The NBA Finals have started and only one team showed up, the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Boston Celtics looked like this was their first time to the big dance. All of a sudden they looked like the team that sleepwalked through the regular season. They were out hustled in every category by the likes of Pau Gasol and a gimpy Andrew Bynum.
Gasol abused Kevin Garnett with his rebounding effort which led to more shot attempts for his team. Garnett missed point blank shots at the rim and had three consecutive turnovers.
This is not the KG the Celtics like to see. He lacked emotion and the Celtics didn't stand a chance without him. Phil Jackson feels that KG and Gasol hold the key to the whole series. Gasol dominated on this night.
Paul Pierce was held scoreless in the second quarter and Ray Allen’s foul troubles made him the only viable option. The Celtics weren’t able to stretch the floor making it easy for Kobe to rest on the defensive end.
It was a perfect storm as Rondo had no one to pass too and the Laker bigs made life miserable for them in the paint.
They used their length and athleticism to stymie Boston’s' offensive and defensive schemes.
Loose cannon Ron Artest made some timely threes and also made life difficult for Pierce, though he finished with 23 points. Pierce was noticeably upset as he made no excuses for his teams poor performance.
Boston failed to stop the penetration of Shannon Brown and Jordan Farmar; it was open season for them. Thus enabling Kobe Bryant to rest in the first half and close the deal in the fourth quarter.
Not even Chris Rock jabbering at him on the sidelines could distract 'The Mamba' on this night.
The Celtics don't have anything to hang their heads about. The Lakers hit them good and its up to them to bring the necessary verve to win game two.