Spider-Rondo
Is Rajon trying to look shorter than Jameer Nelson? He sure played like it...

The Boston Celtics: I guess the Lakers weren't the only team to get caught looking ahead to the NBA Finals. The Magic played like their playoff lives were on the line -- which was actually the case -- while the Celtics played like they were waiting for Orlando to crumple into a gasping, shuddering, dying heap.

Didn't happen. Beware the team that starts reading its own press clippings.

Boston coach Doc Rivers preaches "no hero ball." And yet that's what his team got caught playing: Too much dribbling, too many one-on-one plays, too many careless passes...16 of which ended up in the wrong hands. (From my standpoint, one of the worst TOs of the game happened with 42 seconds left in OT and the C's down 96-92. KG flung an awful pass across the court in the approximate direction of Paul Pierce...only it landed somewhere in the crowd. Fail.) It's no wonder the Celts shot 42 percent from the field and finished with only 92 points despite playing at home and having an extra five-minute period tacked on to the game.

In Game 3, Boston was whipping the ball around on every possession. There was one sequence in which the rock changed hands eight different times before Kevin Garnett sank a jumper. That wasn't happening in Game 4, which, I hate to say, is often the case when Pierce has a big scoring game (32 points, 11-for-25, 10-for-13). Of course, when The Half Truth scores like that, it's usually because the Boston offense is struggling to make anything happen. So I'm not sure what came first, the chicken or the egg.

Then again, maybe it was the Magic defense. Part of what's made Orlando's "collapse" in Games 1 through 3 so stunning is that they're actually a really good team. They finished the regular season with the second-best record in the league, the third-best defensive rating, and the fifth-best offensive rating. During the playoffs, they've been the second-best defensive team (based on D-Rating) next to the Celtics.

So, really, what they did to the C's last night really shouldn't be all that surprising...the surprising part is that it took them this long to put a game like this together.

But like I said, they were aided by a Boston squad that suddenly looked stiff and tentative. I'm not sure what happened to all the bravado, or Big Baby's "happy dance," or, for that matter, Rajon Rondo.

Rajon Rondo: I forget when this happened, but at some point during these playoffs, Magic Johnson said: "Rajon Rondo is by far Boston's best player. It's not even close." Evil Ted, who's becoming a huge Rondo fan, quite gleefully recounted Magic's words to me...although I'd already heard them and cringed.

First off, Magic Johnson is the undisputed King of Hyperbole. He always has been. When he's providing pre-game, in-game or post-game analysis, you really have to take what he says with a grain of salt.

Secondly, Rondo is and has been fantastic. He's controlling games, providing defense and hustle, and doing a pretty decent job in the leadership department. But Rondo's shooting is still suspect. It's improved but doubted, not only by opponents but sometimes also by Rondo himself. You could see it last night, especially during the fourth quarter. The kid finished 3-for-10 and it really looked like he didn't want to shoot the ball late. Maybe that was by design, but I don't think so. At any rate, the Magic sensed this and backed off him just enough to menace the other Boston players on D.

Thirdly, Jameer Nelson might have committed a game-worst 6 turnovers and eventually fouled out, but he took it to Rondo and outplayed him (23 points, 7-for-14, 3-for-6 on threes, game-high 9 assists). It wasn't just by the numbers, either, it was in leadership, inspiration and big shots.

Amazingly, the Boston crowd chanted "M-V-P!" for Rondo during the fourth quarter...when he had eight points and had been repeatedly skewered by Nelson. Oy.

Of course, Rajon went to the locker room near the end of the first half with vaginal cramping something described as "muscle spasms." So, uh, maybe that was the problem.

Kendrick Perkins: Remember when it looked like Perk (27 minutes, 0-for-2, 3 points, 4 rebounds) had solved the Dwight Howard puzzle? Yeah.

ESPN's John Hollinger had more damning (and accurate) words to say about Boston's big man:

One other move the Celtics may lament is starting Kendrick Perkins at the beginning of overtime. Perkins didn't make a field goal in 27 minutes despite being completely unmolested on the perimeter, leaving Boston's other players to go 4-on-5 offensively. The Celtics didn't score in overtime until Perkins came out with 1:59 left.
The truth is a little ouchie.

