Monday, June 9, 2008

NBA Finals Game 2 Thoughts: Leon Powe Goes Nova and Lakers Fans Are Not Happy With Zebras

  • The Lakers got screwed in the first half.
  • Royally screwed.
  • Epic SCREW.
  • It happens.
  • A lot of the time, it happens to whatever team is facing the Lakers.
  • Often in the playoffs.
  • It happens to every single team. From the Lakers to the Spurs to the Hornets to the freaking Charlotte Bobcats. And when it's not you, the response is always, "You have to overcome these things" or "It wouldn't happen if X team were more aggressive." So we can sit here and go over it, or we can get to the real reasons the Lakers lost. I will say that the Lakers definitely got hosed in the first half. But teams have faced worst officiating and won, so simply saying "They shot fewer free throws" doesn't really give this game its due.
  • Because that would underestimate the play of Leon Powe. Yes, the Truth was just that again, and even moreso, this time without the knee injury, or "injury" as Lakers fans call it. But Powe was the Nova tonight. I had mentioned elsewhere that someone else needed to step up for the Celtics alongside Kendrick Perkins. But 21 points in 14 minutes is pretty friggin' Nova. Taking advantage of opportunities is what makes a champion in the Finals, and Powe made the most of every opportunity he got. He attacked the basket and didn't defer to another shooter or settle for a jumpshot. And that created quite a few of those free throws.
  • On the flip side? Here's your basic two possession sequence for Pau Gasol. Offense: Brilliant spacing. Focus. Set post. Lure defender to weak side. Slip to the strong. Catch ball. Finish with European authority. Ha. Just kidding. Finish with actual authority. Defense: Steady. Steady. Steady. Ah-ha! I have you now, Rajon Rondo/Paul Pierce/Kevin Garnett! Wait. What? You can pass again? Wait. Who is this "Powe" guy? Oh, sonofa! Again!
  • So while the Lakers defense was getting sliced and diced inside, clearly Phil Jackson responded by going to a bigger defensive lineup with Turiaf, right? Wrong. 8 minutes.
    Look, I know his offense is limited and unpolished. But seriously. Try it out. Give it a shot.
  • Odom. Anyone, anyone? Odom?
  • The comeback was very impressive, though. Vujacic's three in transition was the kind of shot you need him to hit. And while the argument is pretty easy to make for Bryant taking that shot down 4, Vujacic was just as good of an option. As argued in the liveblog, Steve Kerr. Toni Kucoc. Etc.

Add to Technorati Favorites