Kevin Garnett looked to establish himself on offense from Boston's first possession. Unfortunately for the Celtics, a big game from KG wasn't enough to beat the Lakers. Ray Allen could not give an encore after breaking the Finals single game record for threes Sunday night. Tuesday he came close to breaking the record for worst shooting performance, going 0-13 from the field and scoring only two points.
Boston played great team defense at home. Yes, Kobe Bryant had 29 points, but it took him 29 shots to do so. In the fourth quarter, Kobe got plenty help - primarily from Derek Fisher. After sleeping through the regular season, Fisher has come to life in the 2010 playoffs. He did what veterans are supposed to: provide leadership and make clutch shots. The thing that impressed me most about Fisher's big fourth wasn't the 11 points, but the fact that they came off penetration and aggressive play.
When Kobe was forcing jumpers, Fisher was looking to get in close. The way Bryant settled for outside shots (most of which were contested) was reminiscent of 2008. Kobe needed to drive and put the pressure on Boston's defense.
Because of the NBA's decision to have a 2-3-2 format in the Finals, the next two games will be played in Boston. I hate sounding over dramatic, but I really believe Boston needs to win the next two in order to win the series. If the Lakers can steal another win on the road, they will return to Los Angeles needing only one victory to repeat as champions. However, the Finals are far from over. I doubt too many people would be shocked if Boston won the next two and took a 3-2 lead back to the West Coast. One thing is certain: the 2010 Finals will be another memorable chapter in an epic rivalry.
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