Rasheed Wallace: Playoff 'Sheed apparently got kidnapped and locked up in a basement somewhere by Regular Season 'Sheed: 13 minutes, 4 points, 4 fouls, 3 rebounds, a turnover, 2-for-7 shooting, 0-for-4 from downtown. And, frankly, not a lot of what you'd call "hustle," or "effort," for even "breathing" as far as I could tell.

Here's more from Zach Lowe from Celtics Hub:

Rasheed Wallace played his worst game of the post-season so far, especially considering the circumstances (a berth in the Finals on the line). The Celtics opened the 4th quarter by knocking the ball away from Howard and getting out in semi-transition. As the Magic rushed back on defense, Rondo pulled the ball up, waiting for a trailer. And he waited. And he waited some more. At this point, I thought maybe Wallace had been injured on the other end of the court.

Nope. He was just being lazy. By the time he appeared at the top of the arc and received the pass from Rajon, the Magic was set to at least contest the shot a bit, whereas if Sheed had been hustling, he would have time to set his feet and take a wide open three.

Awful. Then Sheed committed a dumb technical (the Magic made the free throw, and the game went to overtime—Thanks Sheed!), got whistled for an illegal screen and bricked another rushed three-pointer.

Doc pulled him, and Sheed never saw the floor again. Deservedly so.

Sheed: I thought you were here for the post-season? If you openly declare the regular season meaningless and say you’re here for the post-season only, that means you have to bring the effort in every single post-season game.
Nate Robinson: More from Mr. Lowe:

Nate Robinson, summed up: He makes a wonderful pass to KG to set up a lay-in at the end of the 2nd quarter, then needlessly fouls Jameer Nelson with 38 seconds left and the Celtics in the penalty. Nate Robinson still does not understand how to play NBA defense. Honestly, I have no clue what is going to happen with Nate next season. Some team could blow $4 million per season on him, or he could be playing in Europe. I have no idea. He has no idea.
Think Celtics fans -- not to mention the Celtics themselves -- miss Eddie House? You bet your ass, they do.

Tony Allen: Don't even get me started.

Boston's bench: Oh, what the hell. They sucked. I have a feeling that, before everything's said and done, Doc might end up regretting not developing his bench a little more.

sad celtics bench
Pictured: Why Boston's starters have to log such
heavy minutes. Oh, and Kendrick Perkins, too.

Boston's pick-and-roll defense: According to ESPN Stats & Information, the Magic were scoring 28 PPG on 35 percent shooting when using the P&R during Games 1-3. In Game 4, Orlando finished with 47 points on 51 percent shooting with the P&R. The Celtics might need to make an adjustment on that.

Boston's last possession in regulation / timekeeping: At TrueHoop, Kevin Anovits breaks down the Celtics' last possession:


Now, Arnovitz said it was refreshing to see the Celtics push the ball instead of calling time. And yet...that possession was a mess from the get-go. There was never any continuity or flow in it, and I happen to think the C's would have benefitted from a timeout and set play. I also think that Nelson fouled Pierce by body-blocking him to the floor, but that was probably a karmic no-call after time stood still for half a second.

Anyway, to me, that possession was a microcosm of what Boston was doing wrong all game long. And based on these somewhat passive aggressive comments, I think Ray Allen agrees with me: "Each guy feels like they can make the shot to win the game for us. Sometimes that's been at our team's detriment. So sometimes pulling back for all of us, like you come off, you have the ball, just swing it. Sometimes I might have a shot, but Kevin might have an easier one. Just plays like that. The unselfishness out there on the floor. When we're great, that's what we do.

Vince Carter: Even as Nelson and Pumaman (32 points, 16 rebounds, 4 blocked shots) were rising to the occasion, Vag was looking for a place to hide. Only it's hard for somebody Carter's size to hide in plain sight during a live basketball game. Half Man, Half-Assed Effort finished with the following line in what was the biggest game of his life to date: 31 minutes, 1-for-9, 3 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 turnovers and 4 fouls. Can I get a "He is who we thought he was"?

