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Running Blog For Game 6 Of The 2010 NBA Finals

Last chance to dance

After a healthy 36 hours of hearing and reading people bash the Lakers here in Los Angeles, the NBA Finals resume with this one thought in my mind:

I thought this series would go seven games. Many other people who know what they are talking about thought this series would go seven games. So, the Lakers, for as bad as they’ve played, need to win just a single game on their home floor to set this series right back on track.

Here’s the problem with that scenario: Celtics have looked quicker for the last two games. They’ve been tougher, they’ve jumped higher. Simply, they have wanted it more and they have gotten it. Their defense is suffocating all Lakers not named Kobe Bryant, which is just fine with them. Kobe can score 40, but if Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom, Ron Artest and anyone else aren’t going to get more than 10 or 12, Boston will take it every day.

Also, the Lakers defense has been more than bad lately. Worthless. Reprehensible. Horrific. More than bad. The Celtics shot almost 66 percent in the first half of Game 5 and then were even better for most of the following quarter. This Celtics team that was thought to be too old and too small is beating the Lakers to all the loose balls and seeing their 6-foot-1 guard jump over players 5-8 inches taller to grab rebounds.

The Lakers, who were thought to be too talented, too skilled and too quick, have lost their guts. They look intimidated, much like in 2008. They are cowering in the face of a bully.

And yet, one win will make everything even.

5:48 p.m. Lakers are 9-1 in the postseason at home, but that one loss was at the hands of the Celtics in Game 2. They haven’t lost back-to-back playoff home games in nearly a decade.

5:49 p.m. The officiating really bears watching tonight. It’s always important and the officials have gotten a lot of (rightful) flack in this series, but remember Game 6 of the 2002 Western Conference Finals. In one of the greatest NBA playoff series ever, the Lakers trailed in the series, 3-2, going back home. That game is widely considered to be one of the worst officiated games in NBA history. The Lakers won Game 6 and then won an amazing Game 7 in Sacramento.

I have an inkling that the officials are going to be siding with the Lakers tonight. I know it sounds cheap, but you know the NBA wants this series to go to the maximum.

5:55 p.m. Christina Aguilera can really sing, but why does she look like a ghost?

5:59 p.m. I’ve been mostly wrong in these finals, but I think the Lakers win tonight. That’s the way it’s supposed to be, right?

But the most valuable player of this game has to be Pau Gasol. Kobe will get his points and make his miraculous shots, but Gasol needs to have a 25-15 game. Just play with some emotion, some urgency, some desire and will.

6:02 p.m. I almost didn’t do this running blog tonight, because I wanted to capture the scene downtown by the Staples Center. But I believe I’ll be given another chance to do that before Game 7.

And I just care too damn much about my readers : ) )

6:04 p.m. The Celtics just need to keep on keeping on. Playing that great defense, attacking those loose balls, sending out those crisp passes and running when it’s needed. They’ve done it so well in the previous two games, there is no secret to how they will try to play tonight.

6:06 p.m. AND HERE WE GO!! IT’S TIME FOR A … re-jump. Great.

Lakers win the second tip and now … here we go.

6:08 p.m. Tough shot and miss by Kobe, nice outlet from Rondo and a quick layup by Garnett gets the Cs on the board first.

6:09 p.m. A basket from Bynum is nice, but his rebounds will be really, really valuable.

6:09 p.m. Ray Allen hits a two-point jumper. He still hasn’t hit a 3 since Game 2.

6:09 p.m. And the first foul of the game goes on the Celtics. CONSPIRACY, I TELLS YA!!

6:11 p.m. On that Fisher steal, didn’t you hear a whistle? I think Rondo did. Otherwise, he would have contested that shot.

6:12 p.m. Two rebounds for Bynum. That’s double of what he had in 32 minutes on Sunday.

6:13 p.m. Well, I mean, that’s kind of like a 3-pointer for Allen. Old school.

6:14 p.m. And there it is for Allen, the true 3 as he breaks a three-game cold snap.

6:15 p.m. Nice contest by Artest and nice block by Gasol. That could NEVER EVER be said in Game 5.

6:16 p.m. Hasn’t Derek Fisher gotten into foul trouble in every game this series? He just picks up a quick two in the first six minutes all the time.

6:17 p.m. Wow, pretty play by Gasol as all five Lakers starters have scored.

6:18 p.m. I coudn’t really see what happened to Perkins there.

6:20 p.m. Looks like he stepped on Odom’s foot and may have turned an ankle or even worse. That knee didn’t buckle right. As if a knee could ever buckle right. Rasheed Wallace takes Perkins’ place as he has to be helped to the back.

