Thursday, June 17, 2010

NBA Finals GAME 7 Conclusion


Game 7 started off in the worst possible way for the Lakers. Bad shot selection plagued the Lakers in the first half with the Lakers shooting under 30% and Kobe having a really, really, really bad shooting night. Yet despite all this they were only down by 6 at the half?

Down by 13 in the 3rd quarter, it looked like the Celtics had the game in the bag when they just STOPPED scoring. This was also the same time the Lakers decided that shooting quality shots would probably be better then getting triple team and launching a off-balance fade away jumper!! So how did the Lakers pull this win, clinching their 16th NBA championship, despite playing poorly throughout most of the game? Lets look at the key points that boosted the Lakers to win.

1) Rebounds - Los Angeles dominated the boards 53-40 ( 23-8 on the offensive end), exploiting the void left by Kendrick Perkins. There is no way a team with a -15 in offensive rebounds will have a good chance to win the game. Boston just gave up WAY too many 2nd chance points keeping the Lakers in the game when they were struggling.

2) Defense - Both team played perhaps their best defense in the entire series. They played with such intensity that their offense became stagnant from the opposing team's overwhelming defensive aura. Key to this game was the Lakers holding PP and Allen to 8/29 shooting. They even slowed Rondo enough to stagnant the Celtics' offense in the third and fourth quarter for the Lakers' surge.

3) Role Players - Kobe was sucking it up big time early but instead of the role players wilting upon seeing their leader struggling, they found renewed strength instead! The whole team contribute in huge way with Gasol (19pts 18 rebs) and surprisingly Artest (20pts 5stl) leading the way. Artest had his best game of the series, carrying the Lakers on his back in the first half and finish with a fine shooting performance that includes knocking down a pivotal three when the Lakers needed the breathing room. And I got to give special props to 'The Machine', coming into the game basically COLD and calming sinking what is perhaps the two LARGEST free throws like it was during practice. VEINS OF ICE COLD WATER!!!

Not surprisingly, the Lakers were within striking distance of the Celtics the whole game even with their horrible offensive possessions using their advantage on the glass, stringent defense, and solid teamplay to overcome the Boston Celtics and clinch their 16th title. This allowed the Lakers to refocus and calm their nerves and come storming back from a 13 point deficit starting with a string of back-to-back baskets halfway through the 3rd quarter. Kobe started to shoot less jumpers and decided to drive his way into the charity strike. Boston could only slow the inevitable result.

Great teams make the big shots when they need them the most. That how championships are won. The Lakers proved that in a big way tonight. Congrats LA, you deserve it!!

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