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NBA finals, Lakers Celtics Game 3: Derek Fisher does what Derek Fisher does and the Celtics pay

Jun 9, 2010, 1:17 AM EDT

Fisher_Bryant.jpgHere is the basics of the scouting report every team gets on Derek Fisher: Don’t let him catch and shoot, particularly late in games. Make him shoot off the dribble, hit pull up jumpers, do that and he will miss.

So what did Fisher do in the fourth quarter of Game 3 of the NBA finals, with the game (and maybe the series) on the line? Hit a little running floater in the lane. Hit a pull-up, 10-foot jumper on the wing. Hit a spin to the middle one-dribble 15 footer. He a floating bank over Big Baby.

Derek Fisher has serious limitations to his game. He’s not what he used to be. Except in the fourth quarter of big games.

He had 11 points in the fourth quarter of Game 3 and he is the key reason Los Angeles up 2-1 in the NBA finals.

“He won the game for them,” Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. “Derek Fisher was the difference down the stretch.”

The Celtics continued to play good defense. Well, they did in the second half. Boston takes away your first and second options. They are getting up into Kobe’s body, and he is shooting under 40 percent for the finals. He had 29 points in Game 3, but needed 29 shots to do that. The Celtics will live with that. Boston also makes it hard for Pau Gasol to get good position, he had just 13 points on 11 shots.

But then there was Fisher in the fourth. The Lakers had success with Fisher coming off the Kobe Bryant pick out high — Fisher said afterwards it was because nobody leaves Kobe, giving him lanes to drive. Fisher did attack, and then before the defense got set he hit the shot. The ones he’s not supposed to be able to hit.

It’s a confidence thing — Fisher has a supreme belief in himself and his ability to make plays. It hurts him at times. There are bad-decision pull up jumpers in transition in February games that have Lakers fans screaming at their televisions. He gets criticized for it, for his age, for his defense.

And he never wavers. When he was in a shooting slump this season, he never admitted it and said he expected it to be different the next game. Every time. That confidence comes through on the biggest stages because he is still who he always is. He does not change, only the situation changes.

“(Fisher’s) been criticized quite a bit for his age,” Kobe Bryant said. “It’s a huge thrill for him and all of us to see him come through in these moments. He’s done it over and over and over again.”

These playoffs he is doing it on the road — Fisher is shooting 37 percent at Staples Center, almost 52 percent on the road in the post season. He is hitting 39.5 percent of threes on the road. It’s a confidence thing.

Fisher is a leader on this team, the positive ying to Kobe’s intense yang. He is a big part of the locker room. He also is the guy Kobe will listen to, the guy Kobe trusts.

“We’ve been thorough it,” Bryant said. “He can come to me and say, ‘Kob, you’re effing up.'”

This off-season, Fisher is a free agent and the Lakers have a decision to make. Lakers fans all season called for another starter at the point. But it is games like this that remind everyone why you want Fisher on your team when it matters most. Because the guy believes in himself. Because Fisher is nails.

Because he just wins.

  1. Lakers4Lyfe - Jun 9, 2010 at 1:54 AM

    Let’s see how long it takes a Celtics fan to show up here and cry about the refs. Doc Rivers did … KG did in their post-game conferences. Face it, when Celtics lose, their fans are silent. When they win, they are pelting beer bottles at the Lakers’ bus and burning down Boston. Worst fans on the planet. Die. It’s fitting you got beat by Fisher on your home court.

  2. avomonster - Jun 9, 2010 at 1:59 AM

    D Fish is the man, as always. As Kobe said tonight, DFish is the heart and soul of the Lakers. I can see a TD Garden sweep just over the horizon. The Black Mamba is getting ready to strike, rondo better run for the hills.

  3. Hong - Jun 9, 2010 at 2:19 AM

    Go, lakers, beat the hell out of them.

  4. SUPERFAN24 - Jun 9, 2010 at 2:27 AM

    I’ve seen calls from the refs that just make me lose all respect for the NBA. Tonight, bad calls happened on both ends of the court, so it wouldn’t make sense for Boston to cry about it. I agree that Boston fans are terrible…it’s too bad they’ll lose another championship to LA.

  5. Craig W. - Jun 9, 2010 at 2:34 AM

    I loved it that Doc said Kobe had a bad game.
    Let’s see 29pts, 7rbs, 4assists, 3blocks, 2steals, 1turnover
    Yeah, I guess that’s a pretty poor night – for Wilt Chamberlain
    He took a lot of shots and Fish was the hero, but Kobe ain’t chopped liver, even tonight.

