I often wonder what opposing teams, their beat reporters and
are saying about the Celtics after playing the Celtics. Here's a dose
of 'enemy chatter' from Los Angeles.
Derek Fisher is a proud man. He's not the
sinful kind of proud, the type who allows his pride to hinder his
judgment, or cause him to act as if he's better than someone else. His
pride is commendable, the result of a man who reflects upon his life,
and likes what he sees. And he should be proud. He's been a member of 4
championship squads, he's hit some of the biggest shots in playoff
history, and he is one of the most charismatic players, one of the
strongest leaders, in the NBA.
That pride, that indomitable belief of self, is what allowed Fisher
to persevere through a difficult regular season, one that saw him become
the punching bag of 90% of Lakerdom, myself included. His pride made
him bristle at the suggestion that he could no longer compete at this
level. And it was his pride that turned to anger when confronted by Paul Pierce's bravado in proclaiming this
series "ain't coming back to LA." Paul Pierce is also a proud man, but
his pride is the kind spoken of in the verses of the Bible. In that
context, pride is considered one of the seven deadly sins, which makes
sense, because Paul Pierce's pride made Derek Fisher deadly.
I didn't realize that most Lakers fans were calling for Fisher's head all season long. I still view him as a clutch player with a sweet jump shot. It's not his fault he's 35 years old and the Lakers have yet to find a viable replacement for him.
This might be the first time I've seen a biblical reference in a sports blog post.
The Lakers really paid more attention to detail in Game 3, especially on
the defensive end of the floor. I thought the Lakers did a fantastic
job on Ray Allen. The Laker bigs were showing on screens, not allowing
Allen to get off uncontested jumpers. They packed the paint when Paul
Pierce had the ball, not allowing him to get going. He made three
3-pointers, but you can live with that when he isn’t able to get to the
rim or knock down that shot he loves to take at the elbow. Keeping
Pierce on the perimeter also meant keeping him off of the free throw
line. Rajon Rondo didn’t come anywhere near 10 rebounds this game and
was held to 11 points. Kevin Garnett finally got going scoring 25, but
he was making a lot of tough, contested shots. I can live with that if
the Celtics, especially since the rest of the Celtics only scored 59
While Ray Allen didn't have many wide open looks in this game, he did have some decent looks at the basket. His poor performance was exacerbated by Pierce's lack of production. Usually, one of the two picks up the slack for the other guy. That was not the case last night.
On Page 2, Doc is called a whiny cry-baby.
officiating, blamed the refs much of the night, refusing to acknowledge
that Allen and Pierce shot a combined 5 of 25, but divulged that Fisher
was the factor in the game.
Doc had every right to complain about the treatment Paul Pierce received from the officials. It was obvious they were "making good" on Kobe Bryant's foul trouble from Game 2.
If you are going to call out Doc for ref bitching, you need to acknowledge that Phil Jackson has been his equal in that department for this series.