Monday, June 7, 2010

Rondo, Ray Shred LA's Perimeter D

In musical terms, rondo means that the principal theme is repeated several times.

In Game 2, the Lakers guards saw the same thing over and over again: Rajon Rondo running the ball down their throats. This resulted in a series of catch/shoot opportunities for the best catcher/shooter in the game, Ray Allen. Thanks to Rondo's penetration, Ray Ray broke the NBA Finals record by sinking 8 3s en en route to a ridiculously easy 32 points. But it was Rondo that pressured LA's D from the jump and it was Rondo that sewed up the victory with a brilliant 4th quarter to cap off a 19/12/10 triple double. And of course, there was his breathtaking ball fake on Andrew Bynum that will be replayed for generations to come.

In yet another game that was called too tightly for anyone's liking (67 FTs in each game so far- yikes!), the gritty Celtics overcame the Laker size advantage by moving the ball crisply to the tune of 28 assists. Team Green was also efficient, turning it over only 13 times. As Laker announcer Stu Lantz might say, "THAT will get it done."

Laker fans can take solace in the fact that Boston still has zero inside game to speak of. LA swatted 14 of their shots and changed countless others. Andrew Bynum received a standing ovation from the Staples crowd for his 7 blocks and multiple dunks. He and Gasol took turns smacking leather back into Celtic faces all night. Big Baby Davis had four of his offerings rudely returned, lending support to my campaign to officially change his nickname to Blocks Against.

Ron Artest played another excellent game on the defensive end, blanketing Paul Pierce into a 2/11 shooting night. In the Finals, PP is now 8/24. However, Ron Ron looked clueless on offense, particularly on the now-infamous possession with a minute left when he dribbled away the entire shot clock and then chucked up an off-balance brick. Brutal.

Also less than exemplary was Lamar Odom, who's picking up fouls at a rate of one per every three and a half minutes in the series. Candy Man will have to step up his game if LA plans on coming back home. Conversely, Odom's 6th man counterpart, Rasheed Wallace, played well off the bench for the second game in a row.

So on we go Boston, where a hostile crowd awaits, and an already classic battle will surely become that much more intense. This is the Finals everyone's been waiting for- two heavyweights going toe to toe, seeing who's got the stronger chin. This is Lakers/Celtics, after all. And that's a principal theme no true basketball fan will ever get tired of hearing repeatedly.

Pictured: the maestro

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