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And Lakers' fans complain about Paul Pierce flopping because....?

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I have never been happier to be wrong than I am right now.  I predicted that the Lakers would roll over the Celtics today and the exact opposite ended up happening (the CelticsHub jinx does not exist…).  I completely overestimated how injured Glen Davis was.  I completely underestimated how the Celtics would play after that embarrassment in Arizona on Friday.  I completely overestimated the Lakers’ (current) killer instinct.

The first half of this game was a wash.  The Celtics went up early in the first but the Lakers matched them and surpassed them in the second due in part to foul trouble and Kobe Bryant and Lamar Odom playing a weird one-on-one two man game.  The third quarter spelled out the Celtic domination using both a locked-in Paul Pierce and some Derek Fisher flops that failed to elicit the type of momentum swing they were intended to do.  The fourth quarter was all about execution.  Usually when the Celtics go into slow-it-down/execute mode their offense devolves into Paul Pierce isolations.  Today was different.  Everyone did their job until the game was completely in hand.

Some Reasons Why the Celtics Won:

  • Paul Pierce scored 32 points on 11-of-18 shooting all while almost exclusively guarding Kobe Bryant in the second half.
  • The Celtics forced the Lakers to play one-on-one isolations resulting in the Lakers having only 10 team assists and 30 team rebounds.  Conversely, the Celtics won the battle of the boards by gobbling up 43 of them and the Celtics had their customary number of assists (34).
  • Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo both had quiet double-doubles (KG: 18, 13; RR: 10,16).
  • The Celtics executed their offense down the stretch and got some key stops despite Kobe Bryant scoring 41 points and essentially getting whatever he wanted on the offensive end.
  • Nate Robinson finally had the game he’s supposed to consistently have.  He scored 11 points and hit three 3s.
  • The Celtics shot 60.3% from the field.  Wow.

That’s it for now.  Hayes will have a lot more later on.

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  • I_Love_Green

    "(the CelticsHub jinx does not exist…)."

    Don't pretend. You believe in it too.

  • Mariya

    I'm so glad you were wrong! Lol I knew you would be too. What a great game!

    And I'm so glad Rondo finally woke up. 16 assists after just one in the first HALF? Incredible.

  • bohaterewicz

    I don't think Nate is supposed to have that kind of game consistenly. He's gonna to have it one time out of ten.

  • kricky

    This was so sweet. Perfect cure for the Saturday night hangover.

    Celtics are a team. Lakers a collection of player + Kobe.

  • angelo

    c'mon now give ray his props 8-12 shooting, though kobe had 41 he played great D in the final minutes and pierce was guarding him most of the 3rd when he exploded, i thought Ray did a better job once he got back on him, no respect i tell ya

  • celtic

    Can you predict we lose every game?

  • A big part of that rebound discrepancy is the fact that they missed 45 shots and we only missed 29, but it's nice to see that we also did better percentage-wise (77%-66%). I didn't see the game. Does anyone who paid close attention to the rebounding battle have an idea of what we did differently to win it?

    • DRJ1

      The relative FG% of the teams has a lot to do with the % rebounds too.

      The defense gets approximately 72% of all available DEFENSIVE rebounds, regardless of who's playing and anything else. The lowest Defensive Rebounding % in the league belongs to Golden State (68.5%) and they are the ONLY ONES below 71% in the whole NBA. The HIGHEST is about 77% (ORL and NO). (Meanwhile, Offensive Rebounds range from 24% to about 31% of available such rebounds.)

      So… clearly, the more DEFENSIVE REBOUNDS there are in a game, the HIGHER the TOTAL rebounds and total rebound % will be for the defensive team. Why? Because the DEFENSE GETS ABOUT 72% OF ALL DEFENSIVE REBOUNDS. So how do you maximize the number of defensive rebounds? By playing good defense (so the other team misses a lot, creating all those rebounds).

      In other words… one great way to inflate your total rebound % is to play great defense. Make the other guys shoot badly.

      Meanwhile, the BETTER your own team shoots, the LOWER is the total # of defensive rebounds available to your opponents. I.e., if you want to beat the other guys in the rebound department, SHOOT WELL. The better you shoot, the smaller will be the number of available defensive rebounds for the other guys, which, since that's their main source of OVERALL rebounds, will keep their overall rebound number smaller.

      In this game, the Cs shot 60.3% FG% vs. the Lakers' 44.4%. Those two facts ALONE swung the rebounding numbers strongly to our side.

      Btw, hitting a high % of FTs helps too, because the defense usually gets those rebounds. E.g., if you hit them all, your opponent won't get any rebounds there.

      • The percentages I gave were for defensive rebounds, not overall rebounds. Sorry, I should have clarified that. Agreed about shooting being the bigger part of this game. 60% Shooting is obviously further from the average performance than 66% or 77% defensive rebounding.

  • jpbl1976

    Folks, someone called "ourgreen" posted this in the comments to Chris Forberg's rapid rection. I enjoyed it, such as it is:

    ourgreen (1/31/2011 at 8:12 AM)

    AND THE AWARD GOES TO….
    Shaq started, but dressed in Green,
    The crowd applauded, they could have been mean.
    But he brought his Mom, Lucille, she was smirking,
    When she said that Green is fine, as long as he's working.

