Ramble On Sports

Where sports, pop culture and everything else collide.

Five thoughts from Game 6 of Celtics-Lakers

Posted by Bill Koch on June 15, 2010

Kobe Bryant

Only in the NBA could a team give away a game with a chance to clinch a championship, but that’s exactly what the Boston Celtics did on Tuesday night.

The Los Angeles Lakers forced a Game 7 in the 2010 NBA Finals thanks to an 89-67 victory at Staples Center. Los Angeles was in control from start to finish and now Thursday night will determine which team will celebrate its second championship in three seasons. The Lakers were never threatened and have a chance to benefit from the home court advantage that they worked all season to get by stealing the final two games of the series and becoming the first team to beat Boston in 12 tries after the Celtics gained a 3-2 lead in The Finals. Let’s go to our five thoughts to see how the NBA season has been stretched to its limit.

— Los Angeles didn’t take very long to show how desperate it was to force a deciding game. The Lakers were diving for loose balls, hammering Boston on the glass and suffocating the Celtics on the defensive end. Los Angeles enjoyed a 30-13 advantage on the boards in the first half and set the tone thanks to diving efforts by Jordan Farmar, Derek Fisher and Lamar Odom, noteworthy because Mr. Khloe Kardashian is usually at the front of the line when someone is about to call the Lakers soft. Boston shot a dreadful 33.3 percent from the field after making 56 percent of its shots while winning Game 5.

— Boston could be about to pay the price for its casual approach to the final 54 games of the regular season. All of those losses to the Knicks, Nets and the rest of the league’s bottom feeders that led to a 27-27 finish might be about to bite the Celtics in the ass now that they have to try to win a Game 7 on the road. It’s amazing to think that Boston would even have the balls to go so far as to give away a game in The Finals, but nothing that the Celtics did in Game 6 would suggest otherwise.

— Losing Kendrick Perkins could be a killer blow for Boston’s title chances. Andrew Bynum leaped over Perkins’ back with 5:30 left in the first quarter and the Celtics’ center crashed to the floor clutching his right knee. Our guess? We’ve seen the last of Perkins for at least nine months – we’ll bet he sustained a serious knee injury and won’t be available for Game 7. Perkins does most of the dirty work in the paint and played effective defense against Pau Gasol in each of the last three games, helping Boston to a pair of wins. Gasol capitalized with Perkins out of the lineup by finishing just one assist short of a triple-double in 41 minutes, piling up 17 points, a game-high 13 rebounds and nine assists in Game 6, and the Celtics will need to make a significant adjustment to prevent Gasol from running wild in Game 7.

— The Lakers’ bench completely embarrassed the Celtics in this one. Los Angeles held a 24-0 advantage over Boston’s reserves through the first three quarters while the Lakers were building a 76-51 lead, a total collapse by Big Baby Davis, Rasheed Wallace and the rest of Boston’s backups. Farmar and Shannon Brown played with great energy, minimizing Fisher’s early foul trouble, and Odom chipped in eight points and 10 rebounds in 29 minutes.

— Los Angeles would have taken this situation if you had offered it to them at the start of the series. The Lakers improved to 30-4 in home playoff games since 2008 with their win on Tuesday, including a 10-1 mark this season. Boston owns two of those victories – its miraculous Game 4 comeback in 2008 and its win in Game 2 this year thanks to Ray Allen’s magical shooting night. The Celtics will need to do it again to raise Banner 18 to the rafters at The Fake Garden and improve to 10-2 all-time against Los Angeles in The Finals.

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One Response to “Five thoughts from Game 6 of Celtics-Lakers”

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