Due to excessive choking, Food no longer served at Staples

Midway through the second quarter of tonight’s game 4 of the NBA Finals, a friend of mine calls me to gloat. At the time, the Lakers were up nearly 20 points, and the Celtics looked dead in the water. Along with his gloating, he asked my opinion of the game, and didn’t like what I had to say, but respected it. I told him, having played in those types of games, one of the hardest things for a team to do is hold a big lead early. Eventually, The Boston Celtics overcame a 24 point deficit to win and go up 3-1 in the series. I’m not psychic, but I can fill you in on what I saw coming.

Lamar Odom came out strong, and gave the Lakers a lot of energy. Why wouldn’t he? He and Pau Gasol have been ripped in the local media. If neither of those guys came out with any energy, they shouldn’t even suit up anymore. But, as always, it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish. When the Lakers needed those players the most, they again didn’t show up. There are 4 quarters to a game, and not just 2.

Towards the tail end of the first half, I could see the Lakers in a comfort zone. As a team, they began to launch low percentage shots from distance, allowing the Celtics the necessary stops needed to claw back into the game. This always happens in a blowout. It gets to a point of arrogance, where you feel no matter what you throw up, and no matter how far from the hole you may be, the shot will go in. At the same time, your opponent is in a desperate mode. After struggling to score single points, they just continued to work small buckets, with a goal of cutting the deficit to 10 by the half.

As the second half began, the crowd’s celebration was clearly over, as a comeback had begun. It became a matter of whether or not the Celts would run out of time. Time became the enemy, because the upstart Lakers were no longer posing a threat. Gasol and Odom were no longer the same opening forces. The big bodies for the Celtics got their feet beneath them and went to work. This is all part of being battle tested throughout the Eastern Playoffs, and the Lakers lack of a power opponent out west.

I would say this series is over, with the Lakers needing to win 3 straight, including 2 back in Boston. They started this game knowing they needed this one, but couldn’t finish it.

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~ by Anthony on June 13, 2008.

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