Monday, June 16, 2008
Heading Back to Boston
Well the Celtics are headed back to Boston for game 6 after a less than great performance in game 5. While I was rooting for the Celtics with great intensity, I still thought in the back of my head this would be an ugly way to win a championship. With the exception of Paul Pierce the whole team didn't do much.
It was tough to watch Kevin Garnett struggle in what could have been the championship clinching game. KG has done such a fine job this whole year, so to watch him play as poorly as he did was tough. I know beggars can't be choosers but I want the Celtics to win while Kevin is playing well. Paul and Ray have clicked in the finals, but KG just can't get things going. Statistically he's fine, but his overall impact has not lived up to what we all expected of Garnett.
I don't feel like putting KG down right now but I have to speak the truth. He looked like a lost rookie out there. I was rooting for him to foul out when he got 5 fouls because it was embarrassing watching him struggle in the clutch like he did. He couldn't make lay ups or free throws. I got to the point where I was hoping they would get the ball to anyone but Kevin. Watch next game how Pau Gasol gives Kevin his left hand and he still tries to go to the right or take a fade away jumper. It was very surprising to realize how bad KG is at going left. I hope KG see's this in the next game and takes advantage of the baseline. What's also frustrating about it is Pau is one of the worst defenders I've ever scene in all my years watching pro basketball. Kevin should be scoring 30 a game right now. He's a little too wired and thinking a little to much. I guess all that lost sleep is catching up with him. KG may not be Larry Bird in the clutch but I think he can get things together enough for game 6 at home to lead the Celtics to a victory.
Leon got his first career post season and NBA Finals start in game 5. That's about all you could say about him though. He played 5 minutes and that was it. When it's a young guys first career post season start he's going to need a few minutes to get it together and warm up. Well Doc decided not to give Leon those minutes and ended the starters day early. What frustrates me about this move is Leon has showed that he can cause some serious problems for the Lakers (hello, anyone remember game 2?). Leon decided not to take any shots with his first few touches because it's the Big 3's job to do the scoring. Powe grabbed a couple boards and didn't let Lamar Odom score while he was in just as he's done to Lamar the whole series. Leon made a silly play when he got caught on a switch guarding Pau who he stopped, but the ball got tipped back to Gasol and Leon fouled him. Well Leon isn't allowed to make minor mistakes in Doc's eyes so his day was done after that. Always a good teaching lesson for a young player, "If you mess up once your not going back in". Ya that will keep Leon nice and loose.
P.J. Brown does a nice job holding his ground when he's in there. The problem with this is sometimes you need a guy that can do more than just hold his ground. Brown's productivity is killing me right now. He's no threat to score on offense so his defender always leaves him and double teams whoever has the ball. He isn't a great rebounder and is not the athlete these younger players are. I like that he does have the calm veteran presence but that's only good for a few moments when giving the young guys a break. PJ has averaged 3 points and 3 rebounds in 19 minutes a game during this series. For those of you that don't know much about basketball, that's mediocre at best. Yes, Brown does some nice things that don't show up in the box scores, but rebounds is a very important stat and so is points. When your not doing either of those things well and your a big man then we've got some issues. Leon always gives something when he's out there and is the best fit most of the time. Isn't nice to know if Leon gets the ball he's going to score or draw a foul, it's comforting. I like P.J. Brown a lot, I think he's done the best with the talent he has left in his old body. But he just isn't as productive as some of the other players on the Celtics bench. I still want him to play, just not as much as he's been playing.
Ok, bad game lets try and forget about it. Props to Tony Allen for stepping in and having a nice impact. I was happy to see that. They lost game 5 but now we get to see them win it in Boston which will make it even sweeter.
In game 6 I expect better play out of KG and more playing time for Leon. If the Celtics get both of those things they can't lose!