Monday, June 16, 2008
CLOSE, BUT NO CIGAR
The Celtics came close to finishing off the Lakers last night, but wound up on the wrong side of a 103 to 98 score. Once again, the Lakers pulled ahead early, leading by 19 at one point. They then collapsed, allowing the Celtics to come back. But the C's didn't put the finishing touches on the game and LA escaped.
Kevin Garnett had a mediocre to bad 4th quarter. On defense, he was rarely physical. Then again, he was in foul trouble, so that's understandable. On offense, however, he failed to be physical for the entire game. He made Pau Gasol look like an actual big man, and not just an overgrown soccer player. KG slapped defensive rebounds to the backcourt, instead of trying to haul them in. He didn't drive. He didn't get to the free throw line until the 4th quarter. And then he shot 1 of 4, which was back breaking.
I'm not going to pull a Phil Jackson and blame the officials for this loss. The Celtics did enough to lose it on their own. But the refs deserve free drinks in LA for at least a month.
With 0:48 on the clock in the 4th, and a 97-95 Laker lead, Paul Pierce pulled down a defensive rebound. He appeared to get mugged by three different Lakers as he corralled the ball. But he got out with the ball and brings it up the court. Then Kobe Bryant reaches around and hits Paul Pierce's side. KOBE NEVER TOUCHED THE BALL. It pops free, the Lakers get it, find Kobe running up the court, and he dunks to make it a 99-95 lead with 0:37 on the clock.
So instead of Paul Pierce going to the line with a chance to tie it, the Lakers get a 4 point lead. I'm not accusing the refs of bias, it was just a standard case of officials refusing to call fouls/penalties late in games. I guess by allowing rules to be broken late in a game, the officials avoid affecting the outcome. Flawless logic.
Anyway, the Celtics and Lakers come back home for some more fun. Hopefully KG will get his act together, because Pierce, Allen, and the bench are doing everything right. Game 6 Tuesday night.
And Jack Nicholson, get a life. You may be one of the coolest dudes on the planet, but any mystique you have evaporates when you yell at the refs like a 12 year old.
AP Photo/Pool, Larry W. Smith
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill