NBA Finals Game 2 Retrospective
Whenever I am asked what my favorite sport is, I always offer the same resounding answer: basketball. I also quickly clarify that I mean college basketball, not pro, where players are paid too much and care too little.
Some people dedicated their Sunday night to Lakers/Celtics Game 2. I on the other hand, dedicated my Sunday to the game of basketball in a different form: some pick-up ball at the high school where I work.
Which is what leaves me coming to you with my first ever retro blog, taking this chance to reflect on the confusing events of a passionate Sunday evening in Los Angeles. I will also use this as a chance to support my doctoral thesis: Jeff Van Gundy could easily be replaced by a trained Cockatoo.
Feel free to stop by my presentation of said hypothesis, in 2016, at the South Hampton Institute of Technology.
(Ouch, I actually used that joke.)
As I wait for tip-off and I see that Mike Breen, Mark Jackson and the illustrious JVG, have shown up to Staples; I can only imagine the witty brilliance they will bestow upon my unfortunate life. Mikey B. starts by reminding viewers that this is not the same team that was swept out in embarrassing fashion by Boston’s trio in ’08.
I think he is making reference to the pride of Belgrade, Serbia: VLADIMIR RADMONOVIC. No? You don’t think he was? Well, I do. I also do think Adam Morrison looks darn snazzy in that suit. I am troubled by the fact that a professional barber allowed Morrison’s facial hair to happen. Literally, someone is paid to dress him and yet he shows up like that on the sidelines.
David Stern institutes a dress code for all non-active players on the sideline and does not choose to address this issue. Heinous. Egregious? RIDICULOUS.
In related news, D.J. Mbenga still plays in the NBA. I just wanted to…
A.) Make sure that fact was made quite obvious.
B.) Say the word Mbenga out loud in my head.
C.) Slow down the TV for a moment, so his children can all see on the DVR that their weird awkward father actually played in the NBA Finals. It must be weird having the Cookie Monster as a parent.
My pre-game thoughts are concluded with one last revelation. Now, although I am not the biggest religious fanatic, I know the story of Sampson. A great and powerful king, who was renowned for his physical strength, one day lost everything when a jealous female chopped off his gorgeous locks. Now this digression comes to you as I present to you Ronald Artest. His Twitter is a guarantee for the obscure and inane. And now… he has a normal little taper-fade? Say it ain’t so Ron!
11:10 – Pau’s facial hair. Stop for a moment and soak this in. He keeps a really nice 5 o’clock shadow, day two version. I actually think his beard sweats. It’s one of the more disgusting things in my life.
10:55 – Rondo is left open. You could suggest this is poor defense.
Then you would see Rajon shoot.
10:22 – Kobe passes. Flat and clear. I say this simply because of the knock-down, drag-out argument I was in with my girlfriend over the concept of Kobe being a ball hog. His five first half assists will prove to the contrary. I will use that dirty redirect of the lob pass as my first concrete detail.
9:46 – Sampson is out there at the free throw line and chucks up a brick. It is his first on his way to an inevitable 2-37 shooting performance. He reaches two hands out for high fives and no one hits a brother up. Ouch, that’s cold.
9:22 – KG picks up foul No. 2? So you’re a first ballot HOF candidate and you have two fouls in less than three minutes. Looks like Gasol did get in your head Big Ticket.
JVG – who will only be referred to as The Cockatoo from here on out – offers his first poignant observation. “I would just let him foul out.” Gosh, look at that. You don’t have a job coaching in the NBA anymore.
This makes me so angry because I was watching a TNT game and was blown away by Hubie Brown and his crystal clear knowledge of the game and the plays. Then Birdy McBeakerson over there tells Doc Rivers to leave in one of his stars with two fouls in three minutes.
Little did I know every Celtic over 6’1″ would have three fouls in the first quarter.
7:17 – Kendrick Perkins instigates his own offense. Yep. Boston fans just drove a hot poker into their eyes. I cannot imagine there to be a more troubling idea than watching KP dribble. It makes me a little ill.
6:26 – Pau throws up a nasty little shimmy shake on the baseline that is eerily reminiscent of the Dream Shake. I cannot explain how phenomenal Pau is. I thought he was good. Then I got to see him play earlier this year against the Thunder. It blew my mind. He finishes with both hands, passes with both hands, has a deadly J from within 17 feet. It is just unfair to have a big man with that kind of game. So wrong.
