“We weren’t ready to die”

06.16.10 9 years ago 52 Comments

The second half was just for sh*ts and giggles. You don’t expect that in the NBA Finals, where the two best teams in the League should be peaking in terms of chemistry, execution and physicality, but that’s what happened in Game 6. The Lakers jumped on the Celtics right away, leading by 10 at the end of the first quarter, 20 at halftime, and the second half was merely a formality. In a post-game interview, Lamar Odom put it best: “We weren’t ready to die,” L.O. said. The Lakers saw their gravestone going into the must-win game and reacted like any fighter would … Kobe led the charge with 26 points (9-19 FG) and 11 boards, but this was a team effort. Before tip-off, Mike Breen asked something like, “What’s the key for Kobe winning tonight?” — which pretty much summed up how L.A. played the three games in Boston — but this wasn’t a one-man show. Derek Fisher was aggressive from the get-go, even though he actually never shot the ball after the first couple minutes; Pau Gasol (17 pts, 13 rebs, 9 asts, 3 blks) was running the floor and played the tough-guy role on defense; Ron Artest (15 pts) shot the ball with confidence and was locked in on D; and everybody from Odom (8 pts, 10 rebs, 2 blks) to The Machine produced for the bench … About the only thing that went right for the Celtics was Ray Allen (19 pts) hitting a couple of threes after going 0-for-Boston beyond the arc. The C’s scored just 67 points, the lowest for any team in the Finals since the Jazz put up 54 back in ’98, shooting 33% from the field and 5-of-23 from three. Kendrick Perkins didn’t return after hurting his knee in the first quarter, coming down awkward on a rebound. He’d be a huge loss for Game 7. Against this particular team, Perk is probably more important for the Celtics than Andrew Bynum is for L.A. … As stingy as the Lakers defense was, Boston’s offense was simply terrible. Kobe was giving Rajon Rondo 10 feet of open space all night, and Rondo was scared to shoot. And when he did, he bricked. Even the Boston bench, which has been fairly consistent in changing the face of a game when need be, didn’t bring anything to the table … All-Star Weekend might have ruined the Shannon Brown experience for us. Every time Shannon pulls off a sick dunk — like the head-at-the-rim cram he had in the second half, or the ridiculous one-hand lob finish a little later — we can’t help but think of his weak showing in the Dunk Contest and wonder why … But Shannon may not even own the crown of Best Game 6 Dunk by a Lakers Backup Guard. Jordan Farmar caught KG with a poster dunk on the break in the first half that nobody saw coming … Was Jeff Van Gundy putting in his application for Kobe Bryant Fan Club president or something? In the pre-game show JVG looked deep into the camera and argued that Kobe didn’t do anything wrong in any of L.A.’s three losses in the series. Then he went on a longer rant in the first quarter about how “some media guys just don’t wanna give (Kobe) the credit he’s due as one of the all-time great players.” Really? We know there are a ton of fans who live and breathe the “hate” part of the love/hate Kobe thing, but the majority of the media is on his jock pretty hard … Spotted in the crowd (in addition to the Staples Center regulars): Terrell Owens, Spike Lee, Diddy and Snoop Dogg. First lady Michelle Obama was also there, tucked in one of the luxury suites. On the celeb scale, Game 7 is gonna be insane. Everybody will want to be there and be seen there … So who do you got? Kevin McHale (surprise) picked the Celtics, arguing that it’s too hard to win two straight games in this series. He’s got a point, but at the same time, it’s tough to pick Boston when they looked so bad tonight … The other big NBA news from Tuesday was Tom Izzo rejecting the Cavaliers’ offer to be their next head coach. Even if he didn’t come out and say it, this boiled down to Cleveland not being able to promise LeBron would stay, so the risk wasn’t worth it. Izzo says he’s a “lifer” at Michigan State now, and Dickie V guaranteed you’ll never see Izzo consider another NBA job, but we can’t buy that. He’s too good of a coach and there’s too much NBA money out there for this to never come up again … We’re out like Rondo’s J …

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