finally making some noise. Detroit is good as always, but Boston and Orlando have burst on to the scene as title contenders. Orlando center Dwight Howard has become one of, if not the best, big man in the NBA. He averages 23 points and 15 rebounds per game, and his supporting players have picked up their play as well. Rashard Lewis is averaging 18 points per game and Jameer Nelson is averaging 12 points and 6 assists. After a 40-42 season last year, Orlando has jumped out to a 18-10 record this year and is poised to make a run at an Eastern Conference title. Continue reading “At The Top of the NBA”