Post-game Reactions

Henry Abbott zeroes in on a moment that will be seared into my head forever:

Sayeth Henry:

It’s unclear why Ron Artest got so stuck on Ray Allen’s pick — after the game he said he could remember the play, but now why he let Pierce get so open. Stop the play about nine seconds in. Pierce needs that ball, and Rajon Rondo completes far tougher passes every night. Listen to the crowd, begging for the pass to be completed! With a bucket there, the whole place would have erupted.

This was one of many moments that swung a game, but it stuck out to me, too, as I watched it. Maybe Rondo just didn’t feel in rhythm with his dribble to make the pass. Maybe he felt he had seen Pierce a split second too late.

But there are moments like this in every game—I’m sure you can think of a few from last night. Odom’s fast-break lay-in, plus one, to end the first quarter, for instance, stands out as another in a series of sloppy plays from Boston in the first three games of this series—sloppy plays on which the Lakers have capitalized, brilliantly. ┬áBut this play stood out as I watched it, and I clapped my hands just as Pierce did.

Nothing to do but respond in Game 4.

What moments stood out to you guys?

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Zach Lowe

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  • Jamie

    The first review in the 4th quarter. It was ruled Celtics ball and with 14 on the shot clock Doc called a timeout. The refs were not going to look at it but since they had the extra time from the timeout they did and reversed the call. To me that possession was the turning point in the 4th. Celtics score on that possession after the inbound I think they win the game.

  • Iggy Pap

    IF the pass had connected, and IF Pierce completed the flush, and IF that 2 point bucket swung momentum in the Celtic’s direction…..it was not in any way a game changer. Lakers still would’ve won it.

  • another one that sticks out to me: Ray and KG botching what should have been an easy 2-on-1.

  • Dave

    Not to pin it all on Ray but the two misses in the 4th really hit me in the gut. Or Fisher’s havoc (the only Laker I can’t seem to hate).

    Thursday can’t come soon enough.

  • urbeltic

    This is a weird series. I mean, that ball bounces right into Ray’s hands and he jacks up a swish from deep if its Game 2. If its Game 1, that ball bounces right to DFish who lobs it up to Gasol for a silkey smooth big white man dunk. Game 3???, clang right into the hands of the Lakes. 50-50 balls & energy seem to be the theme.

  • KC

    Two moments:

    1) See above.

    2) Artest swinging out his left leg (re: Bowen, Bruce) to take a shot at Ray Allen’s knee/thigh. It gave Artest a quick second foul, but I don’t think Ray ever felt right after that one. Do you think it was a dirty play?

  • Jay P

    I remember that play live, I couldn’t believe Rondo didn’t see him.

    I’m not sure what was going on with him, but I think it’s a testament to what we’ve come to expect from Rondo, we just don’t ever expect him to miss something like that.

    But I guess he is still human.

  • Jay P

    @Iggy Pap

    Dude, that would have tied the game, erupted the crowd, and swung momentum. How is that not a game changer?

  • Coolin

    All I can say is I wish the refs didn’t play such a HUGE role in this series, let alone in basketball period. These guys think they are stars out there with there whistles. Let the players decide the outcome, that is all I want.

    I use to think Jeff Van Gundy was stupid for saying players should be aloud as many fouls as they want, well I kind of see what he is talking about now.

  • Sweeney

    Another “Misery” play was PP’s 5th foul. I mean seriously, why is he battling Artest so hard on the block? That was not a smart play at all knowing it was his turn for the ref’s to take out the game. His 4th was a reach in as someone was dribbling away. I might have them backwards, but both two very stupid fouls on his part.

    I know Ray is the story, but does anyone really think the TRUTH is bringing his “A” game this series?

    Tony Allen, I can’t wait to see you leave. You frustrate the crap out of me with your lack of offensive IQ. So long, see ya, adios…

  • Sweeney

    Oh and another misery play. What is the sense of bringing in a small lineup at the end of the first half? The only thing you do is watch Pierce dribble the clock down and settle for a 20′ straight on shot. That was just like the O/T game against Orlando. Simply mind boggling.

