Stuart Scott asks D. Wade what advice he has for Kobe Bryant. Wade says Kobe needs to distribute the ball and get his teammates involved (I’m half expecting him to say “Hope for a ton of phantom foul calls in your favor.” He doesn’t.)
I have a foreboding feeling about Game 6. Perkins won't be at full strength (but at least he'll play – frankly, I'd question his toughness if he didn't), and Ray Allen stayed back in L.A. for an extra day because of a sick kid. Oh yeah, and the Celtics plane was delayed 5 hours due to "mechanical problems" in L.A. Yeah, right. That Laker plane took off on time (maybe air traffic control in Boston should have made the yellow and purple circle Boston airspace for 5 hours).
Wilbon, Barry, Wade all calling for a Celtics victory...hate when my team gets a unanimous vote. Bad omen. Last unanimous commentator vote: Patriots to win the Superbowl, and by a landslide. Yeah, right.
Team introductions. Why do the Lakers get kick ass opening music? Why do they get any music at all? Shouldn't they at least get Star Wars "Evil Empire" music? (Note from Basketbawful:
That's called The Imperial March
Rondo is in the starting lineup...chills. Please play better at home, Rajon.
Bill Russell, Cedric Maxwell, Jo Jo White, M.L. Carr in the stands – which of these things is not like the others? I’ll give you one guess, M.L. Still, this is a far better brand of "stadium celebrity" than we saw in L.A.1st Quarter
11:46, 1st – Phantom foul on Perkins. Stern wants 7 games?
11:00, 1st – Pierce blocking foul. Mediocre call. Or maybe these are just the officials' 1st quarter "we're gonna show the world there isn't home cooking" calls. Or maybe these are the "we're gonna keep this from being a 'physical home court' game" calls.
10:13, 1st – Rondo passes up another drive for an Allen 3.
9:00, 1st – Kobe hits second three. Yikes. Could be a long night.
Van Gundy mentions a broken windshield on the Celtics' family plane causing another delay. Apparently, airport employee Laker fans wanted the Celtic families to be tired for game 6 as well.
"Defense" chant for the Celts every time. Feels like a more "into it" crowd than in LA.
5:25, 1st – Kobe's third three. He'll cool off.
Bill Belichick and Aerosmith's Steven Tyler in the stands. Not quite Russell and Hondo, but still a better brand of celeb (Tyler's cool offsets Belicick's nerdiness).
Replay of Ray Allen's lay up shows Odom slapped him in the face - hard. No foul called. Officiating work continues it's sensational record of blindness.
Celtics' shooting has sucked, but it's tied at 14. Good sign for Celtics fans.
3:30, 1st – Walton hits 2 free throws. Wondering if Larry Bird's "Good Luck" phone call to Luke has added some sort of cosmic curse to the Green.
2:30, 1st – Rondo with third steal. Looking to prove detractors wrong.
1:38, 1st – Rondo alley oop to KG. 22-18 Celtics. You can almost hear Rondo saying "See? I do other stuff too!" Yes, but only at home, apparently.
:20, 1st – Kobe forces a three from five feet behind the three-point line. His opening flurry has ended. I expect him to force shots from this point forward.2nd Quarter
10:35, 2nd – House hits a jumper. He's shooting the ball before he even gets it, this guy.
9:57, 2nd – Doc gets a technical for complaining. Joey Crawford calls it. There’s
an official who conjures memories, eh Tim Duncan?
8:12, 2nd – Allen still in the locker room tending to an eye injury on a play that was not called a foul. I forgot he was gone. If the Celtics lose, I'll remember.
6:27, 2nd – Posey and House with rat-tat-tat threes. Celtics by 9. Feels good, but not good enough. No leads, not any of them, feel safe.
6:05, 2nd – Eye doctor into the locker room, Michele Tafoya says this is "taking a lot longer than it should to wash out an eye." On cue, Ray appears from the locker room. He probably realized he needed to stay out for much longer than Pierce did in Game 1 so nobody would make fun of him for having a "fake" injury.
5:25, 2nd – Kobe implodes, practically giving the ball to Pierce, who passes to Posey for a three. Celtics by 14. Don't get lazy, I think. Eliminate now. Don't let this go to game 7.
4:44, 2nd – Allen returns. Crowd goes nuts...well, cheers at least.
4:27, 2nd – Gasol hooks over Davis. Why are you still using him on Gasol, Doc?
3:48, 2nd – Radmanovic over Pierce, and called for over the back. Ticky-tick call – Rad got a little Ginobili’d
by Pierce there.
2:38, 2nd – Rondo's fourth steal. Showing what he can contribute…
1:15, 2nd – Rondo sinks a little finger roll to make it an 18-point lead.
:47, 2nd – KG with the highlight of the game so far, knocking home a bank shot while being fouled by Odom. Follows it with a huge block.Halftime:
Celtics 58-35. Pierce tells Michele Tafoya "We want it too bad to let up on the gas." Amen. Don't let up, Paul. Twenty point leads don't mean a lot in this series (though if the Celts D keeps it up, the lead will mean plenty. This lead, for some reason, feels safer than the Laker leads did. Home court advantage and the defense gives warm fuzzies about this lead.)
Lakers with ZERO offensive rebounds. No team wins that way. KG 8 for 12, getting in the paint as instructed. 2nd quarter shooting: Celtics: 56%, Lakers 23%. Kobe has taken 7 threes...keep taking those all day Kobe. Feels like the last live blog of the season. I hate that feeling, cause I don't trust my feelings. Big believer in the jinxing of one's self and one's team – even though it's a ridiculous belief. Or is it?
Stuart Scott and D Wade have already coronated the Celtics as the Champs. Hate that kind of certainty because that kind of certainty is not reality. Ever. Not with one half of basketball left to play.3rd Quarter
11:30, 3rd – Rondo opens with a jumper. Like that as a start.
