Ramble On Sports

Where sports, pop culture and everything else collide.

Five thoughts from Game 4 of Celtics-Lakers

Posted by Bill Koch on June 11, 2010

Big Baby Davis

The NBA Finals is now a best-of-3 race to the finish line after the Boston Celtics downed the Los Angeles Lakers, 96-89, in Game 4 on Thursday night. The Celtics had to have this one after the Lakers regained home court advantage with their win in Game 3, and Boston received some unlikely support from its bench to get it done at The Fake Garden. This series is worth watching the rest of the way and not the foregone conclusion it would have been if Los Angeles had taken a 3-1 lead. Let’s let our five thoughts take you into the weekend.

— Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett should be picking up the dinner tab for the next couple of nights after the help that they got from their bench in Game 4. Boston’s reserves outscored Los Angeles’ back-ups, 36-24, and took control in the fourth quarter. Big Baby Davis and Nate Robinson gave the Celtics the energy that they needed to finish this one off, allowing Garnett to play just 27 minutes and Rajon Rondo to play just 31. Let’s hope that extra rest pays some long-term benefits for the Celtics.

— Doc Rivers has to take a lesson from what happened in the fourth quarter of this one to keep his starters fresh in the remaining games. Garnett, Rondo and Pierce were on the bench while Boston was making its charge, scoring 36 points in the fourth to erase a 62-60 deficit. The energy displayed by Davis and Robinson helped the Celtics go 8-for-9 to start the final period, including a back-breaking 3-pointer by Rasheed Wallace from the top of the key that gave Boston a 79-70 lead.

— Does Big Baby have rabies, or was he just frothing at the mouth in the second half? The lovely ladies (thank you Kristina and Amanda) that joined the Ramble On team at the legendary Dave’s Bar and Grille for this one weren’t all that sure what Davis was trying to do while he was drooling all over his teammates, but we’re willing to forgive him for just one night. Davis’ 18 points and hard work on both the boards and the defensive end helped the Celtics limit Andrew Bynum (two points in just 13 minutes) and Pau Gasol (six rebounds in 44 minutes).

— It’s not a coincidence that Boston controlled the glass while winning this game. The Celtics ripped down 16 offensive rebounds while beating the Lakers on the boards, 41-34, for the second time in the series. Boston has won both of those games thanks to the same formula that captured Banner 17 in the 2008 Finals – aggression and physicality. The Celtics need to display that same desperation going forward to have a chance to win the series.

— Boston’s balance overcame the Lakers’ reliance on Kobe Bryant, and again The Black Mamba failed to lift his team over the top. The Celtics had six players reach double figures, led by 19 points from a resurgent Paul Pierce, while Bryant scored a quiet 33 and committed a costly seven turnovers. Add in four turnovers from Gasol and that’s way too many missed opportunities from Los Angeles’ two primary weapons to win a road playoff game.

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