The Celtics have to be a little encouraged going into game 4. Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett both had terrible games. Rondo went down in the 3rd quarter. Kobe was having a great game. The Celtics were in foul trouble. And yet, they were still in it at the end with a chance to win. I can't believe that Pierce and KG will both play that poorly again. KG was talking about the need for him to go inside more and that is music to every Celtics' fan's ears. Ray Allen seems to have his shot back. The only concern is whether Rondo can play. Let us not forget that the Celtics beat the Lakers in LA in the regular season without Rondo and we didn't have Sam then. The key will be whether or not the Celtics bring their focus and intensity.
I couldn't believe that even after they got all the whistles in game 3, Kobe was still whining about the refs in game 2. When asked why he struggled from the line, he said it was because it had been so long since he was at the line it seemed like foreign territory. Doc showed real class not buying into Phil's practice of whining about the refs in his press conference. He did get a zinger in on Phil when he said that he was surprised that Phil wasn't complaining about the refs after game 3. Doc wouldn't give his players an out by complaining about the officials. The Lakers were more aggressive and they got the calls. The Celtics were more aggressive in game 2 and they got the calls. In game 4, the more aggressive team will get the calls. The Celtics offered no excuses after the loss other than they were out played. The Lakers offered nothing but excuses after their loss in game 2.
Speaking of Doc, I think he made some poor decisions in game 3 that may have cost the Celtics the game. Doc has been doing a great job so far in the playoffs. He even out coached the Zen master in games 1 and 2, but just as Pierce and KG struggled, I think Doc had jet lag too. First, Perk was playing very well and his defense and energy were part of the reason for the Celtics big 3rd quarter, yet he didn't play in the 4th. Ray Allen had the hot hand all game but yet, he took only 2 shots in the 4th quarter as the Celtics didn't get him the ball. Doc should have been calling plays for Ray all quarter. Also, After Rondo went out 1 minute into the 3rd quarter, he sat on the bench for most of the 3rd quarter while Eddie House did a very good job running the team. Doc brought him back after his ankle had time to tighten up and he wasn't effective. In the meantime, the momentum they had with Eddie was lost. Finally, Doc didn't call for them to foul when they were down 6 with almost 30 seconds to play. The Lakers were missing free throws all night and it would have been worth the chance to foul them and try to win it. That being said, just as I expect Pierce and Garnett to snap back for game 4, I think Doc will also snap back.
Laker Fans are still insisting that Paul Pierce was faking the knee injury which is ridiculous. The guy was hurt but is a warrior and played through the pain. I didn't hear any of them even suggest that Kobe could have been faking the back spasms as he was writhing on the floor one minute and driving to the basket the next. Anyway, Laker Nation continues the ridiculousness of questioning Pierce's injury by posting a new jersey for him.
It blows my mind that they are still insinuating that Pierce was faking. Pierce has played in this league 10 years and has missed less than 40 years in his career. Even last season when most stars would have sat out the rest of the season, he came back out of shape from the injury to help his struggling team. I really hope Pierce bounces back tonight and has the game of his career.
Speaking of bouncing back, KG really needs to get it together and go to the basket. I have read at least 5 articles this morning talking about how he has disappeared in the Finals. They say that Gasol is out playing him and that his jumpers are good for the Lakers. They are even comparing him to Ralph Sampson for crying out loud. I hope KG is reading the papers and gets motivated for tonight and beyond. Go to the basket, KG and you will own the paint!!
Anyone else find themselves gagging when they played that fluff piece at halftime showing Kobe to be the wonderful husband and father? PULEEZE!!! Has everyone forgotten so quickly that he raped a girl in Colorado? Now, suddenly he is the perfect family man! And every time he sits at the podium and calls his teammates his brothers it really irks me. This summer he threw every one of them under the bus and wanted to play with anyone but them. Now they are his brothers? Give me a break. I really want the Celtics to beat this guy. I think having to watch his gloating face should the Lakers win would be too much for me.
Whether Rondo can go or not in game 4, Doc needs to play House. He always brings energy. He spreads the floor and keeps Kobe from doubling off of him and he is capable of running the point. If Rondo can't go, Eddie should get the start. If Rondo plays, Eddie should get the back up minutes. The Sam Cassell experiment has not done well. When Sam is in the game the offense stops. Another option that Doc has mentioned is to possibly play Tony at the point. He shoots almost every time down the court and for the most part misses way more than he hits. I would also like to see Perk get more playing time. His defense in the paint is very much needed. Odom and Gasol got some easy put backs at the end of the game. PJ has been doing great, but Perk is so much better at defending the basket.
Every game that the Celtics have lost in the playoffs was because they didn't bring their focus and intensity, especially on the defensive end. Every game that they have played their tough team defense and moved the ball on offense and brought their intensity, they have won. This series is in their hands. If they come focused and play Celtics' basketball, they will win this game and the series.