For those who love Worst of the Night, don't worry. I'm sure Bawful will take care of you....
Is it me, or is the Lakers' Staples opening introduction the most lame, least intimidating production in the league?1st Quarter
9:43, 1st - A driving Derek Fisher loses control of the ball, flops, and hits his head on a baseline camera. Not imagining that an offensive player could simply lose control of the ball on his own, official calls a foul.
8:12, 1st - Kobe acts as if he's been fouled with the old arm flail. None is called. Miracle.
8:00, 1st - Rondo passes on an open lay up for the second time in two games. This man simply doesn't want to shoot the rock. He's playing like I play when I've had a big chili dinner and am feeling an onset of diarrhea.
7:28, 1st - Gasol with a nice drive and dish. 12 - 5 Lakers.
7:01, 1st - Gasol misses, gets rebound. Hits follow up as phantom foul is called. Why is it that officials like to automatically reward a successful offensive rebound with a foul call? 18 - 5 Lakers. Feels, smells, tastes like game four, including the feeling that the Celtics are cooked. Don't trust that feeling, I tell myself.
5:15, 1st - House hits a three, reminds world why he is needed over Rondo.
4:53, 1st - Kobe with his third three pointer. Looks like he wants to put a towel on that wet spot.
3:50, 1st - Allen hits a three, reminds world that the Celtics have a lot more people to beat you than the Lakers do.
3:35 1st - Kobe fouled, crowd chants "MVP" during free throws as if they're trying to convince themselves of it.
2:38, 1st - Kobe with a great fake-three-bullet-pass to Radmanovic for two.
Celtics timeout. 31 - 15 Lakers. Breen says "The Celtics have 'em right where they want 'em." Could history repeat itself, I think? If superstition applies, do I have to keep blogging for the comeback to happen?
Kobe makes his silly "elite eight" comment again (about equating his position to March madness, how he only has three wins left for a championship), and how if someone told him at the beginning of the season he had three shots to win a championship, he'd take it in a second. Interesting positive outlook. He sounds almost mature, but "elite eight" talk from a guy who never went to college seems silly.
1:08, 1st - Garnett 2nd foul. Legit call. Hits Gasol on the arm.
End, 1st - 39 - 22 Lakers.2nd Quarter
2nd - Tony Allen getting some quality time. Dunks on an inbounds play. Mihm has been in the game as well, in order to foul and not score. Both coaches have decided, it appears, to try every possible combination of players. Either that, or they've both decided to make the TV audience go "Who?"
8:14, 2nd - Posey draws the charge, but it's a blocking foul. Bad calls go both ways...
7:37, 2nd - Garnett's third foul is another phantom, assisted by Gasol's overacting. But I agree with the commentators that Garnett shouldn't have slapped at the ball, and that you have to avoid even the appearance of a foul, because, sadly, the refs can't tell the difference.
Celts on a 15-0 run thanks to one Mr. Pierce. Early playoff criticism was that the Celts don't have a go-to guy. Pierce has solidified himself as the man.
Gasol doesn't break to the basket hard enough for a Kobe pass. Gasol has that all-I-have-going-for-me-is-I'm-tall feeling.
Cassell and Tony Allen have been in the game for quite a while. Causes me to think maybe it's a sign of respect to Phil Jackson. Maybe Doc just assumes Jackson will have perfectly prepared the Lakers for looks they've seen before, and he feels he has to show the Lakers a look with which they are unfamiliar.
Jack Nicholson jaws with Bavetta on a Fisher foul. Earlier he is seen trying to take up Doc Rivers' valuable time. There is no surer sign he expects the Celtics to win. He may be the biggest jock sniffer of all time; he used to bother Bird back in the '80's too.
