|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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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