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NBA finals, Lakers Celtics Game 7: Boston closed their eyes and it slipped away

Jun 18, 2010, 1:51 AM EDT

Garnett_sad.jpgIt’s a very bitter taste for a team that remembers the sweet taste of champagne.

It’s made worse by knowing that they had a 13-point lead in the third quarter. Worse by knowing that this team may never be together in this form again. Worse by knowing that Ray Allen went 3 for 14 in what likely will be his final game in a Celtics uniform.

Worse because for the first time this playoffs, Boston actually looked old.

“Well, there was a lot of crying in our locker room, a lot of people who care…” Doc Rivers said after an 83-79 loss at a game played right at the Celtics pace. “I just can’t stress enough how crazy close this team was, you know, and that would be the word, crazy close. They’re the type of group that they could scream at each other but no one picks on any of them. That’s a special group.”

They played special at the start. Boston came out playing physically on defense, taking away the Lakers primary options, forcing the Lakers to shoot 22 percent in the first quarter. Kobe Bryant wanted desperately to put his imprint on the game and the Celtics had a game plan to take the ball out of his hands. Boston trapped him, they pushed him off his spots, they gave him no space and he shot 1 for 7 in the first quarter. And Boston was up 9 after one.

That defensive effort continued through the third quarter, and the fans Staples were on edge. It wasn’t pretty, and the Celtics were fine with that. The Lakers would make a mini-run and the Celtics would make a couple stops, a couple baskets and re-establish themselves. Boston was the better team. They were getting some transition points and they were up 13.

But the size of the Lakers kept wearing on a Boston team that missed Kendrick Perkins.

“I thought the lack of size at the end of the of the day was the difference in the game,” Rivers said. “I thought a couple things hurt us – when Rasheed started getting cramps, that was killer for us because they attacked out lack of size after that, and then it made me, forced me to extend Kevin (Garnett’s) minutes, which I know is not good.”

Pau Gasol, “befuddled” by Rasheed Wallace in the first half (to use Phil Jackson’s term), started to come to life. The Lakers were making their big run. Boston could no longer run its offense through the post because the Celtics big men were too tired to be effective, Rivers said.

So when Boston needed points, they turned to Allen. And he missed. The guy that won them Game 2 with his shooting was 3 of 14 on the night, 2 of 5 in the fourth quarter. Missing at the rim and from three.

It may well be Allen’s last game as a Celtic (although he said he wants to be back), he is an unrestricted free agent this summer and other teams are likely to pay more than a Boston team that needs to start getting younger. It was an ugly way to go out, looking old.

“It’s hard to see it end this way,” Allen said.

It wasn’t just Allen, either.

“You know, it’s the fist time all year that you can actually say at the end of the day we were old because at the end of the game because we didn’t have enough bodies,” Rivers said, referring to Perkins. “I thought it hurt us.”

It hurt them a lot. To the point of tears.

105 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. LOSERINDAPAINT - Jun 18, 2010 at 1:01 PM

    hey mark definte hold me a spot in the parade ill be there…and joe s, dude seriously what games wre you watching lol

  2. Foul Dwimmerlaik - Jun 18, 2010 at 1:05 PM

    Hazzah! We shall al be there. Standing arm-in-arm. A brotherhood of the fans of the team known as Lakers.
    Let us proudly proclaim our enthusiasm for the victory bestowed upon us by our warriors of the hardwood.
    Hazzah, I say, Hazzah!

  3. mark - Jun 18, 2010 at 1:48 PM

    show some class Lakers and Celtics fan. If you cant appreciate a great series between these two teams without putting each other down, then dont post anything at all. Three-peat!

  4. Omnius - Jun 18, 2010 at 1:50 PM

    Yep the Celtics showed their age last night as their 3 year shelf life expired in the 4th quarter. Missing Perkins really helped show the Celtic’s age as their big three just didn’t have enough gas left in their tanks to keep up with the younger more talented Lakers. Still despite missing Perkins the Celtics gave us Lakers fans a real scare for 3.5 quarters. The older Celtics have to take pride in downing the Cavaliers and Magic, that was an incredible feat considering how they were written off before the playoffs even began. As a Laker fan I salute the Celtics for playing big in the biggest series and game of their lives. This exciting hard fought series was one for the ages and game 7 was the perfect crowning jewel in a series between two championship teams. I am so grateful that the Lakers gained Sweet Revenge for their 2008 loss to the Celtics and for losing to Wallace’s Pistons in 2004. How Sweet It Is!

