Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Lakers-Celtics Game 3

Popcorn Machine

Big change at the outset - Kobe on Rondo. Which I guess makes sense. Rondo is only good with the ball in his hands, Kobe is a good ball-defender. Rondo can't shoot consistently, Kobe likes to sag off his man and play the passing lanes. Ray Allen needs to be stuck with consistently. Etc. Anyways, Fisher guarded Allen. Allen scored a lot, but Rondo was a -9 in 21:52. He missed a lot of the second half with (I think) an ankle sprain -- and Eddie House finally got some minutes with Rondo out and played quite well. The Celtics really rely on the point guard to initiate the offense, so even when Rondo's not penetrating and get a bajillion assists, he's very important. There were a few plays yesterday where Rondo got pressured and slowed down around halfcourt, and by the time the halfcourt offense got started there were around 12-13 seconds left on the shot clock. Those posessions often ended with a KG jumpshot from 18+ feet.

So yeah, Rondo -9. He was 4-8 since Kobe was giving him the jump shot. He had 4 assists in under 22 minutes, which seems like a lot but then you remember he had 16 assists in Game 2, so yeah, this is an improvement.

Also Turiaf played more than usual when Odom went out with fouls. He didn't seem to do all that much but he kept Perkins

Question of the game: Will the Machine's hot shooting start to drag some of the Celtics defenders out of the paint, allowing for better passing angles in the halfcourt? See Game 4 for the answer! Hopefully either Sasha scores 20+ again OR the Lakers (especially Gasol and Odom) rack up the assists.

Four Factors notes:

Pace: 88
Eff: LA - 98.9, BOS - 92
eFG%: LA - 47.8, BOS - 39.8
FT/FG: LA - 30.4, BOS - 18.1
OReb%: LA - 22.5, BOS - 28.6
TOr: LA - 14.8, BOS - 14.8

The big difference obviously was Kobe getting to the line 18 (deserved -- he was attacking) times, and Pierce only getting there 3 times. Also: KG shooting 6-21 wasn't completely a fluke, he shot a lot more from the perimeter than usual, see above note on forcing the Celtics to start their offense late in the shot-clock. However, if Rondo had played more minutes, KG might have ended up with better looks in the 2nd half.

Pierce shooting 2-14 on the other hand? That might have been a fluke.

Farmar + Vujacic: 48 minutes combined, 8 defensive rebounds.
Rondo + House + Cassell: 48 minutes combined, 3 defensive rebounds (although Rondo had 2 offensive)
Meanwhile, Gasol + Odom outrebounded Garnett + Perkins

Finally: LA fans are better looking than Boston fans.

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