Sunday, June 6, 2010

The Fallen by Allen

2010 NBA Finals
Los Angeles Lakers (1) vs Boston Celtics (4) @ Staples Center
Game 2 - Boston wins 103 - 94
Series tied 1-1

After such a convincing victory in game 1, I was among those who automatically assumed that game 2 would have the same outcome. I honestly didn't put that much attention to Ray Allen since he wasn't a factor at all in game 1 due to foul trouble. The reality of my very naive wisdom started to sink in mid 1st quarter. The Lakers flawless post season record at home has come to an end. Oh boy, where do I begin. Boston's big stars had subpar games. KG only had 6 points with a measly 4 rebs. and Pierce had a gym pick up game 10 points. Seeing those stats alone would lead me to believe that the champs would dominate and take advantage of the unexpected subside. One thing, scratch that, two things they weren't prepared for were Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo.

Rondo was outstanding. He clawed and scratched his way through for his 2nd triple double this post season, having 19 points, 10 assists and 12 rebounds. The Lakers never regarded his presence in the paint and for that the scrappy Rondo ran in for 4 important OREBS, 2 of those late in the game. The bigger problem in this game for the Lakers was either their poor outside perimeter defense or Ray Allen's unbelievable ability to not miss his catch and shoot jays tonight, specifically his 3 pointers. I picked both to be problematic but the latter was inevitably going to happen the very second Allen made his first 3 pointer of the game. You can tell by the look on the Laker fans faces that the champs were going to be in a heap of trouble if Ray was given any disrespectful open shot.

Let the disrespecting begin. Before the start of game 2 the record holders for the most 3 pointers made in an NBA finals game was held by Scottie Pippen and Kenny Smith. Notice I used the word was because Allen openly (no pun intended) embarrassed the Lakers defense (or lack thereof) by hitting EIGHT 3 pointer's tonight and consequently now holds the record. Yes, I said EIGHT 3 pointers! Why were the screens so effective tonight? It's always the same broken record for Boston when it comes to executing the catch and shoot play for Allen. In my comfortable chase spectator mode, I can easily see the play forming, almost like a distant tsunami coming in but you're not quite sure it's a tsunami so you continue on your usual routine. Seconds later, by now beyond your control to do anything, the once casual observation has now become a certainty of fate. Tonight's loss was predetermined by a higher being and surely the Lakers lower defense.

Kobe getting into early foul trouble that mellowed his defense a bit and limited his playing time might have been the reason for tonight's loss but lets not discount the conservative games by Artest, D. Fish and the Lakers bench 15 point total also. The BIG stat that pops out for me are the 11 Boston 3 pointers vs the Lakers 5. Overall this game can only serve as a well documented lesson for the champs.

Now comes the truth of the matter. Lakers HAVE TO win at least one in Boston to close the series in Los Angeles. I truly believe that the champs are the better team as evident in game 1. They just have to work together and play GREAT defense. Tonight I saw confusion and frustration on the Staples Center floor for the 1st time this post season hence their 1st loss in L.A. in this second season. Lakers will bounce back, view lots of game tape and come into Boston ready for war. Bring on Garden!

Click here for tonight's box score courtesy of Yahoo Sports!

Laker highlights

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