Once again, please join Dr. Jack Ramsay, David Thorpe, Mike Moreau and myself as we talk about Game 4 of the 2008 NBA Finals.
HENRY ABBOTT: Is there such a thing as a Finals game that is not huge? This one is certainly huge. At 2-2 I would suspect everybody will declare the Lakers the favorites. At 3-1, Boston has to stumble for L.A. to have a chance.
DAVID THORPE: Thorpedo locked and loaded!
MIKE MOREAU: Should be the best game of the series -- Everyone rested and ready!
DR. JACK RAMSAY: If the Lakers are going to win this, they're going to have to have a positive contribution from Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom, and Luke Walton. They have been very inconsistent.
HENRY ABBOTT: Referees tonight: Steve Javie, Joe DeRosa, and Tom Washington.
DAVID THORPE: In emotionally charged games like this home teams often record blowouts.
MIKE MOREAU: Lamar looked at you when he made that, Coach Thorpe.
DAVID THORPE: Derek Fisher's shooting arc should be emulated by everyone.
HENRY ABBOTT: The Lakers are starting much like last game. Getting to the rim and the line a lot.
DAVID THORPE: The Lakers have learned to close out shooters after seeing how Boston does it to them.
HENRY ABBOTT: Really surprising thing about L.A. fans: they are loud as hell whenever Kobe Bryant is shooting free throws. Most fans let the home guy shoot in peace.
HENRY ABBOTT: Doc Rivers is STEAMED. He wanted Kobe Bryant to be called for a foul on the steal, I believe.
MIKE MOREAU: KG can get that anytime he wants to against Gasol.
HENRY ABBOTT: The Celtics are getting the ball to Garnett in the post, like they want to, but so far it hasn't paid off.
DAVID THORPE: PJ created the dunk for LO because he sprinted the floor and took up space.
DAVID THORPE: I think LO has been reading this blog!
MIKE MOREAU: Perkins and KG dominated inside in Game 3 in the 3rd Quarter, then they abandoned the post game.
DR. JACK RAMSAY: Almost everything has been at the basket for the Lakers so far. That's good. But Pau is still tentative with his shots.
HENRY ABBOTT: So far, to my eye, Rondo is moving well despite being questionable with the bad left ankle.
DR. JACK RAMSAY: Lakers having great ball movement, rebounding, getting into the open court, getting to the basket ... Odom with eight points two rebounds and two assists in five and a half minutes.
HENRY ABBOTT: John Hollinger points out that the pace, so far, has been super-fast, which favors L.A.
MIKE MOREAU: An aggressive Odom is trouble for the Celtics.
MIKE MOREAU: Boston has been able to weather these early first quarter storms, but they are in a danger zone right now. Must get to the line and slow the pace.
HENRY ABBOTT: Pierce and Garnett are 0-6 with four turnovers. Picking up where they left off. And Kobe is playing WAY off Rondo, which lets him get to Garnett easily to make trouble.
DAVID THORPE: I like seeing PG near the rim.
DAVID THORPE: LO doing a nice job of sitting on Perkins right hand.
DAVID THORPE: Lakers running a hi-low with PG up and Lo down. I like it, but would rather see the opposite.
HENRY ABBOTT: Kobe Bryant has one point, and the Lakers are up by 17. Odom has 11 points, four rebounds, and two assists.
DR. JACK RAMSAY: It's not going to happen, but Odom's on pace for about 50 points and 18 rebounds. A great start.
MIKE MOREAU: It's not a good sign for Boston with Pierce and Allen giving up shots to Perkins and House. They are a rudderless ship right now.
HENRY ABBOTT: Paul Pierce got a bucket!
DAVID THORPE: This end of quarter could be huge.
HENRY ABBOTT: First substitutions of the game for L.A. Jordan Farmer and Trevor Ariza.
HENRY ABBOTT: If Boston was going to have a big finish to this quarter, they needed that Eddie House 3 to fall.
MIKE MOREAU: This is too early in the game to be counting on Eddie House.
DAVID THORPE: PG again parking at the rim.
HENRY ABBOTT: If Boston can't score points or play defense, I guess at least they can pound on Pau Gasol.
DAVID THORPE: Big shot coming for Boston.
MIKE MOREAU: Celtics brought PJ at Kobe once he started his move -- the rotation was late. Preview of Celtics future end of game defense?
DAVID THORPE: Lots of pressure now on Phil Jackson to keep his team energized. Boston will relax and shoot better, more than likely.
