Keys to Game 2

3 Things Each Team Needs to Do to Win Game 2:


1. Rebounding...It's clear Boston is a good rebounding team, and it's strong defense actually leads to even more rebounds, however Lakers aren't that bad themselves. In fact, Lakers were 4th in the league with 44.14 rebounds during the regular season and Boston was 12th for 42.01. And while their faster pace probably leads to more rebounds their regular season differential was +1.35, while Boston was +3.12

2. Bench Points...."The second-string contingent of Luke Walton, Sasha Vujacic, Ronny Turiaf and Jordan Farmar – affectionately known as the “Bench Mob” – has been all of those things for the Lakers all season long, but in Game 1, that ol’ bench magic just wasn’t there. The Lakers’ sixth man through 10th man fell seven points below its 22.2 post season scoring average and L.A. lost by 10."

3. Kobe Time...While Kobe was defended well and ended up shooting 9-26 from the field in Game 1, I really thought Kobe could have done more offensively. Honestly, I was surprised he took 26 shots in the end, since most of the game I felt like he was focused on facilitating points which in the end did not turn out to be the best thing to do. In fact, on the floor Kobe had a game low of -13. Jeff Van Gundy made a comment during the game, when Kobe passed open a wide open three for a wide open dunk by Gasol, that last year Kobe wasn't doing that because the pass would have been to Kwame Brown. However, at the same time while this definitely was the right decision for Kobe to make, in Game 2 if Kobe Bryant can be Kobe Bryant, the Lakers can win.


The Big 3: While I was tempted to list Ray Allen, as a key to the game, the truth is all three players need to be on par for the Celtics to succeed. Ray Allen struggled against the Cavs, however picked it up again averaging 17 points against the Pistons. It would seem he has found has game again, but can all three keep up this high production. Garnett, Allen, and Pierce had 24, 19, 22 respectively. In fact, Game 1 is only the 3rd game of the playoffs where all three Celtics had 19 or more points.

Bench: With the Lakers bench needing to pick it up, Bostons bench needs to sustain what its doing. In terms of scoring everyone outside of Sam Cassell shot 3-11 (Powe, Posey, and Brown). however Cassell was pretty effective with 8 points in 12 minutes. In the next game, someone needs to step it up and knock down shots. Whether it is Cassell again, Posey or Brown someone off the bench will have to pose as a scoring threat, while the rest have to keep up their relentless defense. Also, Sam I Am should stop thinking about his coaching career and where he is playing next year and worry about the finals.

Perkins and/or Rondo: Much like the bench needing their one scorer, either one of the Small Two need to step up big, or both need to have pretty decent games. In Game 1 it was all Rajon Rondo. Kendrick Perkins dealt with 4 fouls and only played 23 minutes (albeit he was also out in the locker room after spraining his ankle) he really needs to find a way to stay on the floor. He is a good defensive matchup against Pau Gasol, and should be able to negate Ronnie Turiaf when he isn't running around taking jumpshots. We've also seen Perkins dominate offensively like Game 5 versus Detroit with 18 points, 16 rebounds, and 2 blocks, so it will be necessary for him to step it up more, otherwise Rondo is going to have to bring another great game.

Things to Watch:

How will injuries to Perkins and Pierce affect the Celtics?

Will Kobe shoot better against the Celtics defense in Game 2?

Game 1 Recap:

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