The latest in an ongoing series covering the NBA Finals with actor/comedian Rondell Sheridan.
Jose Salviati: Rondell, before today's game there was talk of sending Bynum back to L.A. to get ready for Games Six and maybe Seven. You think the Lakers regret not opting for that option?
Rondell Sheridan: No doubt, the Lakers should have sent Bynum back to LA and given him five days rest, because the Lakers length wasnʼt a factor at all tonight. Though the Lakers won the offensive boards 16-7, the total was 35-34 Boston. Bynum played major minutes but was ineffective in both points and rebounds.
JS: The Lakers need a half-court game to take advantage of that length, but this game seemed to be played at a quicker pace which favors the Celtics.
RS: From the beginning Boston set the pace. They were running up and down the court. They made their ﬁrst three baskets and Lakers had the disadvantage of taking the ball out of the basket. The Lakers looked fresh in the beginning too, but then Bynum handled an alley-oop and came down gimpy after the slam dunk. It seemed to go downhill after that.
This game ended exactly the way I said it would. I said, if Bynum didnʼt show up, Kobe
would have to score to 40. Well tonight Kobe scored 38. I said the Lakers would have to ﬁnd another scorer besides Kobe and Gasol. Unfortunately nobody on the Lakers got
my memo. 'Cause Gasol was the ONLY Laker besides Kobe in double ﬁgures and he
only had 12 points.
JS: Is Rondo the next Jason Kidd, or the next Jason Williams? He seems to waver between those two extremes.
RS: The only thing that kept the Lakers in the game was Rondoʼs constant mistakes in
decision-making in the third quarter. Rondo led the game with 7 turnovers. However, the
Lakers countered Rondoʼs mistakes by keeping Gasol out of the third quarter until the
Gasol didnʼt have any fouls, I didnʼt get it. That didnʼt make any sense.
When Gasol and Bynum werenʼt in the game together the Lakers showed their
JS: Laker vulnerabilities seemed plentiful, didn't they?
RS: Where was Lamar? Anybody seen him at all? Boston shot an incredible 56 percent compared to the Lakers 40 percent. Come Tuesday Boston will not shoot that good, and neither will the Lakers shoot that bad. But the Lakers offensively look dead. D-Fish and Artest combined for 4-18. Speaking of offensive, this was the most points the big-three starters scored for Boston all series, 57.
Though Rondo was in turnover hell, he redeemed himself in the fourth quarter with a
steal, then an incredible put-back, and then then an out of bounds play which ended in
a lay-up from a pass from Pierce with 38 seconds that put the game in the fridge.
JS: Hold on there, I have to give you a yellow card for that. You can't use a Chick Hearn reference for a Celtic win. That's just not right. What are the keys to a victory, and their second championship in three years, for the Celtics in Game Six.
RS: Boston needs to pound the ball inside, and use their guard speed and run! Boston will also have to ﬁnd three scores and Rondo will have to get his assists up. Which means Rondo needs to forget about his turnover output tonight and go back and keep going to the bucket.
JS: Keys for the Lakers to force a Game Seven?
RS: In order for the Lakers to win, they need to rebound. If the Lakers can control the paint and the boards then Game Six is a lock. If not there will be no Game Seven. Kobe cannot do this on his own. I repeat, Kobe cannot do this on his own. Somebody needs to step up.
Actually you need more than just somebody, you need a bunch of scores. The
problem is that Boston now has LAʼs number. They have an answer to everyone except
Kobe, which is ﬁne cause nobody can stop him. But when Perkins doesnʼt have to
handle Bynum, he can feast on Gasol all night long. Perhaps this is the reason why
Gasol only had 12 points.
JS: I'm surprised by the bench play, or lack of, by the Lakers squad. Shannon Brown didn't get off the bench while the Celtics bench seemed to inspire the team and the crowd yet again.
RS: LA, however, has no answer to Donkey and Shrek. Sure they can stick Farmar on Nate, but heʼs still not fast enough and Farmar was simply ineffective making decisions
tonight. Also, if Artest gets into foul trouble early again, like tonight, then they have
nobody to handle Big Baby. The Lakers should have ﬁnished this thing off two games
ago, 'cause now, Boston is getting better each and every game.
JS: Your prediction is looking pretty safe now Rondell, you gonna gloat?
RS: From the beginning I predicted Boston in six. Go back and check. I ainʼt scared! People thought I was was crazy. Well Iʼm not gloating, 'cause to be honest, when the Lakers won Game Three, I was feeling like jumping ship. But now Iʼm liking my chances of Boston winning one of two. Its gonna be a hell of series end. Strap in and remember to breathe.
JS: Final thoughts?
RS: I gotta go. Iʼm on a hunt for a 45 recording of the Welcome Back Cotter theme song. Somebody better tell Paul Pierce he better get his ear plugs, cause Iʼm guessing heʼs gonna be hearing it a lot.
Your dreams were your ticket out.
To that same old place that you laughed about.