After attending my first game at the "Gahden" tonight, I was in shock. Never before other than a game at Fenway, have I experienced such emotion and overall passion for a sport. I don't know whether it was the fans or the energy from the players, but tonight was special. Now I haven't been to every sports game at every sports complex in the world, but tonight in Boston, something was different.
While the Lakers rode on Kobes back, who had a stellar performance and finished with 38 points, his teammates were no where to be found. Odom? No. Gasol? No. Although I did see his other half show up—Marc Gasol stayed in my hotel. Artest? Nope. Other than the fact of getting in a skirmish with Rondo, no other Laker made themselves present in tonight's game.
The Boston Celtics simply outplayed the Los Angeles Lakers.
There is no other reason behind it. Blame the refs all you want. Trust me, I'm from L.A. yet I wasn't upset with anyone other than the Lakers. When it came down to a crucial game, Kobe was left standing alone to take all the heat. That won't win championships.
From the start Boston got out to an early 6-0 lead and never really looked back. Sure, the game stayed close for most of the 48 minutes, but Boston had a certain swagger to them. They knew they weren't going to lose and did everything in their power to make sure of that.
Pierce came up big with 27 points, Garnett took over and finished with 18 as did Rondo. The closest Laker player to even have similar numbers was Gasol, who finished with 12 points in 38 minutes.
The Celtics didn't just want to win it, they had to win it, and quite frankly did so in good fashion. The garden was going wild, from the tip off to the fourth quarter. Bostonians were willing and pushing the Celtics to do bigger and better things.
When I asked my dad why he thought Boston won, he simply said, "They wanted it more." And he couldn't have been more right. It's almost as if the Lakers thought they didn't need this win, that they would come back and win two in a row in L.A.
If Pierce, KG, Rondo, and Allen play like they did tonight, that won't be a possibility. Congratulations to Boston for getting the job down, riding the energy of the crowd, and shifting the momentum back in their favor.
If the Lakers can get it together and have players step up and play with emotion and passion, then buckle up, because its going to be a bumpy ride for the next two games.
After all this is what sports should come down to, right? Games 6 and maybe 7 to determine a series. Bring on the excitement.