Watched Game 4 with Nate Thurmond and Larry Beil at ABC in San Francisco. What a win for Boston.
Here are some of my notes from the game:
-- In the final three quarters, the Laker defense gives up 26 , 31 and 26 points, respectively.
-- Boston's Perkins played 13 minutes and was minus 18 on plus-minus in the first half. Off the bench, Eddie House and Posey were excellent.
-- LA missed Odom the last three quarters. He did very little after the first quarter.
-- LA's entire bench had five field goals and made just one free throw. Sasha and Farmar shot a combined 2-14.
-- In the Finals, there's been a "Role Player of the Game" in each game. In Game 1, it was the wheel chair for Pierce. It was Powe (13 FT iun 15 mins) in Game 2. In Game 3, it was Sasha (20 pts on 7 of 10 shooting after posting just 16 points total in Games 1 and 2). And last night in Game 4, it was Posey rising up.
LAKERS PERSONNEL NOTES
-- Coming into Game 4, Odom averaged 9.3 points and 5 fouls. Yet in Game 4, he scored 13 in the first quarter, which set the pace and helped LA get out to a big lead.
-- Also coming into last night's game, Gasol was averaging 13.7 points and had just a single blocked shot. Remember, Pau was good for 19 ppg during the regular season.
-- Kobe: He's the best-conditioned player in NBA. He played 40 minutes or more in each of the first three games. And that's after averaging more than 40 mpg in the Conference Finals and Semis.
-- Laker starters combined for 22 points on 7 of 28 FG in Game 3.They came out much stronger in Game #4 but could not close after a 20 plus lead in the 3rd qtr
CELTICS PERSONNEL NOTES
-- After four games, it's clear that Boston's Big Three must combine to score over 60 points in order for the Celtics to win.
-- Rebounding: In the first three games, Boston won the battle of the glass. Boston takes a lot of long 3-balls which equals long rebounds.
-- LA's open-floor passing was the best it's been in the series. They got out and ran and moved ball with the advance pass. They played an unselfish first quarter. Odom was the catalyst in the Lakers' transition game. He was phenomenal in the 12-minute quarter.
-- Doc Rivers picked up a technical and the Celtics had a 2-on-1 break. It could have cost BOS five points, but D. Fisher missed the tech. As a head coach, the one ref you need to verbally lay off of is Steve Javie. He's a great ref, but not one you want to talk to while the ball is in play. You're better off talking with Javie when ball is dead.
-- Garnett had two first-quarter fouls because Odom was so active. KG is such a good passer that his limited first-quarter minutes really hurt Boston offensively.
-- Great adjustment: I thought that Phil Jackson's matchup of putting Kobe on Rondo was smart. It allowed Kobe to be a roamer and trap all post-ups. Fisher defended Ray Allen.
-- Kobe also did a great job of passing out of double teams quickly. He didn't hold onto the ball.
-- Pierce had three TO's in the first quarter.
-- Rotation: Phil Jackson went with Ariza over Luke Walton. Ariza's a better defender.
-- Kobe had only two FGA in the first quarter and didn't hit either shot.
-- LA got good weakside action out of its Triangle offense.
-- Eddie House is supposed to be a shooter, but was 1 for 4 from field. He played better in third, however.
-- Lakers simply out-reacted Boston in the first quarter.
-- Doc Rivers is already on his third point guard of the night as Sam Cassel follows Rondo and Eddie House.Eventually House makes the difference in the game
-- KG's post-ups were good for Boston, which went on a 12-0 run in the middle of the second quarter. Garnett opened up the three for his teammates, too.
-- LA's wing pick-n-roll picked apart the hard show by Boston with big-to-big skip high-low pass.Later in the game when Bostin goes small the rotations got quicker
-- Fisher saved LA with big baskets in the quarter as BOS made its run.
-- Kobe got his third Foul with 52 seconds left in the half.
-- Cassel's limited minutes will probably go to someone else the rest of the series.With E House play in game #4 he will be the backup from here on out
-- Late in the first half, Boston had three non-shooters on the floor with PJ Brown, Rondo, and Perkins.
-- Radmanovic picked up a terrible foul with five seconds left in the half.
-- Great substitution by Phil Jackson with five seconds left when he put in Farmar. [I've had players upset with a late sub like this. In some cases, selfish players don't understand this type of sub.]
-- Perkins hurts his shoulder. Another injury for Boston, which has had to deal with Rondo (and Pierce).
-- Match-up adjustment: Pierce went on to Kobe in the third when Ray Allen had done a solid defensive job on Bryant in the first half. But Pierce did a excellent job.Pierce wanted the challange coming out of the half time break
-- Boston went small and cut LA's lead to 6. A small lineup created steals and transition baskets. It made Phil Jackson match down as he ended up going with Ariza as a power foward. Boston went on a huge 21-3 run to cut LA's once-massive lead to two points.
-- Posey picked up five fouls and was giving Boston great minutes. When Doc Rivers took out Posey he put in 6-foot-4 Tony Allen as a 4-man and stayed small. [This was Tony Allen's first NBA Finals experience.]
-- Pierce was excellent defensively and came alive offensively in the third.
-- In this series, the third quarter of every game has belonged to Boston.
-- LA missed 10 consecutive shots until Bryant scored.
-- Boston stayed small with Posey at the power forward spot.
-- Boston spread the floor with a small lineup and a group of shooters, which made it difficult for LA to give defensive help.
-- With a little over two minutes left, LA went small with Radmanovic at PF and the same lineup that played well in the fourth quarter of Game 2.
-- Lakers iso Bryant on 1-4 flat.
-- The role player of the game is James Posey, a small forward who played the power forward spot most of the game.
-- Boston played great second-half defense. Defense wins championships.
-- Key to the game: Perkins getting hurt, which required that Boston move Garnett to the 5 spot.
-- Boston iso of Ray Allen vs Sasha: Allen went right around him. By the way, Ray Allen played all 48 minutes.
-- With 15.7 seconds left, LA inbounds the ball, then calls a timeout. That's not a basketball play. You need to call a timeout before inbounding. It cost LA an extra timeout to advance the ball.
An incredible win for Doc Rivers and Boston.