I often wonder what opposing teams, their beat reporters and bloggers are saying about the Celtics after playing the Celtics. Here’s a dose of ‘enemy chatter’ from Los Angeles.
The Lakers survived because the Celtics couldn’t take advantage of another weak offensive output. Ray Allen hit some shots early, and one big three late, but Paul Pierce could only manage 18 points on 18 shots, and Kevin Garnett was repeatedly allowed to miss shots from 20 feet to allow the Lakers to claw their way back into the game and eventually seal the victory. Garnett missed his last 10 shots and ended up 6-23 on the night. It’s a victory the Lakers will be happy to take, but not one that provides any level of confidence that a bunch more victories are on the way.
Aside from a couple of rim rattling dunks in the 1st half, KG had a horrible night shooting the ball. Here’s the quarterly breakdown:
I didn’t think KG was forcing his shot. He rarely does. He just couldn’t find the bottom of the net.
On Page 2, the Cs cannot compete with the Lakers big men.
There were nine lead changes and nine ties in 53 minutes of game time. The largest lead was Boston’s nine-point advantage in the first half, and the highest shooting percentage for either team was the Celtics’ 48% in the first quarter. None of it mattered, however, because Boston, as excellent defensively as they are, cannot compete with the Lakers’ 14-foot tandem. They tried taking Kobe Bryant out of commission, doubling him in the first half, sometimes with the ball still en route to his hands, but it only left Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum open to do their own damage, and damage they wreaked on Boston’s front court. Kobe Bryant may have scored the most, but make no mistake – this game in Boston was won on the shoulders of the Laker big men.
The Lakers size advantage forced Doc Rivers to play Jermaine O’Neal 12 minutes more than his season average, and 9 more minutes than Brandon Bass. JO did an admirable job on Andrew Bynum, but they needed more. I was hoping the athletic Chris Wilcox (3 rebounds in 13 minutes) might help.. but he didn’t see the floor in the 4th quarter.