It Always Goes In

MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images

Who is the hero? Is it Ray or is it Rajon? Or do they split it? Does it matter? Not for Boston. Not after they were able to split the first two games on the road with the Lakers.

Also, the refs were terrible. Kobe should of had three fouls, not five at the end. Ron Artest shouldn’t have picked up his fifth either, but I’m sure Lakers fans wanted him to leave the game anyway after going 1-10 from the field. The Lakers played terrible, for the entire game really, and were in it until the very end of the game.

They couldn’t close out on Ray Allen fast enough (it would take Kobe defying physics in order to do so). And it hurt, bad. He set the record for most three’s in a Finals game, breaking his, Scottie Pippen’s, and Kenny Smith’s record of seven with his own eight (and seven straight to open the game). He played solid defense, even if it took a little acting on his part. He hates Kobe, and I’m pretty sure the feeling is mutual. Respects, I’m sure, but hate nonetheless.

Every shot Ray threw up, it looked good. He barely grazes the net anyway, but the ball would have been lucky to draw D-Wade fouls on the rim. He was on fire, and that is a scary notion because his on fire means dagger threes and not tough, fadeaway two’s. Plus, he is going off despite the rest of the offense struggling to rediscover itself while dealing with Laker length.

And then there is Rondo, who obtained another postseason triple-double. He was Rondo again, after apparently letting the beast inside of him rest the past four games or so, and the Celtics clicked really well for the first time since Nate Robinson saved game six.

These two saved the Celtics, and practically their season. And to think, with Garnett in foul trouble and slowing constantly, with Pierce hounded every possession by Artest, with Perkins being Perkins, Danny Ainge was willing to deal these two players as a package as recently as last offseason (for Prince, Hamilton, and Stuckey, at least that was the rumor), and perhaps before the trade deadline.

And the day-to-day overreaction is still taking place, partly responsible is the schedule itself, which lends to having over analyzing instead of preparation for the approaching game. Boston went from looking hapless and old, to focused and experienced. It seemed that the refs wanted control of the game, for it to not get out of hand, and this time it bit the Lakers instead of the Celtics like it did in game one.

The fact that the Celtics are a poor home team (really? they seem pretty good in the playoffs) is bound to be dug up for reasons to support Laker selections in at least stealing one game. The solution, for me, is much simpler: they have Kobe Bryant. Kobe is otherworldly, and despite being in heavy foul trouble (as said, much undeserved) he was able to make highlight/clutch shots.

Plus, they have Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum, each of whom deserve the highest of honorable mentions. They played well while the rest of the team didn’t really show up offensively. And defensively they could do much better, but it appeared foul trouble had a lot to do with that.

Although the next three games in Boston will determine a lot, hardly anyone believes the series will be decided in Beantown, so why all the fuss? Even if the Celtics win two of the three, nobody doubts the Lakers’ ability to still win the series. Just as nobody doubts the ability of the Celtics to close it out if they must go back to LA. This was bound to be a long series, even if the refs must intervene for it to get there.

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