That was such a weird game. If you watched the first quarter, you would've thought the Lakers would take it. The 2nd and 3rd quarters were clearly dominated by the Celtics building up that 22 point lead. In the 4th quarter, the Celtics played as tentative as I've ever seen a team play and the Lakers came 2-points away from the full comeback. In the end, they came up just short.

The last 2 plays, the first on defense against a Paul Pierce PNR with Kevin Garnett where Pierce gets fouled, and the last 3-pointer attempt by Vujacic were 2 big misplays in my opinion. First, take a look at the plays,

Trap the Ball Screen:

I know Phil Jackson doesn't like the double-team and if the Lakers do, it's usually only in the post. But if there was one time I would do change up what I would normally do on defense, it would be at the end of the game. I believe in the element of surprise to throw off the offense and get them out of rhythm. Here is what the Lakers did,

Instead of soft switching on the drive which is what the Lakers did and have been doing all game, if they would've trapped PP at the top of the key, I think PP would've tried to lob it to Garnett going to the basket. You can instruct your bottom zone player to come up and jump that lob pass.

Fade Screen + Backscreen Lob:

The last play for the Lakers was designed for a Derrick Fischer 3-pointer off of a fade screen, and the second option was for Kobe on a backscreen lob pass,

The Celtics switched each screen (as they should) and so nobody was open on either option after Pao Gasol received the inbounds. He instead passes to Radmanovic who pops out after setting the fade screen and Vujacic gets the next pass and attempts the 3-pointer.

Handoff to Kobe:

I think this play probably would've worked a little better. Pao gets the inbounds, but Kobe does a hard v-cut to get some separation from Pierce. He comes over the top and gets the handoff from Pao. Now Kobe can either take the 3-pointer, or use another ball-screen from Radmanovic to go to the basket. Fischer clears out to the far corner looking for the drive and kick,

Well, hindsight is 20/20, shoulda, woulda, coulda. The fact is that the Lakers came up short while the Celtics made their free-throws.


The Lakers really shot themselves in the foot with the way they executed on offense in the first 2 games, and especially tonight. The Celtics must get some credit for making the Lakers work, but the Lakers took too many quick shots, played loose with the ball, and did a poor job of getting back on defense. The Celtics looked very tentative in those final 7 minutes, which should be a huge concern for Game 3, they were not aggressive with the ball at all. With Game 3 in Los Angeles, I have to think that the Lakers will be the favorite. We'll see if they fix their offensive woes by then.

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