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You Can Breathe Now: Celtics 96, Lakers 89

 

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Exhale….

Breathe in…

Exhale…

Breathe in…

The Lakers are good.   The Lakers are really good.  The Lakers won the first three quarters of this game on the offensive end handily.  The Celtics merely got enough stops in the first three quarters to keep it close.  Then, the unthinkable to most.  The Celtics’ bench starts the fourth quarter with Ray Allen the only starter to remain on the court.  A surprising move by Doc Rivers, but it paid vast dividends as the Celtics proceed to 11-2 run to go up for good.

Nate Robinson was huge.  Glen Davis was huge. Tony Allen…could have been better…

I kid Tony only because I love him.  He has the hardest job on the entire team and he plays it really well.

All along we have been saying that the Celtics’ bench is their biggest asset and advantage and we have finally been proven right.  After three games showcasing some underwhelming performances from the bench, they finally stepped up to their billing.

Enjoy this one Celtics’ fans, because this series is a complete dog fight.Some things you’ll be talking about around the water-cooler tomorrow:

  • I want some assurance that Nate Robinson and Rasheed Wallace will the “importance of composure” talk. I’m talking video evidence.
  • I know they’ll be ref talk and I don’t want to hear it.  They were awful on both ends tonight.  Truly awful.  Still, I will say that the Lakers lost the pivotal call on that Kobe Bryant charge/block.  I would say it was a charge by close to a mile.  Bryant slid that right foot a little to get under Pierce, but I still would have called that a charge 10 times out of 10.
  • The Celtics hit some clutch shots tonight: Pierce and Allen elbow jumpers.  Wallace three.  Robinson floater- just to name a few.
  • Kobe Bryant is out of his damn mind.  Just completely unconscious.  I have never been a Bryant fan.  I find him extremely unlikeable.  Unfortunately, I am starting to like him.  He shot nearly 50% from the field.  He made almost every tough shot the Celtics forced him in to taking.  33 points and a quiet 7 turnovers.
  • Andrew Bynum looks hurt.  This is devastating for the Lakers and something that will undoubtedly be monitored through the rest of this series.  He has some much heart to play this hurt.  I am just not sure he can do it.
  • Great balanced scoring.  Enough to give Celtics’ fans hope that everyone has a rhythm now.
  • The Celtics won the turnover battle and rebound battle handily.  They do this and keep the Lakers in the 80s in points. they will win every time.  Of course, the opposite it also true.
  • joe

    if the celtics go on to win this series, that means that they would have won 2 on Cleveland’s, Orlando’s, & the Laker’s homecourt. still a long way to go.

  • Shooter

    What a battle that was.Our bench pulled us through Nate,Big Baby,Sheed,TA,hats off.
    Just one thing………….Lakers only played Bynum i think 12 mins.Is PJ saving him for game 5,game 6,game 7.If so that could be a series changer, i hope i’m wrong but the Lakers are a better team with Bynum playing more than 12 mins.
    Still that was a hard fought win,hopefully that gets Ray,Rondo and Pierce back on track for the rest of the series.

  • Urbeltic

    Nate Robinson = Vinnie ‘the microwave’ Johnson.

  • Sophomore

    Huge battle. What I’m looking for is Bynum on Sunday. I think Phil kept his minutes down so he’d be available for game 5. Rest up everybody, you’re gonna need it.

  • YerMom

    Breathe. It’s spelled Breathe.

  • Brendan Jackson

    Thanks Mom!

  • Truth

    Apparently Doc’s tape worked. Refs were on your side tonight.

  • Sophomore

    I’ll quote Darius from Forum Blue and Gold:
    “In a game where the Lakers led at the half and at the end of the third, gave up 14 offensive rebounds, committed 14 turnovers, and couldn’t get a stop in the 4th quarter, this game was not about the refs. That’s a cop out of the highest order. Boston played better down the stretch, period. Don’t blame the officials.”

  • YOYO

    Truth, Doc took a page out of phil’s game 2 and game 3 motto.

  • http://espn.com travis zen

    everytime the second unit plays with Ray Allen on the floor, it brings positve results..really mysterious..

