NBA Roundtable

NBA Finals Game One: Boston vs Los Angeles

In 2008 NBA Finals, 2008 NBA Playoffs, Game Log / Recap on June 6, 2008 at 3:52 am

Great series on our hands here, this is going to be special.

These player introductions look like an All-Star game the way the players are coming out off a podium (big Finals trophy over the podium). Odom and Fisher getting the Lakers pumped, Kobe coming out looking like a skiller. Phil calming strolls over to the bench. Here comes the Celtics little video to start things off. The League stopped the pyrotechnics in the Conference Finals because of the smoke affecting the TV picture, they are not using it tonight either. James Posey looks pysched in a good way, very steady. PJ has his down, rolling his shoulders left to right, not even looking up when his name is called, getting his mind set. Rondo and Perk are the first Celtics starters to come out, Ray moves out with more fervour, then KG bumping and hopping, now the captain, Pierce shouting “Let’s Go, Let’s Go” repeatedly. Now both sides move over to their benches. We’re ready to start.

First Quarter

  • It’s important that KG hits his first shot tonight, or at least an early shot. Nerves can get to him.
  • Kobe is going to come out firing early. He’s a lot more aggressive in looking for his scoring on the road. He likes to calm down his teammates by getting them off quick with a few baskets.
  • Gasol opens up the scoring
  • Rondo misses the 17 footer, Kobe brings it up, later on in the possession takes a fallaway out of the post, miss, Odom keeps it alive, fights for it, out of bounds. Celtics ball.
  • KG pump fake, Gasol bites, KG dribbles to the side, takes it, hits it
  • Fisher hits a long two
  • KG with two offensive boards, very aggressive
  • Rondo turnover
  • Ray Allen steals Radmanovic’s pass, turns it over, Kobe steals it, back to Odom, one dribble, 20 footer, hits it
  • 3 second violation on LA
  • Pierce with a nice move to the hoop, hesitation dribble at the FT line, Gasol to his right, Odom to the left, splits the two, reverse layup
  • Fisher fouled on a jump shot by Pierce, long two, misses the first, misses the second. Gotta hit your FTs.
  • Ray Allen on the screen and roll, Kobe gets caught in the screen, drives inside, out to ROndo, 17 footer, miss
  • Radmanovic foot on the line, two pointer, left wing
  • Garnett misses the turnaround, offensive rebound Perkins, fouled on the jump hook by Radmanovic. Perkins misses the first, hits the second
  • Lob pass to Gasol, nice spin move, backdoor alley oop off the elbow
  • KG misses the turnaround
  • Radmanovic long three, miss, he wanted the foul, got a piece of his arm
  • KG off the dribble, fakes left, crosses over right, loses Gasol, down the lane, dunk
  • 10-10 Tie Game after 5 minutes
  • Bryant is the only Laker not to score
  • Kobe’s bounce pass kicked out of bounds
  • Bryant has a baseline J over Perk rim in and out
  • Pierce defensive rebound, dribbles the ball up, everyone is back, on the left wing with a spinning driving fallaway from 15, miss
  • Gasol gets fouled by KG on a nice move down on the left block
  • Timeout
  • Halfway point in the quarter
  • Odom over Perk, miss, high bounce, over the backboard
  • Up and under by KG, blocked by Odom, goaltending. Nice move by KG, he looked in trouble there. Kept his head. Good defense by Gasol.
  • Kobe hits off the left elbow off the catch
  • Radmanovic gets another foul. Bad flop by Pierce. Sasha in, Kobe on Pierce.
  • Pierce immediately goes inside to the post, kickout on the double, KG from the left wing, 20 footer, hits it
  • Gasol hits the 18 footer top of the key
  • Rondo with a lovely ball fake, floater, miss
  • Bad call, backcourt violation, Gasol still had one foot and the ball in the backcourt at the time of the pass. Stopped a fastbreak two on one
  • Ray Allen gets a layup on the cut
  • Bryant misses another, he’s 1-5
  • Ray Allen knocks down the three on the quick push to get the Celtics into their halfcourt set. 9 point turnaround for Boston after being down 4 to up 5.
  • Timeout Phil Jackson
  • Kobe one dribble pull up, good look, misses
  • Rondo cuts to the hoop, fouled on the dunk attempt. He hits both free throws.
  • The Lakers need to get Kobe going offensively
  • Boston lead 20-14 with three minutes to play in the first
  • Farmar in the game, nice runner off the bank, hits it
  • Perkins blocked from behind by Gasol, turnover, stopped a dunk. Perkins got that open shot from a Pierce midpost move and lovely feed
  • Vujacic dribbles inside, changes his mind comes out, his man sags off to contest the Kobe catch on the high post, shoots it, hits the three
  • Rondo slips, travel, lost his pivot foot
  • Bryant gets an open three pointer from Farmar’s penetration, miss, 1-7 now
  • Alley oop to KG backdoor cut off the elbow, misses it, Kobe defensive rebound, pushes it up, hesitation move, fouled by Posey, keeps going, harder foul
  • Kobe catch and shoot from 15 feet right wing, nails it
  • Offensive foul on James Posey, moving screen
  • Sasha misses a baseline three off the pump fake and dribble
  • 21-21 Tie Game
  • PJ Brown with the jump hook in the lane, off the glass, ugly but got it to go
  • Sam Cassell getting ready to come in
  • Perkins blocks Gasol’s running hook, outlet pass, heave at the buzzer, clang