Speaking of Vince, an anonymous Orlando Magic fan sent in this link to the Not Vince Cater Twitter page. Basketbawful recommends you go there now.

Dwight Howard's elbow: I've played enough basketball to know this was intentional...and we all know about Dwight's history of elbows.


Big Baby, quote machine: "They don't want to leave. We're going to have to throw them out. It's just like somebody renting a house."

Speaking of Davis, Basketbawful readers Ely and Flunze want you to see a little of Baby's tongue action...which seems to say, "Dwight Howard! GET! IN! MY! BELLY!"


Stat curse: According to the AP game notes: "Sporting goods chain Modell's sent out an e-mail a few hours before the game advertising Eastern Conference championship gear -- if the Celtics won."

The "age" thing: After the game, some ESPN peeps -- Michael Wilbon chief among them -- who tried to pin this loss on the collective age of the Celtics. Really? Because this team didn't look all that old when they were beating the Magic in Games 1 and 2 with limited rest. Can't we all just agree that Boston lost because they played badly? Does the age thing have to come up every time they lose? I mean, prior to Game 4, the Celts had a six-game playoff winning streak going against the two best teams in the league (based on regular season record). Age wasn't the problem. Sloppy, half-hearted play was the problem.

A.J. Price: This is why I avoid charity events:

The Indiana Pacers say guard A.J. Price will need 4-6 months to heal from a knee injury he suffered while playing in a charity basketball game.

Price was injured in New York on Saturday night. He was examined by team doctors Monday and will undergo surgery Tuesday in Indianapolis to repair a fractured left patella.

Price, heading into his second year out of Connecticut, averaged 7.3 points, 1.9 assists and 1.6 rebounds in 56 games as a rookie. He started two games, and was a regular part of the rotation the second half of the season.
Monday's sleight of hand lacktion report: From Chris: "In 19 seconds, Marquis Daniels attempted to rescue Zelda, resulting in a Mario."

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42 Comments:
Here's the thing about the Celtics' last regulation possession: Orlando was doing O-D substitutions between Carter and Barnes. A timeout gets Barnes back on the floor, and Pierce had been scoring on the Carter-Nelson administration all night. Unfortunately, Vince came out of nowhere to play exceedingly good defense on this one play of the game, thus negating the purpose of making sure he was out there.

Anonymous ZaneK said...
So you criticize Magic for stating that Rondo is Boston's best player but fail to state who actually is the best player on the team - which is the key element in arguement that Rondo is not Boston's best player. So I must ask: who is the best player on the Boston team?

Blogger Will said...
"First off, Magic Johnson is the undisputed King of Hyperbole."
According to Bill Walton, that is the worst description on this or any other planet.

Anonymous The Other Chris said...
Big Baby can haz cheezburger? Big Baby HUUUUNGRY!

Surprisingly adequate defence by Vag Carter on that last play, for sure, but what the hell was Pierce doing taking so long to start his move? He had the ball with a good 7, 8 seconds left, which is still time enough to make things happen, but... well, fail.

Also, the first 3 minutes of overtime was a godawful brickfest, the first basket being Jameer Nelson's banked 3? Way to channel your inner LJ.

Blogger Mr. Too Nice Guy said...
I was cracking up during the 4th quarter and overtime when JVG and the crew kept saying that they expected Vince Carter to step up and lead the team during crunch time. Also they went on and on about the defense / offense substitutions between Carter and Barnes.

I mean, have they not been watching basketball for the last 5-10 years. VC is not who you want out there trying to take the big shot and "lead" his team. At the very least they could've mentioned how perhaps leaving Barnes in was the best choice since VC's performance (1 for 9!!) was spectacularly bawful up to that point.

It was ludicrous

Anonymous Saku Koivu said...
You can said what you want, but Dwight Howard is the player who gets hit the most in a game (except Steve Nash, of course) so I think it's normal for him to fight back and give a few hit too.