  • sacbobv

    @urbeltic- It’s Nate, the Mini Microwave, Robinson!

  • jonathan

    Thanks for pointing out the refs were terrible. Why does everyone equate not calling as many fouls with good refereeing? If players are fouling then I want the fouls to be called.

  • pilgrimtraveller

    korey, that game made my point; the coming games should drive the point home: the celtics have a bench, the lakers do not. if you want to be witty, you might say the celtics bench is better than the starters, and tonight you might be right. how do you want your crow, troll? cold, raw, and moldy seems about right.

  • jonathan

    pilgrim, shouldn’t you wait for someone before calling them a troll? do you even understand the term?

  • PierceTurth

    after a really intense game.. nate robinson and big baby came to the podium and gave one of the funniest post game press conferences i have ever seen. “we are like shrek and donkey” nate said about he and baby

  • joe

    Equally huge game 5 on sunday.

  • Urbeltic

    Bynum is done. With Odom starting LA has NO bench.

  • I love Green

    Im pumped, Im real pumped. But it’s far from over.

    Big Baby had 18, Pierce had 19, KG had 13, Ray had 12, Rondo had 10, and Nate had 12. Thats amazing to have SIX players in double figures. Great balanced scoring unlike the lakers. Kobe 33, Gasoft a very quiet 21, and Odumb had 10.

    We had three 3s, all from our bench. Lakers had seven 3s six from Kobe. Biggest stat was 54 points in the paint for us, 34 for the Lakers. That won the game for us right there, driving and going to the post instead of relying on the threes.

    We had such a balanced attack, but one of the biggest parts of our offense, Rondos passing, was missing. He only had 3 assists! 3! That has to be a playoff low for him, and if he would’ve gotten his normal assists 7-10, we would’ve blown them out easily. We won’t get that performance from Baby and Nate again, but Rondo, and Ray could have played better but we won.

  • DRJ1

    No reason to get too excited. This series is going to 7 games. That game 7 will be classic… anybody’s game.

    I know one thing though… if the Celtics bring the offense they brought today — you know, offense by COMEDY — they ain’t winning game 7, that’s for sure.

  • sacbobv

    I hope the Lakers have visions of the Cavs outcome in their dreams for the next few nights.

    Tonight was a great game for the bench. Now if Everyone would bring it on Sunday, that would be truly awesome.

  • I love Green

    @DRJ- I agree it will go 7 games. Unless the Celtics somehow come out with the energy they did tonight in the 1st and 4th quarter, for games 5 and 6. I think we’ll win game 5, and 7.

  • KY Celts fan

    Celtics win game 5, Lakers win 6, Celtics win historic game 7.

    “Those fuckin’ balloons are staying up there.”
    -Bill Russell

  • blahblah

    senseless predictions with no reasoning other than emotion yay. stupid.

  • legs-diamond

    Congrats to Doc for coloring outside lines so far that Phil Jackson had no adjustment.

    Glen Davis in 22 minutes had 18 points, 5 rebounds, 2 steals and no turnovers or fouls!

    The bench was full of energy, adding that baffling element that is needed in a playoff series. I love the exuberance in the faces of Davis and Robinson; it’s a perfect complement to the steadiness of the veteran starting five.

  • pilgrimtraveller

    jonathan, sorry to give offense to you, but korey has been trolling for several days now. he admitted as much in a post.

  • joe

    c’s win 5 and 6.

  • jonathan

    pilgrim – i’m all for some trash talk back and forth, is all part of the fun, but I hate trolls and those who reflexively call others trolls. apologies, didn’t know he’d admitted it to you, blast away.. :)

  • RBD

    The X Factor:

    Bynum.

    If he’s done for any length of time, Celtics take this.

  • clasher101

    @traviszen very true, somehow this line up almost always work for us (ray plus bench). pierce, kg and even rondo doesn’t have quite the same effect.

  • Devon

    Did anyone see Phil’s post-game interview? When asked about Nate and BB contributions, seemingly doing whatever they wanted to out on the floor. He responded “I’m not answering that”

    @legs-diamond… Nailed it with the coloring outside the lines analogy.

  • DeVelaine

    As I suspected, Davis didn’t even know Nate hopped up on his back.

