Friday, June 18, 2010

Probably the most honest comment about game seven came from Kobe Bryant when he said he didn't know how they won that game. Consensus was that the Celtics' age finally got to them as the Lakers piled up 30 points in the 4th, and as well the absence of their center Kendrick Perkins because the Lakers dominated rebounds. Kobe hit a few big shots, got to the line, played defense and especially rebounded well. Derek Fisher hit the big three, and Pau Gasol finally began to dominate around the basket in the fourth quarter.

But from start to finish in this game, the difference for the Lakers was Ron Artest. He played terrific defense on Paul Pierce, he rebounded and he scored even when others weren't: he got putbacks, he got in the lane buckets, he hit jump shots and three pointers, including a crucial 3 in the fourth quarter. Artest has had the kind of career the pundits call "troubled," and he's a non-linear personality for sure. He's also the one player who wasn't here last year--and the Lakers were roundly criticized for trading for him, and giving up Trevor Ariza (by among others, me.) But as Magic Johnson said of this game, he was the difference-maker.

Now the Lakers are more likely to basically stay together, and if Phil Jackson's health checks out, he is more likely to return as coach. But it's doubtful that the Celtics will remain intact, or in any case, be back in the finals next year. But...even though I will watch these finals again as motivation while exercising, I'm looking forward to forgetting about NBA basketball for a nice long time.

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