4:22 – I hate Rajon Rondo. It is a commonly known fact. I hate him more for that right hand, super floater over Bynum. I am a big man. Six-foot-six is huge in the land of the normal people. There are few feelings as dark as rotating over to help weak side and having some midget throw that tear drop floater over your beastly arms. God I hate Rondo.
3:30 – Rasheed enters, I begin to sing E-40. Sheed and E had beef when I was in high school, in the late ’90s. Now every time I see Rasheed I cannot help but thinking of the little ditty that dissed on Sheed. I love it… almost as much as Sheed loves food.
All these calls for moving screens and touch fouls make me think that there were some lengthy pregame convos in the refs room. They clearly forgot to discuss calling traveling. Oh that’s right, it’s the NBA, where footsteps happen.
I’m convinced bird boy actually knows nothing… at all. He is essentially Tony Kornhaiser, with less knowledge and an impression résumé stat: Dangled off the leg of a future Hall of Famer in a bench clearing brawl.
:33 – Lamar Odom has three fouls? I didn’t even know Lamar Odom was in the game.
As we are passing between the quarters, it dawns on me that Doc Rivers looks like a black Santa in HD. He is like a walking Proactiv commercial. The before version.
11:11 – Ten straight Laker misses. That explains how it the lead has extended to 31-22.
This really all happened with Garnett on the bench? And to think, the world was worried he was the Pit Bull? Pau was going to wake him up?
Just like how Wakamastusa woke up Griffey?
10:31 – Jordan Farmar vs. J.J. Reddick dunk off. I want to pause the DVR just to bring this to life in NBA 2K10 right now. I feel so bad for the NBA guys who cant throw down. It’s just sad.
I have attended two NBA games in my life. The best moment… watching J.J. hang on the rim pregame against the T-Wolves. He looked like a little kid who had finally climbed atop the jungle gym and refused to come down. He and I both knew he couldn’t get up there again without Dwight Howard bringing in the booster seat.
10:02 – Kobe got called for traveling. It only happened because it looked so awkward and Kobe never looks awkward.
9:22 – JVG makes Goran Dragic joke. No one found it funny. Maybe he just felt really stoked that he can pronounce, “Dragic.” I still hate his existence.
8:36 – That was a disturbingly nasty triple block right there. I knew I wasn’t watching a Bobcats game because Tyrus Thomas and Gerald Wallace didn’t bat-slap that thing into the 18th row and then scream… as they couldn’t control the possession.
The world is happy that Kendrick didn’t get a Double tech. Breen and associates let me know how pleased they are that the tech did not fly out to punish Perkins. But wait, it is now the responsibility of the officiating team to make sure that players don’t act like complete morons on the floor? How about you just calm your ish down and don’t protest every call like an angry silverback?
7:19 – Artest is terrible. Stop passing him the ball. Someone tranq dart that triceratops and take him down.
The Lakers are down 14? Seriously?
I don’t think I got up off the couch.
When did this happen?
6:28 – Mark Jackson informs us of how little value a St. John’s education truly has. Apparently Mark’s first encounter with the word “impervious” was when JVG just squawked it out.
One would assume his world was changed by hearing that Ray Allen was ________ to pressure. What would have been your word of choice there bud? Honestly, finish that sentence without impervious… immune? Maybe.
Did Lady Gaga just play over the organ at Staples? That hurt my ears.
4:20 – Kendrick Perkins just played offense again. That makes me giggle. I might have more offensive game than Biggie Smalls out there.
4:03 – Kobe picks up his second. That is just about the only real foul he would pick up all game.
3:20 – And… there comes number three for Kobe, on the offensive foul. The gesturing of NBA officials is out of control. Calm down, no one came to see you.
Wow, Allen flops and Mike Breen tells me that’s a lowered shoulder. I think Mike Breen is Helen Keller’s lovechild.
2:16 – Ron Artest 20-foot J. That’s now in his game.
Additionally I have to wonder: Why can euro big men shoot free throws? Pau, Dirk and Bargnani can all stroke free throws, but Bynum is chucking stones like he’s skipping them across a lake.
1:16 – Pau Gasol with a nasty-man-take, resulting in a reverse layup dunk thing. I cannot name it, because I cannot conceive how a human could do that. I don’t even know the controls to do it on my XBOX 360.
:37 – Sampson is leading the 3-1 break and turns it over off his foot. Ron, you know that third grade teams run that drill in their rec basketball practices right? And Andy Upchurch, with his thick glasses and club feet, never turns it over like that. Get the idea here?
