Tag: Celtics Lakers Game 7

NBA finals, Lakers Celtics Game 7: Ron Artest leading the break in slow motion

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When Kobe was cold in the first quarter (and the second, and the third and…) the one Laker that stepped up consistently to make plays was Ron Artest. Here he is in the second quarter with the steal and layup to tie the game at the time.

Artest made a number of plays this series like this, but he never looked comfortable handling the ball in the open court. Even in slow motion with cool background music.

NBA finals, Lakers Celtics Game 7: The coach's perspective

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bshaw.jpgAfter the game, a relaxed Lakers assistant Brian Shaw was talking to reporters about what it is like to coach in an this but intense game like Game 7.

“You just want to stick with what you know and what you been preaching all year long. We kept on saying that we’re playing into their hands, because the ball wasn’t moving. And their defense is set up to stop a team’s first option. Not just a first option like Kobe (Bryant), but like if you come down and make like one pass and try to attack, they’re not going to let you beat them that way. And we were like just banging our heads against the wall offensively just trying to do that, trying to do that.

“And I think the team was shook, for lack of a better word, because they had never seen Kobe struggle like that in a game of this magnitude. Like I said, Kobe is the MVP of the series but tonight Ron Artest is the MVP of tonight’s game.

“And there was different stretches during the game where different players on the team saved us. Fish’s three, Ron’s defense… Kobe had to trust some other people to do things, and they came through.”

If this was Rasheed Wallace's last game, he went out being the full Sheed


Rwallace_sad.jpgIn Game 7, we got the full Sheed.

There was Sheed the good, the long-arm defender that kept Pau Gasol at bay during the first three quarters of Game 7.

There was Sheed the bad, the guy Gasol was outworking for rebounds at the end, the one that missed key stretches of the game when he got cramps.

There was Sheed the peacemaker, the one trying to calm Ron Artest down after Ron-Ron and Paul Pierce were nose-to-nose.

There was Sheed the crazy, guy who tried to go into the referees’ dressing room after the game to “talk to them” and had to be escorted out by security (as reported by Chris Forsberg of ESPNBoston.com).

Rasheed Wallace was never simple or easy to categorize. It made him standout in the NBA.

And it is the reason he will be missed, if he retires. And that may be this summer, after Wallace fought through an assortment of injuries this season, according to Doc Rivers. If so, Sheed’s last game was a fitting send off, because it had a little bit of everything.

“He was a warrior,” Celtics coach Rivers said of Wallace after Game 7. “You know, I don’t know if Rasheed will ever play again. You know, he’s one of them that took that out on the floor with him. I think he is thinking about retiring, and I thought you could see that in his play. He was dying out there. When he got the cramps and strains, he was just trying to figure out a way out, a way of staying out on the floor.”

He was scoring when the Celtics were winning, but late he wore down, was getting cramps, and the Celtics could no longer go him inside. And as they had to shoot jumpers, the Lakers started to pull ahead.

Wallace tried to stand up and stop the tide, but he could not any more. His body was betraying him. It happens to the best.

Losing was not the way Rasheed Wallace wants to leave the game. But this game might be the most fitting final note for a career that was unlike any other in NBA history. But one that will not be easy to categorize.