In the end, the Lakers won because the Celtics’ old legs couldn’t keep up any more. They played like veterans with one last chance ought to. For three quarters they dictated the pace, held on to a slim lead and seemed poised for the victory. Then in the 4th period they found their bodies unwilling, nay, unable to take that extra step on defense that is the difference between a stop and a foul. As the Lakers marched to the free throw line over and over, the Green tried to take advantage of the pause to recharge. Several times they looked like they had one last run and if Ron Artest hadn’t drained that last three pointer with twenty seconds left, I believe one of the old leprechauns of yesteryear was ready to work some magic.
Though I heartily enjoyed the Celtics championship of two years ago, I think this game even more has a chance to bring me back to the NBA. Maybe it was the near conquest by a bunch of old guys, underdogs, and wearing my colors. Maybe I’m just getting old and sentimental myself. But I think it’s mainly because the players on both teams just wanted to win. I know they ain’t giving back those millions and I don’t expect that of them. I just relish seeing great athletes play the game to win, with the money out of their minds for a few hours. That’s what we saw last night. A classic.