6:22 p.m. Glad to see Shannon Brown get more playing time than the 19 seconds he got in Game 5. I’m not sure what that was all about. The Lakers don’t trust Sasha Vujacic that much.

6:24 p.m. There’s another one of those Artest corner 3s that Phil Jackson hates, but when you’re that wide open …

6:25 p.m. The Lakers need to make sure to not get caught up in the speed of the game. After that Artest 3, they got a well-earned stop and then almost lost the ball twice and had to settle for a horrible shot.

6:27 p.m. Yeah, Perkins is out right now, but I’m not terribly worried if I am the Celtics. They know they can win in LA and they had to expect that the Lakers would come out fast at home with their backs against the wall. This feels like the start to Game 3, when Boston was getting everything to go their way and then the Lakers worked back into the game. This is just an initial rush.

6:29 p.m. I would have loved to hear what Doc Rivers said in that huddle, but a fire engine just had to rush by my apartment at that very time, sirens crying. The curse of living right next to a fire and police station.

6:32 p.m. End-of the-quarter possessions. You can only shake your head because their sloppiness isn’t going to stop.

6:33 p.m. Eleven points from Kobe, but eight from Artest and five from Gasol. Pau also has six boards and and a block. He finally looks into a game.

6:35 p.m. Paul Pierce isn’t shooting well and Rondo can’t take five shots in the first quarter. It’s a 10-point deficit, but the Lakers aren’t going to shoot 61 percent for the game.

6:37 p.m. Ray Allen has come out hot, but Boston needs to play some defense.

6:38 p.m. That’s a bad shot by Odom, but it falls, so he’s off the hook.

6:39 p.m. Damn, the draft is only nine days away. John Wall is getting ready to become familiar with our nation’s capital.

6:39 p.m. Those were some multiple easy missed chances for the Lakers, but the activity under the basket is positive, especially from Bynum.

6:43 p.m. Hustle, hustle, hustle. Farmer shows it there and it leads to a couple of free throws. It’s not too hard to play with hustle, unless you don’t really want to win.

By the way, watching Bynum come up the floor is painful.

6:44 p.m. Lakers are simply dominating on the boards. They have as many offensive rebounds as Boston has total rebounds. The Lakers leading the rebounding battle, 19-7.

6:45 p.m. Oh, Chick. How much L.A. misses you.

6:47 p.m. Vujacic has no conscience. He doesn’t try to work in the offense. He just gets the ball and shoots it. Luckily, Pau has showed up tonight and will clean up that garbage.

6:49 p.m. So, about that initial rush … yeah.

I’ll say that the officiating as sent a couple of bad calls (or no-calls) Boston’s way, but the two teams have basically switched mindsets from Game 5. The Lakers look full of energy. The Celtics look complacent.

6:52 p.m. I like how Jack Nicholson gets the one-name treatment, but that’s top by Andy Garcia’s Groucho Marx look.

And is it in a TV contract that a sports broadcast must play “Hotel California” at least once when coming back from break if the broadcast comes from somewhere in California? It’s annoying.

6:55 p.m. This is really unbelievable to watch. I never thought the Lakers would come out with this much fire and that the Celtics would come out this lazy. That last breakout of Odom to Farmar, that’s just lazy defense.

6:57 p.m. Also, I love that timeout by Jackson. You reach your biggest lead of the game and as soon as the opponent gets a layup, call a TO. Settle things down and stop any kind of opposition momentum right now.

6:59 p.m. Josh Powell? Who’s next? D.J. Mbenga? Is it too late to activate Adam Morrison?

7:01 p.m. Garnett makes a nice shot, but it took the entire shot clock and just look at the Celtics’ passes. They are not crisp and nobody’s moving anywhere, trying to get open for the ball. Mark Jackson has already called this game, but I’m going to hold out at least until late in the third.

7:02 p.m. Powell was too wide open on that side. It happens.

7:06 p.m. Rondo misses a dunk. When it’s going bad …

We had a Fisher-Garnett jump ball. How about Rondo-Odom?

7:08 p.m. The Celtics get that one, too.

7:09 p.m. No question that was a foul on Fisher, but three fouls on him is the worst thing you could say about the Lakers’ first half.

7:10 p.m. Nice play by Williams, throwing that off a Laker.

7:12 p.m. Good news for the Celtics: Your defense got a little better at the end of the quarter and you held the Lakers to just two points in the final 3:39.

The bad news: You only scored four points in that span.

