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Interesting Notes for an NBA Finals Morning

 

Last night, I could not sleep.  I felt like a kid again, lying awake in bed on Christmas Eve just begging for morning to come.  You know, the type of excitement that keeps you up no matter how tired you are or how much you actually need sleep to function on a work day?  Yeah…that was my last night.

Instead of reading, playing GameBoy, or employing any of my other former go-to’s when it came to sleepless nights, I scoured box scores on Basketball-Reference.com.  It’s amazing how much you can glean through half-closed eyes:

  • Derek Fisher has scored more than 20 points twice in the playoffs and scored in double figures 10 times.  The Lakers are 7-3 in those games.  Conclusion:  The Celtics shut down Derek Fisher, the Lakers are doomed! (Fisher averaged 7.5 points per game during the regular season.  Either someone is stepping their game up or opposing teams are focusing their defensive energy elsewhere…).
  • Kobe Bryant has scored 30 or more points in 10 out of the 14 Laker playoff games. Can he really keep that type of scoring up?  Against the Celtics D?  If the Celtics allow Kobe to go off at will, do they shut down everyone else?
  • If you see Sasha Vujacic in this series it can only mean on of the following:
  • 1) The Lakers are destroying the Celtics, 2) the Lakers have completely thrown in the towel, 3) the Celtics are playing zone (do they even know how to play zone?!)
  • Andrew Bynum averaged around 25-30 minutes a game for the Oklahoma City series and Utah series, but just 20 for the Phoenix series? Injury? Match-ups? Dark magic?
  • Does Luke Walton actually count as part of the Laker bench or rotation? If he does not then the Lakers really only go eight deep and if you count Lamar Odom as a starter and not a bench player given the “up-in-the-air” status of Bynum’s knee, the Lakers really only go seven deep with two point/combo guards off the bench.  In fact, the Celtics and the Lakers seem to have a Ying-Yang thing going on with their respective rosters.  For the Celtics, the first two guys off the bench are Rasheed Wallace and Glen Davis who both play a pseudo-combo power forward/center position.  For the Lakers, the first (and mostly only) two guys of the bench are Shannon Brown and Jordan Farmar, two guards more known for their offense than for anything else.  It will be interesting to see how these two teams try and out-duel each other’s benches.  Obviously, this is all speculation, but it should definitely be filed away in your brain while watching this series.

The Finals start in roughly 12 hours.  What are you doing to prepare?  Where are you going to be watching the game tonight?

  • aaron

    yea, i couldn’t sleep either. as they used to say in an ad for a popular theme park “i’m too excited”. a week is way to long for fans to wait w/ serious nerves. i can’t watch nba tv’s analysis anymore, and even though the guys on the radio shows are doing their best to make me feel great about the Celtics’ chances, i just wanna watch the finals like 4 days ago. can’t wait, go Celtics.

  • Dave

    The DVR is ready, with a big buffer for OT. I have to do a phone call at tipoff, and will start my pursuit about an hour in. I prefer to catch up right near the end so I can catch postgame interviews on NBATV. Which is so much better than Sportcenter.

    I have been probably talking too much trash in the build up. Very psyched. I am glad both teams wound up with extra rest to tee things up for TV. The teams will be as healthy as reasonable. We want the best competitors all on the floor.

  • Korey

    Your day of reckoning has come Celtics and Celtics fans alike.

    And I mean that in the most sincerest yet cutthroat way possible.

    You’ve all watched enough Saturday morning cartoons, made for TV movies, and motion pictures to know this…
    There always comes a time when the BULLY gets BEAT UP.

    The “little guy” will get his retribution and it wont be pretty for Mr. Bully.

    The Celtics are those bullies and once again, their day of reckoning HAS COME.

    If you like old school movies, then I reference “Friday”:
    Celtics = Debo
    Lakers = Craig

    I will be back after game 1 and subsequent games to relish these moments again and again.

    Game 1..TONITE!

  • http://www.celticshub.com Zach Lowe

    confession: I have enjoyed Korey’s presence over the last week or so.

  • http://celticshub.com Brendan Jackson

    I second that.

  • Ersatz

    I’m about to pee myself.

  • CG

    did he just call “Friday” “old school”? Ummm, that movie is but 15 years old. I am not prepared to live in a world where things from 15 years ago are deemed “old.”

    Celtics = Debo
    Lakers = Red

  • Herb

    @CG:

    “Celtics = Debo
    Lakers = Red”

    Well played, sir. Or, if you want to take it another direction:

    Celtics=Charles Oakley
    Lakers=Charles Barkley

  • Korey

    @Zach/Brendan…

    Thanks but no thanks…

    I was pleasantly surprised that I could come to a Celtics blog and actually debate basketball perspective without being bombarded with:
    “Lakers will lose cuz Kobe sucks!”
    “Go away fanboy!”
    etc. etc.
    I was debated , was wrong on some things, was right on others…So yea, nice job Celtics Hub Blog.