  6. Foul Dwimmerlaik - Jun 9, 2010 at 2:48 AM

    They aint showing up coz they’re still smarting from the hits they took in the groin. HAHAHAHAHA!!! I remember them fairly well especially those morons with the KOBE_SUX_BAL^S and Savoir Laire name handles. Love it that Fisher was the one who had the dagger that stabbed the Bostonian hearts! Did you see his reaction when told about Pierce’s fearless forecast after winning Game 2? I guess aside from being a flopper and a good actor, Pierce is even a better prophet. LOL! Now Fish didn’t talk much. He let his play do the talking. And where was Ray Allen? Ray who?

  7. Brian Wong in LA - Jun 9, 2010 at 3:09 AM

    Tell Pierce to get his a55 back in LA. It’s not his choice. Actually, he’s probably right. The Lakers may sweep the road games and Pierce wouldn’t need to go back to LA.

  8. Foul Dwimmerlaik - Jun 9, 2010 at 6:42 AM

    Go back to LA? And play for the Clippers? SWEET. LMAO!

  9. mjkbfan - Jun 9, 2010 at 10:28 AM

    The sweetest moment was Fish getting misty-eyed after the game. That man is as passionate as they come! You’re simply not a true fan of the game if you can’t take your hat off to Fisher’s performance. Extraordinary.

  10. Pthomson - Jun 9, 2010 at 10:58 AM

    Fans calling for another starter at the point? Really??? Come on! What an amazing player with a sweet shot and an amazing human being to boot. Fish is the man. He deserves this spotlight and those that doubted weren’t real fans,

  11. mjkbfan - Jun 9, 2010 at 11:06 AM

    Oh, I almost forgot….to all you Fish-haters in Utah…..EAT YOUR HEARTS OUT!

  12. sweet water - Jun 9, 2010 at 11:10 AM

    I LOVE THEM LAKERS…..KOBE AND HIS TEAMMATES ARE GREAT……
    FISHER IS GOOD…..ALWAYS BEEN THE BACK BONE…….JUST DO IT AGAIN…….

  13. chingo - Jun 9, 2010 at 12:03 PM

    My buddy from Boston was texting me and crying before the game was even over lol. He was crying about the Gasol “flop” near the end. Guess it made up for that out of bounds by Odom noncall on rondo.

  14. Omnius - Jun 9, 2010 at 12:12 PM

    So funny that much maligned Derek Fisher had the last and best laugh of all last night as he won the game with his clutch shooting when Kobe was shooting poorly. So funny that all those Fisher Dismissers are eating Humble Pie this morning. Bet Fish caused a lot of heartburn in Boston last night and lots of tissue was used by the crying Boston fans. More poor officiating as the refs missed several foul calls on the Celtics late in the game as the refs tried to keep the Celtics from losing. A real shame that they can’t use instant replay to make an obvious foul call like on Rondo fouling Odom yet the refs gave the Celts the ball. No Rebounds No Rings Boston Little Big Men! Lakers in 6 games, heck maybe 5!

  15. obvious - Jun 9, 2010 at 2:23 PM

    It’s called a series, ladies. It is going back and forth, which means the teams are pretty evenly matched. LA fans quit puffing your chests, you’re the ones who have something to prove. Boston beat you in 08 and are 9-2 all time. Boston was dismal shooting the ball, lakers were a little less bad. That’s the long and short of it. We will see how the rest plays out. Good series so far.

  16. obvious - Jun 9, 2010 at 6:35 PM

    Actually, I apologize for saying the wrong things. The Lakers rule the Earth, and Celtics suck. I should have thought about it before I said it. I was completely wrong.

  17. Lakers4Lyfe - Jun 9, 2010 at 8:43 PM

    Lakers Blow. I love nuts.

  18. Foul Dwimmerlaik - Jun 10, 2010 at 12:19 AM

    I’m just speaking for myself, but you don’t need to be a Laker fan to be okay on my book. Celtics don’t suck… they wouldn’t be here if they did. I just got problems with fans who just spew invectives and ad hominems just because they want to with nothing cerebral to put into. Whenever, I trash talk, I just give back what the other has initiated — similar to the principles of aikido. Defend your team — it is your right as a bonafide fan. As for me, the Celtics team I do respect. I’m thankful they are the ones facing the Lakers. Afterall, to be the best we have to beat the best opponent. And by far, this Celtics team is it. Cheers!

  19. Emma - Jun 10, 2010 at 1:26 AM

    It’s “yin,” not “ying.” Common mistake.

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