I think we can safely call tonight’s Celtics/Lakers game a disaster for the Celtics, the league, and basketball fans in general. The Lakers won, but the game was poorly played, poorly officiated, and poorly announced. Not what the NBA and the millions of people watching were looking for from one of the few NBA Finals Game 7’s in recent history.
The game really was horrendous. The Lakers shot 27 of 83 from the field, 25 of 37 from the charity-stripe, and 4 of 20 from the three point line, yet still managed to win because the Celts gave up 23 offensive rebounds. Ray Allen, one of the best shooters in league history, was 3-14. Kobe Bryant played one of the worst games I’ve seen him play, forcing awful shots, turning the ball over left and right, and even missing four free throws.
Of course, somebody had to win. Give the Lakers credit for making some big plays down the stretch, especially that Derek Fisher 3 and the backbreaking Ron Artest shot. Speaking of which, Artest is awful. I know he scored 16 points, but the man seems clueless half the time. Ironically, a player with a better understanding of the game probably wouldn’t have taken that shot. It was just lucky for him and the Lakers that this one went in.
For Celtics fans, take solace in the fact that this team defied a lot of expectations in getting all the way to the Finals. This is a team that many people considered old and washed up, but they showed a lot of heart and grit in coming a few ill-timed threes away from being NBA champions. In the end they just didn’t have enough scoring or enough three-point shooting, which is why they shouldn’t have traded Eddie House for a guy they barely played. Looking ahead to next year, the Celts need to make some serious moves. I just don’t see this core getting it done for the long haul anymore. Perk can’t score to save his life. KG can’t rebound anymore (he tries to grab every ball with one hand now for some reason). Ray Allen has gone from a scorer to an inconsistent jump shooter who seemingly misses half of his layups. And I’m not drinking the “Rondo is a superstar” Kool-Aid. Rondo is an exciting player, but I don’t know that he’s a great player yet. He shoots like a young Jason Kidd and disappears for long stretches.
Keep the faith alive though, Boston fans. Tonight was a tough loss, but there’s always next year.