Celtics-Lakers: Pierce, Allen Lead Greatest Comeback in NBA Finals History

Sean CroweSenior Writer IJune 12, 2008

You’ll have to forgive me, but I’m a little giddy right now.

What can you say about the 2008 Boston Celtics?

They had the worst first quarter in NBA Finals history, but they might have had the best second half in NBA Finals history.

I’m having some trouble putting what happened into a coherent group of thoughts. It really was something to see. I remember watching that big fourth quarter comeback against the Nets in the Eastern Conference Finals a few years back. This was nothing like that.

In the Nets game, the inferior Celtics team got hot late and the Nets just got run over by a Mack Truck named Paul Pierce. The Nets blew that game as much as Paul Pierce and the Celtics won it.

This game was different. The Lakers are taking a beating on TV right now, but to me, they didn’t choke this game away. The Celtics just locked down.

Once the defense got going, the offense followed suit. It seemed like the Lakers didn’t get a single uncontested shot in the second half.

For the third time in this series, Kobe Bryant was outplayed on both sides of the floor by Paul Pierce.

This time was different, though, because it wasn’t just statistical outplaying. Pierce dominated Kobe Bryant on both sides of the floor. He was able to shoot over him, drive past him, draw fouls, stop Kobe from getting to the hoop, and contest every shot he took.

But, I don’t want to harp on Paul Pierce, because this was a total team effort.

While the Lakers were forced to keep feeding the ball to Kobe Bryant hoping that he could create his own shot, the Celtics were running plays for everyone. For the first time in the post season, the Big Three all lived up to their name in the fourth quarter.

Ray Allen stepped up, made huge shots (probably the two biggest shots), and played fantastically. More than that, he played every minute of the game. Unbelievable for a guy who just two weeks ago was kicked out of the Big Three (wonder what moron did that?).

Kevin Garnett made a great post move late in the game, which helped take some pressure off of Paul Pierce. He also played lock-down defense (as usual) and had some huge block-outs that led to defensive rebounds late.

Paul Pierce ran the team for almost the entire second half, once Eddie House came into the game.

Pierce was making all the right plays—he wasn’t turning the ball over, and he was scoring. Even more amazing is the fact that he did all that on offense while he was busy shutting down Kobe Bryant on the other side of the floor. Absolutely amazing.

James Posey made some HUGE shots. HUGE shots. He was great. Can’t say enough about James Posey.

Eddie House was everything the Celtics hoped Sam Cassell would be coming off the bench. He was able to bring the ball up the floor. He hit open shots in the second half, including the shot that finally broke through and gave Boston the lead, and he played fantastic defense. He was huge.

Doc Rivers. Was I wrong about Doc Rivers? He’s been fantastic in this series.

I’ve been one of his toughest critics, but even I have to admit that Doc’s doing a great job so far in the Finals. Going small was the perfect plan to get back into the game.

I love Rondo, but he’s not built for this series…especially on the road.  He can’t hit jumpers, and you can’t allow five guys to guard three players (which is what was happening when Rondo and Perkins were both on the floor).

One more win to close this out.

One more win to erase twenty one years of pain.

One more win to make us finally move past Len Bias and Reggie Lewis.

One more win to make all those years suffering through the M.L. Carr and Rick Pitino eras worthwhile.

One more win until the Celtics can raise banner number seventeen.

One more win.

Sean Crowe is a Senior Writer at Bleacher Report. You can email him at scrowe@gmail.com.  His archive can be found here. You can find everything he writes, including articles for other publications, here.