:02 – Kobe is apparently still on the Lakers and proves it with the Mamba quickness, a stealthy steal and a dagger three into Rondo’s chest. That shot makes it a six point game (54-48, Boston) going into the half. Mamba see, Mamba kill.
11:22 – Ron Artest made a shot! I thought I would put that in my Hello Kitty notebook next to, “I saw the Halley’s Comet today.”
10:16 – Captain Ridiculous just informed us that the NBA needed to get Steve Javvy on a Segway so he could ref this game. I would only stand for that if they clipped JVG’s wings and then let Javvy’s Segway run him over. Yes, in just over two quarters of basketball my ire has risen to this level.
10:02 – Gasol makes another 17 footer and all of the sudden it’s 57-56 Lakers. That came on quickly.
8:37 – A quality female fan is spotted in her No. 42 James Worthy jersey. Her d-bag boyfriend is spotted in an Artest Jersey. Now, I will be honest and say I almost bought an Artest jersey when I was at the game earlier this year for sheer humor. But I would never be caught dead letting my girlfriend wear a cooler jersey than me. That’s just plain emasculating.
8:07 – Artest dribble drives against three Celts, kicks it out of bounds and effectively grounds Halley’s Comet.
6:52 – Garnett picks up his fourth on a stupid over the back foul. That makes four on KG and four on KP. Glad to see this gives Mr. Candace Parker a chance to play a little.
6:19 – Kobe gets hip-checked by Rondo and coughs up the ball. Rondo grabs it, stumbles out of bounds and Kobe gets his fourth? Go set your time machine to 2008 and tell Kobe that call was going to happen. Seriously, see if he punches you in the face.
5:46 – Big Baby actually jumped off the ground, swatted Bynum and got called for a heinous foul. Poor little fat kid.
5:20 – Eight threes for Allen. Jesus Shuttelsworth is in the building.
3:04 – Good news Celtics fans, Paul Pierce is in the game. Seriously, he just made a basketball play. I was pretty sure he was playing backgammon with Scalabrine on the bench.
1:21 – D-Fish forces up a garbage shot and reminds me that Shannon Brown has been absent all game. Then again, I wonder how bad your bench has to be if I am wondering where Shannon Brown is. That is really your deadly option off the bench Phil Jackson? I bet John Paxson can still stroke.
The third quarter comes to a pretty bland end with a close game littered with terrible officiating.
11:10 – Kobe gets his fifth. The St. John’s honor student lets me know that was the right call. How was that the right call? Explain to me how shooting a jumper, then coming down onto the floor is a foul. Dwight Howard killed the Big Baby with a nasty Hulk Hogan-esque elbow and got no-call, and that flop merited Kobe’s fifth? This is how the Mamba gets de-venomized
10:08 – Good ole Glen Davis has sixty-four attempts from three inches away and cannot convert. In the transition game, the ball swings and finds an unsuspecting Sasha who jacks up a beautiful three.
That was the play I thought spelled Laker victory.
8:36 – It’s the finals and this is how the point guards of the defending NBA champions are playing? This will not end well.
7:58 – Artest for three. I could say this all day.
7:33 – Farmar works his butt off on hustle play at mid court, and Ron Ron comes through with a really intelligent bear hug foul with two seconds on the shot clock. Oh Ronald…
6:26 – Big ole Andrew Bynum with a slick catch and finish. How in the world is this team not murdering the Celts? Bynum has 21 points. 7 blocks? 85-83 game. Not possible
5:58 – Kobe goes right, leans, floats, hangs, chucks and banks his way to an and-one bucket.
3:46 – I do not understand how Kobe stopped that two-on-one. I expected Ray Allen to work his magic and end Kobe’s night. Imagine if he only had two fouls. Yes John Lennon, that’s what I imagine.
1:48 – Rondo… made a jumper! I think his mom is going to bronze the ball so he always remembers this moment.
1:12 – The hack-a-Perkins on Gasol’s part lets me know this game is… over. What happened here? I watched the game twice and I still don’t know what happened.
The Lakers just disappeared. Kobe played scared. Rajon Rondo made me hate him as a human being even more. Pau played his butt off, Bynum is 22 and playing like a beast inside and the Lakers didn’t secure the W.
That one got away from them. Given, Ray Allen won’t shoot the lights out every night. Kobe won’t get owned on three terrible calls. Either way, the Celts and their 37.3 year old average age stole a game. Let’s see how long it takes Tony Allen to get a camera in front of him and talk noise about Kobe to ignite the flame.
FINAL SCORE: 103-94, Boston.