  • Cptn Bubbles

    Thank You Cs!!!!!

    After a whole day of doom & gloom, thank you Cs for this wonderful gift!!!!!

    I was hard on Doc for last game, but he deserved it. Leaving the bench in there for this game was a terrific move by Doc. He could see they were getting it done, & Doc was going with what was working on the floor. Good for him. The lake had no answer for them. It was just a matter of subbing when they got tired. Hopefully, Doc will not try to force Ray plays anymore & just go with what is working for each particular game. Also, Nate deserves more opportunities & if KG/Perk are not rebounding then Glen should get more minutes. Little disappointed they went away from Paul, but they did go back to the Ray drive & pass to the cutter (glen & TA) which worked really well in game 3 but was mysteriously stopped. It’s clear that the lake are extremely well prepared at defending our starters, but are not so familiar with how to stop our bench.

  • Jay P

    @Truth

    Bullshit, they were god awful for both sides, and equally so.

    Yes, the Pierce charge was a terrible call. But equally terrible calls were 3 of the fouls of Sheed, one of which was an all ball on Kobe (that he got Ted on.) The Ray Allen foul that gave Kobe 3 freebies… and was, let’s say suspect at best.

    Ya, they were bad, but they’ve been bad all series, and they were bad for both teams tonight. Just horrible officiating, period.

  • mitch

    hey korey! where you at you little faggot…c’s win!!!!!!!

  • http://ititans.com/advergame.html Noel Proulx

    This is looking like such a great series, nothing makes me happier than Boston – LA in the finals. Except perhaps Sox – Yankees in the ALCS.

  • Rich

    Stunner, more people whining about the refs. They could literally play w/o refs, and whichever team lost that game some of you fans would complain about the refs influencing the game to much.

  • Doug

    I call bullshit on the refs every call that went against us resulted in points. 1 clear charge does not make up for 3 BS calls on Rasheed, another BS call on Allen, a ridiculous moving screen call on Big Baby that took points off the board since Nate had split the screener and had a clear lay-up with no one within 10 feet of him.

    And the worst call of the entire playoffs a 3 second call with 20 on the 24 second shot clock. How is that even possible if u get a defensive rebound and even run the ball up court which they didn’t? Especially on a night where we struggled to hit shot every point counted and they were giving the Lakers points and taking points from us (Garnett had a clear lay-up here also).

  • RBD

    Refs did a pretty good job tonight overall. I think both teams would admit that. There are people on both sides of the Bos-LA spectrum who will whine no matter what but tonight is basically what you’d hope for in a finals game.

    Made for the most entertaining game of the series so far.

  • Doug

    Gasol and Kobe has literally gotten points this series including tonight where literall NO ONE touches them if you don’t think that matters in a series this close with the games coming down to the last seconds in all but 1 game so far I don’t what to tell you.

    Name 1 Boston call that directly lead to free throws where no one touches a Celtic player at all because I could point out about 10-15 for the Lakers. The fouls they call on the Lakers never directly lead to any points while u can’t the same the other way around.

    For instance what was the difference between what Rasheed did to Dwight Howard pulling the chair and Pau Gasol tonight? Nothing, Also what was the diifference between Pierce’s walk an Gasol’s and 1 in the 4th I believe both took an extra step after establishing their pivot foot?

  • Korey

    *** CROW ***
    noun. an instance of boastful talk…

    okay , Celtics lovers, have at it. I talk big game and I back it up. Tonight to my utter disbelief:
    -The Celtics bench won the game.
    - Nate who Robinson did work
    - Big Baby did work
    - Tony Allen…welll… I guess…. played solid D.

    Props to those dudes for having their one shining moment. I was wrong on how they would play tonight and all the Lakers had the game in hand the reserves made the key plays. Kudos.

    I can assure you over the next few days that I will continue to come back to provide the Laker side of view and as a bonus here’s what you can expect:
    - Cs should celebrate…but cautiously. Lakers had that game in end and more than likely without a Bynum injury that game is over.
    - We can now say that the MAJORITY of the quarters of this series has been controlled by LA. Simply put, LA is just the better team. They’ll prove it game 5 and game 6.
    - Lakers only worry is Bynum’s knee. But even so, Pau Gasol owns the C’s frontcourt so much that the Lakers will probably pull through anyway.