DR. JACK RAMSAY: Remarkable start. It all started with taking the ball to the basket early. Odom drove. Fisher drove. Kobe drove. A great Odom pass to Gasol. A transition play. Odom on the drive. Everything right at the rim. And the Celtics were not responding at all. Odom was the catalyst. He was a real question mark before the game. Could he step up? He has. A 21-point lead at the end of one, that's tough. The Lakers have to be careful, though, that they continue the defense. Big leads can make you tentative, and they can also make you wild. You know the Celtics are going to get something going. The Lakers need to keep it up.
MIKE MOREAU: Credit the Lakers for bringing it. Boston better ratchet up the defense and make this a game, or they are sowing the seeds for defeat in Game 5 as well. It's all about the defense for this team.
MIKE MOREAU: Forget the X's and O's. This is man up time for the Celtics. Why isn't KG beating his chest and screaming now?
HENRY ABBOTT: The Celtics seem to need an alpha dog on offense right now. Maybe that's something Leon Powe can handle for them. Paul Pierce has been so invisible.
DAVID THORPE: LA is trying for the knockout punch. Best to keep punching with gritty buckets.
MIKE MOREAU: Love the way Cassell makes a bad decision and then tells the receiver to come to the ball.
DAVID THORPE: Getting Ariza extended minutes will pay off in future games.
DR. JACK RAMSAY: Garnett's first field goal. Also, Ariza has been very good.
DAVID THORPE: Walton killing the Lakers again.
HENRY ABBOTT: Doc Rivers talked before the game about looking for Garnett in the post on the fast-break.
DAVID THORPE: Finally makes a contribution.
DAVID THORPE: LA needs to stay disciplined on d. Can't foul a driving Posey.
DR. JACK RAMSAY: Phil left Gasol on the floor with four reserves. I have never seen him do that before. Usually it's Kobe or Odom. Kobe's coming back now.
DAVID THORPE: LA's weakside defenders are really engaged.
DAVID THORPE: LA looking almost too relaxed on offense.
MIKE MOREAU: This will be a true test of Boston's championship character to see if they compete and fight their way back. It's not even about winning this game -- it's about not losing Game 5 before Game 4 is over.
HENRY ABBOTT: Lakers have shot nine more free throws. They are shooting 56% from downtown and 54% overall. The Celtics are 29% overall, and 13% from downtown. That, my friends, is how you get a 24-point lead while Kobe Bryant is still without a field goal.
MIKE MOREAU: Why does Garnett not just demand the ball in the post every time?
DAVID THORPE: Lakers win if they grow the lead to 30. if it shrinks to 15 it's anyone's game
HENRY ABBOTT: Phil Jackson with one of the quickest timeouts I have ever seen him take. Two scores for Boston and he's up. The Lakers have stopped playing that same kind of weakside D Thorpe was talking about, and now their shots are all from the perimeter. Let's see if they start getting back to the hole.
MIKE MOREAU: Every missed jumper by the Lakers, the basket will get smaller and smaller
MIKE MOREAU: Pierce aggressively denying Kobe.
DAVID THORPE: LA needs to attack and re-attack after Boston moves to defend the first attack.
MIKE MOREAU: A championship defense would have put Fisher on the deck on that drive.
DAVID THORPE: Gasol didn't finger roll that one.
DAVID THORPE: The Lakers are learning.
MIKE MOREAU: Celts defense needs to pitch a shutout the last 1:30
DAVID THORPE: Horrible help by LO.
MIKE MOREAU: Unnecessary foul by Kobe -- could come back to haunt the Lakers.
DAVID THORPE: Anyone's game.
HENRY ABBOTT: Don't think I can link from this chat module, but Ken Berger of Newsday is reporting that House Committee on Energy and Commerce is drafting a letter to the NBA about refereeing. That'll be the talk of tomorrow, I'd think.
MIKE MOREAU: Big Perk - if you are going to pick up your third, lay some would on him and get your money's worth!
MIKE MOREAU: Have we really seen the last of the hard fouls for this year?
MIKE MOREAU: If Doc was saving his Braveheart / Gladiator speech, now's the time...
MIKE MOREAU: Rondo has developed that runner during the playoffs
DR. JACK RAMSAY: Here come the Celtics!
HENRY ABBOTT: Kendrick Perkins looks like he may have dislocated his shoulder.
