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?
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