Monday, June 07, 2010
ESCAPE FROM LA
This game was book-ended by two individuals on the Celtics. Ray Allen commanded the 1st quarter and into the 2nd, Rajon Rondo dominated the 4th.
Ray Ray scored 10 in the 1st, then 17 more in the 2nd. He tied an NBA record for successful 3 pointers with 7 before halftime (he'd break the record in the 2nd half).
Rajon Rondo might get 2nd billing behind Allen's record-breaking, 32 point night. But he had a triple-double himself, with 19 points, 12 rebounds, and 10 assists.
Allen's 3 point orgy was a team-effort, not just an individual taking charge of a game. Through screens, picks, and passing, Ray was given 10+ feet of space to set and shoot. Ray Allen may have drained the shots, but the shots were devised by the whole team.
In fact, when Allen tried creating his own shots, it helped give momentum back to LA.
The Lakers ended the 1st half with a 7-0 run, thanks in no small part to some sloppy play by the C's. The Celtics don't seem to fully respect how good the Lakers are, and at times, either play flat or play comfortable. LA started the 2nd half with a 5-0 run, and eventually took the lead.
It was Rondo who won this game at the end. He scored 8 times in the 4th, and was all over the court, blocking shots, flying into the paint for an offensive rebound.
Everyone will be touting Ray Allen's night, but Rondo was the Celtics' man-of-the-game last night. And he also did it when it counted most, in the 4th. Then again, the Lakers had to assign Bryant to Allen, which freed up Rondo.
In other words, this was a team win, not just a Ray Allen or even an Allen+Rondo win.
Paul Pierce only made 2 field goals, but was solid defensively, and was one of many who helped set-up Ray Allen's 3 point bonanza.
Kevin Garnett had one of the worst playoff games I've seen him have. He got into early foul trouble, had to be benched, and was frequently a non-factor on offense and defense. Thankfully, Rasheed contributed 18 solid minutes, scoring 7, hauling in 7 rebounds, and only committing 4 fouls.
This game is more indicative of how this series will go. It will be close, hard-fought, and closely contested. Hopefully, however, the refs call some looser games. Because I don't watch basketball to see Kevin Garnett on the bench, and Kobe Bryant forced to ease up because he has 5 fouls.
Game 2 Tuesday night in Boston. With 3 in a row at the Garden, the Celtics have an opportunity to really take command of this series. And that's at 9pm local time. Thanks, NBA!
The Canadian Press