I only caught the second half of Game 1 tonight but it's a good thing that I caught the best parts. It was real inspirational to watch Paul Pierce come back onto the floor to not only stay in the game but to lift his team to the win. Here is what the AP report said about it:
Pierce's dramatic return after being carried from the court and then wheeled down a hallway for treatment will be added to the annals of Celtics-Lakers finals lore, taking a spot alongside Magic Johnson's baby sky hook and Kevin McHale's clothesline of Kurt Rambis.
Pierce's comeback drew immediate comparisons to Willis Reed, the former New York Knicks great who once hobbled onto the court of Madison Square Garden before Game 7 of the 1970 finals against the Lakers. Some of the savvy Celtics fans chanted Reed's name in tribute.
Wow, heady stuff indeed. It was just surreal, the way they carried him off. You kinda had that sinking feeling like the series had suddenly gone sideways for the Celtics. The long faces, the stunned crowd. I love what Doc Rivers had to say to his team when PP went down (though ESPN's 'wired' was recorded live but played after PP came back):
What did the guy from South Africa say about adversity??
All right. He says, nothing can get you down!
OK... this is what we're talking about. Adversity... You overcome it.
We're the better team... we overcome it, all right?
Nothing stops us... that's why we play 12 guys.
Now lets beat this team!!
Here is the speech as well as the ESPN cut up of those decisive moments in the 3rd quarter,
When I turned on the TV and saw the Lakers with the 5 point lead at halftime, with over 50 points, I automatically felt that the pace of the game favored the Lakers. But with PP taking the game over in the 3rd quarter, it totally turned the game around.
There wasn't anything tactically significant about the game. I think the Celtics did a good job (in the second half anyways) of limiting the transition opportunities for the Lakers. The Celtics did a job on the boards, and by simply knocking down shots.
If you're a big Celtics fan and a coach, then you should check out Kevin Eastman's DVDs on Skill Development. Be sure to check out the X's and O's Basketball forum to discuss your favorite coaching topics.