Who Was That Team In Green Last Night?
Friday, June 04, 2010
It’s only one game. That’s what the Celtics have to be telling themselves this morning. However, they have to be concerned with how it was played.
Boston was out-Celticed by the Lakers in game 1 of the NBA Finals.
They now trail the best-of-seven series 1-0.
All of the talk coming into the series was the Celtics superb ability to defend and that they were the tougher of the two teams. You wouldn’t have known it Thursday night.
Los Angeles was intent on showing that they, too, can defend. Their perimeter defenders led by Ron Artest made life difficult for the Celtics to get into any type of offensive rhythm and their low post defenders contested virtually every shot with Pau Gasol picking up 3 blocks in the first half alone.
Celtics coach Doc Rivers apparently agrees with that assessment. ABC cut to a conversation Rivers had with his team during a timeout in the third quarter and he told his players that the Lakers were getting to all of the loose balls and playing tougher than they were.
Offensively, the Lakers got some easy buckets in transition including a thunderous dunk by Kobe Bryant. They also moved the ball well against the Boston defense. Conversely, the Celtics could not get their fast break going and they seemed to labor in the half court set.
It didn’t help Boston that their best perimeter threat Ray Allen spent too many minutes on the bench in foul trouble. Their second best 3-point shooter Paul Pierce also struggled from beyond the arc.
It’s only one game but if the Celtics are going to win their 18th NBA Championship, they are going to have to make history.
Phil Jackson has never lost a playoff series when his team has won game 1. He is 47-0 in such situations.
For Boston, it’s all about getting back to playing Celtics basketball and they’ll have to do that starting Sunday night in game 2. Otherwise this could be a shorter series than some expected.
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