Monday, June 16, 2008

Gotta Fight On

Fuck. The C's almost had it tonight, and while the outcome was not surprising, that doesn't make it any less painful. I thought it was gonna be a long night as soon as I saw Bavetta officiating, but really we can't end up making excuses like that for this loss. Let me say it sucked Pierce couldn't put this away in LA. He was downright Jordanesque tonight, as his box score would attest (38-6-8). Of course MJ probably wouldn't have gotten his pocket picked by Kobe at the end there (he would have gotten the foul call instead.) For the first time in the series Odom and Gasol were really working the inside, and although the rebounding numbers ended up about even, the Lakers seemed to have a leg up on that front the whole night. Was it because Perk wasn't around? Maybe. But also Gasol and Odom just seemed to do an exceptional job on the glass tonight, and I don't know how much Perk would have changed that. Of course only playing Leon 5 minutes doesn't help, and PJ was pretty worthless while he was in there. This is the risk you take by playing Posey at power forward - you do give up some size. But James was great tonight, the Celtics' second best player, so I don't feel like knocking him down.

Realistically I said I would be happy winning one game out in LA, and that's exactly what Boston did. On top of that, in none of these contests did they appear to be the inferior team. LA has many more problems than Boston right now. It's just you can't help but be anxious and slightly paranoid at this stage. You want it to be over, yet nothing is that easy, so you at least partially fear the worst. But let's be real - the Celtics have done nothing to shake our confidence. You have to believe if they continue to play as well as they have the last few games they will finish this thing out on Tuesday. No need to rehash, let's just see this thing through.

4 comments:

wharper said...

Last night was tough - a few quick items that I haven't been able to stop thinking:

- I'm convinced that Perk's DNP led to Odom and Gasol's inside success, and that I'm glad that Odom isn't a Celtic. I haven't been impressed with either his performance or his composure on this, The Biggest Stage. Hope Perk can make it back for Game 6.

- I'm sick of the Breen/Van Gundy/Jackson booth. 11 straight games with these guys, soon to be 12, is just too much. I'm not looking for Tommy to take back the mic (although he must have had an aneurysm over KG's third foul), but I've had enough of those three.

- Why did Pierce play the whole game? Couldn't he have rested some during that awful third quarter? I know Ray must have been dragging after Thursday, but if there was some sort of ego-massaging at play in letting Pierce carry the load for a full 48, the offense shouldn't have been running solely through him late in the 4th. He was clearly sluggish, not finishing on that possible 3-pt play when Farmar fouled him on the drive. Another drive attempt ended up with Pierce collapsing to the floor, miraculously avoiding a travel call, and finding Posey in the corner for a 3. Finally, would Kobe's gambling reach-around steal (leading to a crowd boosting fast break dunk) have success against a more-fresh Pierce? I guess we'll never know.

Hopefully Pierce can rebound from the full 48 by tomorrow, but I'm also surprised at the current lack of press speculation at the Cs now playing their 26th playoff game tomorrow night, vs. the Lakers' 21st playoff game. Yes, the Cs were able to rest more during the season's final stretch, but they're getting ragged. I know that all efforts were made to win the game last night instead of resting up for Tuesday, but I question Doc playing Pierce for the whole game.

- One moment highlighting the difference between the two teams:
After Ronny Turiaf contributed his only play of the game (the charge over Posey), there was a quick closeup that looked as if he held out hands to get helped up by teammates who weren't there, so he had to get up on his own. Ever see that happen with the Celts this season?

- Now, I love KG's game, attitude, presence, leadership, and humility. And while I think there is much to be despised about Kobe as a whole, this cannot be denied or defended: KG missing 2 fourth quarter free throws immediately followed by Kobe draining 2 freebies on the opposite ends while the game was still very much ours for the taking. That plus the earlier 1 for 2 KG went in the quarter - it just leaves little wiggle room in comparing the two in the 'clutch' category.

Pierce, on the other hand, went 10 for 10 from the line in the fourth, continuing to cement his status as an elite player in the league. Even while running on fumes, there's no doubt that Pierce did absolutely everything he could do to try to win this in his hometown. I just wish that Doc held the reins back a little bit on him, and maybe Pierce would've done just that.

- Even with all the recent championship success that Boston has had, tomorrow marks the first time during this post-millennium insanity where the town has a chance to see a championship won firsthand, instead of on the road. Crazy. Just crazy.

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