Second Quarter

  • Celtics lead 23-21
  • That 7-0 run by the Lakers near the end of the first quarter was very good. Without that the second quarter would look a lot different for the second unit. Let’s see how this plays out now.
  • Powe and Sam are in with Ray leading the second unit
  • Ray cutting to the basket, misses the layup, rebounds the miss as the Lakers bundle it out of bounds, pass, layup Powe
  • Turiaf hits a tough shot off the glass
  • Ray allen hoists a three, loose ball foul against Luke Walton. Pierce comes back in for Ray Allen.
  • Turiaf misses the jump shot over Brown
  • Sammy takes the 17 footer off the bounce from the top of the key over Fisher, hits it
  • Odom fouled on the drive to the hoop by Powe. Powe came out too hard and left the left hand of Odom open for the drive. Odom misses the first, hits the second.
  • Fisher fouls in the backcourt
  • Cassell posts up Fisher on the left side, turnaround, nails it
  • Odom offensive rebound, flip hook on the spin move, miss
  • Pierce misses off the dribble, should have gone back to Cassell, he looks red-hot right now
  • Fisher takes Sammy off the dribble, gets to the rim, fouled
  • Timeout
  • Foul on Turiaf pressuring Powe
  • Celtics lead 29-26
  • KG back in the game now, Powe staying in.
  • Cassell on the left wing, fadeaway, hits it
  • Fisher nails a quick three back on the other end
  • Pierce fouled, makes one of two
  • 8 minutes to play in the first half
  • Fisher misses, Walton rebounds, dribbles out, over to Turiaf, 18 footer top of the key, hits it
  • Sam drives, pull up in the lane, blocked by Kobe, Celtics retain possession, down low to KG, hard drive baseline, fouled by Turiaf on the layup. Nice move.
  • Bryant pull up J baseline from 16 feet over Perk, hits it
  • KG pull up off the dribble from 16 feet right wing
  • Fisher drives baseline, draws the foul on Pierce. Hits both.
  • Lakers knock the ball loose out of bounds. Still 12 seconds on the clock, Garnett blocked by Gasol. Foul on LA, Gasol, his second, clean block. Very clean block. Nothing on it. Terrible call. Garnett makes both.
  • Gasol left handed hook off the glass, rolls out, nice move
  • Garnett step back J, hits it, he has the last 8 Celtics points now, 16 for the game
  • Pierce steals it, falls out of bounds
  • Timeout
  • Cassell draws the charge on Bryant
  • Cassell misses a three
  • Bryant fouled on the catch in the lane, throws it up straight away, misses off balance, gets two at the line, makes two.
  • Boston lead 40-37
  • It feels like the Celtics are ahead by more
  • Lamar Odom has done absoluetly nothing offensively since the opneing momements of the game
  • Offensive foul on Pierce, charge, Fisher drew it, that’s three
  • Bryant to Gasol, pick and roll, dunk
  • Posey came in for Pierec there, Posey steals it, long outlet, Posey gets it, not under control, passes it back to Rondon, bad pass, Rondo bad catch, loose ball, Posey dives on it, loose ball foul. On Ray. Fisher will shoot two, makes two. Lakers lead 41-40
  • 6-0 Laker run, Fisher leads LA with 11. They’re now 9-12 after missing some early FTs
  • Celtics use the whole shot clock, get nothing going until the last two seconds, Rondo 16 footer
  • Bryant and Gasol pick and roll, dunk again
  • Lakers have 12 assists on their 16 field goals
  • Odom takes Perkins off the dribble from the top of the dribble, beats KG to the spot, jumps into KG from the right hand side of the lane, then moves the ball back to his left hand to avoid the block, off the glass. Very clever finish from Lamar
  • Timeout
  • Post up KG on the left block, hand off baseline cut by Posey, blocked on the layup, both teams fight for it, out of bounds. Laker ball I think, Lakers timeout anyway.
  • Mark Jackson likened Gasol and Bryant on the pick and roll to Bird and Parish. I can see the Parish-Gasol comparison. Both very long 7 footers, both roll straight to the hoop, make good catches and finish.
  • Rondo with the floater in the lane, lovely bounce pass to set up Rondo off the baseline penetration from Ray Allen
  • Odom hits the jump shot over KG on the right wing
  • Ray on the baseline screen and curl, quick shot, miss
  • Lovely pass by Kobe Bryant. He was wide open in the corner from three, stayed calm, saw Gasol’s defender run out, he just waited til the defender got closer, then threaded the needle, fouled. Gasol makes both FTs.
  • Rondo makes a bad pass, picked off by Radmanovic, fastbreak, Lakers bundle their spacing, Kobe has to pull it out, drives on Posey, kickout to Odom, Odom drives, pass inside to Kobe, acrobatic layup, miss, had to avoid the shot blockers
  • Fisher three pointer left wing
  • Fisher defensive rebound, they’ll hold it for the final shot of the period, Kobe has it, dribbles down the clock, he’s 3-10 from the floor, over to Radmanovic, open three, miss. The Celtics sagged off Bryant so much that they just left Radmanovic wide open on the three. Bryant didn’t even need to make a move. Just passed from 40 feet and got his teammate a 40% three point shooter a wide open look. Ray defensive rebound, heave, miss.
  • Halftime

