Wednesday, June 16, 2010
CELTICS DROWNED BY LAKERS
I don't think the 89-67 pounding the Lakers gave the Celtics was as bad as the score suggests. But it was still pretty bad. The Lakers dominated the inside game, outrebounding the C's 40-28 (the ratio was much worse before garbage time). The Celtics missed 2 dunks and 3 lay-ups in the 1st half alone. LA's bench outshined Boston's, scoring 25 points, compared to 13 from the C's. The difference was 24-0 at one point in the 3rd.
Then again, Perkins only logged 7 minutes before leaving with a sprain. Then Sheed got himself into foul trouble. This allowed the Lakers to really pour it on. That being said, even a healthy Perkins and the Celtics still lose this game convincingly.
We've seen this kind of game before. The Celtics offense depends on defensive success in order to really get going, particularly Rondo. But the Lakers seemingly hit every shot. Hell, Ron Artest was 6 for 11, and 3 of 6 beyond the arc. When Ron Artest is making jumpshots, it's just not going to be your night.
But the rebounding also killed the Celtics. 5 of Gasol's 8 rebounds came off the offensive glass. Those kind of second chance opportunities kill both the Celtics defense, and slow down their offense.
The Celtics only attempted 10 free throws. The Lakers had 19. To me, that demonstrates the Celtics forfeiting that inside game. And without your starting center, you can't really blame them. But the Celtics need to get to the line, and need to get key Lakers in foul trouble to disrupt LA's defensive scheming.
The Lakers played about as good as they can. Although Kobe is capable of more than 26 points, as we well know. And the Celtics played almost as poorly as they can. 33.3% from the field, 21.7% for 3. No bench contributions, mediocre defense, no rebounding. All the ingredients of a blowout loss. But they can improve. And they must.
Ironically, the regular season comes into play here. All post-season, we've repeated the following mantra in Boston: "See, the regular season doesn't matter." Now it does, with Game 7 on LA's court, where they've won 10 of 11 playoff games.
Game 7 Thursday night. Will Perkins play? Will Bynum? Lots of questions to be answered, but that's what Game 7s invariably do.