    Anyway, JayP, Pilgrim, etc. have at it. It’s time to celebrate in Boston, but no Laker fan is really that worried. Over the last 2/3 years the lakers own game 5s.

    That my friends is called a “harbinger” of success. GRE word. Look it up. I know they dont read much in Boston…

  • RBD

    @Doug

    There were missed calls on both sides tonight.

    Go check out a Laker blog – they’ll have their own list of issues with the calls. Many legitimate.

    That said -the game had flow and a great finish and the refs did a very credible job overall.

  • RBD

    @Korey

    Congratulations. You did an awesome job insulting the literacy of Boston fans while making a spelling mistake in the process.

    Idiot.

  • pilgrimtraveller

    Korey, I salute you, crow eater, for showing up. I hope you like the crunch of feathers. This game showed why I think the Celtics will win. The Lakers don’t have a bench. Phil Jackson called it, Kobe was tired at the end. So was Gasol. They can’t log the minutes they’re logging and be productive at the end. Unfortunately, I think Bynum is effectively done for the series. I’m not gloating when I say that. My opinion of him has been changed: he’s much better than I thought, and he’s as courageous as players come. If indeed Bynum is out, Gasol won’t be owning anyone on the Celtics. He may score his 20 or 25 points, and Kobe may get his 30, but the Celtics will win the rebounding battle, and they’ll spread their scoring around, and they’ll win the games. Simply put, the Lakers, when healthy have the better frontcourt now, but the Celtics backcourt causes the Lakers endless problems, and our bench trumps your bench. And the Lakers won’t win Game 5. We won’t be missing the lay-ups then.

  • Doug

    @RBD I agree there was missed calls on both ends the Pierce play was a clear charge but the way they get calls when NO ONE touches them is ridiculous. What about the 3 sec. call that is the most ludicrous call of the playoffs

  • crizik

    The series is tied 1-1. Every team has won a game in the road and have lost a game at home. LA is scoring 94 per game, The C’s are scoring 93. Neither team is shooting better than 45%. If you have something better than this, please let me know.

  • I love Green

    Shrek and Donkey will most definitley be getting more minutes on Sunday for their performance tonight.

  • crizik

    The series is tied 2-2…and so on…

  • RBD

    @Doug

    Sure, you can point to that. But there have been crazy phantom fouls on Kobe this series and the refs flat out missed a huge charge call the last few minutes of tonight’s game.

    The NBA refs are not great for the most part (for the most part). But they were fine tonight.

  • Korey

    @RBD

    So what do those initials stands for…

    Real Boston Di-whooooaaaaaaa there patna!

    hahahaha….

    By all means have your fun. But please anything you can dish out, I have the wherewithal (again, another word you’ll need for your GMAT class) to analyze, insult, take it to the woodshed, whatever.

    Anyone, enough of the insults.

    The Celtics won and played well. Props.

    I dont anticipate writing the aforementioned (SAT word RBD…hahahah) line anymore this series.

  • Atlas

    Kenny Smith touched on this in the post game wrap up the key to this series from here on out is Bynum’s knee…if he can’t play meaning full minutes then this series becomes a replay of 2008. there is no doubt Kobe is trying to play outside of his mind right now but without bench play to atleast match the C’s bench and without the other 7 footer it becomes an up hill battle…Anyway love the celticshub…let’s go C’s win banner 18

  • RBD

    @Atlas

    You can see Kobe scowling at his teammates and not in the revisionist history “Kobe is a great leader” way. He’s getting angry they’re not delivering.

    It’s really entertaining because it sends him into hero mode, and he can’t get to the rim against our D and ends up chucking up contested shots. So, even though he hits shots no human should make… without Bynum… I’m not sure they CAN beat Boston. KG-Odom and Perk-Gasol are both good matchups for us.

  • Shooter

    F**k off the refs were horrible tonight………point blank,as they have been throughout the series.

  • RBD

    @Shooter

    Bring the anger!