Breen reminds of the near historic collapse of the Celtics in Game 2 (24-point lead in the 4th to 2!). Seems like forever ago, but it brings home how NO lead is safe for either team.
9:52, 3rd – Fisher hits lay up with a three-point opportunity. Celts by 24. Must keep the foot on the gas. Any life will give the Lakers confidence.
9:10, 3rd – Pierce left handed drive makes it 67-41. There is a sense that there's no way he will let this game get away.
7:32, 3rd – Rondo Steal leads to an Allen corner three attempt. Ray stands there for a good two seconds waiting for Vujacic to play defense. Sinks three. Boston 73, LA 46.
Shot of John Havlicek watching the game. Mark Jackson: "Hondo lovin' what Rondo's doing." Dammit, I thought of that first, but Mark has a microphone.
Shot of Red Auerbach II – I mean Danny Ainge. He looks concerned despite the 77-48 score. He's played the Lakers before. He knows.
5:09, 3rd – KG earns a jump ball with a nasty five-finger ball smother chicken
4:38, 3rd – Rondo tips home a KG miss. The man is playing possessed.
4:03, 3rd – Pierce steal (the 13th Celts steal of the game!) leads to free throws. Celts 84, LA 53. Still doesn't feel safe, not with all the leads that have been lost in this series.
2:31, 3rd – Rondo picks Kobe's pocket (his 6th steal of the game). He is making the most solid case ever that he should start – in the Garden anyway.
1:47, 3rd – Celtics seem to be relaxing a bit. Hope it's an illusion.
1:00, 3rd – Lead down to 25. Back to 29 at the end of the third. So in theory, you could not even count the Celtics scoring in the fourth and they could still win. Things that go through a Celtics fan's mind at this point? They almost botched a 24-point lead in Game 2. It's not over.4th Quarter
11:00, 4th – Missed free throw rebound (three Celtics miss it) goes to Vujacic, V hits a three. Lead down to 26. Here we go.
10:44, 4th – Farmar called for a flagrant on Rondo breakaway. Feels like he got a little Ginobili’d
there for a flagrant. God, I like that term.
10:06, 4th – Ray Allen answers a Farmar three with his own. Again stands there all day for a perfect look. Vujacic defense shows up three days later.
9:07, 4th – Another Ray Allen three. Celtics 101-70. OK, feels like it's over. Hate writing those words. Never feel like there are certainties. Also, I think "If I feel it's over, will the Celtics feel it's over as well and stop playing hard?"
Stats show Rondo with 21 points (plus his 6 assists and 6 steals). In my head, I officially apologize to him.
8:39, 4th – Ray Allen with another three. Lead is 34. I am reminded of Kobe's flurry of opening quarter threes he has had in the last few games, and it makes me think of the critical difference between opening "flurries" and the consistent diet of sharpshooting that Allen provides.
5:19, 4th – Ray Allen hits his 7th three. Ray Allen, meet jugular vein. Jugular vein, meet Ray Allen. Guess that eye injury has healed nicely.
In Doc's O'Brien trophy photo shoot, he chose not to touch it. Says he wants to earn it, and only then wants to be able to "touch it as often I want." Insert dirty joke here.
Crowd singing "goodbye" song with 4:30 remaining? Now that's a blowout for you.
4:01, 4th – Allen, Pierce, Garnett taken out of the game. Hugs and kisses on the Celtics' bench.
2:33, 4th - Posey three makes it 123-85. Random thought: For those who like to compare Kobe to MJ, has a Jordan team ever been beaten this soundly in a Finals game, much less any playoff game? Don't have an answer, but I'm curious.
2:07, 4th – 39-point lead. Waiting for that inevitable Lakers run. That's just how fans think. OK, just kidding – I know it's over.
:48, 4th – Vujacic holds his nose after a three. Still looking for that flagrant, even down 40.
Doc gets Gatoraded. Never seen that on a basketball court before. Kinda hoping that doesn’t become a trend – you know how hard it is to clean Gatorade off hardwood? Neither do I. But who wants to find out?
Random celebration observations:
After an odd screaming fit, Garnett has some nice moments with Bill Russell. Random phrases I hear out of KG: "Hope I made you proud...Thanks for everything...You have to tell me where to go tonight [to celebrate]."
During the ceremony, when Stern says "Somewhere Red is lighting a cigar," Wyc Grousbeck, managing partner of the Celts, takes a cigar out of his lapel pocket...as Stern goes on another tangent, Wyc (what kind of name is that anyway?) puts the cigar away with a darn-it-I-can't-make-that-cutsie-comment-I-had-ready look on his face.
Stern booed as he presents MVP award. Rightfully so.
MVP to Paul Pierce. Rightfully so.
Ainge gets head rubs from Pierce and Garnett. Something tells me people will treat Danny like a grade school kid until he's 60.
Do I see Glen "Big Baby" Davis holding Pierce's Finals MVP award during the on-court photo? I imagine he's thinking "only time I'm gonna get my hands on one of these."
Phil Jackson calls "Powe" POW again in the postgame. George Bush Sr. used to intentionally mispronounce Saddam's name as a sign of disrespect. I wonder if Phil's doing it intentionally as well.
Scott Pollard looks awfully out of place dancing and singing in the locker room. I didn’t even know he was on the team.
KG postgame comments – "Except for my kid being born, this is the best day of my life..." waiting for him to hug Apollo Creed and follow with "Yo Adrian, I DID IT!" Refuses to accept Big Three as an appropriate term – makes me like him even more.
Congratulations to the World Champion 2008 Boston Celtics. It was fun to watch.
Labels: Boston Celtics, Evil Ted, game 6, Lakers, Live blog