Halftime Stats and Notes

  • First the score, the Lakers lead 51-46
  • Some Team Stats – Celtics winning comfortably on the backboards 20-15 including a 6-3 advantage on the offensive boards. Combined blocks/steals is 6-3 LA. Celtics have 8 turnovers giving up 4 points. The Lakers have 4 turnovers giving up 2 points. The Celtics have taken two more shots but made one less. The Lakers have 14 assists on 19 made field goals shooting 50% from the floor, 2-5 from three, 11-14 from the line. The Celtics have 8 assists on 18 made shots shooting 45%, 1-9 from three, 9-11 from the line.
  • Lakers offense is clearly the story of the first half. They’re moving the ball very well and getting quite a few good shots.
  • The Celtics defensive intensity fell off the cliff when James Posey came in for Paul Pierce in the second quarter. The Lakers also made their 7-0 run in the first quarter when PIerce came off. Right now there’s a huge difference between Pierce’s and Posey’s defense, Posey just isn’t doing enough defensively for the C’s at this moment in time.
  • The Lakers defense has troubled the supporting acts for Boston but KG has been cash in the bank. Ray Allen has had better looks at the hoop than his 2-8 shooting suggests. Pierce didn’t play enough minutes but looked dangerous whenever he touched the ball, only 3 points.
  • Gasol and Fisher have a combined 25 points to lead LA. Fisher has taken only 5 shots to get those 13 points, made 3, 6-8 at the line. Gasol is 5-7 from the field.
  • Garnett leads Boston with 16 (6-9) and 6. He’s been excellent offensively and quality defensively in the first half. Rajon Rondo has been his supporting star with 10 points (4-7) and 3 assists. Cassell added 6 points. That’s 32 of their 46 points.
  • Rajon Rondo has done a great job of pushing the ball up the floor and getting the Celtics into their offense. It makes such a huge difference to their ball movement when he does this. The C’s don’t have a huge assist number but they’ve moved the ball and attacked from many different spots in the floor in the first half.
  • Bryant (3-10) and Lamar Odom (3-6) have 15 points between them. That gives those four starters 40 of the L’s 51 points.
  • JVG went back over those two late Pau dunks on the pick and rolls, both were blown defensive rotations by James Posey. He was the help defender who was meant to come over.

