Quote of the Day:
“An acre of performance is worth a whole world of promise.” –Red Auerbach
Begrudging congrats to the Lakers. That was a helluva game last night. Ugly, but great. Those dudes on both teams were playing about as hard as you can imagine–like the whole season was coming down to one game. They played like teams I remember watching back in the day used to instead of a bunch of spoiled multi-millionaires in a hurry to get back to their posse, which is how a lot of folks view NBA players these days.
I even respect Kobe more now. His offense was shut down, so he turned to his D and to passing, just like Bird and Magic used to do and that keyed the Laker win. The Kobe I used to know, like last week, would’ve sulked and the Lakers would’ve lost. He didn’t score big points, but he came through. So too, Ron Artest, heretofore with only the legacy of being the game’s greatest thug. Last night he added a new heading to his bio–Game 7 hero.
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.
I'm a 40 year old lawyer living in Ridgeland, Mississippi. I'm several years and a couple hundred miles removed from most of my old running buddies so I started the blog to provide an outlet for many of the observations and ideas that used to be the subjects of our late night/happy hour/halftime conversations and arguments.
Much agreed. I was disappointed. Not as disappointed as I am right now about the ending of the USA world cup game today, which, in case you missed it, ended 2-2 after we stormed back from 2-0 down and we had a perfectly legitimate game winning goal disallowed by a terrible ref. Our players were being bear hugged by every Slovenian in sight, and somehow the foul was called on us. I’m pretty livid at the moment.
Fair play to the Lakers, they bit down and won the game the Celtics way. I can’t stand Kobe (mostly because of the jutting jaw look and the Jordan comparisons), but I was happy for Artest. He made his mistake in Detroit, a big one and he’s paid for it ever since via his reputation, but now he doesn’t have to be the goat for once. Gasol was simply a beast.
Yeah, I read about that call in the World Cup. Does the tie hurt? I know a win is better, but, and correct me if I’m wrong b/c I don’t follow it closely, it is my understanding that the main point right now is just to advance past this round and all scores will be re-set to zero? I’m sure seeding will be affected, but I’m curious as to how the USA is looking as far as moving on.
On Game 7, I didn’t mention Gasol, but you’re right. His block of the Garnett layup was huge. The other thing from this series…I really became a fan of Rondo. That cat is quick. A really great point guard on both ends.
We now have 2 points. England has 1, though they are about to play and should beat Algeria. Slovenia now have 4 points.
You get 1 point for a draw, 3 for a win.
As it now stands, if England wins today, then they are tied with Slovenia, who they play next. We have to win against Algeria in our last group game. Best case scenario, is that England beats Algeria and Slovenia, and we beat Algeria, then all is well. If the England v. Slovenia were to end in a draw, then it would go down to goal difference, and we are currently on equal footing with Slovenia on that. We probably need to win at least 2-0 against Algeria.
The next step is if we finish in second in our group, we get the winner from the group containing Germany, Ghana, Serbia, and Australia. If we were to finish first, which can’t happen, we would play the 2nd place team from that group.
It boils down to us needing a little bit of a helping hand from England, and us winning our last game. The officiating today was absolutely horrible, in both games actually. The ref in the Germany v. Serbia was pretty poor, but this guy just blew a big call in our game that cost us the full 3 points and it was the first time he had ever reffed a World Cup match. He choked on the big stage, and it could end up really costing our team. Unfortunately, our soccer team has a history of calls like this happening and costing them. A similar incident happened in our 2nd game in 06 against Italy, when a goal was disallowed for offside, and that cost us the 3 points. We ended up not advancing.
And Rondo is possibly the most fun player to watch in the NBA outside of Lebron and Kevin Durant.
He’s fantastic. He has a 6’10” wingspan and he’s only 6’1″, which is pretty insane.
In other words, we’re probably screwed. That sucks.
Not necessarily. We just don’t completely control our destiny
Actually Algeria just did us a huge favor by drawing 0-0 with England! Now it’s in our hands. All with have to do is win.
The fact that we need a helping hand from the Brits is ironic to me. Could 5pm hurry up and get here?