It’s All In The Game: Playoffs – To Sweep, Or Not To Sweep…?

 

Just like they’ve been doing all playoffs long, the Boston

Celtics took care of business at home, winning the first two games of the NBA

Finals.

 

Now KG and company are halfway on their way to getting what

Stephon Marbury calls the “shiny stuff.”

 

But don’t start thinking sweep yet for the C’s. There are

three good reasons why this series will go back to Boston.

 

For starters, the next three games are in L.A., and we all know what kind of road team Boston has been this

postseason. The Celtics are a dismal 2-7 on the road in the playoffs.

 

Second of all, do you think that Kobe is going to let his team get swept in

the most-hyped NBA Finals in the past decade? Kobe lives for a spotlight this big, so look

for him to raise his game in front of the star-studded Staples Center.  

 

And lastly, L.A. has the momentum going into Game Three,

believe it or not. Even though they lost the game, the Lakers were able to cut

Boston’s 24-point fourth quarter lead to two points with 38 seconds to go.

 

Their run was enough to expose Boston’s vulnerability and

give L.A. confidence coming into Game Three – but if L.A. wants to jump back

into this series they are going to have to play some defense.

 

In Game Two, the Lakers allowed Boston to shoot 53% from the

field and a ridiculous 64% (9-14) from the three point line. The Lakers also

did a poor job containing Boston’s

bench in Game 2. Boston got 35 points from their reserves, including 21 points

from second-year forward, Leon Powe, who is a native of East Oakland, California.

 

Phil Jackson’s squad has to also start limiting Paul

Pierce’s production. Pierce is averaging 25 per game in the Finals, and has

been the emotional leader for the Celtics. You can bet Pierce will be extra

pumped to play in L.A., given that he is an Inglewood native and all, so L.A.

must focus on taking him out of his game early on Tuesday night.

 

On Boston’s

side, they need to stop being complacent. Letting a 24-point fourth quarter

lead disappear was not a good look on the C’s. Jeff Van Gundy said it best by

saying Boston “plays the score of games instead of the game.” They will need

better focus if they are going to steal a game or two in L.A.

 

Boston

also has to get more production from Kendrick Perkins. Powe is not going to

give you 21 each night, so Perkins is going to have to do better than four

points and 3.5 rebounds per game in these Finals. I understand he has been

hurt, but he’s just going to have to fight through it.

 

Just like the Lakers, Boston’s D was also non-existent in

Game Two. On top of giving up 41 fourth quarter points, They let the Lakers

shoot nearly 50% on both field goal and three point field goal attempts.

 

When guys like Vladimir Radmanovic, Sasha Vujacic and Jordan

Farmar are on fire, quit helping off of Kobe, or else its going to be drive-and-kick

all night long.

 

These next three games should make this series the rivalry

it was supposed to be.

 

Look for L.A. to win two of their three home games, and

definitely expect the reigning MVP to drop 40 in one of those wins.  

 

    

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