Even though the Celtics were able to pull off the split in L.A., two of their "Big Four" were nowhere to be found throughout Game Two.
Garnett was benched most of the night with both foul trouble and inefficiency on the court. Pierce was hounded by Kobe Bryant most of the night, and was held to only 10 points—eight points less than his playoff average.
The load was picked up by Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo, who combined for 51 points.
Allen was lights out from beyond the arc, shooting 8-11 from the three-point line.
With numbers like these, Pierce better be right in his second bold prediction of the playoffs (Pierce stated that the Celtics would close out the Magic in the Eastern Conference Semifinals in Boston. They went on to close the series in Game Six in Orlando).
After winning the first game of a playoff series, Phil Jackson's teams are 47-0, which also explains his 10 rings as an NBA head coach.
Expect both teams to come prepared for war tonight as the series enters the Garden in Boston.
With the switched format from a 2-2-1-1-1 to a 2-3-2 in the Finals, Boston has a great opportunity to not only take a commanding lead in the series before possibly heading back to L.A., but they also have a chance of closing the Lake Show out in Boston if they come to play.
Rondo must continue to prove himself as a true leader of this squad and KG must finally show up to play and be at least somewhat productive.
The Lakers must contain the fast-paced Rondo-Run offense and dominate the boards if they want to take the first game in Bean Town.
With the massive amounts of fouls being called in this series, the Lakers will also need big production from their role players in order to keep things rolling along.
Odom, Artest, and Fisher must step up to make their minutes count. However, one thing is for certain, the Celtics-Lakers rivalry has definitely transcended decades and has reached a new level of competition and intensity in 2010.