Darius from Forum Blue and Gold: "Artest consistently forced Pierce to his left hand and used his reach and quick hands to disrupt his dribble and keep Pierce off balance. Pierce never really looked comfortable and most of his looks at the hoop were either out of rhythm or forced when trying to find it. But Ron’s defense was only was aspect of his good night. Ron also found his groove on offense. He made 6 of his 11 shots (including 3 of 6 from three point land), scoring 15 points and finding the rhythm that he denied Pierce for most of the evening. After the game, Phil talked about how the Lakers tried to get Ron the ball in position where he didn’t have to make as many reads within the sets and could just concentrate on shooting the ball."
Basketbawful: "Would you believe that, until Nate Robinson hit a bucket at the 9:58 mark of the fourth quarter, nobody other than Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo and Ray Allen had scored a single point for the Celtics?"
A must-watch video analysis of how the Lakers stuck it to Rajon Rondo, with ideas of what he can do to counter.
Some Wizards fans point out that big men taken first overall win more titles than point guards. John Townsend at Truth About It tells them to calm down, and learn to embrace John Wall: "You build a sports team by fielding the best group of players available and hoping that impeccable timing and a lot of luck are on your side over the course of a season. John Wall is the best player available. Period. He’ll bring size (6’4” with a 6’9¼ wingspan) to the Wizards backcourt and will be a certain mismatch against most PGs in the league. He’ll also be able to help the Wizards defense. Wall is second all-time at Kentucky in steals with 66. If you watch his highlights, you’ll quickly realize that he is a pretty solid help defender with a knack for blocking shots."
Chip Crain of 3 Shades of Blue on why the Grizzlies fizzled late in a lot of games last season. "The Grizzlies performed poorly at the end of games because they were more tired than their opponents. Want proof? Well consider this. Among players in the Western Conference the Grizzlies had three of the top 4 players in total minutes played. Only Kevin Durant kept the Grizzlies from having the top 3 players in average minutes played per night."
Barcelona was swept out of the ACB Final, which was a shocker, and it ended in dramatic fashion. Jay Aych of the Painted Area: "Barca was such an overwhelming fave that just one win for Caja was unlikely. It's not just that Barcelona was a combined 56-5 (ACB + Euro) before the finals, it was the fact they dominated their competition throughout Europe all year--basically outscoring their opponents by an average of +15 ppg. Barcelona's status as one of the premier European teams of all-time takes a massive hit with no ACB Finals title on their resume. And the 2009-10 Caja club should be remembered as one of the biggest giant-killers of all-time."
Neil Paine of Basketball-Reference: "In the series, the Lakers have outscored the Celtics by 20 points after 6 games. Is that a lot, or a normal amount for a 7-game series? How does that compare to the margins of past 7-game playoff series through 6 games?"
Kyle Weidie of Truth About It on the WNBA: "... It’s somewhat arrogant to consider the merits of the WNBA solely based on the idea that NBA-caliber athleticism spoils you from watching the women’s game. If the game of basketball is all about dunking and athletic feats, then you aren’t appreciating or getting the nuance of the sport, much less why people compete in the first place. So the WNBA is not for you. It doesn’t matter. The WNBA provides an alternative outlet for those passionate about basketball in ways that needn’t matter to everyone. The WNBA is for someone … for young girls to cultivate a love for the game with the tangible goal of playing at the highest professional level in the United States … for promotion of the sport on a worldwide level to both men and women, and not just across cultures, races, religions and ethnicity. Through all the struggles, criticism and growing pains, the WNBA is worth the effort and worth the presence. For the greater good of the game of basketball, the WNBA is worth it."
Kevin Pritchard on video, talking about his job situation: "May the best man win."
The Hawks won't be able to blame Mike Woodson for everything anymore.
Steve Weinman of D-League Digest: "Lots of steals for the Lakers. On multiple occasions, Paul Pierce drove into the paint, only to be enveloped by a swarm of yellow jerseys and find himself separated from the ball in short order. As the ABC crew highlighted, the Lakers effectively sloughed off Rondo outside the lane, and that resulted in extra defenders inside to cause the Celtics trouble in the halfcourt all night. They sprinted for loose balls with more urgency throughout the evening, which led to fast-break dunks for Shannon Brown and Jordan Farmar as well as other transition opportunities. Though the Lakers finished only plus-1 in the turnover battle, they went plus-7 in points off turnovers."
Dan Shanoff: "Is tomorrow night the biggest game in NBA history? At the very least, is it the single biggest NBA game since the last time the Lakers and Celtics played a Finals Game 7, back in 1984? When considering the Jordan Era of the 90s or the Kobe/Shaq and Duncan combo-dynasty of the past decade -- which were defined by dominance, not drama -- it is at least in the discussion. (Since '84, I'll take some votes for Knicks-Rockets Game 7 in 1994, but that seems like something only a New Yorker would offer up. I don't think you'd say it was bigger than Lakers-Celtics '84.) What I find most interesting is that in all the insta-nostalgia for 1984, consider that if you're under 30, you have no recollection of the 1984 Finals. If you're under 40, you might -- might. But it would have merely a hazy (if formative) place in your development as a sports fan. If you're older than 40, it will bring back all sorts of memories. If you're older than 60, you even get to add in context of the Lakers-Celtics Game 7s of the 1960s. But the fact is that all that nostalgia compounds to make 2010 even bigger. Then layer in things that would have been fiction in 1984 -- 24/7 sports cycles, the Web, social media. It is refreshing to consider that with a combination of retro and nouveau, tomorrow night's game breaks through the weight of history -- particularly the NBA's hallowed (if overrated) "Golden Age" of the 1980s -- to stand on its own."