Blogger chris said...
Speaking of Big Baby's tongue-wagging...here's NorthMass's low-quality, high-amusement take:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YqwtVGrrcPQ

Blogger Dick Sullivan said...
Did anybody happen to notice the commentators talking about the toughness Matt Barnes brings to the Magic as they showed Barnes on the court quite literally sucking his thumb?

Blogger Cortez said...
"So I must ask: who is the best player on the Boston team?"

Whomever it is, it's certainly not Rondo.

Rondo is the beneficiary of playing with those guys, not the other way around.

On another topic, that was an Inspector Gadget victory if I ever saw one.

Congrats bums, you've managed to delay the inevitable for a few days.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Here's the thing about the Celtics' last regulation possession: Orlando was doing O-D substitutions between Carter and Barnes. A timeout gets Barnes back on the floor, and Pierce had been scoring on the Carter-Nelson administration all night. Unfortunately, Vince came out of nowhere to play exceedingly good defense on this one play of the game, thus negating the purpose of making sure he was out there.

Not to pull a Hubie Brown, but if I'm coaching the Celtics, I would have instructed them to push the ball to look for fast offense, and if nothing materialized (as it didn't), I would have called timeoutand tried to draw up something better than the crappy crap they ended up with.

So you criticize Magic for stating that Rondo is Boston's best player but fail to state who actually is the best player on the team - which is the key element in arguement that Rondo is not Boston's best player. So I must ask: who is the best player on the Boston team?

Honestly? Depends on the night. Sometimes it's Rondo, sometimes Pierce, sometimes Allen. Although KG is their defensive anchor...

According to Bill Walton, that is the worst description on this or any other planet.

Ugh. Yeah, ya got me, "Bill."

Surprisingly adequate defence by Vag Carter on that last play, for sure, but what the hell was Pierce doing taking so long to start his move? He had the ball with a good 7, 8 seconds left, which is still time enough to make things happen, but... well, fail.

That reminds me, on the C's next-to-last possession in regulation, PP had the ball against Jameer Nelson on the baseline with about six seconds left. Instead of making a move to the hoop -- Jameer was giving him a little space -- Pierce chucked up a 20-footer despite the fact that he was obviously fatigued. When a player is fatigued, the first thing that goes is his jumper (and indeed, Paul short-ended two straight threes in OT). Ugh.

I was cracking up during the 4th quarter and overtime when JVG and the crew kept saying that they expected Vince Carter to step up and lead the team during crunch time. Also they went on and on about the defense / offense substitutions between Carter and Barnes.

Oh, seriously. I have a LOT of respect for JVG's basketball IQ, but that statement was so boneheaded I could only assume he accidentally drank some industrial strength bathroom cleanser before the game or wanted the Celtics to win.

You can said what you want, but Dwight Howard is the player who gets hit the most in a game (except Steve Nash, of course) so I think it's normal for him to fight back and give a few hit too.

Look, all big men get pounded on. It's unfortunate, but it comes with the position. But I don't care if it's Howard, KG, or Karl Malone, you can't got throwin' 'bows off peoples' mugs. It's disrespectful at best and dangerous at worst.

Speaking of Big Baby's tongue-wagging...here's NorthMass's low-quality, high-amusement take.

Awesome.

Did anybody happen to notice the commentators talking about the toughness Matt Barnes brings to the Magic as they showed Barnes on the court quite literally sucking his thumb?

Barnes does that a lot. I think he chews his fingernails, right?

Blogger Adam said...
Bawful: If you were going to pull a Hubie Brown, while you were giving your advice, you'd have to interject it with random "okay?"s and "alright?"s.

Even if it delayed the inevitable, at least it was a decent game to watch this time. Though I probably derived far too much pleasure from watching Pierce brick two shots in a row followed by Big Baby bricking a three of his own.

Blogger Dooj said...
I wonder if the league office will decide that Howard's elbows were intentional. He has 2 points already in the playoffs right?

Also, I was surprised that Nelson didn't get called for the body check also. Pierce gets that call 9/10 times.

My guess is that the media jumps onto the Orlando bandwagon and decides that Orlando will become the first team to come back from a 0-3 deficit. They've already started...

