Game 2 prediction

It may not be all smiles if Pierce's knee doesn't hold up. There has been a lot of speculation of whether or not Pierce played the rest of the classic Game 1 on adrenaline or if his knee was actually in game condition. He says there is a "great chance" he will play, and there is no structural damage to his knee, but he should make sure that his knee is actually good enough to go and not push himself to the point it could cost his team the game, or even worse, the series.

As the series goes on, it becomes increasingly difficult to pick against the spread. Each game seems more equally matched than the one before. The string of bad games for Kobe means that he is due for a big one. That might be hard because coming into the series no one (including myself), thought that Ray Allen could guard Kobe. I'm still deciding myself whether or not his shot was not falling or it was good defense. He did have to settle for a lot of shots off of cuts and screens that were catch and shoot, but they didn't seem like they were falling. One thing I did notice was that the Celtics help defense was the best I have seen this season, and the trap on Kobe generally comes well above the three point line forcing him to dribble away from the basket and allow the defenders to get re-set while stagnating the Laker offense. Through the three games against the Celtics Kobe has shot only 24 for 72 combining for a lowly 33% which is lower than Lebron's 35% shooting performance against the Celtics in the Eastern semis. Kobe only shot 1 for 6 in the fourth and seemed to disappear along with KG who went miss for miss with Kobe in the fourth quarter. KG called his play in the 4th quarter terrible and Kobe isn't arguing about his play in the 4th quarter either. He has averaged 10 points in the 4th quarter this post-season and only put up 4 in Game 1. While the Lakers collectively went 5 for 20 in the 4th and got outscored 52-37 in the second half.

One bright spot for the Lakers is that the Celtics can't expect the Lakers to miss 15 shots in the fourth quarter because some of those were wide open looks. They also can't expect Kobe to go be as inefficient as he was. You also can expect that Phil will out-coach Doc and make the necessary adjustments for Game 2 to get the Lakers offense flowing again. The Lakers need to also be better on the boards and not get out-rebounded on the offensive boards 10-7 and losing the rebounding battle 33-46. The difference in Game 1 was undoubtedly Paul Pierce with his 7 for 10 shooting and those back-to-back 3 point daggers. Pierce was the difference in the game 1 and he will be the difference in Game 2. If Pierce is not hampered by his knee, the Lakers will be in for a tough night, but if he is feeling the injury, it will probably be a waltz to a 1-1 tie.

Scary picture, right?

Those two players have been an amazing one-two combination throughout the year and Gasol is probably the reason Kobe won the MVP and the Lakers won the West. He can't put up a measly 15 points consistently for the Lakers to win. LO also has to have a big game because he is the key to the Lakers success. When LO plays well the Lakers have been successful (see game 3 of West Conf. Finals). The Celtics are 11-1 at home, but the Lakers have been the most consistent road team at 4-4. This game will rely on coaching changes on the defensive end, Kobe's shooting, to a much lesser extent Gasol and LO's production, but most importantly, Pierce's knee.

Updated line change: Lakers +0 over Celtics
Prediction: +1 Lakers over Celtics (pick in bold)

Picture sources: ESPN.com (top), Yahoo!sports (bottom)

Fun Finals fact: Since 1998, there have been 5 MVPs (including Kobe) that have made it to the Finals, and his team has almost always won by default, the only exception, Allen Iverson who lost to the one post-season loss Lakers.

Baron Davis continues his career in the film industry and does an interview with Kobe.

This one is kind of old but if you haven't seen it, Ron Artest has a great interview with Kobe.

Top 50 dunks of the 07'-08' NBA season.



Trilokesh said...

I think the keys to win are simpler than you made them.

1) Pau and LO: Stop being bitches and outrebound fatass perkins, and pj "hes still in the league... really?" brown.

2) Kobe: Watch some lebron film. It really hurts me to say it, but there were stretches in game 1 where I really wished we had bron-bron rather than kobe. Kobe needs to quit being a bitch and shooting jumpers. Dunk on KG. you did it 4 or 5 years ago with a FEROCIOUS finish over KG and Olowakandi. Don't let your ego get the better of you when it comes to playing ray allen. hes a purer shooter than you and he's fucked finer chicks in he got game than your wife. fine. drop 40 on him and no one cares.

3) dfish: really? sam cassel is going to eat you alive? really? rajon "i dont have facial hair and might be 13" rondo is going to school you? really? cmon.

4) vladrad: hit pierce in the face next time he comes in the lane. luke is better than you anyways and id love to see a black eye on that pudgy piece of shit.

5) phil: dont play kobe at the beginning of the 4th. he either ran out of gas at the end or just sucked. rest him and he should have the juice.

6) bench mob: play like you have been all season. you are better than their bench and have outplayed better teams before.

Honestly, I wasnt wowed by boston at all. We have beat better teams and should be able to take game 2 if actually plays for more than 2 quarters and the rest of the guys take off their tampons and man-up

Melanie Lim said...

wow...I think all of my friends are turning into sportswriters =)check out www.sportsviews.net and read the articles by Nick Lee (he's a good friend of mine)
- Melanie Lim