If you didn't know already, I'm a huge Lakers fan. I started watching the same year that Kobe was drafted into the league and played behind Eddie Jones. Although I loved the Shaqobe years, I honestly didn't become a true die-hard fan until the years following their break-up. So watching Kobe make it all the way back to the finals only to lose to the rival Celtics was bittersweet.
Last year was rejuvenating, but honestly beating the Magic wasn't as satisfying as watching the Lakers take revenge against the Celtics, or even show up Lebron and the Cavaliers. So this year's attempt at a championship repeat has been both tantalizing and terrifying to watch. The Celtics are a great team. Period. Unbelievable defense, unwavering confidence, an extremely motivating coach, and a potent offense when they get rolling. So a win against this team would really validate the greatness of the Lakers. I'm finally more excited than nervous for the them, now that a championship is only one game away. Go Lakers!
A couple thoughts from last night's game six:
- The refs seem to call less fouls in games with the Celtics, because of their aggressive nature. If teams don't return that aggression and physically attack, the Celtics are going to have a huge advantage.
- Kobe tore his team down after the game five loss. He was overhead starting into a profanity-laden tirade as he entered the locker room and later claimed their team defense was on a milk carton. But he seemed positive and supportive at home last night: lots of high-fives, clapping and hugs.
- Rondo and the Celtics in general played into the Lakers hands, almost seeming content to give this game away and try again on Thursday. The NBA Playbook has a great breakdown of the Lakers defense on Rondo, which is to basically ignore him outside of 15 feet.
- In the press conference that followed the game, reporters questioned Doc Rivers if it was a lack of effort from the Celtics and he countered that no, its never a lack of effort in the playoffs. He claims that players get frustrated when they're not successful and think about the game too much, making them hesitant and a step slower than a team that's acting more on instinct.