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Celtics Let One Get Away

 
Los Angeles Lakers 88 FinalRecap | Box Score 87 Boston Celtics
Kevin Garnett, PF 36 MIN | 6-23 FG | 0-0 FT | 12 REB | 3 AST | 12 PTS | +6
Like Pierce, KG also had an off-shooting night. A really off-shooting night as he went 6-for-23 including some big misses down the stretch. Also like Pierce, he somewhat made up for it by rebounding the basketball and playing tough defense on Andrew Bynum when necessary.
Paul Pierce, SF 48 MIN | 7-18 FG | 3-3 FT | 9 REB | 7 AST | 18 PTS | +2
All Star selection curse? Pierce couldn’t hit a shot in the first half and it really didn’t seem to have anything to do with Metta World Peace. He missed wide open jumpers and nailed ones over the artist formerly known as Artest. Still, Pierce made up for his poor shooting performance by filling up the rest of the box score and his ability to avoid getting discouraged when his shot isn’t falling is very underrated.
Jermaine O’Neal, C 33 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 2 PTS | +1
Almost none of JO’s contributions showed up in the box score but he played tough D on two really good bigs when he was in there. Aside from the tough defense, JO continues to show how badly the Celtics can rebound when they face a formidable front court.
Ray Allen, SG 40 MIN | 9-20 FG | 2-2 FT | 6 REB | 2 AST | 22 PTS | 0
Ray drew the tough assignment of having to guard Kobe and provide the offense on an uncharacteristic off night for Pierce and Garnett. He capably defended Kobe in the first half and passably in the second. His offense was still keeping the Celtics in the game late and for that he breaks the BA barrier.
Rajon Rondo, PG 45 MIN | 7-13 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 7 AST | 14 PTS | +6
Assists (7) and rebounds (2) were way below average but Rondo had an efficient 14 points including a sprinkling of jump shots. The Kobe Free Safety strategy wasn’t as effective in the first half but Rondo bricked a few jumpers late to really put the crap stamp on this loss.
Chris Wilcox, PF 13 MIN | 1-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | -3
Wilcox provided some energy off the bench but otherwise pretty unspectacular.
Marquis Daniels, SG 1 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | 0
He played? (C means “Incomplete”)
Mickael Pietrus, SF 18 MIN | 3-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 9 PTS | -4
Pietrus put forth a valiant effort on the defensive end guarding Kobe better than both Ray and Rondo. He also hit a very timely three in the fourth quarter to get the C’s back into the game.
Brandon Bass, PF 24 MIN | 4-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 8 PTS | -6
Bass had a great game for an average bench player but an average game for the great bench player he is.
E’Twaun Moore, G 9 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 0 PTS | -7
8+ minutes and no points. The Celtics needed him in the game for his offense and he had almost none tonight.

Three Things We Saw

  1. The Celtics fought Kobe’s Hero Ball act with running plays and lost– to the Lakers’ size advantage. After seeing Kobe front-rim jumper after jumper only to fail to secure the rebound must have been hard on the Green Team.
  2. Rebounding. Yeah I went there. Tonight, it wasn’t even close. We all expected that but Bynum’s offensive rebounds and Gasol’s defensive rebounds down the stretch really hurt the Celtics. They were expected to lose the battle but 55 to 45 should be a guaranteed loss.
  3. The last in regulation was very poorly executed by the Celtics. Ray Allen set a ball screen for Paul Pierce only to leak out behind a KG screen. How many times have we seen this before? I’ll guarantee you the Lakers have seen it more on film. The thing is, it shouldn’t matter if the C’s execute which they did not. Pierce shouldn’t have picked up his dribble after Ray made his move in case he couldn’t get open. The result, a Pietrus prayer 27 footer moving away from the basket. That should have been a sign of things to come.
  • IBleedGreen

    Lakers completely exposed and magnified Celtics weaknesses:
    1. Rebounding…got killed on the board. Reminds me of Finals game 7.
    2. Age…KG can’t shoot or make layups over defenders about his height. Pierce is slow, he can’t beat anybody off the dribble, including the slow as hell World Peace.
    3. Rondo…some nice assists but also throws away a few possessions on ridiculous, head-scratching passes. Lakers play 5 on 4 all game. The way he was defended he should have taken 20 shots and scored 30 plus points.

  • http://Lovemyceltics.blogspot.com mycelts

    HOLLYWOODN'T

    Q1 Ray was active at both ends of the court,
    He epitomizes beauty in this particular sport.
    In field goals attempted Kobe's ahead of the lot,
    Three minutes left in Q1 took and made his first shot.

    Bass and Pietrus came in, they're fun to see,
    Bass–his signature shot, Pietrus for three.
    Once Kobe got started, he went on a run, 
    And that's how the Lakers ended Q1.  

    Q2 a minute eight seconds–'Quis wanted to stay, 
    He played NO defense so right in came Ray.
    JO had two blocks, but the Cs fans were queasy,
    When quite a few times he missed shots that were easy.

    Perhaps on Ray's defense we don't want to be reliant,
    But he does a pretty good job guarding Kobe Bryant.
    Ray blocked Fisher, very aggressive on D,
    Playing at both ends, how he started Q3.

