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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