    So much history, each team played with heart,
    Ray on Kobe right from the start.
    Each two early fouls, the refs not restraining,
    Crawford told both teams to stop complaining.

    KG the warrior with a patch on his head,
    Later he'll have to have stitches instead.
    Kobe lit it up, first half hardly missed,
    When they got down nine, he had no assists.

    Pierce in the third, get out of his way,
    He wants to win this game today!
    Fisher The Flopper, don't the refs know,
    He's a Hollywood guy-it's a flopping show!

    Nate came in, he did his thing,
    After his threes, is that a bird wing?
    Baby underneath, have you ever heard his "ayyyyyy?"
    When he shoots or gets a rebound, that's what he'll say.

    Alley-oop, Spectacular, Rondo to KG,
    That's the Celtics Ball that we want to see.
    It's a thing of beauty, the CELTICS are back,
    You can't handle THE TRUTH, Jack!

    One more thing you need to know,
    When we've 25 plus assists we're 25-0!
    These poems always end the same way,
    Ray is now 13 away.

  • torpid bunny

    The celtics seemed like they wanted it more. Plus they hit a ton of shots. Heart of a Champion.

    Derek Fisher is really an impressive flopper. The phantom call on Ray was really a result of a rather subtle flop Fisher executed IN THE AIR.

    • someguyinsac

      Makes you wonder if Fishers day job is teaching acting, doesn't it?

      • torpid bunny

        He's so good at it I actually respect it.

        • someguyinsac

          Agreed, he does sell it really well.

  • I was worried about the injuries to Pierce/Davis, and I was SO happy to see them both come out and have the games that they did. Paul obviously had a monster of an all around game, and it was great to see Davis attacking the basket, as opposed to relying on jump shots. I agree with Torpid Bunny above me- the Celtics seemed like they wanted it more. There were several instances where everyone in Green ran up the floor, while the Lakers- especially their big men- walked or jogged.

    • JCP

      I didn't get to see much of the game because of work, but from what I saw, Davis was aggressive and just great. One play sticks out from the first half where he got an offensive board and put it back right between Bynum and Gasol. I was thinking that it was going to just get swatted a way… but he really powered it up…

  • steveb

    Hard for the rest of the lakers to stay interested when Kobe is hoisting up a ton of shots. It’s a lot like the Cavs when Lebron would “take over” and the rest of the team couldn’t get out of stand around and watch mode. Hopefully Nate shot well because he wasn’t playing PG. Keep it up Nate.

    • zebulon

      True about playing Nate at the 2-guard – he's been missing tons and tons of jumpers this year because he's hardly ever taking them with his feet set. Every midrange jumper is a pullup on the move, where he does that bent knees jump and visibly drifts in the air, and those shots just can't be high-percentage.

      When he shoots with his feet set (particularly off a kick-out, like each of his threes today) Nate is absolute money. Hopefully he can remember that for the rest of the year.

      Also, playing the lakers and their small backup unit (usually shanon brown and steve blake are the 1 and the 2) provides a great chance to play a Nate-Rondo backcourt, which isn't very feasible against bigger teams like Miami or Orlando. Good on doc to recognize that and run out that group more than usual.

  • Celtics are 5-6 in second game of a back-to-back; they are 31-5 in their other games.

    • I_Love_Green

      And no back to backs in the playoffs.

  • Stephen

    Great win for the C's today. The big thing they proved is that with Perk out there its not so easy to get multiple second chance opportunities like the Fakers did in games 6 and 7 of last years finals. Yes Nate had a pretty good game today, however he is totally inconsistent on offense and a big liability on defense. Once Delonte West comes back the C's are going to be going full throttle. Plus if Shaq starts rebounding —-It's all good.

  • urbeltic

    Bynum looked pretty gimpy towards the end of the game…I think that knee is going to crack two weeks after the all start break.

    • Zee

      Let’s hope not. I like a win like the next guy, but I don’t wish any harm upon players (not saying that you did). Its just a game, enjoyed in a great, healthy competitive spirit.

      • Zee

        Typo: that should read “win.” Typed on my phone. Sigh…

  • Zee

    Everyone has a nickname for the Celtics, and I have a new one after todays won…

    BOSSIN’ CELTICS!!!!

    • Zee

      Argh!!! Forget it! LOL!

  • "And Lakers' fans complain about Paul Pierce flopping because….?"

    Because he plays for Boston. If he played for the Lakers, they'd cheer him for it. Just like the do with Fish. Just once, I'd like to see a ref give that whole "respect for the game" T to someone that the world knows exaggerates contact every time just to get the call. Hell… Even if it's Pierce or Rondo. Just once, because I think it would be amusing.

  • nspinozzi18

    i was so nervous when i saw the officiating crew today! man when i see number 17 aka JOEY CRAWFORD. my heart drops! thank you Green that was a big win!

    • JCP

      I don't ever see his number… I just see that big bald head.