Here's something Los Angelinos love to hear: the Lakers are repeat champs!
Wait a second...rewind that a little bit. The dominant Lakers team from Game One decided to lay dormant and instead a team of individuals and egos decided to show up for Game Two.
It was a game that carried as much importance as any Game Two in Lakers history. The Lakers are 2-9 all time against the Celtics in the Finals, the Finals Series format gives the Celtics the chance to close out at home (where they've played phenomenally), and the Lakers are a .500 team on the road.
The Lakers should be worried not because they lost, but because of how they lost.
Say what you want about the officiating, the Lakers blew that game and are now in danger of falling to 2-10 all time against the Celtics in the final round.
Paul Pierce had a horrid shooting night and Kevin Garnett didn't show up at all, yet with two of the starting five having horrible games, the Celtics won.
Yes, Ray Allen shot out of his mind and kept the Celtics in the game and in command in the first half with 27 points, but he only scored five points in the entire second half.
Rondo stepped his game up and delivered yet another brilliant clutch performance in his already stellar career. He delivered the ball to Allen every time the 9-time All-Star was open, and we all know what happens when Ray gets a ray of light.
The Celtics bench played decent throughout the game and stepped up when the Celtics needed them to.
Meanwhile the Lakers bench was non-existent. Lamar Odom dropped his scoring average in the series to four points per game and made enough dumb plays to make hoops fans across the country wonder whether or not he got his daily dose of Red Vines and Sour Patch Kids.
Ron Artest reverted to the Ron Ron of old—maybe he should start drinking Hennesey at halftime again—he made more boneheaded plays than a skeleton skull.
Kobe was in foul trouble all night, which really seemed to get him out of rhythm and essentially negate the brilliance that we all know the Mamba is capable of.
Going home now for Game Three has to give the Celtics an extra boost of confidence. Pierce will play better at home, KG will play better in front of his fans and the Celtics bench will likely perform at an even higher level than they have been.
For the Purple and Gold, away games usually translate to no production from their X-factor Odom and the rest of the Lakeshow bench.
If the Queens Connection of Odom and Artest can't even combine for a double-double, the Lakers will drop the series.
Kobe and Pau will keep the Lakers in every game, but if the bench, Odom, and Artest continue to play like mummies, trophy number 18 will be calling The Garden home.