Second Half – Third Quarter

  • Lakers lead 51-46
  • Pierce with the catch low under the hoop, layup
  • Paul Pierce head fake, takes the contact, three off the glass, four point play. C’mon Radmanovic, you’re 6-10 don’t bite on that pump fake.
  • Boston lead 52-51 from Pierce’s 6 quick points in the first minutes
  • Kobe hits the 20 footer right wing
  • Pierce high screen and roll, defended well, makes the shot from 18 feet top of the key
  • Gasol hacked by Perkins on the pass through the lane
  • Slight problem with my browser there, it jammed. KG hit two turnaround J’s, Radmanovic hit a three, picked up his fourth foul, Sasha in, Bryant hits the fadeaway two.
  • Great defense by Kobe Bryant, overplaying the right shoulder forcing Pierce baseline, slapped the ball loose, Odom stole it.
  • 8:21 to play
  • Lakers picked up his fourth team foul
  • 58-58 Game Tied
  • Gasol steals the pass, Bryant brings it up, KG goes over to trap Kobe, Kobe keeps his dribble alive, double teammed, spins through the trap into the lane, finds Gasol for the layup
  • Gasol misses the 16 footer off the elbow
  • KG hard dribble into the lane, high release, off glass, rolls out, great defense by Gasol
  • Trouble again with my browser again …. Paul Pierce falls hard, he’s in a wheelchair, taken off the court. It’s his right leg. He had a collission with Pierce. Pierce was defending on the top of the key, Bryant drove right down the lane, Perk came over the back for the block, landed on Pierce’s leg. His teammates literally lifted him off the court. He wasn’t moving his leg at all. He put some weight on his legs in the locker room, he was able to take it. Standing and playing basketball are two diffrent things. Danny Ainge has gone back in there to see him. Let’s see how this goes.
  • Loose ball foul on Perkins, that’s his fourth foul. Loose ball foul on a missed FT. He’s limping up a bit too. Rondo made a nice move to the hoop, getting fouled, hitting one FT. Bad call, it was just some wierd looking contact where Fisher fell.
  • Perkins going back to the locker room too
  • Ray stripped, off of Ray, bad call, Celtics ball.
  • Ray open in the corner, three pointer. Look for Ray to take over. Vujacic flopped on the screen looking for the foul after cheating over the top on the screen.
  • Odom drives, gets fouled
  • Fisher pull up on the fastbreak, miss
  • The Crowd are pumped, the Captain just came back up out of the hallway, the fanst are giving him a stnading ovation. He moves to check in, Doc yanks him, waits to hear from the trainer, he’s happy, here comes Paul for Posey.
  • Timeout
  • 5 minutes to go
  • Boston lead 63-62
  • JVG loves that timeout from Phil Jackson, an “outstounding timeout” where he took the crowd out at the right time. They were exploding.
  • Bryant into the paint, tough shot over KG, miss. Foul by Bryant on Pierce on the other end, they’re in the penalty, he hits one of two. He’s barely bending his legs. That’s three on Kobe.
  • Lakers aren’t getting anything going offensively here
  • Bad pass by Bryant picked off, Ray on the fastbreak, behind the back pass in the lane, stolen by Fisher, ahead to Odom, layup.
  • Offensive rebound PJ Brown pushing Gasol out of his way, Fishers ties him, falls loose to Ray, layup and the foul. Hits it. Ray has 14 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists.
  • Boston lead 68-64
  • Vujacic fouled on a three pointer attempt in the corner by KG. Hits all three, the Lakers needed those.
  • Perkins has a left ankle sprain, they re-taped it, he’s returning to the bench now
  • Fisher alley oop to Bryant on the fastbreak, boom
  • Lakers lead 69-68
  • We got a battle on our hands
  • Rondo on the drive, fouled by Gasol on the floor, in the penalty, three on Gasol. Three minutes to go. Misses the first, makes the second. All even at 69.
  • Kobe Bryant fadeaway in the corner from 21 feet over Ray with KG lurking to beat the shot clock
  • Garnett takes the floater, Ray knocks it out of bounds, bad call, Celtics ball
  • 2 mintues to play in the third. Lakers need to avoid fouling
  • KG open 21 footer, Gasol rebounds over PJ
  • Boston up 10 on the backboards right now
  • Odom drives, reverse layup to take out KG, blocked by PJ, outlet pass, Pierce stays at the three point line, Rondo finds him.
  • Carbon copy, Rondo to Pierce on the break, three pointer right wing
  • Pierce fouls Bryant, that’s four
  • Phil Jackson called Paul Pierce the “Heart and Soul of the Team” and I can’t agree more. Also their most explosive player who’s capable of taking the game over, Phil said.
  • Kobe makes two at the line, he has 20 and 6 on 8-19 shooting.
  • Rondo on the drive, fouled. Rondo hits two of two.
  • Bryant takes a contested three, miss
  • Rondo has it, holds for the final shot, LA needs a stop, Rondo will take it, over to Posey, contested three, miss, rebound Gasol
  • Pierce had three threes and 15 points in the third quarter