7:15 p.m. Well, what can you say? It’s a domination right now. One of my friends texted me with “Game over”. I’m not going that far just yet because I remember Game 4 of the 2008 Finals and the Lakers’ choke.

7:19 p.m. As Stuart Scott just brought up.

7:20 p.m. Winning the rebound battle is usually a good indication of winning the game. And right now, the Lakers are killing it on the glass, 30-13. Gasol has eight rebounds. Bynum has four, Odom has six and Kobe has seven.

7:22 p.m. After Game 1, you just saw Rivers say: That was a better team tonight. They played harder, they got all the loose balls … .” He might repeat that after tonight.

7:26 p.m. Certainly Perkins’ absence has an effect. But it’s not as critical as losing Garnett or Rondo or Pierce or even Allen and maybe Glen Davis. His impact won’t be felt with rebounds, but with the Lakers’ points in the paint.

7:31 p.m. And you can see there, Bryant is getting into the paint easy to either score or create good looks for teammates. That’s where Boston misses Perkins, but it’s not a total series-changer.

7:32 p.m. Seeing that replay on Perkins a couple more times, I don’t think he’ll be back in Game 7. He didn’t step on Odom’s foot. He just went down and his right foot stamped on the ground and then turned awkwardly inward. No wonder he heard something pop.

7:33 p.m. Four fouls on Fisher. He attracts whistles.

7:34 p.m. Lakers crowd wants a basket now. They remember Game 4 of the 2008 Finals and their team is off to a slow start in this second half.

7:36 p.m. Bynum goes to the locker room. See, fair trade.

7:36 p.m. Wow, what a blow by Allen. They’ve now missed two dunks and a layup tonight.

7:39 p.m. Feels a bit like L.A. thinks it has this thing and is relaxing too much.

7:39 p.m.S So just ask Kobe Bryant to end that.

7:41 p.m. There used to be a time when Kobe Bryant would take that breakaway dunk for himself. Now, let Shannon Brown do it. He has what the kids call crazy hops.

7:42 p.m. Damn, look at that! I know LeBron does it, but Shannon’s head almost hit the rim. Crazy.

7:45 p.m. Well, even after that slow start, the Lakers are still up by 18. We’re getting close to Mbenga time.

7:46 p.m. SHANNON BROWN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yeah, it wasn’t the greatest pass, but that made the dunk even better. It forced Brown to go up and reach for the ball with one hand. Dude, that kid can jump. How he only played 19 seconds in Game 5 is unexplainable.

7:48 p.m. What was perfect about that was it got the Lakers a quick two and the crowd back into the game.

7:50 p.m. OK, so the Celtics getting some fouls called on them now, but here’s the thing: Other than that Davis whistle, they are correct calls. And how much impact do they really have when your team is already down by 17 and being outclassed in the last few minutes of the third quarter?

7:51 p.m. As if it needs to be said, the Celtics can’t trade baskets. But that’s what they’ve done for the past seven minutes.

7:56 p.m. Rajon Rondo is 4 for 16 from the free-throw line? Ugh. How can he be that bad for a guard?

7:57 p.m. Well, that 3 came because Rondo got hit in the mouth. Looking at it again, that’s not a foul. He just ran into Artest’s arm. What a shot he took, though.

7:59 p.m. Lakers’ bench outscoring the Celtics’ bench, 24-0. Ridiculous.

8:00 p.m. Lakers up, 76-51, at the end of three. OK, let’s say it: Get ready for Game 7. At least in Game 4 of 2008, the Celtics trailed by only two by the end of the third quarter.

8:03 p.m. FERRAAAAAAAAAAAAALL!!! Man, what an odd job for him.

8:04 p.m. Well, in Game 7, I don’t think there’s any question that the pressure is on the Lakers.

8:05 p.m. Quick swerve from the topic, but during the break, I just saw a news tease that showed a white male cop punching a black woman right in the face. I’m already preparing for riots.

8:06 p.m. look at that Boston five: Robinson, Wallace, Rondo, Tony Allen and Shelden Williams. Yep, Game 7.

8:07 p.m. But, OK, the pressure is on the Lakers. They are supposed to be the better team and are at home. Plus, they have the best player on the floor, the more decorated coach and the more-skilled interior player. All of the pressure is on the Lakers.

8:13 p.m. Really, for the Celtics, it’s not much different from what I said about the Lakers at the start of this blog. You’ve got to really hustle and attack those boards. You’ve got to play more defense. Rajon Rondo has to be more of a facilitator than a scorer. And that bench has to step up.