MIKE MOREAU: That' left block is where KG does his best work. He should put down roots right on that spot.
HENRY ABBOTT: Doesn't it seem like Radmanovic really did not want that ball back on the break? I was surprised he made it. He looked so tentative in that crowd.
MIKE MOREAU: What do you think Rick Mahorn would have done with Radmanovic and his twisting layup at the rim?
HENRY ABBOTT: Kobe Bryant's first field goal.
DR. JACK RAMSAY: Boston's in a zone, first time this series. A 3-2 zone.
HENRY ABBOTT: Odom was in the post against Rondo, and then Allen, but never got the ball.
DAVID THORPE: LA showing great poise and trust in each other.
DR. JACK RAMSAY: Boston should have stayed in the zone longer. I would tell my team to stay in it until they score. Did it a lot in college. In that NBA, we would trap, with the same idea to stay in it until they score.
MIKE MOREAU: Boston should have knocked down every Laker driver from the 2nd quarter on.
DAVID THORPE: Wow-was that a tough shot by PP.
MIKE MOREAU: The Lakers are absolutely unafraid of going to the rim.
HENRY ABBOTT: Remember when Paul Pierce used to have a knee injury?
DAVID THORPE: Vlad is so casual he is basically unplayable. Should be sitting next to Luke.
MIKE MOREAU: Fish missed Kobe wide open on the wing to turn it over
HENRY ABBOTT: James Posey just got his fourth personal. He is actually leading the Celtics in plus/minus right now. He's the only Celtic with a positive plus/minis. Eddie House, who just made a fantastic pass, is close, too.
MIKE MOREAU: Will Kobe continue to trust his teammates as things get closer?
MIKE MOREAU: Why is KG setting perimeter screens again? Boston clearly did not watch tape of Game 3.
DAVID THORPE: LA needs to keep attacking. Don't fret over close misses as long as they play physically.
HENRY ABBOTT: Not sure if it was clear on TV or not, but Paul Pierce and Kobe Bryant are talking a lot right now. I suspect that's part of the reason Bryant took it to the rim last time down the court.
DAVID THORPE: Interesting Tony Allen sub. Mr. Offense?
HENRY ABBOTT: Leon Powe got up to replace Posey, and was called back for Tony Allen, who joins a game for the first time this series.
DAVID THORPE: Wow-PP is special.
MIKE MOREAU: If the Lakers fall short of 100 points, they could lose.
DAVID THORPE: Gasol rushes finishes too often. Weak lower body is the reason.
MIKE MOREAU: 15 point quarter for LA
DAVID THORPE: LA out of gas. May get smoked out from here.
DR. JACK RAMSAY: Bad foul, late in the shot clock. LA has looked tentative.
DAVID THORPE: Farmar's halftime chuck is the difference now.
DAVID THORPE: Boston's halfcourt defensive pressure has destroyed LA's spacing and timing. The rout could be on.
HENRY ABBOTT: Without Jordan Farmar's three at the half buzzer, this is a Celtics' lead. Kobe Bryant is 2-11. He'll be more aggressive, for sure, which could be good or bad for the Lakers.
DR. JACK RAMSAY: 23-5 run for Boston to end period.
MIKE MOREAU: Can Kobe score 1-on-1 from the top for 20 consecutive possessions to save the game?
DR. JACK RAMSAY: How are the Celtics keeping Kobe quiet? Coming off the screen, the extra defender is staying with him a little bit. He's settling for the jump shot like in Games 1 and 2. I don't think he needs a screener. He can beat Ray Allen. Then help will come, and he can create a play. Bryant has made some good passes. Pau hasn't finished at the rim, and the perimeter guys haven't knocked down shots.
MIKE MOREAU: Bad move to have KG on the bench to start the quarter. No time to rest now.
DR. JACK RAMSAY: The Lakers used a lot of shot clock. Tentative.
DAVID THORPE: Still out of gas.
MIKE MOREAU: Celts need a post up option on the floor
DR. JACK RAMSAY: Tie game!
MIKE MOREAU: I stand corrected, Mr. Powe!
DAVID THORPE: I just don't see how LA can pull this out.
DAVID THORPE: Kobe feeling effects from 45 mins the other night.
DAVID THORPE: Celts offense so much better without Rondo.
HENRY ABBOTT: Kobe to the rim. Just what the Lakers needed.
DR. JACK RAMSAY: Kobe Bryant has not been out this half.