  • Ray Leighton

    Korey — got to pick on you, man. There are three states in the country in which more than 50% of the adult population has a college degree. Massachusetts is one of them. We have more college degrees than some states have high-school degrees. California is not even in the top-ten for % college degrees. And Massachusetts has more people with graduate degrees per capita than any other state in the country. And as for cities, Boston is among the top-five for degrees. LA doesn’t make the top-20. And of course, in terms of universities, well, you’ve got CalTech, but we’ve got Harvard and MIT.

    In California, when you see someone driving badly, there is a really good chance that they are on their cellphone. Boston is the only place I know of where the bad drivers may actually be reading a book.

    And tell the truth — how often have you seen a sports blog where someone knew enough about stats to correct an improper example of the phrase “regression to the mean”? (kudos to DS Lack).

    Regardless of who wins the NBA championship, LA is not even remotely close to Boston in terms of intellectual comparison. So don’t try to win that one.

    As for the game, if I were Phil, I would be shaking my head too — everyone kept talking about how lucky the Celtics were to keep it close at halftime, which sort of missed the point that the Lakers were lucky to keep this one close at all when the Celtics missed 8 uncontested layups in the first half. Given how often the Lakers scored out of transition on those missed layups, the Lakers were fortunate not to be down by 20. So we had our worst assist performance in recent memory, we shot terribly, none of the big 3+1 had a better than average offensive night, and yet we still won. And as most of the Celtics’ fans have pointed out since before the series, one of our biggest advantages in the series is that our bench is so much better than the truly mediocre bench of the Lakers. That’s not being disrespectful — I can throw a ton of stats at you to back it up, but the Celtics’ fans on the post probably are tired of hearing me talk about it. We played great defense and our bench kicked ass.

    I don’t expect the Celtics’ bench to outplay the Lakers’ starters again for that long of a stretch, but I suspect that we are going to see that bench advantage for every remaining game of the series, and we are going to see some increasingly tired Lakers’ starters. Truth is that you guys are not all that young or healthy either….

    Oh, and btw, Kobe did a really good job as TA’s bitch tonight.

    Sorry, I had to throw in that one bit of trash…..

  • http://www.mixbasket.blogspot.com MixBasket
  • http://celticshub idunno

    Just a little food for thought….can Glen Davis produce like this for the rest of this series? Can he possibly be the power forward of the future for this team or is he destined for the role of energizing bench role? It hard to say..

    a.) we have seen davis score like this and play all around good basketball like this a countless number of times

    b.) He is a knucklehead. only suitable word for him. Love him, but knucklehead

    c.) We already know…no length, no lift

    d.)We also know, amazing quick feet, uses his frame brilliantly

    I just don’t know what to make of it. Can he do this consistently? Not only for this series, but for his career? Can the Celtics rely on him?

    ….Good comparison made at Forum B&G he’s kind of like Craig Smith. But I think he’s faster and quicker. And a better rebounder

  • JMM

    Korey,

    Those dude’s one shining moment? Nope all of those reserves have made key contributions throughout these playoffs. Last night was another in a month long series of shining moments.

    The Lakers never had that game in hand. Like game three, it was the Celtic’s to win or lose.

    Quarters? Who cares? Game scores count. That’s all.

    The Lakers have several worries starting with their bench – it’s devoid of players who can hang with the Celtic’s bench.

    No Laker fan is that worried? I imagine not, most Laker fans aren’t sophisticated enough about basketball to understand the quality of this Celtics team.

    Harbinger doesn’t mean trend you idiot. It means a sign or an indication.

    Each of your comments prove you utterly lack the wherewithal to hang with any of the commenters on this board.

  • RBD

    @JMM

    This Korey guy is just a pure troll, right? I haven’t been paying attention but my limited interactions with him suggest that’s the case.

    I kinda wish Zach/Brendan/etc. would chase these guys away. That said, I suppose we’ve only a week left, at most.

  • Jay P

    @RBD

    Naw he’s not a troll, he’s had some decent arguments so far. But I gotta admit, he seems to be gradually slipping into homer mode at the series go on, and his arguments are becoming more and more asinine.

    I mean, we’re all homers too, but well, this is a Celtics blog, so we have the right to be homers here.