Breen says Bird called Luke Walton to wish him luck? Jesus, Larry. I know he's Bill's kid and all, but he's playing against the Celtics. Where's at least a little of that patented Larry humor? How about a little "I wish you luck, Luke. I hope you score 50, but that the Celtics whip your team's ass"? I'm really going to have to just try to avoid any and all Larry Bird news from now on, and just try to watch old videos and commemorative DVDs of him kicking ass and taking names and enjoying the hell out of it.Halftime: Father's Day Tribute
Bill Walton interviews son Luke for Father's Day. They reminisce about playing ball with Larry Legend in the back yard, and how Larry would trash talk. Yes guys, I miss that trash talker Larry too. The end of the father-son discussion feels forced and scripted, and Bill looks like he can't speak past whatever dental work has been done to him. Are those teeth, or is that a giant wedge of ice cold vanilla ice cream in his mouth?3rd Quarter
9:54, 3rd - Celts take the lead, 58-57.
9:26, 3rd - Phantom call on Pierce against Kobe. MVP chants from the crowd are weak and uninspired.
8:26, 3rd - Pierce, after thinking hard, gives the ball to a wide-open Rondo. Rondo hits a jumper. This is a sign of the Apocalypse for the Lakers.
7:16, 3rd - Garnett called for his fourth foul. He never touched Gasol on the play. Stern wants to have at least six games. Sense this will go six, but an even stronger sense that the Lakers won't be able to get even close with the home cooked calls in Boston.
6:04, 3rd - Kobe gets 4th foul, second charge. If he gets in trouble, it's over. He may already be in trouble.
5:00, 3rd - Rondo fouls Fisher hard on a shot make, then gives away the ball on an awful pass on a drive. Jackson said earlier he's "penetrating to pass"... no truer words have been spoken, and no more ineffective guard play has been played. Get him the hell out of there, Doc.
Celeb watch: Paula Abdul, Matt Damon, David Spade, Sylvester Stallone, Denzel Washington. Matty Damon proudly sporting the green hat - he may hunt for goodwill in this building, but he won't get it.
Lakers lead by 9 at the end of the third. It's going back to Boston. I can feel it. No comeback this time.4th Quarter
11:47, 4th - Odom gets called for a foul. Why? Because Pierce kneed him in the groin. At least the horribleness of the officiating is consistent, but that's the rationalization for bad officiating we hear all too often these days.
Odom hits a three. Laker lead is 12. Boston here we come.
9:10, 4th - Lukey boy hits a basket. Bill smiles through the ice cream bar in his mouth.
8:35, 4th - Vujacic (a.k.a. Ginobili-in-training) falls to the floor and even whacks his head on an acting job, pretending 38-year-old Cassell just tossed him to the floor. Officials rightly call jump ball. Expect a fine next year on that, Sasha.
6:22, 4th - Luke doesn't use the force - fouls Pierce in the backcourt to put the Lakers in the penalty. Gets sent to the bench. No close up of Bill on that boner.
5:40, 4th - Pierce falls to the floor, tosses the ball to Posey while sliding on the floor (is that a travel?), who hits a cold-blooded three. Posey is consistently not sucking in this series.
3:54, 4th - KG goes to the line for the first time of the night. Not bad officiating, he just simply doesn't drive to the hole like he should.
3:31, 4th - KG and Pierce pick up their fifth fouls three seconds apart. KG's call is a tick-tack away from the ball. More often than not calls on his defense have been ridiculous.
3:10, 4th - Bryant with a huge slap away of the ball on Pierce, reminiscent of what Pierce did to him the game before.
2:14, 4th - Kobe shooting free throws. More MVP chants, even though he's been crap in the second half (2-12 since a 15 point first quarter).
:37.4, 4th - Players are beating each other up right and left without calls. That "don't call anything in the last 5 seconds" rule officials like to apply appears to have been extended to the final 2 minutes. Kobe with another huge steal off Pierce - could have been a foul, but not the way officials call the end of games for an away team.
:26, 4th - KG blows a weak put back of a Ray Allen miss. Boston, here we come.
House makes it interesting with a three, but Mark Jackson and Jeff Van Gundy are spouting off that "this Laker performance won't get it done in Boston." This, to me, is the surest admission that "home court advantage" in the NBA goes way beyond just a crowd cheering in your favor...
...all the more reason to be glad the Celtics have home court advantage.
Labels: Boston Celtics, finals, Game 5, Los Angeles Lakers