Allow me to admit something - Every NBA Championship Finals that the Lakers have been a part of I have cheered for them…. until now.
Now that we've got that out of the way…
You either love him, or hate him, but no matter which it is for you there is no denying KB's usual domination on the court. On average he's 45% percent from the floor, and can generally get away with comments about how he can 'manage' a game from a distance and then turn things back on whenever he so pleases because, well, we believe he can. We've seen him do it. He is without a doubt one of the most talented players ever. Cocky or not, it's the truth. It's been said that when he wants to make a basket, he will, that no one can guard him, and that he is one of the greatest closers. That very well may be true, but all its making me want to do right now is stand up and give Boston some props.
Game one he shot 9-26, and last night he was just 11-23. Ouch. In the four losses to Boston this season, Bryant is just 35-of-93 from the field. Call it 'bad looks' if you'd like, I'll call it good defense. Give credit when due, and the Celtics have figured out how to stop the 'unstoppable' man. Brav-friggin-o!!
Yes, Kobe helped close Boston's 24 point lead down to 2 during the last 5 minutes of the game, but seriously, good job on getting that far behind in the first place. LA fans, go ahead and pick at that one. I know you're dying too. And to the Celtics, DON'T F'IN BLOW LEADS LIKE THAT!! I'm too young to have a heart attack and things like that are not helping. Plain and simple, Boston got too comfortable.
Last week on ESPN's website a group of sports nuts/experts listed five factors they thought were going to play majors rolls in this series. Number one was Kobe Bryant. No surprise there. Number five was each team's bench. Let's take a look at those good'ole bench warmers shall we??
The Lakers may have multiple decades worth of experience on their bench, but they have yet to put up high contributing stats. With a few of their key players in early foul trouble, Jackson sent second string guys in to play during the second quarter… you know, when Boston first started pulling ahead!? And they were the favored ones.
The Celtics on the other hand have had multiple contributors. PJ Brown has done an outstanding job in the wake of Perkins hurting his ankle, and Powe, who played a measly 15 minutes in last nights game, shot 6-7 from the floor, and got to the line 13 times. THIRTEEN TIMES!! That was more than the entire Lakers team shot the whole game. Give that man the T-Mobile player of the game!! He deserved it. Had I remembered the number the one time they flashed it on screen I would have sent a text or two for him as well.
So maybe the Celtic team is young, and yeah they have been doing fairly shitty in the playoffs in comparison to how they 'should' have been playing considering their regular season record. Everyone 'should' have been a breeze. You know what I have to say about that?? They still won! They STILL made it to the Finals. They are a group of guys who have never played on a team together, most of them have never been to the Finals before, and on a team that hasn't been there since the 80's… and right now they're kicking the Lakers' ass!! Rajon Rondo's total of 16 assists was the highest for any player in a Finals game since Magic Johnson in 1991. They had 31 assists on 36 FGs last night to give them the highest percentage for any of Boston's 118 Finals games ever. Not bad for some inexperienced babies don't you think?
Now, I am fully aware that the Lakers are 8-0 in the postseason at home, and that they've won 14 in a row there as well, and yada yada… but they have also never overcome a 2-0 deficit in the Finals, while Boston is 7-0 all time when holding a 2-0 series lead. I'm just thanking everything that is holy they won yesterdays game because having to win all 3 in LA would have been a *bitch*. Home court definitely plays a big factor, (and I believe it was either 3rd or 4th in that list), and naturally I can't expect Boston to take the next two games, and I doubt they will. I'm an optimist but a realist at the same time. That being said, I'm going to go with my original prediction of Celtics in 6 games… and then they'll get to celebrate at home. Won't that be nice??
Lakers cheerleaders – go ahead and hate away. Just know that whatever happens I'm stoked we have a great match up to watch this year. ALLELUIA!! That makes me a happy girl.