  5. Mark - Jun 18, 2010 at 1:56 PM

    What he11 are you doing here then?!

  6. Yousuckloser - Jun 18, 2010 at 1:56 PM

    I think if feels like being a fan of the 2010 World Champions, you sore loser. Why don’t you go cry yourself to sleep in your ugly green pillow.

  7. Hackpiper - Jun 18, 2010 at 3:31 PM

    Congratulations from a Celtics fan…
    However, I don’t get the “revenge” business. How can you get revenge for losing a game a few years back? Doesn’t make sense. What are you avenging when there’s no “wrong” to avenge? The other team won..Lakers lost (badly). Now that the shoe is on the other foot, it’s somehow morphed into some sort of “sweet revenge?” Doesn’t compute.
    Then again, no one in LA seems to be making such a distinction. Don’t burn the city down. LOL!
    Next time!
    We will get our “revenge”… Hah!! (Then we’ll burn Boston down. We’re more alike than either fan base wants to admit.)

  8. RKC - Jun 18, 2010 at 3:45 PM

    LA won because of Kobe and Gasol, LeBron please sign with Orlando then we can have a series, Boston doesn’t have a big man the caliber of Gasol, Howard is the only big man that truly matches up with gasol.

  9. Seely_Iggy - Jun 18, 2010 at 4:53 PM

    Thank you to both the Lakers and Celtics teams for a fantastic series. I can’t help thinking how similar these two teams are – tough, resilient, proud, and highly competitive. The similarities even comes down to both teams’ propensity to lose focus- be brilliant in one game and totally disappear in the next *lol*
    I’m a Lakers fan and of course I’m thrilled Lakers won the game, but hats off to the Celtics for the way they fought till the end. They played hard-nosed defense and showed why they are the true force to be reckoned with from the East. Forget the pretenders called Magic and Cavaliers. The Celtics were truly worthy opponents. I hope we meet again in the finals next year…. it’s a treat for baketball fans everywhere.

  10. Terry - Jun 18, 2010 at 5:03 PM

    I keep wondering why te Celtics players each have a mean mug. Even though I thought that some of them are excellent players, it is hard to root for a bad attitude.

  11. Blow it out your aSs - Jun 18, 2010 at 6:04 PM

    i think they proved last night that they CAN win if kobe is not on. did you even watch the game? dumbass

  12. jay - Jun 18, 2010 at 7:00 PM

    Stop whining. Which TEAM WON AGAIN?

  13. Leo - Jun 18, 2010 at 8:03 PM

    This was another classic between the two best teams in the NBA, what a game! I was surprised Boston made it all the way to the finials entering as a 4th seed. They show real will and toughness. Hopefully they showed “King” James & “Superman” what it takes to be Champions.
    The Celtics played tough and I thought they were going to beat the Lakers. As a life long Laker fan I hated the Celtics. They have always seem to find away to beat the Lakers in the 60s. It was a great feeling to see Magic and showtime end the drought against Boston. And it was even better seeing this version of the Lakers come back from 13 down in the 3rd to win.
    One thing I never understood is why Boston fans have always hated LA so much. Their team has been victorious more times then the Lakers yet you hear them chanting “Beat LA”, you don’t hear LA Fans chanting “Beat Boston”. I maybe they are envious of the LA life style. I don’t know, but its good to see these two team meet gain with it all on the line. I expect Boston to be back better then ever and I hope the Lakers are too.

  14. shrek - Jun 21, 2010 at 7:54 PM

    Don’t watch then buddy. Someone else will take ur place by 100 time.

  15. shrek the Laker fan - Jun 21, 2010 at 8:13 PM

    The Lakers won it without Kobe shooting night. His teammates lifted him up especially Ron Artest. Boston didn’t see that coming. Call him crazy all you want. It was Ron who basically save the Lakers azz. No one gave him the real credit that he deserved. He basically put his finger prints on this Championship. Boston still crying about they wish they had Perkin playing cause they would’ve had a chance to beat the Lakers. Boston need to remember that the Lakers didn’t have Bynum too. What if Bynum was healthy? This series probably would’ve been over long time ago. I guess we will never know.

