Thursday, June 5, 2008

NBA Finals Game 1 Thoughts

  • Phil Jackson has to feel a little down. And by down, I mean "filled with violent rage." He put his guys on the floor, he goaded Rivers into keeping Sam Cassell out there, he put everything in place. And they didn't execute.
  • Sam Cassell: Wow. As you get older, you're supposed to lose your speed, your jump, your explosiveness, and your elevation. Not your ability to make rational decisions like pulling the trigger 17 seconds into the shot clock or passing with 2 left on the shot clock. You're not supposed to get dumber as you get old. Unless he's senile...
  • Paul Pierce is the Motherf*cking Truth.
  • I got chills when he stepped back on the floor. With the crowd, the wide angle shot, the fist pounds by his teammates, everything. That was a moment. It's rare we see those anymore. And I'm really glad I got to see it.
  • The surprises continue. I'm NOT going to bag on Bryant. He shot when he needed to. He passed the right amount (though he could have taken over a little more in the fourth), and he tried to make the right moves. The shots just didn't fall, and his teammates didn't finish. These things happen. He can't be expected to be perfect against a defense this good.
  • Pau Gasol started off the game and I prepared a big heaping of crow. And then it's like Gasol went to the locker room, came back out, and Garnett said, "Um. You're a soft Euro-Center b*tch. Sit. " And Gasol said, "Bueno."
  • Same with Radmanovic, only substitute "Bueno" with whatever the Serbian word for "Okay" is.
  • Ray Allen didn't light up the stat sheet, but he was a floor leader tonight. Beyond the Boxscore night for Allen.
  • Fisher played well offensively, but struggled defensively with Rondo. So I was half-right. And I still think the Lakers would have benefitted with more Farmar. Maybe even move Bryant to the three and push Farmar and Fisher. It's a small lineup, but you're not worried about Cassell and House consistently.
  • The Lakers shot better than the Celtics until the last 1:24 and were still down. Yeah. I'm not sure what that says, but I know it's peculiar.
  • Great defense down the stretch from the Celtics. It wasn't just a dedication to closing out, it was anticipating the rotations and staying home in the right spots. I was really impressed.
  • Likewise, the Lakers first half defense was much better than I was expecting. They didn't let the Boston frontcourt dominate the paint. And that's a testament to their will.
  • Machine no care about shooting percentages! Machine shoot!
  • Kobe Bryant got fouled. A lot. A lot more than was called. At the same time, just for me personally, this is the Finals, between LA and Boston. I want it decided on the court. The announcers mentioned the refs are letting it go tonight, and I agree. And I'm glad. It may be tough, but Bryant has to overcome that, unfortunately.
  • Have I mentioned that Paul Pierce is the Truth?
  • Garnett was superb in the first half, and I had high hopes he'd prove me right and score 30+. Nope. Typical Garnett second half. And then.
  • The putback dunk. Holy God. That's one that I'll never forget. That was amazing.
  • I absolutely can't wait for Game 2. Can we make this an 11 game series? Please?

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