Ok, before all you Laker fans start yelling and screaming, you have to hear me out on this one. Yes, I know the Lakers have beaten the Celtics twice this season. Yes, I know they snapped both a Celtics 19 and 12-game winning streak. Yes, I know they came into Boston and won a nail-biter. But I am not impressed.
If you think that the Lakers have proved anything to the Celtics, think again. If you have watched both games this season, you probably think that the Lakers are the real deal, think again. If you think the Celtics are worried about going into L.A. in the playoffs and having to steal a game or two, think again.
On Christmas Day, the Celtics went into L.A. for a rematch of the 2007-'08 NBA Finals. (Just a quick side note: Why are the losers hosting the first rematch of the Finals?) However, there is no doubt that there was a playoff-type atmosphere as the Lakers were faced with a must-win situation. While the Lakers were victorious, I am still not sold on their performance.
First of all, if you watched the game you would see some of the most suspect officiating in recent memory. The Celtics had 25 fouls called against them, while the Lakers only had 18. I am sure that it is only a coincidence that the home team had less fouls called against them.
The suspect officiating led to the Lakers going to the free throw line 18 times, while the Celtics only went to the line eight times. The Celtics average about 26 free throws per game, which is good for about fourth in the NBA. Now, I am just curious, how does a team that averages that many free throws per game only go to the line eight times?
Secondly, it was a game in December! There is no reason to get hyped-up about a win in December against the best team in the league. Do you think that the losing team is going to dwell on it all year? Of course not. They are going to treat it like any other loss just like the Lakers should treat it like any other win.
Unless you’re Sasha Vujacic and ban your teammates from wearing green until you beat the Celtics. Ok, and who is Sasha Vujacic? Is he the guy who has averaged 5.3 points for his career? I think so, so shut your mouth you ugly clown.
Now, on to the most recent game between the two. The Celtics and Lakers met on Feb. 5, 2009 at the TD Banknorth Garden. This was the first time that the Lakers were back in Boston since the Game Six massacre at the hands of Ray Allen and the Celtics.
In case you do not remember, this is the game where Allen shot 7-9 from the three-point line and the Celtics cruised to a 39-point series clinching victory.
The Lakers were without Andrew Bynum and still managed to pull out the victory. So wow, they come into Boston without one of their best players and still pull out a win. Impressive? Not so much.
While the officiating was still very poor, at least the free throws were a little bit closer to normal. The Celtics went to the line 20 times and converted 17 times, and the Lakers went to the line 29 times, they also converted 17 of the shots. There was one play however, that sticks out in my mind more than anything.
Late in the fourth quarter, Pierce drove to the lane, got hit by about three guys, fell to the floor, and waited for the whistle to blow. There was no whistle. Then, to make matters worse, KG got called for his sixth foul, which meant he had to leave the game. I am still curious where the foul was.
As bad as the officiating was, Glenn "Big Baby" Davis was even worse. If not for him trying to be the hero, the Celtics easily win this game. Down the stretch, Big Baby took four shots from about 15-20 feet away, only hitting one of them. If not for the minuscule brain capacity of Davis, the Celtics close out the game in the fourth quarter and send the Lakers home with their tails between their legs.
It is actually kind of funny because Big Baby literally threw the game for the Celtics, and the Lakers only won by one point. Here is your prototypical power forward taking shots that even some of the best shooting guards in the league do not hit.
So go ahead Lakers fans, rejoice. Congratulations, you won a game in February and it took one of the most incompetent players in the NBA to actually hand you the win, and the best you could do is a one-point victory.
If I remember correctly, the Celtics won the last four games that actually mattered and they have a trophy to prove it.