  16. shrek the Laker fan - Jun 21, 2010 at 8:27 PM

    Just a reminder to you Boston Fans. Boston blew 13 pt lead. They fell asleep @ the wheel. Had numerous opportunity to put the Lakers away. No excuses this time. This has nothing to do with refereeing and stop the refereeing conspiracy. Stop whining. Lakers was the better conditioned team down the stretch. You got give the Lakers the credit for great DEFENSE in the last 5 min of the game. Boston just choked down the stretch.

  17. shrek the Laker fan - Jun 21, 2010 at 8:32 PM

    Just a reminder to you Boston Fans. Boston blew 13 pt lead. They fell asleep @ the wheel. Had numerous opportunity to put the Lakers away. No excuses this time. This has nothing to do with refereeing and stop the refereeing conspiracy. Stop whining. Lakers was the better conditioned team down the stretch. You got give the Lakers the credit for great DEFENSE in the last 5 min of the game. Boston just choked down the stretch.

  18. shrek the Laker fan - Jun 21, 2010 at 8:39 PM

    Yeah I use to wonder why. Even back in the days they didn’t have any hollywood looking player either. They always had a real rugged look. I guess its their trade mark. They definite play how they look. Bullies

  19. shrek the Laker fan - Jun 21, 2010 at 8:44 PM

    That’s funny. LOL

  20. shrek the Laker fan - Jun 21, 2010 at 8:47 PM

    Ditto LOL

  21. shrek the Laker fan - Jun 21, 2010 at 8:57 PM

    No need to explain ignorant people if they don’t get it. They live caves with sticks. They don’t have all the fact. Its all hearsay to them. Thanks for trying to make them understand.
    Shrek

  22. Weatherman - Jun 22, 2010 at 1:57 AM

    The best player won a ring along with the other 10 laker players, however the best team lost and it wasn’t for lack of effort nor desire.

  23. the REAL Foul Dwimmerlaik - Jun 22, 2010 at 10:25 AM

    To Kobe’s Destiny, aka Kobe sux bals, aka (that pervert poser) Foul Dwimmerlaik: I just enjoy myself as you make a dumbass of yourself across the forum using my name handle. In doing so, you have validated my point what a berk you truly are. I must have schooled you pretty badly for you to try for some character assassination by attempting that I am you. Speech pattern is quite obvious… you’re not even post-grad material. Oh wait, you haven’t even finished highschool, yes?
    You may continue to use my name handle if it pleases you. I shall be magnanimous and let you have it. Regular smart posters here know pretty well that I am not you.
    To the Celtics team: That was a great series. Thank you. The Lakers have cemented their greatness by beating the best opposition.
    GO LAKERS!!! ONWARD FOR THAT THREE-PEAT!

  24. the REALFoul Dwimmerlaik - Jun 22, 2010 at 10:54 AM

    And I shall also school you about my love for men. I love Kobe Bryant and I want him to be my lover forever. While I do live in my parents’ basement eating Cheetos and playing on my xBox, I love to fantasize about my great Kobe.
    To anyone who speaks to Foul Dwimmerlaik, please remember that I do have a mental disorder and I like to speak to myself on this board. It is sort of a Cybil meets Revenge Of the Nerds thing I have going here, so please allow me to vent at myself.
    To the Celtics fans, again I say you blow big booger beans. Ha ha ha. My Kobe will sleep only with me.
    For now, I have to get back to being the King of the Hobbits and pursuing my physical relationships with Phil Jackson and Kobe Bryant.

  25. the REAL Foul Dwimmerlaik - Jun 22, 2010 at 11:00 AM

    And I shall also school you about my love for men. I love Kobe Bryant and I want him to be my lover forever. While I do live in my parents’ basement eating Cheetos and playing on my xBox, I love to fantasize about my great Kobe.
    To anyone who speaks to Foul Dwimmerlaik, please remember that I do have a mental disorder and I like to speak to myself on this board. It is sort of a Cybil meets Revenge Of the Nerds thing I have going here, so please allow me to vent at myself.
    To the Celtics fans, again I say you blow big booger beans. Ha ha ha. My Kobe will sleep only with me.
    For now, I have to get back to being the King of the Hobbits and pursuing my physical relationships with Phil Jackson and Kobe Bryant.

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