  • JMM

    RBD,

    I agree he is a pure troll. But, there is the entertainment value of whacking him in the ear repeatedly. Plus, he’s a good reminder of the sad state of Laker’s fans’ hoop knowledge.

  • Jay P

    @Korey

    You should be worried, Lakers only controlled those quarters because Boston starters missed open, great looks.

    Really, when when the last time Garnett has missed 4 in a row of those top of the key 18 fters that were WIDE open. Wont happen again. And 8 lay ups missed in the first half, wont happen again.

    If the LA D continues to give Boston starters look like they got in the first half, they will get blown out of the water, those shots are going to start falling, statistically speaking, it’s impossible for them not to.

  • Todd

    Great hard fought win for the Celtics. Their subs brought the energy and hunger that seemed lacking from both the Lakers and Celtics starters – and obviously that was the difference. As a Lakers fan, I’m not very concerned about Nate Robinson – he’s going have good and bad games. That’s the way he is. The bigger concern is Davis, who has played great throughout the series and simply eaten up the Lakers when Bynum isn’t on the court.

    That’s my big concern with the Lakers right now. It’ll be perceived as an excuse, but it should be fairly obvious that when Bynum is playing effectively the Lakers team is entirely different. The Celtics struggle to score inside when he’s on the floor and on offense he opens things up for Gasol – demanding that the Celtics pick their poison, either checking Gasol with Perkins (their preferred matchup) at risk that Bynum will go over the top of Garnett in the post or forcing the more traditional matchup of Gasol on Garnett where Gasol has the advantage offensively. And without his length, the undersized but strong Davis doesn’t have to contend with getting his shot blocked, which makes him supremely effective.

    And Bynum’s effect on the Lakers bench is dramatic. Without him, they simply don’t have one. They have no bigs to bring off the bench so Gasol and Odom are forced to play basically the entire game. The Lakers were gassed by the end and just couldn’t match the energy and drive of the Celtics in the fourth.

    It’s hard for me to see how the Lakers can win 2 out of 3 if Bynum isn’t an effective presence on the court. But them’s the breaks. The Lakers are going to have to push through.

    On another note, I’m really shocked there has been so much complaining about the officiating. I thought it was by far the best it’s been all series and in general about as good as one could hope for. If people on either side are going to complain about the officiating from last night’s game, then the refs truly can’t win.

  • JMM

    Todd,

    Good comment.

    But, I don’t think the refs are performing at top level.

    The early charge call when Kobe wasn’t close to set, the three second violation against Garnett with 20 seconds on the 24, the late charge call against Kobe, several phantom fouls – I think fans and players deserve better at this level.

  • Rich

    It is becoming to easy. Every time Brendan posts, you know he is mentioning the refs no matter what. Simply cannot help himself.

    I would like someone to show me a well officiated game, compare it to this game tonight, and explain to me how this one is terrible and the one they are showing me was officiated well, and then I’ll ask if there is any middle ground.

    Soooo tired of hearing Boston and LA fans waste time whining about the refs over and over. The refs were the best last night that they’ve been in the series. Not as many fouls called. Not as many big name players in foul trouble. Let them play. Now, either they call it tight and guys like Kobe and Pierce get in trouble, or they let them play and that means some calls are gonna be overlooked. Can’t have it both ways people.

  • Rich

    Ah cmon. A missed block/charge call isn’t the worst thing in the world. It’s the hardest call to make in basketball.

    The one in game 2 in which they got Kobe for acharge when CLEARLY Davis wasn’t set before Kobe took off that gave Kobe his 5th foul…that was a big call. That hurt the game. The two last night evend out and didn’t have a major impact on the game.

  • Rich

    Oh, and I’m not sure why Kobe seems to think he is getting no help. RBD is right when he said Kobe is angry with this teammates. Yet, Pau Gasol has been the best offensive player for LA this series and Kobe was totally god awful in game 3 and was completely bailed out b Derek Fisher. So here Kobe has a nice (not great, mind you) game and suddenly he feels that he is all alone in this series. Laughable.

    A guy who wants to be called the best player in the league not having a single great game yet and actually have one bad game and one TERRIBLE game is hurting himself even more by getting angry with his teammates.

