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Takin' Care of Business

The Celtics beat the Lakers last night to go ahead in their Finals series 2-0.  The photo above is about the nadir for the Lakers in the game -- Leon Powe (one of my favorite Celtics) went the length of the court uncontested to dunk over the Lakers as they all watched.  Leon works hard every play, and the Celtics outworked the Lakers for most of the game.

I was actually glad that the Lakers cut the Celtics 24-point fourth quarter lead to 2-points by the end.  I think that having the Lakers make that come back and fall short hurts them more psychologically than a pure blowout.  Everyone knows that the Lakers were going to get hot at some point.  The key is that the Celtics withstood the 3-point shooting barrage and pulled it out in the end.

Now they go to LA for games 3, 4, and 5 (if necessary).  The 2-3-2 format, decried by Bob Ryan of the Globe today, is a great equalizer in the Finals.  It really minimizes the benefit of home court advantage and makes it critical that the home team win both of the first two games, as the Celtics did.  I'm hopeful that the Celtics can win at least one of the three, which would put them in a good position coming back to Boston for Game 6.

I don't think that Doc Rivers gets enough credit for how he is coaching the Celtics.  He keeps making adjustments to counter what the Lakers are doing and to take advantage of what is working for the Celtics.  In last night's game, Leon Powe provided the spark.  Doc kept his rotation pretty short -- Sam Cassell hurt his wrist and only played 6 minutes.  With Kendrick Perkins's ankle still sore, he only played 14 minutes.  I wouldn't be surprised if Doc goes to Eddie House or Glen "Big Baby" Davis at some point in LA.  He has a deep bench (which didn't get enough credit from the national media), and Doc takes good advantage of it.

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Comments

I agree with the frustration on using Cassell. My son cringes every time he goes into the game. The announcers last night were joking about how often Sam took a shot in game 1 -- 9 shots in 13 minutes! Nevertheless, I think that Doc has done well. It's hard to get a team with so many new players to gel.

I do still think that Big Baby will have one good outing this series...Maybe someone will get into foul trouble in LA and Big Baby will be forced into action.

As for the ticket situation, it's all about the money. I went to at least 15 regular season games and half the home playoff games so far. But, the tickets prices go up every round, and I imagine that the availability goes down.

There's way too much math/history in Bob Ryan's diatribe this morning, especially for those of us who for lack of tickets had to watch the game at a bar. That being said, I'm not sure that I'd be able to hold up that well if I had to go coast to coast 2-2-1-1-1 under any circumstances, never mind work.

Mike, you and I may disagree, but Doc is the luckiest man alive. He's gotten to this point by no fault of his own, but every time I get distracted, he slips Sam Cassell in there for no apparent reason. He has Eddie House. He has Eddie House, Jr! If there is anyone who can eat up minutes without screwing things up, it's #50. There's absolutely no reason to put an assistant coach on the floor unless Doc's trying to prove that signing him was a good move. We get it, but it's time to move on. Let Sam coach from the sidelines like everyone else.

Leon and James Posey were huge last night, but aside from alienating Kobe from the game, which is how they won last night, I don't see the need to tinker with the lineup any more. Keeping it simple and consistent has yielded positive results so far, so maybe Danny will tell Doc not to get too ahead of himself. I like Big Baby, don't get me wrong, but he's a blundering laugh riot. I'm just not sure he knows what game is being played.

I'd also like to propose a rule where those who didn't go to a regular season game have no right to playoff or finals tickets. After going all season and to five playoff games, I find the current ticket situation to be a tad ridiculous.

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