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

    Jun 9, 2010, 1:17 AM EDT

    Here 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…

  2. NBA finals, Lakers Celtics Game 3: It's all about the paint

    Jun 8, 2010, 2:36 PM EDT

    Ray Allen got all the love last game, well deserved love at that. The man with the pure jumper was shooting it as well as anyone ever has. It was beautiful basketball. But he’s not why Boston won. The Celtics won because they took back the paint. On offense the Celtics got 46 shots in…

  3. NBA finals, Lakers Celtics: Why the 2-3-2 format?

    Jun 8, 2010, 1:42 PM EDT

    For the first three rounds of the NBA playoffs, Game 5 returns to the home court of the higher seed. Game 6 is at the lower seed’s building, then the teams travel again for a Game 7, back to the higher seeds home court. The 2-2-1-1-1 format. But not for the NBA finals. Then the…

  4. NBA finals, Lakers Celtics Game 3: Officiating is already the story, and tip off is eight hours away

    Jun 8, 2010, 12:45 PM EDT

    My plea has fallen on deaf ears. After seeing 134 free throws through the first two games, after seeing the officiating and fouls called play a key role in both games, the announcement of the referees for Game 3 has led basketball fans everywhere to say, “Are you kidding me?” In Boston and Los Angeles,…

  5. NBA finals, Lakers Celtics Game 3: If Boston wins tonight, history would giggle with delight at their chances

    Jun 8, 2010, 11:47 AM EDT

    At some point, playoff game descriptors seem to get a bit ridiculous. There’s the crucial Game 1, the decisive Game 3, the tide-turning Game 5, and sometimes a winner-take-all Game 7. Our apparent affinity for odd numbers aside, it’s all a way of disguising one ever-important fact: every playoff game is essential. Game 7s may…

  6. NBA finals, Lakers Celtics Game 2: Rajon Rondo's block from behind

    Jun 8, 2010, 9:22 AM EDT

    Before we move on to Game 3, let’s look back really quickly at one of the signature plays of Game 2: Rajon Rondo’s block from behind. Two things to take away from this. First, Rondo’s recovery is amazingly quick. Just a fantastic play. Second, Ron Artest should have taken the three he had, not passed…

  7. NBA finals, Lakers Celtics: Paul Pierce talks trash to a fan. Alert the media.

    Jun 7, 2010, 9:33 PM EDT

    Let’s get the facts out of the way first: With 1:12 left in Game 2 and the Celtics up by seven, Paul Pierce came over to help Kevin Garnett up off the ground and said: “We are not going back to L.A.“ Here is the video, via Sports By Brooks, and Pierce is clearly saying…

  8. NBA finals, Lakers Celtics: For the sake of watchable basketball, referees stop blowing the whistle

    Jun 7, 2010, 2:08 PM EDT

    One hundred and thirty four. That is how many free throws we’ve gotten to witness through the first two games of the NBA finals. That is 67 free throws a game. The league average was about 48 a game during the regular season. That is a 71 percent increase in foul calls for the NBA…

  9. NBA finals, Lakers Celtics Game 2: Where did the Laker offense go wrong?

    Jun 7, 2010, 12:39 PM EDT

    All things considered, the Lakers’ Game 2 offense was not a failure. Their free throw rate was off the charts, their offensive rebound rate was stellar, and the turnovers were completely manageable. It was L.A.’s drop-off combined with Boston’s improved offensive execution that tipped the balance, which makes assigning specific blame a bit tricky. Sure,…

  10. NBA finals, Lakers Celtics: How rare is it for a shooter to nail seven straight threes? Not as rare as you'd think.

    Jun 7, 2010, 11:20 AM EDT

    Ray Allen’s shooting performance last night was positively scrumtrulescent, but leave it to the hard data to put a damper on things. In light of Ray’s finals record-breaking evening (and some prodding in a piece by Henry Abbott at TrueHoop), Neil Paine of Basketball-Reference.com dug into history books to ascertain just how often three-point shooters…

  11. NBA Finals, Lakers Celtics Game 2: When it's not Kobe time, it's ugly time for the Lakers

    Jun 7, 2010, 10:28 AM EDT

    Kobe Bryant entered back into the game with 6:16 left in the contest and proceeded to score five-quick points — an and-1 where Ray Allen fouled him near the elbow, followed by another bucket with a spin-to-the-left move on Allen. Then Kobe — a little tentative with five fouls — couldn’t make a shot, as…

  12. NBA finals, Lakers Celtics Game 2: Milk cartons, desert islands, and Kevin Garnett

    Jun 7, 2010, 8:00 AM EDT

    After Ray Allen was plagued by foul trouble in Game 1, it was Kevin Garnett’s turn to fade into the background as the calls piled up against him in Game 2. KG’s final stat line — six points, four rebounds, and six assists — is probably too rosy a representation of his overall impact; Garnett…

