A collection of thoughts on Lakers-Celtics Game 5:
Ron Artest and Derek Fisher were a combined 4-18.
Let’s just let that one sit for a minute.
And what’s even more stunning, Artest my have actually played worse than his shooting line indicates. At one point, he pulled off another I made the comment during the game that Rondo in this game was like Marty McFly during “Johnny Be Good“. He’s trying just to bring the intensity but ends up looking a little foolish. Of particular note was the play where he attempted to go behind the back on a baseline dribble, only to find, well, the baseline. Many of his transition passes were a little too flashy and his teammates couldn’t get a handle on it because he was too many steps ahead of them. His seven turnovers were painful, but it was a much better result than the hesitant, invisible Rondo that’s appeared at times in this series.
Lamar Odom just… wasn’t.. there. You know? Another of those games, the kind he’s had for the majority of the series, and all this with Glen Davis checking him for a significant portion of the time. The Lakers so desperately need wing help, Jackson has turned to Luke Walton twice in this series, once to a fantastic result (Game 3), and one to a terrible turnover that benched him for the rest of the contest.
This thing is lightyears from being over. The Lakers, if they ever decide to pull their head out, can use their length and talent to execute their offense, their whole offense, which can overcome the Celtics’ phenomenal defense. But more importantly, they’ll have to get back to the defensive principles that got them to the Finals. And that means protecting the rim.
The Lakers have come back from adversity consistently this postseason, but haven’t faced an elimination game this year. It’s time to find out what kind of team they are.
Dwyane Wade ‘honored’ to be Prince’s favorite player
The officiating crew missed a host of calls during those final 13 seconds, but they have at least owned up to the most egregious one — missing Dion Waiters pushing off Manu Ginobili while the Thunder guard tried to inbound the ball. (Yes, Ginobili’s foot was on the line, but sorry Thunder homers that was not close to the most egregious miss at the end.)
After the game, the lead official Kenny Mauer admitted that error.
Did that decide the game? No. We like to focus on things we can blame as going wrong, but the Spurs offense started 2-of-15 shooting on the night, was inconsistent, and they still had a chance at the end. This one play is not why the Spurs lost. Manu Ginobili said it well postgame.
Raptors’ Bismack Biyombo given after-the-fact Flagrant 2 for elbow to Pacers’ Turner, no suspension
However, no mention of a suspension for this incident alone. The Raptors catch a break there, as Biyombo should have been tossed from the game and/or given a suspension for that elbow. That said, one more flagrant and he does get a suspension.
NBA’s Basketball Without Borders to host first event in Australia
Australia has brought a fair amount of talent — and scrappy players — to the NBA, and now the NBA is taking one of its outreach programs there.
Yesterday the NBA, FIBA, and Australia’s National Basketball League announced a Basketball without Borders event June 23-26 at Dandenong Basketball Stadium in Melbourne. It’s the first time the community outreach program will come to the island nation of Australia.
“We are pleased to partner with FIBA and the NBL to bring the first Basketball without Borders camp to Australia,” NBA Asia Managing Director Scott Levy said in a statement. “The league has seen a surge of Australian talent in recent years, and we look forward to supporting the next generation by giving them a platform to showcase their skills alongside their peers from throughout the region.”
These events bring in youth basketball players and work with them, both giving young players highest quality instruction and raising the profile of the sport in the nation with a little star power. Basketball Without Borders will celebrate 15 years this summer and has been all over the globe with similar events.