Just another reminder that Wild Yams
is Basketbawful's special correspondant for the Rockets-Lakers series.The Orlando Magic:
You may remember it was only 10 short days
ago that I said: "It can truly be said that no deficit is safe against the Magic. They simply will not allow their opponents to get blown out." This bitter truth (for Orlando fans) came back to haunt them last night in Boston. The Magicians were in control for most of the game. They went up by 14 (77-63) after a slam by Mickael Pietrus with 8:53 left in the fourth quarter, and they were still leading by 10 (85-75) with just under five minutes to go. But from that point on, the Celtics went on a 17-3 run to pull out a 92-88 come-from-behind victory. And perhaps the most painful aspect of this boner was the fact that the Celtic comeback was led by -- waaaaaaaaait for it -- Stephon Marbury and Glen Davis! That's right. Starbury scored all 12 of his points in the fourth and Big Baby had 10 of his 21 in the final period to account for 22 of Boston's 33 points. Said Baby: "Stephon Marbury led the charge in the second half, and made some things happen, and that energy fed me. Things weren't going right, and we're looking for an answer. ... You help others, and motivate others, and that’s what Stephon Marbury did and that's what we all did." Stephon led, the Magic lost. Talk about your bitter pills.
Now let's take a peek at Orlando's clutch (final five minutes) possessions: Missed two-pointer by Rashard Lewis; missed three-pointer by Lewis; turnover by Lewis (stolen by Ray Allen); missed three-pointer by Hedo Turkoglu; turnover by Rafer Alston (stolen by Kendrick Perkins); missed three-pointer by Alston; two made free throws by Rashard Lewis; one made free throw (out of two) by Dwight Howard; missed three-pointer by Anthony Johnson. The Magic also gave up three critical offensive rebounds, including two in the final 36 seconds when Boston was clinging to a one-point (86-85) lead. Had Orlando managed to snare just ONE of those rebounds...well, things might have turned out very differently. (But probably not.)
Said Turkoglu: "We were up all night, but the last two minutes we just stopped. We shouldn't even be in that situation because we could have won this game easily." Coulda, shoulda, woulda...but didn't. And there's some blame to spread around...Orlando's three-point shooting:
The Magic shot 5-for-27 in their Game 4 loss, and I said then that wasn't going to get it done...not for a three-point shooting team like Orlando. Well, they managed to nearly match that misguided marksmanship in Game 5 by going 6-for-24. To provide some perspective, Brian Scalabrine (2-for-3) and Stephon Marbury (1-for-2) were better from downtown than anybody on the Magic except for Courtney Lee...who was 1-for-1. So their outside game was "meh." What about their inside game...Dwight Howard:
Superman scored only 12 points and finished with almost as many fouls (4) and turnovers (also 4) as field goals (5). Moreover, his last bucket came with 6:56 to go in the fourth, and his only other point came on a free throw with six seconds left. But it's not Dwight's fault. Just ask him: "You've got a dominant player. Let him be dominant. I have to get the ball. I don't think you are going to win a lot of games when your post player only gets 10 shots. It's tough to get yourself going and get a lot of shots without a lot of touches. We have to get better with that. The coaches have to recognize what's working on the floor and stick with it. When you're in a situation where guys got it going, you know everybody's moving the ball and the energy is up, you have to stick with...what works." So it's Stan Van Gundy's fault then. Got it. But that doesn't take into account that Kendrick Perkins has been doing one hell of a job denying Howard position and contesting his 1.5 post moves. Plus, if you check the shot chart
you'll notice that Dwight went 0-for-4 on anything that wasn't a dunk or a layup.Officiating:
Since I hate to point fingers at the officiating, I'll let the Boston Globe's Bob Ryan do it for me
: "[The Celtics] also had the benefit of the doubt on an apparent Rondo air ball that was ruled as a legitimate shot attempt, and not, therefore, a 24-second violation. And the officials went deep into let-'em-play mode at just the right time, with a no-call on a Turkoglu excursion to the hoop particularly galling to the Magic." Yep. That's a little home cookin' you were smelling last night. And Stan Van Gundy wants you to know what the C's were eating for dinner. You know, in his own special passive-aggressive fashion: "You can watch it, you can write whether it hit the rim or not. But you want us coaches to say it, so that I can donate money to the league and I can be called a whiner and everything. You can write and comment on it. That's your job. Look, you're playing Boston. They're the defending champions. That's the way it is." Well, at least he's not WHINING about it...Ray Allen's jumper:
Things haven't gotten any better between Ray-Ray and his wayward jump shot. Last night, Allen went 3-for-11 and finished with more turnovers (4) than field goals. He now 2-for-15 (13 percent) from beyond the arc in the last three games and 7-for-34 (20 percent) in the series.Reggie Miller, unintentionally dirty quote machine:
noted: "Reggie Miller is at it again in Game 5: 'Kendrick Perkins keeps massaging that sore left shoulder. I don't know if Dwight Howard is banging him or what.'"The Houston Rockets:
One game after manhandling the Lakers (only winning by 13, though the game was much more out of hand than that), the Rockets came out and tied for the worst loss in franchise history last night when they lost by 40 to those same Lakers (they were
the same team, right? It's hard to tell). That means that if you include the fourth quarter of Game 4, the Rockets have now been outscored by the Lakers by 57 points in the last 5 quarters of play. And that's not good, not if you're facing elimination like Houston now is. There's a lot to pick on Houston for in this game, and if you look almost anywhere in the box score you'll see why the Lakers won. LA had more rebounds, more assists, had more blocks, more steals, had more free throw attempts, had fewer turnovers, fewer fouls, shot a better field goal percentage, shot a better 3-pt percentage, and every Laker scored (even DJ Mbenga). The only thing the Rockets did better than LA was shoot a better percentage from the free throw line. As badly as the Rockets kicked LA's ass in Game 4, this was much, much worse; and part of the reason for that is because of...Ron Artest:
Crazy Pills played a horribly uninspired game, but unfortunately for Houston, his lack of inspiration didn't preclude him from continuing to play stupid. Even though he only took 15 shots for the game, 7 of them were three-point attempts (of which he hit one); and on top of that he only hit three of the other eight shots he fired up, to finish 4-for-15 with 9 points and 4 turnovers. It probably would have been worse, except he only played 29 minutes due to the fact that it was a 40-point lead after three quarters.Shane Battier:
A game after breaking the 20-point barrier for the first time all season, Battier plummeted back to earth with a pedestrian 5 points on seven shots (1-for-4 from downtown). At the other end of the floor he let Kobe leave tire marks all over him, going 10-for-19 for a game-high 26 points in only 31 minutes of play. Battier was also a -28 on the +/-, but that only made him tied for third worst on the team, behind Carl Landry and Aaron Brooks. Brooks "led" the team with the worst +/- with a -32, though oddly he appeared to be one of the few Houston players who even approached having a nice game.The LA Lakers:
It might seem odd to have a team on here the day after it wins by 40 (and it wasn't even that close), but it's games like this one that make you fully appreciate just how poorly they played in Game 4, and how fickle their effort has been in these playoffs. They shouldn't get a whole lot of praise for this game, because even though they smoked Houston, with all the injuries the Rockets have, especially along their frontline, this is what the Lakers should
be doing, and it's definitely what they should have done on Sunday. You see a game like this one and you can see why many picked them to win it all, but you also can't help but remember how they played just two days earlier. After a win as dominant as this one, you'd like to say that the Lakers should close the series out in Game 6 on Thursday, but the reality is you just don't know what to expect from this team.The writers of "Fringe":
: "The TV show 'Fringe' should get a Worst of the Night. In the episode they where talking about 'alternate universes' and a bunch of other stuff that really isn't important to this particular WotN. Anyway the last scene shows an alternate world where the Twin Towers still stand
, and while in an office in the Towers they show a quick shot of a newspaper on a desk
with a side-head that reads: 'Celtics Sweep: Len Bias Wins MVP.' While I appreciate the reference, Bias would be, what, 45 now? Also what's more f'ed up...being upset at bringing up the lost potential of Len Bias or omitting the reference of when over 3,000 people died?"Corie Blount:
Bad news for the former NBA baller: He's been sentenced to one year in prison
for possession of nearly 30 pounds of marijuana.
Although Judge Craig Hedric did not sentence Blount to the maximum 10 years in prison, he rejected Blount's claim that the marijuana was intended for personal use and to share with friends.
"Cheech and Chong would have had a hard time smoking that much," Hedric told Blount.
Hedric fined Blount $10,000 and ordered him to surrender two vehicles and $34,000 in cash seized in the bust.
Busted, jailed AND the butt of a "Cheech and Chong" joke. Yowch. As Dan B. put it: "Corie, not only do you have to be a dumbass and get sent to prison for having a buttload of marijuana, but you also have to have a last name that sounds the same as 'blunt,' leading to many awful jokes. Have fun in the Gray Bar Hotel for the next year!"
Labels: Boston Celtics, Corie Blount, drug busts, Fringe, Houston Rockets, Len Bias, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA playoffs, Orlando Magic, Worst of the Night