Fourth Quarter

  • Celtics lead 77-73
  • Kobe starts the fourth, hits a bank shot off the dribble
  • Ray Allen responds on the other end
  • Walton with the floater, loose ball on the offensive rebound, harsh
  • PJ Brown blocked by Turiaf, Powe gets the loose ball, fouled by Odom inside. That’s four fouls on Odom.
  • Kobe fadeaway, air ball, Odom right there, layin
  • Cassell brick, he’s missed his last three shots
  • Screen and roll between Farmar and Turiaf, nice pass to Turiaf right by the hoop, fouled hard by Cassell, Turiaf takes the first, KG back in, misses the first, takes the second, makes the second
  • 10 minutes to play
  • Ray Allen tied up, throws it back into the backcourt, KG dives for it, saves it, PJ wins the high pass, to Sam, hits the J
  • Farmar throws the ball away
  • Ray pulls it back, goes inside to KG, Odom cheats over, Walton pulls down to cover PJ, KG throws it out to Posey, nails a three
  • Timeout Phil Jackson
  • Celtics lead 86-78 with 8 minutes to play
  • Both teams trade misses
  • Fisher and Vujacic hit long twos in between a 24 secon shot clock violation
  • KG misses a turnaround in the post
  • Lakers quick push, nothing going, Turiaf has to force it to beat the shot clock, offensive rebound Gasol. Fisher resets the offense, lovely ball movement, inside to Gasol, ball slapped loose. The pass was just too low for Gasol to make sure he scored. He was right in front of the rim, four footer.
  • Timeout
  • Lakers ball movement has picked up but they clearly lack firepower right now. Turiaf just isn’t a threat and Walton keeps taking odd midrange off balance shots or passes up decent looks. Ball movement looks good though. Sasha and Fisher are being very aggressive.
  • Bryant catch and shoot to beat the shot clock, miss
  • Celtics lead 86-82 with 5 and a half to play
  • Pierce in the post over Fisher, fadeaway, hits it
  • Gasol beats KG in the post, kickout to Sasha, miss, offensive rebound Gasol, out to Kobe, Kobe drives, finds Gasol for the 16 footer baseline, miss
  • Rondo misses the elbow jumper
  • Offensive rebound PJ Brown, it fell right into his hands. Luke Walton was body defending PJ to keep him away but he never saw the ball or made any attempt for it. Brown tied up Walton’s hands. Odom back in now for Finals.
  • Rondo fouls Fisher in the backcourt trying to steal the outlet pass by Fisher
  • 4 minutes to play
  • Lakers lead 88-82
  • Ray dribbles it off his foot, turnover
  • Loose ball foul by Odom, they’re in the penalty, PIerce hits both FTs. Phil not happy with Odom making that foul. This is the largest lead of the game.
  • PJ Brown with another big defensive rebound
  • Garnett bank shot off the mark, rebound Gasol
  • Odom into the paint, blocking foul on PJ Brown, layup counts, hits the FT
  • Boston lead 90-85 with three minutes to go
  • Boston ball … Ray Allen drives, forces it to beat the buzzer, the Lakers defense was brilliant there, stopping the C’s offense. Ray misses the FT, hits the second. He was 93% from the line. 6 point game.
  • 2:34 to play
  • Bryant screen and roll with Pau, passes it inside, stolen by Rondo, he loses it, Odom pulls it out, Bryant open from three, pump fake, drives inside, kicks it to the corner, Vujacic misses a three in the right corner, Gasol fights for it, PJ wins it
  • Steal LA, Bryant hits the trailing Gasol, foul, he misses the first, makes the second
  • 2 minutes to play
  • Touch foul by Fisher. Slight bump. Bad foul. Odom was trapping Rondo well. Rondo goes to the line, he’s 6-8 tonight, hits the first, Posey and Radmanovic come in for PJ and Odom. KG taps the offensive rebound, it goes out of play off Radmanovic.
  • Rondo calls out a play, Rondo drive and kick, three pointer, miss, KG putback slam
  • KG dribbles the ball upcourt, later on drives to the hoop, draws the foul
  • Bryant misses a three, defensive rebound KG, Boston play out the clock, KG takes a 20 footer, miss, defensive rebound, push, Fisher open three, in and out.

