There is too much coverage for anyone to read it all, but I wanted to highlight a few things that stand out from the crowd of stories out there:
• I mentioned yesterday how strong Perk’s plus/minus numbers have been all season—regular season and playoffs—and Basketball-Reference’s Neil Paine digs in to find the C’s are 5-8 this season when Perk logs less than 22 minutes in a game.
• NBA.com’s John Schuhmann supplies 16 interesting tidbits about the NBA Finals. A couple that may or may not be relevant tonight:
The home team has won 13 of the 16 Finals Game 7s. The only road winners were the 1969 Celtics (over the Lakers), the 1974 Celtics (over the Bucks), and the 1978 Bullets (over the Sonics). All three were East over West. The average score of Finals Game 7s has been Home 99, Road 95.
Both the Spurs and Pistons went with short rotations in Game 7 of the 2005 Finals. Only seven players for each team played more than one minute, and only six scored for the Spurs.
• If you’re a young or new-ish C’s fan, you may not know the story of perhaps the most famous miss in NBA history—Frank Selvy’s missed 18-footer at the regulation buzzer of Game 7 of the 1962 Finals that would have won the Lakers the title.
The C’s went on to win the game in overtime, clinching their second title win over LA and starting a trend of Boston winning edging the Lakers in sometimes improbable ways.
The LA Times catches up with Selvy today. Turns out one Laker teammate is still giving him crap about the miss, and Selvy still believes Bob Cousy fouled him. (He might be right).
• TrueHoop’s Henry Abbott takes us inside LA’s famed meditation sessions:
Instead, by careful design, before shootaround the team will assemble in the comfortable chairs in the film room at their practice facility in El Segundo. Phil Jackson will say a few words, and then the lights will be turned off, and everyone will have instructions to pay attention to nothing but the in and out of their breathing. For five to ten minutes they’ll sit in the dark, and nobody will say anything. They do not chant. “Breathing in silence” is the goal. Afterwards, they will watch film.
It’s mandatory to be in the room, but this is not a graded exercise. “It’s not a requirement. We don’t go around and check,” says assistant coach Jim Cleamons. “They could very well be asleep.”
If you haven’t yet, go read the whole piece—it’s interesting to hear different Lakers discuss what they think about while meditating, what the sessions mean to them and how they are the product of Jackson’s belief that getting “psyched up” in the normal sense is counter-productive for basketball players prepping for big games.
• Finally, a question: How will you watch this game? A friend today invited me to Professor Thom’s, one of New York’s go-to bars for Boston fans. I turned him down. I prefer to watch big games in my apartment, where I can pace and pump my fist and worry and curse and hear the broadcasters. My girlfriend, who lives with me, happens to be away, which may be by design—and if so, I wouldn’t really blame her.
I thought about taking that Professor Thom’s offer, because I deviated from my normal protocol and joined this same crew there for Game 6 of the Magic series. These guys are hard core—they’ve got their own lucky table at the bar. And I actually thought to myself: The Celtics won Game 6 when I joined that particular group at that supposedly lucky table. Should I be there tonight?
I opted against it. I watched five of the six Finals games in ’08 alone (I watched Game 5 with my Dad), and I’m sticking to my normal routine tonight.
What about you guys? Do you prefer the bar scene? Any house parties with friends? Or do you do the solo thing?