Five Reasons for Lakers Fans to Relax | Robert Littal Presents BlackSportsOnline

Five Reasons for Lakers Fans to Relax

by BSO Staff | Posted on Monday, June 7th, 2010
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After the Celtics beat the Lakers 103-94 in Game 2 to tie the NBA Finals at a game apiece, the reaction has been shockingly expected.  Lakers haters everywhere will spend the entire 48 hours in between Game 2 and Game 3 to let everyone know that the Lakers are finished, the Celtics are better, the Lakers are trash, it’s not coming back to LA, blah blah blah.

Lakers fans are having the same reactions, for the most part.  The sky is falling down!  Kobe is hurting again!  The curse of Boston is rearing its ugly head at us again! Blah blah blah.

The fact of the matter is, while Game 2 was a huge win for the Celtics, the series is far from over.  Lakers fans need to relax, and remember these five reasons that this series is far from over:

1. Boston three-point shooting in Game 2:

First, I have to give props to Allen (as much as it hurts) for hitting an NBA Finals-record eight three-pointers in the Game 2 win.  The most astounding thing about that was that he hit seven in the first half alone.

Now that that’s out of the way, the fact of the matter is that Ray Allen hit eight three-pointers in Game 2.  That will not happen again and Lakers fans need to know this.  In fact, they need to look no further than the second half of Game 2, when Allen was held to just one three and five points total.

The Celtics as a team shot an unbelievable 11-16 from three-point land, or 69%.  Once again, numbers that they will not reach again this series, if in any Finals game for the rest of their franchise’s history.

The fact of the matter is the Celtics dominated the Lakers from outside, yet were unable to put them away at any point during the game until the final minute.

2. Paul Pierce vs. Ron Artest:

Two games into the Finals and this much is clear, Paul Pierce will not be having another MVP series against the Lakers.  Ron Artest has effectively taken Pierce out of this series by hounding him every time he touches the ball, to the point that the one open shot Pierce had in Game 2 was so rushed it hit the side of the rim.

Artest held Pierce to 2-11 shooting in last night’s game, something that was hidden by Ray Allen’s 32 and Rajon Rondo’s triple-double.  Celtics fans will be quick to point out that Pierce had 24 in Game 1, and that should be enough to show he can still score in this series.  But the fact is he had half of those points on free-throws, and has only hit eight shots in two games this series.

The flip-side of that, however, is that despite his great defense, Artest was a huge liability in Game 2.  After scoring a respectable 15 points in Game 1, Artest shot just 1-10 from the field and 3-8 from the line in Game 2 en route to just six points.

3. Pau Gasol vs. Kevin Garnett:

Pau Gasol has been the best player on the floor for the Lakers through the first two games of this series.  After posting a 23-14 in the Game 1 win, Gasol had 25 and 8 rebounds to go along with 6 blocks.  The Lakers faded down the stretch in the fourth because they stopped giving the ball to Gasol inside, where he has the advantage over Garnett, Glen Davis, Rasheed Wallace, or any other Boston big who he is matched up against.

On the other side of the court, Gasol has dominated Kevin Garnett, holding him to averages of ten points and four rebounds through the first two games.  Garnett is not likely to get any better as the series wears on, and the Lakers will have the Gasol advantage inside every game.  It is just a matter of them remembering to post him up, and not going away from what has worked so well so far this series.

4. Kobe Bryant vs. The Refs:

Game 2 was interesting because it felt like there was no real rhythm to the game.  Boston came out great, the Lakers fought back and the game was close for most of the fourth, but an overwhelming number of foul calls never really allowed players to get into any type of flow as the game wore on.

No player was affected more by this than the Lakers Bryant.  Kobe was only able to play 34 minutes due to being in foul trouble for much of the game, and was never able to really get into any type of offensive rhythm, finishing with 21 points, 6 assists, and 5 rebounds, all numbers well below his playoff averages.  Bryant picked up his fifth foul on a questionable charge call, the third of the game against him, and had to go to the bench in the middle of the fourth quarter before coming back to close it out.

The flip-side to that is that Bryant shot just three free throws in Game 2, despite attacking the basket almost all game long.  If Kobe stays aggressive throughout the series, eventually the fouls even out and he will be rewarded for going to the basket.  Look for him to go into attack mode as soon as the ball tips off for Game 3.

5. Common Sense:

The fact is, while Game 2 hurts the Lakers, these two teams are way too evenly-matched for anyone to declare this series over.  I don’t think anyone outside of Paul Pierce and his wheelchair is honestly picking the Celtics to win all three games at home.  The Lakers are too good of a team to lose four straight games, and just need to pull one out in Boston to ensure home-court and an LA return.  The Lakers already this season have beaten the Celtics in Boston, and know what it takes to win a big game on the road.

