Big Baby Glen Davis, Nate Robinson, and the Boston bench played the majority of the fourth quarter in a hard fought 96-89 victory.
Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Rajon Rondo all sat for the majority of the fourth and never once looked upset about it.
Kudos to Doc Rivers for staying with his bench deep into the quarter. The only puzzling coaching move he made was when he returned his starters, Rasheed Wallace stayed in the game.
Granted, it was only for a brief moment, but why leave Wallace in over Big Baby? Glen Davis brought intensity and played out of his mind. With a combined 30 points, he and Nate Robinson deserve to be co-MVP's of the game.
Overall, the game was poorly played by both teams. The Celtics missed too many open jumpers. As a team, the Lakers didn't have as many open looks (credit to Boston's defense). The majority of missed open shots were from the hands of Ron Artest who has shot poorly the entire playoffs.
Turnovers also contributed to the sloppy tone of the game. Los Angeles had 15 and Boston had 12.
While technically, the Celtics won the turn over battle, they literally threw away multiple fast break opportunities.
Between missed shots and turnovers, Game Four did not feel like the NBA Finals. There were stretches in the game that were more painful to watch than the excessive A-Team promotions shown during commercial breaks. (If remaking and most likely killing a classic television show isn't enough, they have a tank suspended by a parachute falling through the sky. The tank is operational and its looks as if there is a dog fight in which the A-Team's plane is really a tank. Need I say more?)
The game came down to who wanted it more.
The Celtics refused to go down 3-1. Meanwhile, the Lakers lacked hustle and were out rebounded. They have the length advantage and to allow Boston to dominate the boards is inexcusable.
The Celtics needed to win this game and they played like. For the Lakers, the game did not hold as much importance.
Paul Pierce came out of his slump to start the game. He cooled off in the second half until hitting a couple shots late in the fourth. However, his lackluster second half was largely due to the bench playing well. If Pierce can come out of the gate strong in Game Five, it will go a long way to giving the Celtics their first lead of the series.
Like Game Three, Kobe Bryant settled for too many jump shots. Granted, he hit some huge threes in the third quarter.
In fact, it was after a three pointer in the third that he finally flashed the "Kobe face." (The Kobe face is where his lower jaw sticks out as he pumps his fist with that look in his eye that says, "We are not going to lose." Of course, the irony is that Los Angeles did lose.)
Regardless of his facial expressions, the Lakers need Kobe to play like he did in Game One where he was on the offensive and got to the rim. Contested jumpers are a high percentage shot, even when Bryant shoots them.
The Celtics showed heart and deserved to win.
In professional sports, where the majority of participants are extremely talented, contests are often decided by desire.
The Lakers need to come out with a greater sense of urgency in Game Five to prevent falling behind in this series.