Game 2 Rundown

The series shifts back to LA with Boston up 2. Before Laker fans panic and yell about the officiating, take a deep breath, and just remember that the Celtics did what they were suppose to do. They held their serve. Ok, Lakers serve now. There are a plethora of questions surrounding Game 3. How do the Celtics come out in LA being a terrible road team throughout their playoffs? Leon Powe stepped up for the Celtics, who steps up next? Did the 24 point comeback give the Lakers some confidence? Did LO get back on the plane to LA? Wait, he never got off the plane to go to Boston. Can one or two more players for the Lakers, besides, Kobe step up and have a big game? All of these questions can be taken into Game 2.

Lets get the officiating out of the way. I hate complaining about the officiating because I know that the Lakers are on the better end of a lot of these bad officiating games, but I have to say something about it. Clearly, there was an enormous discrepancy of fouls called, +28 to be exact. At one point in the middle of the third, the disparity was 26-2. Leon Powe's amazing performance cashed in 13 free throws which was more than the entire Laker team at 10. The Celtics got 38 freebies. I can actually live with that to an extent. The Celtics were really aggressive and went to the rim a lot and dished out 31 assists (thanks to some generous Boston scorekeeping) which open up driving lanes to the basket. Naturally, fouls are going to happen. Please do call the fouls that happen. Please don't call fouls that don't happen. Kobe picked two extremely questionable fouls early in the game. The thing is, I didn't see that happening to Ray Allen, who is notorious for fighting very roughly through screens. Kobe's two fouls sort of ended the ball game at that point. It disrupted the whole flow of the offense and changed the entire game. I am fine with the refs calling ridiculous fouls, as long as they call them both ways. No, the offensive foul on Kendrick Perkins on the first possession of the game does not equal two ridiculous fouls on Kobe. No one can sit there and look at the foul disparity in the box score and no hesitate to make sure what they saw was correct. I'm not saying that the Lakers deserved 38 foul shots, but yes, 2 or even 3 more calls would have made a huge difference in the game. You can ask people close to me, I've been saying NBA games were fixed since summer 04'. I DO NOT think these games are fixed, nor were any games fixed this entire season. As much as I want to think that Bob Delaney is a culprit, Donaghy was the one bad apple, end of story. The game was not lost because of the officiating.

People seem to gloss over KGs awful shooting performance. He went 7 for 19 with only 17 points. Luckily, he did not need to put up any more than that because Leon Powe came to the rescue. In the first half, KG got beat by Gasol. By the second half, more of the same would have happened, if the Lakers would have gone through Gasol, luckily for KG, the Lakers did not. KG's performance becomes irrelevant at the point they lose, but they can't expect performances like Powe's, every night. Rondo has been getting the best of the point guard matchup against Fisher. Rondo has had 15 and 4 points in each of the two games, respectively. The most shocking numbers are Rondo's 16 assists and 2 turnovers in Game 2. The frustrating part of Fisher's defense on Rondo is that Fisher is not forcing Rondo to be a jump shooter often enough. Rondo is getting whatever he wants whenever he wants. Letting Rondo the shaky point guard get comfortable is the last thing the Lakers want to do.

The breaking point for the Lakers are LO and Vlad-Rad. At this point I have given up on Vlad-Rad. He kind of made up for the mistakes he made and his ridiculous contract with his late steal and dish to Sasha for a 3pter and another steal and a non-called travel that lead to a dunk to bring the Lakers within 4. That still does not take away from Vlad-Rad making 30 million dollars and being the biggest question mark on the Lakers team with the exception of what Phil Jackson is whistling about.

The Celtics seem to have everything firing on all cylinders. The game is physical and slowed down which favors the Celtics. There were only 88 posessions in the game which is the tempo the Celtics want to play at. The Celtics are a confident bunch of ball players that do not fear the Lakers. They have beaten the Lakers and know how to break down the Laker defense (or lackthereof, see Powe's 94 foot uncontested dunk). The Celtics seem to have someone new step up every game as well as hit big shots when they need to. Those are the marks that define a championship team.

The final possessions for the Lakers were awful. No one knows why Sasha didn't give the ball up to Kobe on the last play for the Lakers. I think that Laker fans can live with Kobe taking the last shot, but it is a harder pill to swallow when Sasha takes a contested three pointer that gets blocked. Nonetheless, the Lakers need to go through Gasol more, and the Celtics are going to focus in on Kobe, obviously, this leaves players like Vlad-Rad, Sasha, Walton, Ariza, and others open. These players need to step up and hit those shots. The Lakers need LO to step up, which we can expect he will do at home.

The Lakers find themselves in a position down 0-2. 3 other teams in the history of the Finals have been down 0-2. The Lakers in 69', the Blazers in 77' and the Heat in 04. It will be an uphill battle, but this series is far from over.

The ratings for last night's game was 8.3 compared to the 04' Finals with the Lakers versus the Pistons at 10.4. I guess people are not as enamored as predictions thought they would be.

Following the Lakers ensures that you are never short of drama in your life.

picture source: ESPN.com


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