MIKE MOREAU: With Pierce working so hard on Kobe, Celts should go back to Allen and KG on left side in two man game. Allen cuts for the layup, then KG goes to work.
MIKE MOREAU: That's still the ticket for The Ticket
HENRY ABBOTT: The Laker offense is everyone standing around. But Bryant can work with that.
DAVID THORPE: Celts need to force Kobe to drive. He's so tired.
MIKE MOREAU: Keep giving it to Emmit -- keep going to KG!
DAVID THORPE: Shocking finish by batgirl.
HENRY ABBOTT: Third quarter scoring in the series thus far: Celtics 116, Lakers 73.
MIKE MOREAU: Time to trap Kobe -- don't let him get started.
HENRY ABBOTT: Eddie House has been big, and Tony Allen certainly hasn't hurt the Celtics.
MIKE MOREAU: Give that 3 to Doc Rivers
HENRY ABBOTT: Five minutes left. One point game. This is hot stuff.
DAVID THORPE: PG time again late? Needs to stay down low.
DAVID THORPE: Mike-I don't think Kobe has enough gas to beat Boston.
MIKE MOREAU: When do the Lakers give it to him on top?
DAVID THORPE: LA scored 35 in the first quarter, 48 since. They just can't stay with Boston, energy wise. Used up their legs building the lead.
DAVID THORPE: I'm actually surprised LA is still close.
HENRY ABBOTT: That's some good Boston D.
DAVID THORPE: Not playing Rondo has been the offensive difference. And LA not being able to deal with Boston's new intensity on d spelled the end.
MIKE MOREAU: Coach Thorpe, do you think Ray Allen visualized me hitting the glass with the ball before he went up and under? Big Time Move!
DR. JACK RAMSAY: Eight straight points for the Celtics. I'd give Eddie House the game ball for this one.
MIKE MOREAU: Boston ran another defender at Kobe when he started his move from the top in the first half. Look for them to trap him anywhere as soon as he starts his move. Other Lakers look terrified to shoot -- want no part of the ball.
HENRY ABBOTT: Lamar Odom in the first quarter: 13 points. The entire Laker team in the first ten minutes of the fourth quarter: 10 points.
DAVID THORPE: Sasha and Farmar a combined 2-13. Killer.
HENRY ABBOTT: Odom is sitting down. Two minutes left.
MIKE MOREAU: Forget the shooters -- trap Kobe!
DAVID THORPE: Just a horrible foul by pau.
MIKE MOREAU: Trap Kobe!! Trap Kobe!!
MIKE MOREAU: TRAP!!
HENRY ABBOTT: James Posey with a huge shot. Wow. And Fisher right back at you. Good stuff.
DAVID THORPE: Teams never learn-don't help off Posey late in games.
MIKE MOREAU: You have to trap Kobe just after he starts his move. Wait for him to dip that shoulder and go -- the trap must happen before he gets to the paint.
DAVID THORPE: Phil Jackson is a genius when he has the superior team. They don't panic, they stay with the system. But he is not great at getting this team to raise their intensity level for long periods.
DR. JACK RAMSAY: You're down four or five after these free throws. Try to get best quickest score. Drive it, kick out if D collapses. Go to rim and go for it, may get a 3-point play driving. Then overplay in backcourt, try to steal ball. Depending on the time, you may not have to foul yet.
MIKE MOREAU: Remember Pierce hit the two big ones at the end of Game 2.
HENRY ABBOTT: Ray Allen couldn't have done that any better.
DAVID THORPE: Lakers leg weary and brain dead.
HENRY ABBOTT: Lots of Laker fans leaving, but it's a two possession game with 15.7 left, and those seats cost a fortune. Use 'em 'til the end I say. Some kid would kill to watch these seconds.
DAVID THORPE: Goodnight.
HENRY ABBOTT: Lakers probably lose, but if they don't it'll be historic and wonderful, you'll lie and say you stayed.
HENRY ABBOTT: Lakers had to call another timeout to advance the ball because they inbounded it before they called the last one.
HENRY ABBOTT: OK, now you can leave.
MIKE MOREAU: Enjoyed the historic ride tonight -- thanks for letting me tag along, Henry!
HENRY ABBOTT: Celtics back in the driver's seat after a massive comeback. Entertaining game. Dr. Jack says "Terrific job by Doc Rivers using Posey and House. They really won the game for them. You'd have to see this game to believe that comeback."
Thanks everyone. See you next time.