Monday, June 9, 2008

NBA Finals: Game 2

The Refs

It was definitely a little one-sided. I didn’t like the offensive call on Kobe in the 1st quarter when he barely brushed Ray Allen in the face with his hand. They got to let that go. The chief complaint everyone has brought up is the 38-10 advantage for Celtics in foul shots. But here’s a number nobody has brought up, 28-21. The Lakers only had 7 more fouls called against them. That’s not a huge difference.

And why did that happen? The Celtics drove to the basket while the Lakers settled for jumpers. I’m sure the officiating tides will turn at the Staples Center, but if the Celtics continue to drive while the Lakers continue to settle, I don’t think there will be a major difference in fouls.

Jeff Van Gundy vs. Mark Jackson

These guys must hate each other. Van Gundy ripped into Mark Jackson for comparing Leon Powe’s coast-to-coast dunk to Dr. J in the slam-dunk contest. First off, it was a decent comparison as it was reminiscent of Dr. J minus the amazing jumping ability. Second, did Van Gundy need to spend the next two minutes ridiculing Jackson for a pretty benign comment? Van Gundy is entertaining—I liked him mocking Sam Cassell: “Can you believe it? He passed it again!” But I have no idea why he rips on Jackson so much. Jackson is a mediocre but harmless announcer. Maybe the whole thing is a performance, and at the end of the game, they go out for beers. But something tells me, if we see another blowout, these two are gonna have an on-air blow-up. It won’t be as entertaining Joe Namath trying to kiss Suzy Kolber, but it would be pretty good.

Lakers D

I haven’t seen a defense dismantled like that since Teen Wolf.

Get Physical

All year we talked about the West. They had the most entertaining teams, the best players; they averaged 100+ points/game. But one characteristic we didn’t talk about was toughness. The Lakers look soft out there, and the Celtics seem relieved that they’re not facing Detroit or Cleveland. L.A. might need to suit up Kurt Rambis because I certainly can’t see Luke Walton committing a hard foul.

I Hate Derek Fisher

Not much to say about it. I just think he is a flopping meatball and I don’t like him very much.

The Meltdown

Being from Boston, it is ingrained in my head that the game isn’t over until it’s over. No smiles. No celebrations. Nothing. Not until the game is over. I grew up a Red Sox fan--I always expect the inevitable collapse.

Mid-way through the 4th, I was feeling pretty good, but I still knocked on wood when I heard a ‘game-over’ comment. I still remember the Celtics miraculous comeback against the Nets in 2002. (They overcame a 21 point 4th quarter defecit to win--greatest comeback in NBA Playoff history.) That game was over too, right?

For some unknown reason Doc subscribes to a different theory and told his team the game was over, but to keep playing to prepare for Game 3. What was he thinking? This is a huge Achilles’ heel for the Celtics. Their ability to close is a lot like me with the ladies—unfortunately, not very good.

E for Effort

In the 4th quarter, Kobe got angry and caught on fire. Why doesn’t he try like that the whole game? It’s like he’s Drago from Rocky IV. He just sits there dodging punches until his coach commands him to attack. Why doesn’t he just attack right away? Why does he have to wait until the 4th quarter? It would be cool if Kobe blew up a la Drago and just picked up Phil and tossed him into the crowd and then announced: “I do not win for you. I win for me. FOR ME!”

It’s Pronounced Powe (Like Edgar Allen Poe)

The Lakers have greatly underestimated the Celtics as an opponent. Phil doesn’t even know how to pronounce their names. Although this was an honest mistake (that he corrected), it still symbolized how lazy the Lakers were in preparing for this series. They are getting out-hustled, outplayed, and even out-coached (who would’ve thought that?)

No Sleep

The 9:13 PM start time is a killer. After last night’s victory, I was so excited that I watched an hour of post-game interviews and didn’t get to bed until 1AM. But a victory will always triumph over lack of sleep. I’m just worried about the late bed times combined with a Celtics loss. That’s going to kill me. But if the Lakers keep playing the way they are, I may not have to worry about that.

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