  13. NBA finals, Lakers Celtics Game 2: How Ray Allen got his groove back (and the Celtics, too)

    Jun 7, 2010, 12:51 AM EDT

    In June 1992, Ray Allen was doing what every other basketball crazed 16-year-old in the nation was doing — watching Michael Jordan rain threes on the Portland Trail Blazers. Six of them in Game 1 of the finals. Leading the Bulls to a crushing of the Trail Blazers. Tonight, Ray Allen was better than that.…

  14. NBA finals, Lakers Celtics Game 2, halftime: Ray Allen is an inhuman, three-point making cyborg

    Jun 6, 2010, 9:38 PM EDT

    Welcome to the Ray Allen show. Ray-Ray started out 7 of 7 from three, and he finished with 27 first half points on just 14 shots. Until his last three (a pretty open one) rimmed out, most of the crowd at Staples Center was convinced he is not human. The Lakers did not close well…

  15. NBA finals, Lakers Celtics Game 2: The Celtics will play like themselves, but is that enough?

    Jun 6, 2010, 1:55 PM EDT

    All that time spent in Boston practices working on the triangle sets, and the Lakers destroyed the Celtics vaunted defense with the old-fashioned pick-and-roll in Game 1. What people forget is that this happened some in 2008 — the Lakers had maybe their best offensive success with the pick-and-roll. But as Darius of Forum Blue&…

  16. NBA finals, Lakers Celtics Game 2: The Lakers know what is coming Sunday

    Jun 4, 2010, 6:11 PM EDT

    That was not the Celtics. Or at least the Celtics that will come to play Sunday. They’ll look the same, wear the same uniforms, but they won’t act the same. A more aggressive Lakers team and some aggressive whistles from the referees had Boston taking a step back in Game 1. They spent much of…

  17. NBA finals, Lakers Celtics Game 2: Boston wants its paint back

    Jun 4, 2010, 5:14 PM EDT

    Kevin Garnett said he couldn’t repeat what Doc Rivers said to the team during a Friday film session. It’s probably exactly what every Celtics fan was saying last night as they watched the Lakers punch their team in the mouth, what they said when Pau Gasol grabbed another offensive rebound, what they said as the…

  18. NBA finals, Laker Celtics Game 1: If the power forward matchup is key, Boston is in trouble

    Jun 4, 2010, 12:07 PM EDT

    Pau Gasol may not have the force or vast defensive impact of Dwight Howard, but his Game 1 performance provided a convincing case that Gasol is one of the best all-around bigs in the game. Put him in the high post, and he set up plays for his teammates while pulling Kevin Garnett away from…

  19. NBA finals, Lakers Celtics: L.A. made statistical anomalies look easy in Game 1

    Jun 4, 2010, 11:30 AM EDT

    Even if the Laker lead in Game 1 never got completely out of hand, there’s no question that Los Angeles was in control. L.A. was in sync both offensively and defensively, and their offensive balance and defensive resistance offered the Celtics a challenge they’ve rarely faced in these playoffs. It was a bit odd to…

  20. NBA finals, Lakers Celtics Game One: Kobe can play a little defense, too

    Jun 4, 2010, 9:30 AM EDT

    Sure, Kobe put up 30 on the Celtics. But he was doing it at both ends. Don’t take my word for it, ask Tony Allen.

  21. NBA Finals, Lakers Celtics: ProBasketballTalks' prediction post

    Jun 3, 2010, 3:13 PM EDT

    Apparently nobody in Boston will be buying the team on this blog a beer next time we visit. They’ll be all too happy to serve us crow, however. We’ve decided to put our predictions out there, to make them official and public and all that. And for possibly the first time ever (well, outside of…

  22. NBA finals, Lakers Celtics: Boston players already $100 richer for making it to the finals

    Jun 3, 2010, 1:43 PM EDT

    Back on Feb. 18, a Celtics team that had been showing the drain of a long regular season came in to Staples Center and looked young again for a night. They beat the Lakers by a point, ending a four-game winning streak for L.A. The Celtics locker room was loud and boisterous. Then Doc Rivers…

  23. NBA finals, Lakers Celtics: Rajon Rondo has come this far without a jumpshot, and that's damn impressive

    Jun 3, 2010, 11:32 AM EDT

    Henry Abbott of TrueHoop has a debunking piece of sorts regarding Rajon Rondo and his supposedly improved jumper. Just two years removed from being something of an offensive liability due to his inability to knock down the open J, it’s been assumed that Rondo improved his shot without any real evidence supporting that fact. From…

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