    I was upset when the natl. media was trying to act like LeBron was getting no help, when he wasn’t helping himself. But at least LeBron didn’t resort to blaming his teammates in the middle of the court. He knew he was sucking. Kobe, however, seems to not be able to come to grips with it and would just rather act as though it’s someone elses fault other than his.

  • JMM

    “The refs were the best last night that they’ve been in the series.”

    That’s damning with faint praise. Sort of like saying Ray Allen shot much better last night than in game three.

  • jonathan

    Don’t want to get into a whole thing about individual calls, because that wasn’t what decided the game: Bynum’s injury and Baby’s offensive rebounding did. But both the Pierce/Kobe charge/block calls were charges: you don’t have to be set, you just have to have your torso squared up and can’t slide under when the player is in the air (like Baby did a few times in game 2).

    And go watch the Allen foul on Kobe’s three – he clearly hits his on the forearm. It was the correct call and was not even close.

    Looking forward to a great game 5. Here’s hoping the refs finally decide to find the right balance between whistle happy and letting so much go.

  • Todd

    @JMM

    I agree that there were some bad calls, but that’s the way it is in every game throughout the year and in the playoffs. There are just going to be a handful of bad calls, which, in my opinion, is fine because the game is simply too hard to officiate to expect otherwise. I just don’t want to see the refs dictate the game, and they didn’t last night.

    From my perspective, only the Garnett 3-second call was egregiously bad. Everything else fell into the 50-50 column or run-of-the-mill missed call category. For example, for Lakers fans to complain about the Pierce block/charge on Kobe is crazy. Was it a charge? Probably. But to pin your hopes on getting the charge call in that situation is wishful at best, insane at worst. And it doesn’t excuse the fact that they let Pierce get free on the drive to put the ref in that position in the first place. It was just bad defense. The iffy call doesn’t excuse it.

    NBA refs have the hardest officiating job in sports and under the microscope of the Finals, when everybody is watching and dissecting every slow-mo replay, it’s even harder. Could they have been better last night? I suppose so. But I thought they did a fine job and that they did what they needed to – maintain a semblance of order while allowing the players themselves to dictate the outcome.

  • JMM

    jonathon,

    The Kobe “charge” was bogus, Kobe had not established a legal guarding position.

  • Jay P

    @jonathan

    He barely brushed him on the shot, and Kobes motion going forward is what caused the contact on the hand.

    Either way, not a foul that should be called in that situation. Van Gundy said it well there’s a difference between a foul and what appears to be a foul. Ray’s appeared to be a foul because of the contact caused by Kobe’s shooting motion.

    I’m not saying I can blame the refs, in real time that’s a very tough call, and I’ll admit, re-watching it in real time it does look like a foul. But it wasn’t, just saying.

    Anyway, ya, there were some bad calls from both sides. The 3 seconds was probably the worst call of the series so far, it was a pretty blatant fast count. However, mistakes happen, and all in all I’d say they’ve at least been equally bad for both sides.

  • http://celticshub.com Brendan Jackson

    LeBron James never benefits from poor officiating. Can someone get that man a call? Seriously.

  • chase

    I think the Celtics have just found the lakers weakness. Big Baby Glen Davis!!!!!! Once again the leaer off the bench giving the Boston Celtics energy and hustle off the BENCH. Everyone played well off the bench particularly in the 4th quarter which is why I praise Doc Rivers for keeping them in for the 1st 9 minutes of the quarter (unheard of) then he put the starters back in well rested to finish off the Lakers last night. No Celtic scored more than 20 points, but Paul PIerce finally showed up to lead the team with 19 points, still didn’t shoot all that well but he was aggressive. Kevin Garnett had an off night himself and Ray Allen, even Rondo wasn’t himself but the bench, who I am calling the new bench mob, (If you remember the Sacramento Kings bench mob) again was great they have been great all series and will be the reason the Celtics win the series in 7 games beacause the Lakers haven’t had an answer for them. Tony Allen has played great defense against Kobe. He took so many jump shots last night and even though he was just to hott(6 three’s) that’s what the Celtics want. They don’t want him penetrating the lane, getting to the foul, all the things that he does. We will take Kobe shooting jump shots beacause he can’t make all of them. I still think Boston wins the series in 7 games. Andrew Bynum is hurting the effects of his torn meniscus and his minutes will certainly go down if that continues. Without a healthy bynum to play 30 to 35 minutes the Lakers are a different type of monster and I don’t think Pau Gasoft (Gasol) can do it by himself in the box without the big man to dish to. I believe if the Celtics turn up the defensive pressure the Lakers are in trouble they are the better team and right now they are not looking like it. when they have the Celtics on the ropes they can’t finish it could be 3-1 instead of 2-2. I think Boston wins game 5 go up 3-2 back to LA., Where the Celtics will end it possibly.