Lastly, revenge is still on the Lakers minds.  They remember what happened last time they were in Boston.  They remember 131-92, they remember their bus being pelted with stones by Celtics fans as they celebrated a championship, and they remember that they went 0-3 in Boston in that series.

If the Lakers want to prove that ’08 was a fluke, then they now know they must do something they couldn’t back then, and that is win in Boston.  As a Laker fan who has seen every playoff game of the last three years, there is one thing I know about this team; since that Game 6 defeat, they will not quit.

Game 6 is scheduled for Tuesday, June 15th.  See you in LA, folks.

Belal Abdelfattah is BSO’s newest writer and comes from a long background in sports writing at the Sports Authority Blog and The Block Radio. You can follow Belal on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/belal_a

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Displaying 9 Comments
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  1. James says:

    why is every second article Lakers related……booooooooooring

  2. Talha says:

    I definitely agree that Ray Allen will not shoot that well again all series (and probably the remainder of his career). Kobe has shown that he doesn't have a thing on his mind other than winning a title this year and will do everything in his power to keep Boston from winning the series. Just watch the video of Chris Rock trying to make Kobe laugh and you will see how determined he is. Lakers can still win this, but if they are going to, it has to start with a win tomorrow night…or else Laker fans should start getting a little nervous. Winning 3 straight, or playing will not be easy.

  3. Jay Dub says:

    Dear James, the Lakers are in the Finals, what else do people write about the week of the Finals other than the team that's IN the Finals?

  4. Rashad says:

    I Too agree that ray allen won’t be getting those kind of shots like he did in game 2. beyond that im a huge laker fan, and i know what they are capable of, there is no way that phil jackson nor kobe will allow the team to lose to boston two times in a row. so no this series is FAR from over, i’ve already got a couple of laker haters buzzing in my ear already. but like i said it’s tied 1-1 so if your a laker fan there is no need to panic. but then again if the lakers want to stand a chance against boston then they need to pull out a win tomorrow night or else they might be in for a long one.

  5. jay says:

    yeah the Celtics can't get any better and the Lakers can't do any worse.
    Of course the series was over after game one for the Lakers too.
    Didn't the Suns put a hurting on the Lakers when they were up 20 to make it 2-2?
    The Celts win the next 2 and then they only need 1 of 3.
    Keep talking, these Celtics aren't going down to Lebron or Dwight, what makes you think they can't run the table? Tomorrows comments will be different, no matter who wins tonight

  6. mitchell says:

    "1. Boston three-point shooting in Game 2:

    First, I have to give props to Allen (as much as it hurts) for hitting an NBA Finals-record eight three-pointers in the Game 2 win. The most astounding thing about that was that he hit seven in the first half alone."

    Actually the most astounding part of that is that the Lakers did not start running out and covering him after the first four or five. Now I know the Lakers and their coaching staff aren't stupid, so I can only chalk it up to arrogance and over-confidence.

    "2. Paul Pierce vs. Ron Artest:

    Two games into the Finals and this much is clear, Paul Pierce will not be having another MVP series against the Lakers. Ron Artest has effectively taken Pierce out of this series by hounding him every time he touches the ball, to the point that the one open shot Pierce had in Game 2 was so rushed it hit the side of the rim."

    Yeah, and the result of that is that Rondo is suddenly the best player on the court, and racks up a triple-double.

    "3. Pau Gasol vs. Kevin Garnett:

    Pau Gasol has been the best player on the floor for the Lakers through the first two games of this series. "

    Best Laker on the floor, for sure, but there's a reason for that…

    "4. Kobe Bryant vs. The Refs:

    Game 2 was interesting because it felt like there was no real rhythm to the game. "

    Yeah, well, as a Laker fan you won't acknowledge it, but Gasol looks like the best Laker on the court because the refs are shielding him like some newborn fawn. The Celtics can hardly touch the guy without a whistle going off. Its ruining the series and robbing Gasol of the chance to prove he isn't soft.

    "5. Common Sense:

    The fact is, while Game 2 hurts the Lakers, these two teams are way too evenly-matched for anyone to declare this series over. I don’t think anyone outside of Paul Pierce and his wheelchair is honestly picking the Celtics to win all three games at home. The Lakers are too good of a team to lose four straight games, "

    Actually they're not. They're entirely capable of collapsing, but it probably won't happen because Boston's shown they get unfocused when they're at home and up big.

    Those who think the Lakers aren't in deep doo-doo have short memories and under-estimate the damage Rasheed Wallace and Nate Robinson can and will do.

  7. Kobe himself says:

    lol Rasheed Wallace and Nate Robinson lmfao

  8. Don says:

    I am sure that you have watched sports long enough to know that the majority of sports fans are fickle. They blow like the wind, in all directions.

    To be honest, the refs have heavily influenced the outcome of all three games.

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