The Boston Celtics clamped down on defense in the second half, outscoring the Lakers 52-37 leading them to a 98-88 Game 1 victory. I’m not going to get into this game too much, because the best is still to come with both of these teams still feeling each other out. But here’s a couple thoughts from the game:
-Kendrick Perkins left the game with 6:19 left in the third quarter after straining his right knee. The Lakers were leading 62-58 at that point. The combination of PJ Brown and Leon Powe provided a quicker lineup (especially on defense) that was more effective against this Lakers team. The Celtics outscored them by 14 points with Perkins on the bench. In hockey, Perkins would be considered a minus player. Hopefully, for Celtics fans, Perkins will see limited time from here on out.
-Lakers forward Vladamir Radmanovic could be one of the worst starting forwards in the league. He can’t cover Paul Pierce. I’m not sure how much playing time Vlad will get next year when Andrew Bynum comes back.
-What happened to the pick-and-roll for the Lakers in the second half? When they closed out the first half, Kobe and Pau were starting to click, but this did not carry over to the third and fourth quarters. You have to credit the Celtics defense on that. Adjustments were made, rotations were solid, ball pressure was great, and the passing lanes were non-existent. The Celtics defense in the second half is what won this game for them. That and Perkins being on the bench.
-Sam Cassell either makes a really good play or a really stupid play. Nothing in-between.
-I love Mark Jackson and Jeff Van Gundy calling these games.
-The refs made a great call on the Kevin Garnett almost-back-court save, but Pau Gasol’s back-court was a horrible call. Maybe instead of having a huge trophy painted on the court, they should put a half-court line so they wouldn’t have this problem? Just a thought.
-Kobe’s shots were hitting both sides of the rim (the rim is a circle, it doesn’t have sides?) and popping out. Look out when they start falling, which they will…soon.
-The Lakers were only 3-14 from 3-point land (21.4%). For the season they were a 37% three-point shooting team.
-The Celtics bench matched the Lakers bench. This needs to happen more often than not if they want to win the Championship.
I just realized this is more than just a couple thoughts.
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