Liveblogging: 2008 NBA Finals Game Three

PHOTO: NBA Finals 2008 - Celtics hosting the Lakers

Well… I skipped liveblogging game 2 on Sunday night. Partly because I watched the game on tape delay so I could skip the commercials and partly because I was in a meat coma from some excellent bison-loaf I had at Ted’s Montana Grill (Ted Turner’s most masterful business venture to date).

Game 2 notes
Game 2 was fascinating, if not a particularly good game. The Lakers comeback from more than 20 points down with seven minutes to go was simply amazing even though the Celtics still prevailed. But as Lakers fan, the rest of the game was frustrating. Kobe was stuck on the bench because of some very questionable foul calls, and the Lakers couldn’t buy an attempt at the free throw line.

The Lakers were 10-10 at the line, and Boston was 27-38. That’s more than a little preposterous. The Celtics bench hero Leon Powe took more free throws (13) than the entire Lakers team by himself.

I don’t like to whine about the officials, but I really hope the NBA avoids the same kind of officiating debacle they had during the 2006 Finals. You might remember that Dwayne Wade took a record breaking 97 free throws in six games on his way to a championship.

Officiating aside, the Celtics have just had the psychological edge in this series. As a team the Celtics just want it more. Kobe and Phil are going to have to get the rest of the Lakers to play with some passion if they are going to come back and win this series.

Game 3 Liveblogging

Get ready for the greatest liveblogging ever. Ian says the Jeff Van Gundy looks pretty damn ugly in HD.

Q1 7:32 2-8

Pretty sloppy so far. The Celtics are getting good penetration but are having trouble taking good shots, definitely a contradiction. The Lakers are scoring but it hasn’t been easy.

Fisher just had an easy fast break bucket but gave it up unwisely to Bryant who got fouled. Show some selfishness Derek!

Q1 7:31 2-8

Kobe missed both free throws. WTF?

Q2 2:18 31-41

Boston is in trouble if they can’t start shooting a higher percentage. Ian says that KG and Pierce need to wake up. Right now they are combined for an astounding 4 points.

End of first half 37-43

The game is surprisingly close given the huge disparity in free throw attempts, 7 for the Celtics and 22 for the Lakers. The disparity itself is not surprising. I think we all predicted an officiating shift after the game 2 backlash. The Lakers could be in control if they had bothered to actually make some of those free throws.

Q3 11:16 37-43

Rondo just sprained his ankle. For Boston fans this means a lot more fun watching Cassell jack up 3s.

Q3 4:58 51-49

KG has come alive. Sorta. It’s danger time for the Lakers and Kobe still cant make a free throw. Is he choking?

Q3 2:02 58-56

Imagine how different this series would be if Odom had played even remotely well.

KG is finally shooting well in the second half of a game. I guess all it takes is horrible shooting in the first half.

End of Q3 62-60

Celtics dominated the 3rd quarter again. If the Celtics go on to win this game, I’m going to go ahead and say this was when the Celtics broke the Lakers back and won the series.

Q4 9:36 65-63

The score is preposterously low. That’s a great sign for the Celtics.

Q4 9:11 66-63

Kobe just missed another free throw. He’s now 8 of 16. Pathetic. Ian notes that the Lakers would be winning had Kobe made those free throws.

Q4 7:50 68-66

I love Jeff Van Gundy. He just finished a two minutes tirade about how he should get a discount on haircuts on account of his baldness.

Q4 6:05 68-73

Oooooh… Kobe makes 2 free throws… in a row!

Q4 4:25 70-75

Story of the game so far is KG 9 points, Paul Pierce 2 points.

Q4 3:22 70-77

Kobe is risking an ejection over getting called for a foul that he clearly committed. Not too smart.

Q4 1:39 76-81

Big three from Vujacic. That probably seals the victory for the Lakers.

Q4 :38 81-87

Great shooting from Kobe in the last minute. Ian says he is stealing the glory from Vujacic.

Final Celtics 81-Lakers 87

I’m not sure why the Celtics gave up with 30 seconds to go. It was unlikely that they’d come back down six, but it’s still strange. Ian points out the Lakers did the same thing in game one.

It was a pretty ugly game all around. As a Lakers fan I’m not confident in their chances to win the next two games at home, which I think they absolutely need to do if they want to win this series.

Flickr photo by Sarcasmette

3 Comments

  1. Ian

    I found this on the Daily Dime on ESPN. It is an excerpt from Curt Schilling’s blog. Obviously, there could be some pro-Boston bias here, but its still an interesting sub-plot.

    “This one stunned me a little bit. Who doesn’t know Kobe Bryant right? I only know what I have heard, starting awhile back with the entire Shaq debacle. I don’t really have an opinion one way or the other on or about him other than to know that people feel he might be one of the 4-5 greatest players to ever lace it up. What I do know is what I got to see up close and hear, was unexpected. From the first tip until about 4 minutes left in the game I saw and heard this guy bitch at his teammates. Every TO he came to the bench pissed, and a few of them he went to other guys and yelled about something they weren’t doing, or something they did wrong. No dialog about “hey let’s go, let’s get after it” or whatever. He spent the better part of 3.5 quarters pissed off and ranting at the non-execution or lack of, of his team.

    “…as a fan I was watching the whole thing, Kobe, his teammates and then the after-effects of conversations. He’d yell at someone, make a point, or send a message, turn and walk away, and more than once the person on the other end would roll eyes or give a ‘whatever dude’ look.”

    I honestly haven’t watched enough Lakers games to know if this is par for the course with Kobe. I know that in past years it was supposed to be, but I thought Kobe had supposedly turned a new leaf this season. I’ve even seen Kobe say that everyone on this Lakers team are all “brothers”. Maybe Kobe is doing what every LA fan’s worst nightmare is: turning back into selfish Kobe on the game’s biggest stage.

  2. Chris

    Yeah, that could be true. I’ve seen him yell at players on both broadcasts of the Finals games. I don’t know if that is out of the ordinary for him though. Even if it is, I doubt it would have much effect on the game.

  3. Ian

    I don’t know. If it is out of the norm for these guys then you can’t say that it isn’t having an effect. They are down 2-0. You can complain about the refs I guess if you are LA, but it doesn’t change the fact Boston is killing the Lakers on both ends of the court. They are out defending and out rebounding them by far. LA is settling for too many jump shots while Boston is hitting the paint. Kobe could be wrecking their confidence while also turning into a selfish player. I didn’t get to see game 2 unfortunately, but he wasn’t being particularly selfish in game 1 from what I saw (unlike Cassell). The Lakers blew through the West in the playoffs, but now they look shaky. Something has to be up.