Hey ya'll. Well this series has gone exactly two games longer than I wanted it to. I can't stand the Celtics, and I'm sooo tired with the bully-then-victim attitude of their team, coach, and fans. Someone will win two out of the next three, and take the championship home. I'd like to point out some important factors going into what looks like another "must win (cliche much?)" game for both teams.
The Celtics have taken 100 shots at the rim in those three games, and are converting at a nice clip. The Lakers, conversely, have only taken 55 shots at the rim in those three games. Where is this vaunted "inside dominance" we hear so much about? If you factor in "close range shots", less than 10', the Lakers are being dominated down low with shots on goal: Celtics have 126 total shots at close range, while Lakers have only taken 88.
A slight caveat as at least we're shooting at a slightly higher percentage, but the volume of scoring in low is extremely concerning. We saw it last night as we were dominated by two undersized bench players.
Drew's block, his size, height, rebounding ability, shot-altering ability, and scoring are sorely missed. Yes he is that important to our team.
2) Speaking of "sore", what about the man's knee? As indicated in this apocalyptic article, Drew-gate is looking worse and worse by the minute. I do want to pull your attention to one specific paragraph.
Bynum said he expects to have his knee re-examined Friday in Boston by a specialist from New York City. Game 5 is set for Sunday, giving him two days of treatment.
If anybody hates Boston more than we, it's got to be New York City. I mean, it's like being that super-cool kid on the block, and unfortunately that rowdy, a-hole lives right up the street from you, and he's always trying to crash your party. Yankees/Sox anybody? I could go on.
Right now the Garden has experience a few years of, well, lackluster Knicks Basketball. Even their fans chant "MVP" when Kobe steps up to the line. I mean, Spike-fricking-Lee loves Kobe, and we know how he feels about the Celtics.
I expect this super-doctor from NYC to do anything and everything to get our boy Drew back and ready; 21st Century medicine? check. Voodoo? sure! Healing herbs from the Orient? Why not!?
3) Rest. Game 2, Sunday, LA. Game 3, Tuesday, MA. Game 4, Thursday, MA. That's a lot of traveling (not you Lebron, Manu, sit down), playing, and exertion with little rest. We've had little time for practice and adjustments. Our players are tired and we need this. Hell, our guys might even get a chance to visit the sights of Boston they've got so much free time. Lobster juggling anybody? Res will benefit our team, and prepare us to address some glaring issues with our offense, defense, and 4th quarter play. Did I mention Drew's knee?
4) What's up in the 3rd and 4th quarters, Lakers? In Games 2-4 we've scored in the 3rd quarter: 18, 15, 17. Uhm, that's shit. In the 4th quarter, of Games 2-4 we've given up 31, 23, and 36. Okay, so the 23 isn't that bad in Game 3, because we scored 24. But our crap-tastic 3rd quarters over the last three games, coupled with a total lack of defense in the 4th quarter has spelled disaster in the last 2 out of 3 games.
We need to pull our heads out, and match intensity with intensity. We did it in game 3, we failed miserably in games 2 and 4. It's been a combination of fatigue, fouls, and lack of activity that has swamped us. With some rest maybe we can address these issues.
5) Stat stuff. Just some quotes, which we know. This is just to make us feel better in Lakerland.
PJ, winning first game of series = 47-0. That's a testament to his abilities as a coach to motivate, adjust, and conquer.
From WhoWins.com (edited out the baseball stuff)
After Game 4: When tied 2-games-all in a best-of-7 NBA playoff series, the Los Angeles Lakers have a 21-7 series record with an active six-series winning streak and a 22-6 Game 5 record with an active six-Game 5 winning streak, while the Boston Celtics have a 28-9 series record and a 26-11 Game 5 record with an active six-Game 5 winning streak. One of these lengthy Game 5 winning streaks will thus come to an end in the next series 1118 game.
In the history of best-of-7 NBA Finals-round playoff series, teams (such as Los Angeles) which win Game 1 and lose Game 2 at home and win Game 3 and lose Game 4 on the road have a 10-0 series record and a 9-1 Game 5 record.
WLWL = 10-0 series record, 9-1 Game 5 record. Even teams that lost Game 5 have gone on to win Games 6 and 7 (a la 1988 Lakers beating Detroit).
This means jack shit, really, but it makes me feel a little better. History is on the Laker's side, as they have a great chance to take Game 5. No, not because of the aforementioned stats, Mr. Celtics Fan who happens to be posting on our website. We have a great (probable) chance to take Game 5 because we're getting our rest, and making our adjustments.
6) Kobe doing work. I mentioned Spike earlier. Kobe's been doing work all season long, be it injured or angered he brings his game. The Celtics defense has bee spectacular on Mr. Bryant, forcing him off his strong hand and into turnovers and jump shots. He's looked aggravated, and tired. We keep waiting for his game to break out (a la Game 1), and I think he'll put his mark on Game 5.
In Game 5 against the Thunder, Kobe scored 13 points in fairly limited minutes. He came back for Game 6 with an impressive 32-7-3 game (okay the TO's were ugly).
In Game 5 against Phoenix, Kobe scored 30 and played an exemplary game. In Game 6, he went off for 37.
So to wrap this post up I feel very confident going into Game 5. The Celtics have proven to be an awesome defensive team, with the intensity and activity at all levels, starters and bench, that has proven troublesome to the Lakers. We have been turrible in the 3rd quarter, and have seen leads evaporate and losses accumulate in the 4th. As PJ said, "two more wins". And with 2 of the next 3 back in the land of milk and honey (or smog and silicone if you prefer), a precedent of game 5 victories, and an angry Mamba, I stand by my prediction of Lakers in 6.
Buggin' Out says...