This is over. First blood goes to the Boston Celtics. They open up a 1-0 lead in the NBA Finals

Some Stats

  1. Lakers 5-20 from the field in the fourth. A mixture of great Boston defense and very bad Laker shooting.
  2. Lakers top trio scored 52 points. The Celtics trio scored 61 points. That was the difference tonight.
  3. Boston’s supporting cast did a great job, especially Rondo, scoring 33 points to cancel out the 35 points the Lakers supporting cast scored. Fisher led them with 15, Vujacic 8.
  4. Gasol had a bad second half, they didn’t go to him enough and he didn’t look to shoot the ball often enough. Scoring only 3 points
  5. The Celtics beat the Lakers on the boards by the tune of 13 rebounds. That’s the big reason why they won tonight.
  6. Pierce was brilliant in the third to score 15 points and lead a Boston charge to regain a lead that they’d never lose
  7. Ray Allen had a very good all round game with 19 points, 8 boards, 5 dimes
  8. Kevin Garnett missed his last 10 shots of the game, finishing 9-22, for 24 points and 13 boards. He had a couple of huge offensive rebounds down the stretch, played much better defense in the second half and found ways to contribute.
  9. PJ Brown was the story of Boston’s bench. His length and intelligence defensively was huge but it was his rebounding that changed the game. His presence on the backboards frightened LA and stopped their small ball lineup from working. If PJ wasn’t grabbing the board he was forcing one-two guys to stop him and stopped them from grabbing the board by fighting so hard.
  10. Rajon Rondo had a really good game with 15 points, 8 dimes, 5 boards
  11. Lakers were only 13-41 in the second half from the field for 32%. 7 assists on those makes
  12. Lakers defense was good. They made too many dumb fouls and didn’t rebound well enough to win but they held Boston to 42% shooting, 31% from three. Too many FTs, 28-35 for Boston. Too many free points. That third quarter of foul trouble really hurt them, it happened again late in the fourth. They need more discpline on those shots.
  1. Celtics got their plan running, they brought KOBE away from the basket. LA needs to find a workaround, KOBE hitting jumpers isnt the idea as LA needs to get the big men inside in foul trouble. The only weakness the Celtics have is their Shallow bench. If they can protect that Lakers dont stand a chance.

  2. Hey UTP,

    Very good win for the Celtics. That’ll take a lot of pressure off of their shoulders, relax them, and put the whole thing on LA.

    It was a good performcance by Boston. They got their three big guns going, Rondo was superb, and the bench cancelled out the Lakers’ reserves. Celtics bench actually outscored LA 17-15.

    Biggest problem with the Celtics bench in the playoffs hasn’t been a lack of talent but a lack of consistency. If they play like that for the rest of the Finals (which is achievable), it’d be a huge boost for the Celtics.

    Celtics Big Three outscoring the Lakers top trio was the biggest key for me. Then Rondo’s relentless pressure pushing the basketball and getting Boston into their offense quickly. Then their quality defense.

    I thought it was a mixture of increased Celtics defensive pressure and LA losing it’s way offensively that decided the second half.

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