Blogger stephanie g said...
You know on the sidelines when Doc talks about not going into hero mode? He's talking about Pierce. How often do Jesus or KG go into hero mode? I think the C's might've won if they got the ball to Ray Ray when he was lava hot. Especially on that last play in regulation.

Blogger geremy said...
first, to will above with the walton reference..... well played.

second, bawful,
your rondo pic seems awfully lord of the rings gollum-like.

best pic available, sorry
http://asset0.learnhub.com/lesson/pages/7625/photos/22822-medium.jpg

Anonymous Heretic said...
Officiating was terrible last night. Why the fuck would you not call a foul when vag clearly got his wrist slapped away, preventing a dunk but would call a foul when Paul Pierce does his bobbing, flailing head routine?

The moment the "Hacker" put up the broom comment on Pierce's twitter page I knew there was no way in hell they were going to sweep Orlando. Every time Pierce predicts something, shit goes horrible wrong for the Celtics. Doc Rivers should have gremlin rules for pierce, don't get him wet, don't feed him after midnight and don't let him say jack shit.

At least the Lakers get to breathe a sigh of relief, that is until they fuck up again tonight. Speaking of the lakers, anyone think Jackson is gonna go back to the bulls?


@Stephanie

That last play in regulation was hilarious, not only because Ray was open but because he was so open that he was throwing up his hands in frustration.

Blogger Anthony said...
Either Vince is getting a raw deal or Rashard is getting a free pass, Rashard has been the WORST player in this series yet Vince's struggles seem to be getting most of the attention.

Vince is scoring 15ppg on 45% FGs and 2-11 3's

Rashard is scoring 7ppg on 29% FGs and 3-16 3's

at least Vince is an expiring contract next year...

Blogger Viscant said...
Dooj:
I think if Orlando wins the next game, the talk will start. Not just because the Bruins gagged on a 3-0 lead a week ago, but because the Magic were generally thought to be the better team before the series started anyways.
Also, not that home court advantage has meant a damn thing in this series, but theoretically Orlando only has to win 1 more road game to make a huge comeback and that Boston crowd will be pathologically nervous during that game.

Now having said that, Boston played probably their worst game of the entire playoffs and Orlando needed OT to win. So it's probably not going to happen. But I'm still cheering hard for Orlando to win tomorrow so I can see the media crapstorm that gets started.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Either Vince is getting a raw deal or Rashard is getting a free pass, Rashard has been the WORST player in this series yet Vince's struggles seem to be getting most of the attention.

In all fairness, I feasted on Rashard in the first three posts of this series.

Blogger Adam said...
Anthony:
To be fair, Carter (for some reason) was credited as being a difference-maker of sorts for the Magic, so he naturally got more of the spotlight and correspondingly is being grumbled about more.

Anonymous Bryan said...
Id like to talk about that douche Chris Broussard for a second. He has been the resident jock sniffer for everything Lebron for ESPN this year. Now with the cavs eliminated all he does is manufacture stories. Where lebrons going, where hes been shopping for a house, Phil Jackson might be interested in coaching chicago if Lebron is there, etc. Theres ACTUAL basketball going on still right. I wish ESPN could just send him on a vacation. Is it too much to ask for 1 month of non lebron talk?

Anonymous AK Dave said...
Some day, a team will come back from a 0-3 hole. It's happened in Baseball and Hockey, and it's ALMOST happened in the NBA (most recently Portland-Dallas in 2002 IIRC).

As Bawful noted and most of us probably agree, this Orlando team is capable of beating Boston, they've just played like dog crap. Even though Vince is a douche bag, they should have enough weapons to win, the problem seems to have been effort.

I predicted a game 1 loss because Boston already had its nose bloodied by Cleveland and was in full-on playoff mode while Orlando was just prancing along against inferior teams. But the 0-3 hole just wasn't reasonably foreseeable considering the players and talent Orlando possessed, and especially considering the fact that they are a very good defensive team.

I'm not so naive as to really believe that Orlando will win the series, nor will I bet US currency on it, but part of me hopes, just hopes, that they do, if for no other reason than to shut the media up who always (and I mean ALWAYS) says "no team has EVER come back from an 0-3 deficit..."

