Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Was it Over When the Germans Bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell No!

The Lakers took a stand against the overwhelming media crush on the Boston Celtics and pulled out a crucial game three victory last night, 88-81. Kobe Bryant scored 36 and Lamar Odom Pau Gasol Sasha Vujacic poured in 20 off the bench.

As expected, the Lakers shot more free throws than the Celtics. For the game, L.A. was 21-of-34 from the line, while Boston was 15-of-22. Apparently, the Staples Center has some sort of transdimensional warping effect on free throw shooting. At any rate, the conspiracy theorists, when they're not busy slobbering all over the latest Tim Donaghy allegations, will insist that game three was officiated differently than the first two games of the series. I disagree, and here's why: the Lakers, and Kobe Bryant in particular, were MUCH more aggressive in driving to the basket last night. As a result, they were able to get in the lane and as such initiate contact and draw fouls. It's exactly what Rajon Rondo was able to facilitate in games one and two for Boston.

After the game, Kobe Bryant was asked whether or not he had a response for all of the "talk radio" people that had essentially declared the Lakers dead after losing the first two games of the series:

"It wouldn't be talk radio. It wouldn't be talk radio, you know, if everybody was just so optimistic and positive. That's not fun. You've got to have hosts that are just going to throw shit to the window, you know? If you don't have that then nobody's going to listen to it. So, amen to them. It's entertaining."
Now the series shifts to a crucial, crucial game four. This is obviously another must-win for the Lakers, and I imagine the Celtics view it as a must-win almost as much as L.A. does. However, if Paul Pierce shows up and shoots 2-of-14 again, we'll be tied up going into game five on Sunday.

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