NBA Roundtable

Lakers vs Celtics

In Game Log / Recap on December 31, 2007 at 8:42 pm
  • Okay this is way after the fact, about 16 hours so it’ll be some quick thoughts on what happened out there
  • Boston’s defense really caused LA’s offense problems which was predictable
  • Why? Because LA only have one true scoring option and a team full of complementary players that are over-reliant on Kobe to do something to give them a chance to win. They have no second player who can create his own shot. The next best at this might be Javaris Crittenton who doesn’t play. Jordan Farmar does a nice job of it but is a career backup, he doesn’t have the ability to sustain that over a whole game every night, plus he has a questionable shot selection which can put LA in a hole by going 3-4 minutes without a bucket because he takes a bunch of bad shots
  • LA’s length did cause Boston a bunch of problems with the exception of one player – Paul Pierce. Pierce’s bulk and strength gives him an advantage over about 85% of the wings in this league. LA have nobody that can match up with him. Luke Walton came into the game in the second half and I think he matched up best with Pierce but Walton is no stopper.
  • On Walton …. for the second year in a row he has made huge strides on his body. He looks a lot quicker out there, much better manouverability. He is either the 5th best starter or an 8th man though …. and LA are asking a bit too much of him. He can’t create his own offense is more of a facilitator by keeping the ball moving and hitting some wide open looks. Nice player.
  • Kwame Brown did a great job on KG. Kwame has become one of the strongest guys in the league. Lots of big men find it very difficult to get position on Kwame down low, and then find it even more difficult to move him off it. KG has always been poor at holding position in the paint … but last night the difference in sheer strength was huge. Kwame would just nudge KG twice and KG would move 4-5 feet off the spot where he wanted to catch the ball. Kwame has become an excellent position one-on-one defender in this league …. think Kurt Thomas. His length, strength and quickness allows him to bother every post player in the league. Well done Kwame.
  • Kwame still has concentration issues, horrific hands, little-to-no understanding of the game so don’t get too excited. If he puts his head down he can be a quality role playing big man but he has a few other areas to work on first – concentration, help defense, rebounding, effort, understanding his limitations. He does have a few offensive moves but he should take it slow and develop the rest of the game. Then he’ll have all the time and opportunity in the world to further develop his moves in game.
  • Tony Allen had a really impressive game once again. He does so much better when starting than coming off the bench, just like last season. He struggles to get in the rhythm of the game off the bench. But anyways ….. he made some great penetrating drives and got some good looks. He missed a couple of easy ones but he constantly put pressure on the defense so that’s fine with me. A lot of people question his bball IQ and some of that is deserved, but perhaps his greatest understanding of the game is a shot from inside 12 feet is better than outside of 12 feet. It’s amazing how few players understand that and don’t work hard enough to get that shot. TA does. Love that. Tony also played some excellent defense. His size and quickness again causing problems for opposing point guards – like Deron Williams the night before – and Fisher today.
  • Lakers struggled to get Bynum going. Bynum actually had a few post ups in the game – like 3 or 4 – and did alright. But he’s still nowhere near ready to create his own shot. He has tools and ability but not the inclination or the confidence. All mentality here. He’ll grow. The question is will it be this season?
  • Ray Allen continued his strong play against Kobe Bryant
  • Kobe struggled from the floor going 6-25 or something like that. I haven’t seen the box score yet but I think I read that somewhere. Before you get up in arms about Kobe being a ball hog, it wasn’t him being over-aggressive. It was his teams complete inability to create a shot without him. He was doing everything possible to create some space for himself or a teammate …. he was forced into that … and it didn’t work well. Once again the need for a true number two option being highlighted.
  • Bynum is still picking up some sloppy fouls like not putting his arms up straight and letting the offensive player just jump into his arms and pick up a foul on him. Little things like that which are concentration and alertness
  • Crittenton came off the bench in the fourth. Showed some really nice abilities but put too much english on the muffin all too often. Making a pass harder, or doing an extra crossover, and unneccessary fake, passing up and easy shot to try and get an easier one and running into trouble. But he did show the ability to create with the ball in his hands. This is a weakness for LA and a great skill. He has all-star ability if he keeps his head down and keeps working hard.
  • Eddie House is great for Boston. He hits so many big shots when the offense stutters. Boston goes 3-4 plays without a bucket, the other team starts making a run and Eddie hits a huge long J demoralizing the oppposition. He bails out his teammates so much. Most importantly though …. his defense was solid and his ballhandling wasn’t found out. Those two things are what allow Boston to put him on the floor. Eddie has been great so far but he’s never managed to keep that going come playoff time …. so we’ll see.
  • Kendrick Perkins did a solid job once again. Doing most of the fighting in the paint for Boston and clearing space out. Good work big fella.
  • Glen Davis came in and had some quality minutes in the second quarter
  • Celtics were ahead for most of the game but LA had stayed within striking distance and looked dangerous until late in the third and early fourth when the Celtics turned it into a rout
  • Which brings me to Paul Pierce. He was phenomenal for the third straight game. Celtics might have lost all three, almost definitely Utah, without Pierce’s huge performance. He just caught fire and dominated the game at both ends. Ripping the ball out of LA’s hands, hitting huge threes, getting into the paint at will. Just incredible.
  • Ariza was quiet but I expected that. He struggled with Pierce in Orlando earlier this year and did again today.

So good win for the Celtics. Once again LA’s shortcoming have been exposed – no second option behind Bryant.

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