And, as teams and matchups go, I think this Orlando team might just have as good a chance as any team in a 0-3 hole has ever had. For whatever the hell that's worth.

Blogger David Robinson said...
@stephanie g and heretic.

The last play of OT was even better, cause Ray Ray was open at the top of the key and Big Baby had to have his bottle, and took the ball away from an open allen at the top of the key.

Lets see...my two options are Allen on a spot up 3, or baby on a fadeaway 29 footer...hmm what to choose...

Blogger Sammy P. said...
the game was fixed - http://tinyurl.com/2d44wxh

Blogger nohandle said...
Either way that last shot was a lost cause, they were down by 4 so their only hope was that maybe Baby (or Ray) would get the Trey-and-1.

Personally I'd like to put some of the onus on KG for some sloppy plays at crucial moments--that cross-court pass into the stands was a real head shaker, especially when he had a wide-open 20 footer before he hesitated. Also went for a big block on Nelson instead of boxing out his man (Howard), allowing Dwight the easy layup off the rebound.

Anonymous Heretic said...
@David Robinson

Big baby shooting a 3 was pretty much the visual representation of how horribly the Celtics played in the final minutes. If there was a poster of him shooting that three with the word "Fail" underneath it, i'd snap it up in a second. Poor uno uno.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
@Byran - Throw Ric Bucher (also from ESPN) into that list. I think it was last week he was spreading a ridiculous rumor that the Lakers would trade Pau Gasol to the Cavs for LeBron James.

Blogger Viscant said...
Part of the whole "no team has come back from 0-3" is because basketball is the most predictable of the 4 major sports. It's rare when the better team doesn't win a series and it's also pretty rare for an evenly matched team to lose 3 straight or 4 straight (depending on the circumstance) considering how home games are allotted. Unless there was an injury or some other extenuating circumstance. Simply put, the reason it doesn't happen is because to get down 0-3, by the nature of basketball, you're highly likely to be an overmatched team to begin with.

However, if there was going to be a situation where it would happen, this is the situation. In this case you have a team that by all estimations might actually be the better team but is certainly evenly matched. The winning team has certainly been playing over its head with players like Rasheed Wallace and Tony Allen playing well over expectations. You have a case where the two best players for the losing team essentially no showed large parts of the series and the 3rd best player has been strategically handcuffed. As I said above they only have 1 more road game to go to pull it off. And you also have residual sports karma/a city that's always ready to throw in the towel.

So if it's going to happen, this is a case where it might. Like I said above, I'm cheering hard for Orlando tomorrow just so to read the media stories and to see what shakes down.

Anonymous Heretic said...
Ah curry, good to know you fail off the court as well:

http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/blog/ball_dont_lie/post/Eddy-Curry-makes-a-lot-spends-a-lot-and-owes-a-?urn=nba,243600

Anonymous Bryan said...
Ak Dave - IDK but for some reason i feel a strong correlation between these two teams and the 2004 yankees and red sox. Two teams that seemed to be evenly matched going into the series turned into a 3-0 series inexplicably following a game 3 blow out. Then the red sox came back to win in extra innings in game 4 after their chances seemed hopeless. They used that extra inning win to gain steam and turn things around. Lets see if Orlando uses their OT road W for the same thing. I'd love to see it happen for the same reasons you mentioned, so i can stop hearing the media saying it has NEVER happened. That and i kind of hate Boston.

Blogger Ash said...
I actually remember watching the Portland/Dallas series in 2002, the one where Portland almost rallied from down 0-3 to win it (they lost game seven in the waning moments, if I recall).

That was a great series.

I think this has the potential to go seven games. Until then, I'll be cheering on those Tragics!

Blogger Drake said...
IIRC, the 2002 Portland/Dallas series was also the coming-out party of the one and only Zach Randolph. His play in the series showed that he could score and rebound in this league, and possibly improve the other facets of his game as time went on. This year, we finally found out he also had some passing ability. Shocking.

Blogger chris said...
Goran Dragic just pulled off a sweet spin move past Fisher. WOW.