8:15 p.m. For the Lakers, don’t depend on Kobe. Or really, Kobe shouldn’t put it all on himself. He’s playing with a lot of other veterans, but they can’t wilt under the pressure. I’m sure they know that they are expected to win as well.

Gasol has to keep being active. Bynum needs to do what he can do whenever he’s healthy enough. But when he’s in the game, he must contest. Artest needs to play great defense more than score. Fisher needs to stay on the floor.

In the end, it’s not rocket science. Again, whoever plays harder will win. Who wants it more?

8:19 p.m. Lakers kind of just playing out the string right now. And I hate that. Yeah, the game is won, but play hard to the end. You want to carry this effort over to Game 7.

8:21 p.m. The Expendables. That movie is going to be so bad, it’ll be awesome. Stallone, Statham, Rourke, LUNDGREN (!!) Schwarzenegger (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!), Jet Li, ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin, Randy Couture. Oh, man. Gonna be soooooo bad.

8:24 p.m. I find it interesting that a lot of the starters are still on the floor. Does no one remember what happened to Kendrick Perkins a couple of hours ago??

8:26 p.m. And the Lakers are still hustling.

8:27 p.m. The crowd should just start chanting, “We want Mbenga! We want Mbenga!”

8:29 p.m. Kobe gets a big ovation because he’s Kobe, but he didn’t have a huge game. Of course, that’s because he didn’t have to. Pau and Odom and Artest really picked him up.

8:34 p.m. Mbenga’s in the score sheet! I wish they would have taken out Gasol before a timeout. I would have liked to hear the reaction for him after tonight and after Game 5, when he was horrible. Maybe Phil thinks he didn’t deserve it.

8:35 p.m. Look at the Celtics strategizing on the bench. I love it. The younger Lakers are kind of laughing on the bench, but look  at Fisher and Kobe. They know that the game-planning for Thursday starts now.

8:38 p.m. And that’ll do it. Lakers win, 89-67.

GAME 7

8:41 p.m. I like how Kobe said they still gave up too many points in the paint. Because there are always things you can work on!

8:42 p.m. If I’m a Boston fan, this does suck and now you fear that the Lakers have all the advantage, but it’s not so bleak. Your team knows how to win in Los Angeles. This was just a really bad game, but did you see Rondo, Pierce, Allen, Garnett and Wallace at the end? They are already planning for Thursday. They won’t sleep on this. They want to prepare as much as they can and you should rest assured that a different Boston team will show up in Game 7.

Because a different Boston team MUST show up in Game 7.

8:45 p.m. The Celtics ended up with more chances and the Lakers actually shot just 42 percent, but it wasn’t ever that close. The Lakers outrebounded the Celtics, 52-39, but that isn’t indicative of how much the Lakers beat them either. The Lakers passed the ball more tonight and that led to some easier looks, but a lot of it was about just out-hustling the Celtics’ D.

8:47 p.m. And it had nothing to do with the referees! The Lakers got nine more free throws and benefited from four extra calls, but the officiating had nothing to do with this outcome, and I’m oddly proud of that.

8:48 p.m. Keys for Game 7:

1. … …

IT’S GAME 7. GET WITH IT

2. Kendrick Perkins’ knee. I don’t think he’ll be back for Thursday and that really hurts Boston’s defense and rebounding ability to a certain extent. Who will fill that void?

3. Rajon Rondo has got to take over for the Celtics and that means always driving, always being aggressive and always looking for the open man if the layup isn’t available. He has to stop with the jump shots.

4. Kobe is Kobe, but will he put it all on himself in a Game 7? He better not or the Lakers will lose?

5. Will the Lakers return with this type of energy again? They seemingly have one really lazy game in a series, but tonight was beyond anything than I expected from them.

6. Who’s bench will show up and who will will win the rebounding battle? Whatever team wins those battles will win the championship. Rebounding is more of a priority.

7. Again, it’s Game 7 and it’s for the championship. Everyone should understand what they need to do. Nothing needs to be said. Just play the hardest basketball you’ve ever played.

That’s it from me tonight. I don’t know if I will post a running blog for Game 7. I really want to be downtown, so maybe I’ll post my experiences down there for Game 7. Should be a wild scene! Thanks to everyone who checked out the blog tonight.

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  1. Matt
    June 15, 2010 at 7:28 pm

    Lakers are faker on the road. Even back in the shaq days they always looked so lazy on the road and the won the title at home! Looks to me like the same thing this year.

    • spokes310
      June 15, 2010 at 7:36 pm

      Except in 2002 when they won the WCF and the championship on the road.

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