  • jonathan

    JMN – you’re wrong. only those wearing heavily green tinted glasses think that was not a charge

    Jay P – It wasn’t contact on the hand that I’m talking about, watch it again and you’ll see Ray hit Kobe on the forearm around with his forearm. That’s where the foul was.

    Plenty of bad calls last night, as always, but that’s part of the game. i just hope they can find a balance for the next three games. it’d be great to have this series decided without looking at two or three calls each game that affect the outcome.

  • JMM

    jonathon,

    Good comeback. Beats relying on the facts.

    That was a foul on Bryant all night long. Kobe had not established a legal guarding position.

    The important thing is, last night’s game, like games three and two, was decided not by the refs but by the Celtics.

  • Bobert

    The first three quarters were the epitome of Great Defense (C’s) vs. Great Offense (Lakers) on one end of the floor and the epitome of horrible offence (C’s) vs. horrible defense (Lakers) on the other end. The vast majority of shots the Lakers made through those 3 quarters were well contested and they were certainly getting a favorable bounce. On the other end the Celtics were getting themselves such easy shots but were missing everything! Rondo must have missed 5 layups. Through all of that it took the difference of bench play to make the difference in the game.

    The thing that makes me feel good about this win is that the Celtics will play that type of defense every game for the rest of the series but I’m not so sure Kobe and crew are capable of always hitting those tough shots.

    @idunno

    I don’t think Big Baby will ever become a successful starter. He is a knucklehead and I love the guy for that, but the energy he brings is probably only available when he comes off the bench. It’s hard to sustain that type of energy for even 20 minutes a game and I just don’t think he’d be able to do it playing starter minutes.

    Here’s a stat for thought though. Big Baby is the most blocked player in the NBA (I think it’s around 19% of his shots are blocked). The only way you can be a successful player with that many of yours shots blocked is if you are tenacious on the boards and more than often get yourself second chances, which Davis does. If he isn’t playing with the energy and tenacity that we saw last night then he really can’t have much of an impact of the game.

  • specialk

    Here is a thought i want throw out there. I have no inside info.

    “Is Kobe Bryant hurt enough that it is affecting his shooting stroke? Is the finger bothering him more or are his legs ok?”

    He is getting a lot of points but not in an easy or flashy way

  • Jay P

    Uh what… did you see him shoot last night. He’s hitting shots that just have no right to be going in.

    There’s nothing wrong with Kobe, he’s having to work hard for points because the Celtics for forcing him to work hard. 2008 it was a weakness they exposed, and their doing it again.

    Boston did not execute in Game 1, Kobe got easy looks and drives into the lane. They’ve taken they away since, and are making him work. He’s still hitting tough shots cause well… he’s Kobe Bryant.

    But their making him work for it, and it’s obviously taken it’s toll as he’s looked tired in the 4th in more than one game. Game 3 they took Kobe away completely by the end of the game, but were unable to stop Derek Fisher, that’s the Celtics fault, and I put that one on Rondo directly.

    LA is better than they were in 08, because Gasol is much better, he and Bynum, and some clutch play Fisher/bad defense from Rondo wont Game 3. This will be a tougher series, but the job Boston has done on Kobe so far is just as good as it was two years ago.

  • Matthan

    Ray Leighton is a high school dropout. Ray college degrees make you a basketball expert? You’re a moron and a pompous coward. Posting that you’re an intellectual than adding your shit talking was just hypocritical. Shut your crab eating mouth and enjoy the Laker Victory Parade.

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