    RAY ALLEN FOR THREE, Cs went on a run,
    Rondo coast to coast,  lost the ball, run was done.
    Kobe forced a shot right over Ray,
    Which made the Cs' lead go the other way.

    14-4 run by the Lakers we did see, 
    67 (them)-64 at the end of Q3.
    First bench points for the Lakers happened in Q4,
    When Troy Murphy, one time Celtic, was able to score.

    Gotta love when Pietrus makes his three, 
    And shows his Cs shirt for all to see.
    KG and Fisher have a jump ball, 
    Two old guys giving their all!

    Cs disorganized, then RAY ALLEN FOR THREE,
    Tie: Gasol tipped the ball shot by Ko-be.
    Alas, you thought this was the end of this rhyme, 
    But instead we head into overtime.

    Kobe double dribbled and made the shot,
    Rondo missed the jumper, guarding him they're not.
    Pierce for three, one point lead didn't last, 
    Kobe made sure the Lakers scored fast.

    Ray's follow up attempt could have won the game,
    But that shot was blocked, by Gasol, that's his name.
    Magic and Bird, remember them in their day?
    Forget about Hollywood, they are on Broadway.

  • lakershater13

    Loved the way the Cs fought hard. What I didnt like seeing was KG, Pierce, and Allen playing the final 5 mins of regulation and then come out and start overtime with the same squad. Fresh legs would have been a good idea against the lakers size to start OT. Too many shots hitting the front rim. Very entertaining game. Good battle. C's just came up a little short.

  • VK28

    I hate the Lakers..

  • pam

    I hate our insipid rebounding. Also the difference between our offensive rebounds and the lakers' is when one of our bigs gets an offensive rebound he ALWAYS kicks it back out. Gasol, bynum and metta always put it back in after getting an offensive rebound. That just shows we are old. Play wilcox/jjj more!

  • jimmy

    KG deserves a D……u cant shoot that horrifically n get a good grade his missed wide open jumpers killed us

  • Jayson

    Not only is Rondo dribbling away the clock at the top of the circle for 15 seconds a bad, ineffective way to run an offense, it's also extremely boring to watch. That's just a double whammy. It'd be one thing if this was the Raptors and no one else could run an offense or make plays besides Rondo. But the Celtics have playmakers besides Rondo and they let him monopolize the ball to soul-sucking effect. Absolutely boggles my mind.

    I liked the 2008, pre-star ego Rondo who actually played man AND team defense (compared to what he does now which is freelance on every possession), didn't over dribble, made cuts off the ball and keep his turnovers down. I've hated watching this version of Rondo for the past three years. The games he missed were a breath of fresh air.

    • CG12

      That is a little strong, but only a little. If Rondo isn't going hell-for-leather to the rack on a full-court drive, he can't resist dithering around at the top of the key for 10 seconds. Do something with the ball or pass it someone else, Rajon. Avery Bradley manages to find buckets cutting off the ball – you can, too. And I agree 1000% about Rondo's defense. He could be the most over-rated defender in the entire league. The difference between the team defense when Avery is pressuring the hell out of the ball vs. Rondo sauntering around, poking for steals, and not bothering to actually get and stay in defensive position couldn't be more striking.

      And that things where he lets the ball roll up the floor without picking it up for as long as possible, only to proceed at a walk once he does? There may be no more annoying play in basketball. If he just grabbed it and ran up the floor, it would save more time.

  • LStrike

    23 shots by KG and not a single free throw attempt. What does that tell you? All really long jumpers. I saw him brick a few shots close to the basket, but not enough banging for KG. I don't like the B you gave him.

  • Jamie

    Horrible offensive execution in the last 2 minutes and OT. Rondo completely bricked a wide open straight on 17 footer. It wasn't even close.

    he was attacking the basket in the first half…then he just stopped driving at all.

    Pietrus…dude is a volume shooter. Never saw a bad shot in his life.

  • Brian

    I'm not gonna worry about this too much because no other team has two 7 footers like Gasol and Bynum. The C's have no answer for this tandem. They also made the same mistakes strategy wise in attacking the Lakers Halfcourt Offense down the stretch that they did in the 2010 Finals. Let Pierce run the Offense on more than just the last possession. Run him off the Pick and Roll with Rondo and Ray cutting. Metta World Artest is useless trying to defend that far out and Kobe just can't play a one man zone if Rondo is constantly cutting to the basket. The Lakers Big Men have never defended the Pick and Roll and Pierce could have got more easy buckets. I also think Bass and Wilcox needed more minutes in this game. KG and JO were dead in the 4th Quarter. Doc messed up his whole rotation worrying about matching up with Bynum and Gasol and they still dominated.

  • Ben

    Artest/World Peace or whatever you want to call him hit Pierce's elbow on his last shot. That's why he missed. Once a dirty player, always a dirty player.

  • colincb

    Much too easy on the grading Only good grade goes to Ray. Rondo played well early and disappeared at the end as usual making the offense die on the vine. A to start, Z to end it. Also made some ridiculously stupid passes. Just play the game right and quit the friggin' showboating. KG and PP were MIA all night. Doc had some strange rotations and bench didn't contribute much against a team with no bench whatsoever. Lakers are a three man team now and obviously not an elite one, but they were still good enough to beat us in our house. A huge disappointment.

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