    But, no thanks,
    Because I can have no more friendly talk from you Celtic fans/bloggers alike! Time to put the war helmet on!!! (ok well, not literally war, but you know what I mean.)

    In the hours up to game time, I’m going to be easy on trying to analyze this series. I’ve probably already read every article possible so its really nothing new until after game 1 is complete and some fresh issues are up for debate.

    Instead, I want all the emotion to build up to a crescendo at 9pm tonight.

    I’ve received no less than an an aggregate of 100 text messages, emails, phone calls berading me about how “soft” the Lakers were after 2008. I had to agree and yet be so upset. Yea, I’m from L.A. but I dont represent “soft”! Dont you know the streets of L.A. are some of the roughest places imaginable! I cant have a soft team!!!! … But a spade was a spade. The Lakers were indeed soft and beaten more mentally then “skillfully” (sidebar: seems like the Cs do have a penchant for taking the heart and bringing out the soft in an opponent…ahem Cavs and Magic!…but I digress). It was The pain. The agony. The humiliating defeat.

    And even after last year, still no vindication.
    Until NOW.

    Pretzels. Beer. Chicken Wings. TV. And no non-knowledgeable women in the way unless it’s a commercial break (even then..)

    Yes…. Oh… Yes!

  • Korey

    @CG:

    Unfortunately, there comes a time when you must realize you are old.

    But 15 years ago is old.

    I remember watching the Celtics play with John Bagley and I remember Kobe’s rookie year vividly.

    That kind of stuff makes you:
    (1) a sports degenerate
    (2) old

    Embrace your “oldness”!!!

  • Zain

    Gonna be at Staples repping Celtics Nation tonight!

    @Brenden, I totally had the similar kid feeling last night.

  • Paul

    Any recommendations for a bar in NYC to catch the game at?

  • Jay P

    @Zain

    Nice dude, you better be wearing your Celtics gear my friend. Totally worth the potential beer thrown on you.

  • http://www.livefromapt.blogspot.com w2

    Currently 12:15pm EST….tick tock tick tock.

  • Jay P

    Joe Crawford is reffing tonights game….

    Greeeeeeeeeeeat.

    Bye Perk.

  • Mo

    I am not prepared to live in a world where things from 15 years ago are deemed “old.”

    You already do. I’ve heard Smashing Pumpkins and Nirvana on the local classic rock station. Of course, the baby on the cover of Nevermind is 19 and this bothers me greatly.

    Andrew Bynum averaged around 25-30 minutes a game for the Oklahoma City series and Utah series, but just 20 for the Phoenix series? Injury? Match-ups? Dark magic?

    This is due solely because of the matchup and how it relates to Bynum’s injury. The way Stoudamire and Frye play requires much more lateral movement and direction changing than the way more traditional centers, including Lopez, play. Bynum’s trorn meniscus is aggravates more on sharp cuts and lateral movement. So in the Suns series you almost never saw Bynum in unless Lopez was also in. However, Boozer, Fesenko, Kristic and Collison are more traditional centers. As a result*, you’ll probably see Bynum in much more against the Cs, especially with Perk in the game, since their big men are more traditional rather than slashers.

    * Assuming that the reports I read are true and Bynum’s injury is just as bad now as it was in the Utah series.

  • CG

    @ herb – I like this one:

    Celtics = Charles Oakley
    Lakers = Tyrone Hill

    Google it if you don’t know.

    @ Mo – there was an interesting article in a recent periodical (can’t remember what) that followed up on various kids on album covers (Nevermind baby; Blind Mellon bee girl; etc.) Mostly just regular old people who happened to be in the right place at the right time. I think the Nevermind baby was a neighbor’s kid or something.

    @Korey – the jury has deliberated and reached a verdict. I’m old and I guess “Friday” is too. But at least I’ll soon be able to soothe my aching bones with another Celtics championship. Oh, SNAP.

  • DRJ1

    Not sure Odom can handle starter minutes anymore. Maybe, maybe not. But his blood sugar might drop precipitously at some point…. and he’s 31 now….

    So the loss of Bynum could = very big deal in this series. Especially if Lamar isn’t up to the task of filling that entire hole.

  • I love Green

    Celtics= Allen Iverson game 1 2001 finals
    Lakers= Tyronn Lue game 1 2001 finals

    Celtics steal game 1 tonight with Rondo having a great game 22 pts 13 assists. Ray has a great scoring game with 28 and 5 rebounds. Pierce slowed by Ron Ron with 14 but has 8 rebounds.

    Celtics win 94-89.

    I’m amped up right now

  • I love Green

    Oh baby 2 hourd 48 minutes

  • I love Green

    hours*

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