Ramble On Sports

Where sports, pop culture and everything else collide.

Five thoughts from Game 2 of Celtics-Lakers

Posted by Bill Koch on June 6, 2010

Ray Allen

Let the NBA Finals officially begin.

The Boston Celtics are finally present and accounted for, and they pulled themselves even with the Los Angeles Lakers courtesy of a 103-94 win on Sunday night in Game 2. Boston showed the grit that has defined its postseason run and heads back home to The Fake Garden with its hopes of raising Banner 18 still alive and well. Los Angeles faded down the stretch in front of Jack, Leo, E and the rest of courtside crew and will now have to steal a game on the road to bring the series back to Hollywood. Let’s go to our five thoughts to break down how The Finals ended up in a 1-1 tie.

— Boston absolutely had to have a win in Game 2. No home team has ever swept the middle three games of The Finals since the Lakers’ crying and whining forced the NBA to switch to the 2-3-2 format in 1985 – Los Angeles was cowering in fear of having to make extra trips back and forth to Beantown. A loss on Sunday would have dropped the Celtics into a 2-0 hole, likely one that would have been too deep to escape.

— Nothing is sweeter than watching Ray Allen shoot the basketball like he did in Game 2. Sugar Ray knocked in his first seven 3-pointers on his way to a game-high 32 points, 27 coming in a ridiculous first half where he scored half of Boston’s points. Allen finished the game with eight 3-pointers, a new NBA Finals record, and was able to capitalize when Los Angeles tried to use the shorter Derek Fisher and Shannon Brown to guard him.

— Rajon Rondo made all the winning plays down the stretch that Boston simply had to have. His blocked shot on Fisher, steal against Kobe Bryant and relentless assault on the defensive glass set the tone for the Celtics and Rondo finished with yet another postseason triple-double. His 19 points and team highs in rebounds (12) and assists (10) came on a night when Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett were almost invisible, making them that much more critical. It’s nothing more than what we’ve come to expect from Rondo during the best stretch of his career.

— Bryant looked more like a No. 5 starter than a closer on Sunday. The Black Mamba was a dreadful 8-for-20 from the field, went to the foul line just three times and turned the ball over a game-high five times. Bryant was forcing up wild shots down the stretch much like he did throughout the 2008 Finals, and we all remember how that series turned out. Los Angeles needs more from its self-anointed MVP than 21 points and poor offensive efficiency.

— Boston stood in and fought to win the rebounding battle, finishing with a 44-39 advantage over Los Angeles on the glass. That allowed the Celtics to get out on the break and set up Allen for 3-pointers in transition, something that they failed to do while being dominated on the boards, 43-31, in Game 1. Big Baby and Rasheed Wallace combined for 14 boards off the bench, picking up the slack for the struggling Garnett and preventing Andrew Bynum from being even more dominant than he was thanks to his 21 points and six blocks. Boston’s big men will have to continue to fight Bynum and Pau Gasol to avoid losing control of the paint and the series.

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One Response to “Five thoughts from Game 2 of Celtics-Lakers”

  1. Iyana Williams said

    I find it particularly amazing when I watch NBA Finals, I repeat FINALS, where the decision of who wins and loses is decided by the refs. There is no rhythm established on either side, and a huge disadvantage for teams to deliver their best performance. I have a proclamation for the refs…Let the boys play. A game should not be decided by touch fouls, and infamous flops (Ray Allen), it should be decided by the talent on the court…again I repeat, Let the boys play, there should never be 100+ fouls called in a 48 minute basketball final. (Note:Gasol, Garnett play…completely ridiculous and utterly disturbing as a fan watching)

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