What a game last night! The Celtics pulled out a win in vintage Celtics fashion. I loved the story about the poster that the Celtics see on their way out of the locker room to the court. Individuals Win Games - Teams Win Titles The Celtics have faced 4 teams so far that all have one super star that their team revolves around. First Dwyane Wade and the Titos. Then they moved on the LeBron and his flunkies. And then they faced Dwight Howard and his crew. Finally they are now taking on Kobe and the Fakettes. In each case, the team beat the individual. The Celtics must continue to play team ball if they want to win this series.
A telling stat in this series is looking at the offensive output of the Lakers for each game. In Game 1 they scored 102 points. In game 2 their output decreased to 94 points. In game 3, they further decreased their offensive output to 91. In game 4, they scored even fewer points, going down to 89 points. And in last night's game, this trend continued as they scored only 86 points. This indicates that the Celtics defense is getting tighter and tighter, the Lakers are getting tired, and Doc has been making adjustments while Phil has not. I like the trend and hopefully we see it continue in game 6 and the Celtics get the win.
I have been pointing to the 1969 Celtics as a rallying cry for much of the second half of the season. Just as that team had to win the championship on the Lakers court, this team will have to do the same. Hopefully they will do it in 6 games rather than 7, though. The Celtics closed out the Cavs in 6 games on their court. They also closed out the Magic in 6 games on their court. Let's hope that trend continues also and the Celtics close this one out in 6 as well.
Bynum, in spite of limping through the game played over 31 minutes in game 5. He wasn't really effective scoring just 6 points and grabbing only 1 rebound. Traveling on a plane in a pressured cabin does terrible things to an injury like Bynum's. With one day between games and the long plane ride, I wouldn't expect much more out of him in game 6. Without Bynum doing the dirty work for him, Gasol has reverted back to being Gasoft. After saying that KG had lost a step, Gasoft has been completely outplayed by him.
Perk has been doing a great job of avoiding that 7th technical. In spite of what the Zen mistress has said, Laker players are constantly trying to goad Perk into a technical. On one stoppage of play I saw Gasol sticking his shoulder into Perk several times and then Artest took over shoving him and finally Kobe walked up and started talking trash. Through the whole triple team effort, Perk kept his hands in the air and his mouth shut. After seeing the way Artest flopped like he had been punched by a heavy weight fighter when Rondo game him a little shove, Perk was smart to keep his arms up. If his elbow twitched, it might have sent Artest into the 3rd row.
Now for today's completely useless stat: The Celtics are 11-0 when leading 3-2 in the Finals. Just like the Zen mistress's stat of 47-0 when winning the first game, these stats mean absolutely nothing. These two teams as constituted have never met before. Those were completely different teams that amassed those stats. The Celtics must keep their intenisty, energy, hustle, defense, at a higher level than the corresponding values for the Fakers and they will win this series. Those are the things that count, not a stat from 20 years ago. Or, here's a stat that means something: the fact that 3 of the top 5 defensive players in the playoffs are on the Celtics (KG #2, Tony Allen #3 and Perk #5). Defense wins Championships.