Monday, June 9, 2008

Corn's Game 2 Thoughts

  • Rajon Rondo. To quote the cinematic classic Coming to America:
  • Guy 1 "That boy good."
    Guy 2 (probably an Arsenio Hall character) "Uh-huh. He good. Good and terrible!"
    Such is the case with Rondo. There were plenty of great marks to his game - 16 assists, only 2 turnovers, consistently getting past Derek Fisher. However, he did seem to rush shots and stall the offense at times. This could be a much bigger problem in LA. I still expect him to play well, but I wouldn't be surprised to see the ball in Allen and Pierce's hands on offense even more.
  • Free throws. Man, we talking 'bout free throws? Man, free throws. Free throws? Leon Powe and free throws. Man, powe throws. I'm talkin' bout free throws. (also, let it be know that there were many more problems than the free throw discrepancy for LA, but it was kind of embarrassing).
  • Something tells me that P.J. Brown wants a ring juuuuust a little bit more than Sasha Vujacic. I'm just saying. Brown is really busting his rump for the Celtics. We all thought he wouldn't come back. But, you would figure a guy that old and that in demand late in the season would choose a team wisely. And he did. He is playing hard and being utilized well by Doc. That's right, I said it.
  • I told Matt yesterday that the way the Lakers could combat the hyper-physical Boston defense was to pass the ball better and with more frequency. Obviously, he did not relay my message to Phil Jackson. Attacking the rim is not going to work against Boston, at least until the Lakers hit some 3s early and open up the lane. Their spacing is like a tide, it comes and it goes.
  • Another observation I made was that Phil Jackson has never coached a team with this much youth this late into the season. Even those Bulls teams had plenty of older, P.J. Brown types to help right the ship and act as calming influences. This team is still extremely green (no pun intended) and are not yet deserving of all of Phil's trust. They came up big in the 4th quarter, but in reality, Jackson only seems comfortable playing his starting 5. I think he gets the cold shakes every time Luke Walton has to try and guard KG. Although the Lakers have been super-efficient until now, perhaps all the media pundits, myself included, overlooked their extreme youth. Boston is much more a traditional Phil Jackson team. And Doc Rivers is proving it.
  • Kobe is slipping back into 2005 mode. He best be careful, before the 35 shot demon takes over.
  • Have you noticed anyone taking umbrage with Ray Allen's play in these 2 games? Didn't think so. He has been very efficient and very cagey, always making good cuts and getting to loose balls. Ankles, schmankles. Ray wants this ring as badly as anyone. He is even quick enough to cause Kobe a problem or two on defense. He won't get the press like Rondo, Powe-r, or Pierce will today, but he deserves it.
  • Phil Jackson has got to come up with some Sun-Tzu type stuff for Gasol and Odom. Although lithe and defensively unsound, they can still really cause problems for the Celtics if they continue to move and find the gaps in the paint. But if they keep taking body blows and inching out towards the perimeter, like last night, their effectiveness is nearly nil. They are both quick and skilled. It just so happens that the Celtic defense is quick, skilled AND physical. Edge: Celtics.
  • Monster 3 by Posey in the final 2 minutes last night. He can play supremely well in short spurts, but tries to do too much if on the floor for too long. Kind of like Cassell. Doc just might be figuring that out.
  • The Farmar/Rondo matchup is fascinating. This could be a great duel for years to come. Kudos to Matt for pointing that out.
  • As good as Boston's defense is, the Lakers are still finding ways to get open shot... and miss them. I can't see this happening the next couple of games. However, the Lakers defense can be downright putrid. I certainly can see this continuing for the next couple games. But hey, we (the brains) always say that defense wins championships, so it looks like Boston right now. And Paul Pierce is still The Truth.

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