  • Kevin

    What stands out the most for me is the play calling in the 2nd half of both Games 2 & 3. Game 2- Celtics rarely if ever run a play for Ray after he sets Finals record for 3 pointers. You got to ride the hot hand: see Kobe, Jordan, LaBron. Then in Game 3 with the game on the line they keep running plays at the end to get Ray an open 3 when he hasn’t hit one all night. Get the ball to Pierce or KG, and take it to the hole.

  • Coolin

    Pual Pierce will be the first to say he has SUCKED, pretty much in all three games, but even with that, he and Rondo are still the most vital when it comes to success for the Celtics.

    Had Ray Allen of played an awful game last night the Celtics would have won. Since he decided to play his worst game of his career, they lost.

    I am closing the book on this game and moving on to Thursday nights game.

  • Sophomore

    Totally agree Zach – the Rondo play and the blown 2 on 1.

    Also in the third quarter, when KG almost collected a rebound off a Laker miss with the Celts down 9 (or was it 7?) and beginning to climb back into the game. Kobe tipped it away from KG, saved the ball back to Bynum, who put it in for an and-1. That really hurt.

  • guest

    I can’t remember for sure, but it seemed like there was a similar unfolding-of-events when the score was something like 78-80, Lakers. I think I remember Boston having a chance to tie, it didn’t happen, LAL goes back and Gasol scored to give them a 4 point lead, then commercial break.

  • startorien

    While I was cursing at the screen watching the game during this play, upon review, I don’t think its that simple of a pass.

    It would have had to be a one handed, lazer, bounce pass to definitely get through. While Rondo’s probably the best in the league at that pass, I don’t have a real problem with him not attempting it to play a little more conservative.

    I have much more of a problem with the shot he ends up taking with his left.

  • Jay p


    I gotta disagree with ya there, if ya watch the movement, a lot of the screens and off-ball movement was exactly the same. LA had obviously (and rightfully) made a decision to be more physical and tighten up rotations to get a body on Ray as he ran through.

    Boston didn’t change anything, LA just took those options away, so they had to score in other ways.

  • Jay p

    Also, that look for Ray at the end of the game I’ll take anyday, more often than not, he’s going to knock that down.

    I don’t care how off he’s been, the guys a workhorse, he prepares the same every day, every game, every shot, and has complete amnesia about any prior missed shots. He’ll rise up and execute the same way he’s done a million times before. Sometimes they just don’t go in, but I’ll take an open look for Ray any day of the week.

  • Devon

    @ Zack… Ray’s head was not in the game. Wait, where was his mom? Unless I’m crazy she wasn’t there last night.

  • I love Green

    I remember that live and I was flipping out. But then Big Baby dropped the offensive rebound, and if he held onto it he had Pierce wide open for 3 on the right wing. If Baby passes him the ball and Pierce hits that 3 the game is over.

  • RIch

    Missing shots does not = someone not being mentally in the game. It just means you are missing shots.

    Allen played pretty well on defense, which at least offers some evidence that he wasn’t mentally checked out (see game 5, LeBron for mentally checked out players).

  • Perry


    Yep, Abbott nailed it, and that play was a microcosm of the evening. Despite not stringing together a few three’s or easy baskets, they managed to grind and claw their way back, but could never climb the mountain and take the lead. Physiologically it has to take its toll, even with a team as mentally tough as the Celts.

    There is a reason to pause because if my memory serves me correctly I recall a similar plight in game 4 of the Orlando series, which saw the Magic break out early. At the end of the 3rd quarter the Celts were able to regain the lead, but were not able to hold it.

    I agree with ‘Urbeltic’. It seemed like all the 50/50 balls were going the Lakers’ way. The Kobe save out of bounds to Bynum was indicative of the hustle advantage. That being said, I was reasonably satisfied with the job they did on Kobe and Gasol leaving Fish as the beneficiary who was simply great in the 4th quarter.

