Thursday, September 6, 2012
Celtics outplayed by longtime rival, Lakers, 96-103
Pau Gasol & Dwight Howard manhandled the front court, embarrassing Kevin Garnett (20 points, 10 rebounds) and an invisible Paul Millsap (8 points on 3/10 shooting), who failed to be effective. Gasol yanked down 16 rebounds and Dwight got two more, thunderously powering the Lakers with 26 & 28 points respectively.
Rajon Rondo (15 points, 11 assists) had a decent overall game, shouldering a 15 point deficit throughout the game, but his teammates didn't give him much to utilize. Practically nonexistent was Boston's crucial ability to knock down outside shots, which ultimately was the decisive factor, despite Paul Pierce (31 points) nailed a few 3's in the final minutes, burning LA's dominant lead down to merely 3 points. But when the long ball isn't falling from the outset, of course Jason Terry (1 of 8 shooting) is going to miss a wide open corner 3 after a well executed inbound play that was mimicked next by Josh Howard, who also fizzled in the 3 point department, along with Pierce, whose Irish Luck had run out. In hindsight, giving KG the ball inside would've been smarter. It would've only cut LA's lead down to 2, but at least Boston would have made a shot in the final minute that way after giving LA a good scare.
Meanwhile, Kenyon Martin (13 points) tried to weather the storm off the bench due to Millsap's deficient play, but never reached the level he's been playing at, exposing Boston's main problem tonight: a lack of effort overall. Lazy defense in the paint, giving up too many easy points and precious rebounds, not moving without the ball (forcing Rondo to fire up ill-conceived shots). Boston also had trouble weaving their set plays against the Lakers defense. Steve Nash & Kobe Bryant chipped in 36 to make matters worse.
Boston is undoubtedly kicking themselves right now.
Posted by The Dreamer. at 12:37 PM