Sunday, June 08, 2008

Pow(e)! Celtics Survive Laker Comeback

Los Angeles Lakers 102
Boston Celtics 108

  • Yes, the Boston Celtics are now up 2-0, but the Lakers have to be heading home with confidence while there is a sour taste left in the mouths of the Celtics after blowing a 24 point lead with 7:40 remaining in the fourth quarter. The series now shifts to Los Angeles for the next week, in a year where home court advantage has mattered more than ever in the playoffs. The Lakers have yet to lose at home in the playoffs, and no one will be surprised if they rattle off a few consecutive wins with the help of their home crowd and favorable officiating, especially after they found some life at the end of Game 2.

  • Alright, one year ago, who had Leon Powe winning player of the game in the NBA Finals? Who outside of Boston even knew who Leon Powe was? How about Paul Pierce being on pace to win Finals MVP, vaulting him into the top 20 or so players in the league?
  • So much for the Lakers' enormous bench advantage.
  • To Phil Jackson and the Lakers, and the Laker bandwagon fans: Do not even start whining about the officiating. The referees have been favoring the home team for the entire playoffs.
  • Everyone understandably dismissed the Celtics 2-0 record against the Lakers during the regular season because those games did not include Pau Gasol. But now that they are 4-0 against the Lakers, is it possible that the Celtics simply have the Lakers number? To be more specific, maybe Tom Thibodeau and the Celtic defense is actually effective against Kobe Bryant and company.

  • Watching the Kobe Bryant interview in between Games 1 and 2, Kobe seemed almost too happy to be in the Finals. There is nothing wrong with that at all, but compare it to the focus and intensity shown by Kevin Garnett and company, whose championship goals are crystal clear.

  • As much as I love the Magic Johnson and Larry Bird split screen "rivalries never die" commercial, I cannot help but notice how much weight they have put on over the years, especially after just watching them run around in their physical primes during the 1984 NBA Finals, which have been on ESPN Classic all week.

  • Can we keep Jeff Van Gundy as the permanent commentator for nationally televised games? His apology Dr. J on behalf of Mark Jackson, calling his comparison to Leon Powe the worst comment ever said on the ABC airwaves, was just utterly hilarious.
  • The NBA Finals are far from over, folks.