    The Celts played like a team with jet lag. Their opening statement was tremendous, but after Walton hit that incredible rainbow over Perk, the Lakers exhaled and played championship ball.

    But, this group is not your father’s Lakers. They have weaknesses. So the prime directive for the Celts will remain intact. Get back to LA up 3-2.

  • CRizik

    What about the poor execution every time the C’s could tied the game or put the team by a bucket(Baby’s and KG’s offensive fouls, Pierce’s bad shooting)? It was the same way all night: The C’s got sloopy every time they came close.

  • CRizik

    The good news is that this team has been superb every time they face a must win game during the play offs. So let’s forget last night’s miseries. I still believe the C’s can win the series.

  • I love Green

    Ohhh boyy. I just watched that play again and on that screen and roll Rondo had Big Baby WIDE open for a layup! Thats 2 missed plays by Rondo that could’ve given us an easy layup to tie the game.

  • I love Green

    And when he went up for the layup Pierce was wide open for a 3. He’s usually great at seeing things like this, but thats 3 missed plays by Rondo, and 4 all together for the team on one play. Unreal

  • Devon

    @ Rich… I know, sarcasm rarely translates. Anyway the defensive adjustments forced the misses. Once he was cold there was no way of getting “it” back.

  • I love Green

    I just can’t stop watching this play.

  • It gets worse

    He starts this clip by holding off on a long pass to Big Baby open downcourt (watch Rajon’s hop step as he almost passes it) then also avoids the pass to Pierce (which is admittedly a tough pass through traffic while backing up), then missed the roll pass to Big Baby, then didn’t take the ball in strong, then missed the floater. Then, to crown it all, Big Baby is in perfect position for the rebound, gets it, and then a) Artest hits him hard in the face, while b) Kobe pokes the ball away. This clip is brutal. Although actually, if Baby doesn’t roll to the basket, Rondo has a clear path to the hoop, but that’s mostly because KG has hooked Bynum’s arm and pulled him out of the play.

  • It gets worse

    The moment that stood out to me was the one that iced the game with a minute left: Pierce set a great screen for Ray, who missed a three. Pierce didn’t bother to block out Fisher, who got the rebound. Rondo picks up Fisher full court, but just lets him go when he’s beaten, and in fact nobody picked up Fisher as he dribbled full court and hit a (pretty impressive) floater while getting fouled by three Celts. Awful effort by Rajon. Oh, and here’s another: The C’s pull to within three, get Artest to shoot a boneheaded shot, get the rebound, and then immediately turn it back over to Artest.

  • It gets worse

    On that Fisher three-point play, it looks like Rondo barely made it over halfcourt.

  • Mel.

    Seriously, the moment that I tuned out entirely was the “phantom bullet” flop that Gasol managed to pull on Garnett. I know it’s all fair to say that both sides get away with murder on moving screens and that the refs have been absolutely poison for either team, but the replay–and the reaction from the NBA announcing team, which was pretty much dumbfounded silence–was just painful to watch.

    I mean, there was contact, but it was almost like… KG’s entire evening, production and general out-playing of Gasol was completely crap-canned in the cheapest way possible. It wasn’t as determining a moment as this clip, but it was pretty much the breaking point for my optimism.

  • Iggy Pap

    @Jay P:

    A momentum changer to be sure, but a game changer? No way. There was plenty of time left in the game. Crowd eruptions on a dunk are nice for fans, and surely give the team a boost. But in no way would that have been a “game changer”.

    In any event, Rondo botched it.

  • Jay P

    @Iggy Pap

    Every play in the 4th quarter can be a game changer. Momentum swings, the defensive intensity picks up, they force a turnover. Boom, 4+ point swing. Game has shifted.

    By your logic, the only plays in a game that are “game changers” are game winning shots then.