Blogger chris said...
STAT with a clutch rebound in his own paint. huh!??!?!

Anonymous Karc said...
The Lakers were totally owned tonight. That vaunted "length" of the Lakers got crushed on the boards (at least 50, including a gazillion offensive boards), got crushed by the Suns bench (at least 50 points), and were exposed in the second quarter, giving up 41 points to the Suns, despite having the "4th" ranked defense in the NBA. Note to Andrew Bynum, this is exactly why you do not look ahead to the Boston Celtics. You are not winning this series right now.

Hell, look at the trend. The Lakers scoring has been 128, 124, 109, 106. Meanwhile, the Suns score 107, 112, 118, and now 115. Their offense is getting better, and their defense is getting better. The LA media is going to freak. I love it.

Anonymous Heretic said...
And the lakers do it again, pull out a bazooka and blast their own feet. This game is a prime example of why during the playoffs I prefer the aggressive Bryant than the passer. Took very few shots in the first quarter and his team still fucked it up. As talented as Gasol is, he's so soft that I'm surprised he hasn't been named "The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man". Wtf is it about Europe that produces the softest, most pillowy players on earth? I thought all the pussies were in France but apparently once a country joins the EU they're contractually obligated to remove the testicles of their basketball players.

Bryant pretty much bailed them out from a blow out. For god's sake the suns were playing the zone!! how hard is it to destroy zone defense? High school students can do it. Even if the lakers do end up winning this series they really don't deserve to. Schooled by a team that would have been legally labeled as midgets in 28 states. I honestly prefer to watch Bryant fire away from half court than watch Bynum trip over his own feet as he looks confusedly at the orange sphere in his hands.

The bench don't even warrant a discussion, its been long established that Phil Jackson has murdered them and replaced them with cardboard cut outs. Hopefully next season everyone one the bench with the exception of Odom have been traded (yes even Shannon Brown). Another game they could have easily won shot to pieces with the laker tommy gun of ineptitude.

Anonymous Disappointed Laker Fan said...
Twenty three personal fouls, 32 fts, +15 points for the suns at the line in a 9 point game. Im starting to side with Stat Guy. Stop fouling. A rebound or two would be nice also.

Blogger geremy said...
before someone brings this up from game 4... there was a 19FT difference but, 12 of those were in the final three minutes when LA was hacking every trip down the floor. so really, 8FT difference.

the big stat from game four, 51-36 rebounding advantage, phoenix.

Blogger geremy said...
in case it's handy...

here's a robin lopez bench gif from game four. while it's overdone, i think it's hilarious because of sideshow bob.

http://www.gifsoup.com/view/589400/dragic-o.gif

Anonymous koroviev said...
http://www.gifsoup.com/view/589400/dragic-o.gif

why am i loving this?

Blogger Miles said...
As a Suns fan for decades, I can only say "That - was - effing - beautiful."

As a basketball fan for longer than that, I can only lament that the Phoenix Runs shot the ball unusually well when it counted (even for the the Runs), and that the Lakers blew it when it counted, and that I don't expect this trend to continue even for one more game this series. (Don't get me wrong, I'm still crossing my fingers).

Phil is too great a coach to let a defensively weak team like the Suns run all over his Lakers with zone defense for three games in a row, I doubt it will happen again.

Kobe, Gasol, Odom, Bynum, Fisher are too damn good to not put up a better combined performance for three games in a row, I doubt it will happen again.

The Suns bench, god bless them, are pretty good as far as benches go, but they PROBABLY won't have another 54 point game, and "Stat" PROBABLY won't have another 42 point game in this series.

I will weep like a baby if we can see Nash in the finals for the first time in his career, but I still can't help but think it's going to take a miracle.

Still, tell me you didn't jump out of your seat and spill chips and salsa all over your crotch when Frye hit that first tre.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
That was the most fun I've ever had watching the Lakers lose, as I met up with Mr. Bawful tonight to watch the game. Lakers in 6 :)

Anonymous Czernobog said...
Watching Fisher and Artest play keep away from The glowing-hot Kobe in crunch time was one of the most hilariously baffling things ever.

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