Saturday, June 14, 2008

Unbelievable!!!

Wow! Game 4 was one for the books. Well, as long as you weren’t a Lakers fan. Simply Amazing!

The Lamar Odom 4 Step

I assumed the game was over from the start. The obvious Lamar Odom travel on the 1st play was an ominous sign that the Lakers were gonna get the calls and win this game. I lost it when a foul was called on Perkins DURING a foul shot; something I’d never seen before. It prompted me to text my friend PA and declare that this game was over.

This Game is Over

In the 2nd quarter, down by 24, I mentally checked out. I think it was 3 pointers by Ariza and Luke Walton that did it. But I had to keep watching just in case “something special” happened.

Lakers Fans, Celtics Fans, Sonics Fans?

Why was there a guy wearing a vintage Shawn Kemp jersey (#40) in the front row? Who was he rooting for and what was he thinking?

The Costanza Approach

I’m always scared when my team goes up big because then the only two options are win or choke. It’s like the George Costanza approach on life. If things are going really well, that’s not good, because that means something really bad is gonna happen to balance it out.

For each game I’ve prepared myself for the worst way to lose so I don’t flip out.

#4 Blow Out

It sucks to invest 3 hours of your time to see the team you’ve followed all year look like a bunch of clowns. You keep expecting a comeback, but nothing happens.

#3 Buzzer Beater

I believe Sports’ guy calls this the sucker-punch game. Hope is a dangerous thing. In this game, your team gives you hope that you could possibly win the game. And then it is snatched away from you.

#2 Blowing a Huge Lead

Mid-way through the game, you are high-fiving your friends. You let your guard down because the game is over, right? And then out of nowhere, boom. It’s kind’ve like being in what you think is a perfect relationship, and then suddenly, one day, the girl says: “We need to talk.” And then you find out she’s been cheating on you the whole time.

#1 Blowing a Huge Lead and a Buzzer Beater

A combination of 2 and 3. This makes you contemplate whether you will ever watch sports again.

33

The Lakers scored 33 points on 33% shooting in the second half of Game 4. When I see 33 pop up a few times, all I can think of is Larry Bird. I know he’s not walking through the door (Mr. Pitino), but the presence of his number makes me feel good.

His only appearance has been in those NBA Finals commercials where it looks like he’s gained 100 pounds. (The one with him and Magic makes me feel so uncomfortable—they’re both so fat now. It’s worse than Chandler’s transformation on Friend’s.)

True Identities

When teams are losing big, you get to see what they’re made of. When the Lakers were getting destroyed in Game 2, there was a lot of tension, anger, and fear on that sideline. The reason for their valiant comeback— everyone was petrified that Kobe would literally kill them (or at least make them cry.) That comeback was built on fear.

When the Celtics were getting ransacked in Game 4, the Celtics stayed calm. There was no fighting, arguing, glaring. Doc Rivers did a nice job of keeping the peace and the players followed along. I was amazed how cohesive these guys were despite getting their asses kicked for 32 minutes.

The Zen Master

After Ray Allen sliced and diced Vujocic for the lay-up, the Lakers should’ve called a time-out immediately. Instead, they passed it in, and as a result, had to use 2 time-outs to get to half court.

I re-watched Phil Jackson’s reaction after that lay-up several times. He looked completely zoned out. Like he was thinking what he was gonna say to the media after. In his mind, the game was over. He looked embarrassed to be coaching this team.

Great Moments

The PJ Brown dunk in Kobe’s face. Wow!

Eddie House’s shot to take the lead 84-83.

Paul Pierce’s 3 point play— My favorite part was not the shot, but afterwards. Pierce fell to the ground (as usual) and 3 teammates were there to pick him up. They were all smiling and laughing a little bit; having fun playing basketball. They were still down by 10 at that point, but there was an heir of confidence. It was very special to see.

Ray Allen’s up and under move—It was almost a mirror image of one of his moves in He Got Game. You can see how amazing this move was with the super-slo-mo cam, a great invention by the way. I haven’t seen replays this good since Double Dribble.

Pierce's block on Kobe!

Posey’s big 3’s in the corner.

The Ray Allen game finisher.

Help Defense

What is up with Pau Gasol? During the Ray Allen finishing move, he barely came over to help. There was no reason not as he was guarding Garnett, who was sliding away from the basket. After re-watching the game, Gasol looked incredibly confused on how to play help defense the whole time. This guy is a top-notch fantasy player, but in real life, he doesn’t know how to play defense.

House is to Rondo/Cassell as Ellsbury is to Crisp

House’s emergence reminded me of Jacoby Ellsbury on the Red Sox last year. He didn’t get his chance to shine in the playoffs until Crisp got hurt crashing into the wall. Now that Rondo and Ca-smell are banged up, House is finally getting his chance. He hit big shots, had tons of energy, and committed 0 turnovers.

Posey

He’s got a ring, but he doesn’t have nerves. Through 4 games, the Celtics have proven that their team is made up of more than the big 3. Posey’s been reliable all year, and it’s nice to see him get the props he deserves.

Fight Club and Trading Places

These were the movies I switched back and forth with because I was so frustrated with the game. This is one of the strange things I do when watching the game; I pretend not to care. I could give a crap about watching a movie, but I needed a distraction. I feel that if I pretend not to care, there will be positive results.

3rd Quarter: Fight Club. 4th Quarter: Trading Places. Tyler Durden seemed to inspire the Celts to Fight Back. And after House’s jumper gave them a lead, it was clear the Celtics and Lakers were Trading Places.

Other movies that could’ve worked as well: Bringing Down the House, House Party, Celtic Pride, The Three Amigos, Victory, The Comeback Kid, Never say Never Again

Stuart Scott

In the post-game, he reminded us 14 times that no team has ever come from a 3-1 deficit in the NBA finals to win. These stats get me nervous because it’s similar to the blow out game (win or choke.) The Celtics can win their 1st championship in 22 years, or they can make history by being the only team to lose in the Finals despite being up 3 games to 1.

Next time you watch the post-game wrap-up notice a few things about Stuart Scott.

#1 He technically doesn’t have a “glass eye” but there’s something seriously wrong with it. It’s bizarre and funny at the same time.

#2 His eye brows are out of control.

#3 Before each wrap-up, he will obsess with one stat (no team has ever come back down 3-1) and will repeat it over and over and over again.

#4 He will ask a complicated question and then mandate that it can only be answer with 1-3 words. For example: “Give me one word on how the Lakers are feeling right now.” It’s great because the other announcers have no idea what to say. The best is when Stu Scott chastises them for using too many words. What the hell is wrong with him?

Key to Victory

The Celtics are 3-0 when the Red sox win that same day. And their only loss came when the Sox lost to Baltimore 10-6. So if you want to know the Celtics outcome ahead of time, just watch the Red sox-Reds game at 1:15 on Father’s Day.

Who’s Gonna Win

Most people haven’t thought about this stat. Are you ready for this? Since 1980, only 8 franchises have won the NBA title. In the same time, there have been 18 different World Series winners, and 14 different Super Bowl winners.

I bet you thought there was more parity in the NBA in the last 28 years. Can you name the 8 teams to have won a championship since 1980? (Here’s a hint: two of them are playing right now.)

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