Celtics in 5. I said that last week and I’m sticking with it. This will be the first time that Phil Jackson has lost a series after winning game 1. The Lakers aren’t winning another game and while I’m not as sure as I was after game 1, I’m still sticking with my prediction. Ray Allen made 8 three-point shots, breaking an NBA Finals record shared by Scottie Pippen, Kenny Smith, and Allen himself in 2008. What was astonishing is that he made 7 in the 1st half! So while Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett are laying giant eggs so far in the NBA Finals, Allen is doing what he can to help the Celtics get banner #18. The new leader in town is definitely Rajon Rondo. He was incredible throughout the game and took over in the 4th quarter when the game was needlessly tight. The series is now tied at 1-1 and the Celtics have 3 straight at home.
For the Lakers, as much as I thought they would lose home court by blowing a big lead, I didn’t know they would end up falling short trying to rally from a 14 point deficit. Kobe Bryant being in foul trouble (we’ll get to that later) was brutal and so was Ron Artest’s jump shot. He just shoots when he wants to and that’s up to the coaching staff to prevent him from costing them an offensive possession.
Here are the highlights from game 2…
I can’t publish this without getting to the officiating. Just when I thought game 1 was filled with whistles, game 2 had even more personal fouls called! Last Thursday the Celtics and Laker combined for 54 PFs and last night it increased to 58. That’s 112 personal fouls called in 120 minutes of game time, 12 fouls more than the first 2 games of 2008. I know it’s a rivalry and things can get out of hand, but you got to let these guys play. Kobe Bryant had 5 fouls and 2 of them were completely garbage. Ray Allen flopped and the refs bought it, and Bryant’s 4th came off of a push on Rajon Rondo that didn’t exist. Andrew Bynum was cleanly blocked by Glen Davis and they blew the whistle. Basketball is a physical game so enough with the ticky-tack calls and let these guys play.
Gut check time for the Lakers. They’ve shown they are tough enough to compete with the Celtics, but do they know how to stop Ray Allen? Rajon Rondo? How about stopping Ron Artest by blocking his shots?