NBA Finals Game 3 Preview

Rather than finish up my game 2 recap, I thought it best to just roll up my thoughts into a Game 3 preview. In brief, I think that as it was on Sunday night, tonight is all about adjustments.

What kind of adjustments, do you ask?

Adjustment 1 – Guard Match Ups

a) Does Smoke Monster need to guard Allen?

Washington and Allen, shades of He Got Game

Washington and Allen, shades of He Got Game

Ray Allen set an NBA record for most three point shots in a finals game on Sunday night, and is one half of the reason that the Celtics offense was able to kick it in high gear (the other half was Rondo). It was maybe the best single game I’ve seen from Allen, but he didn’t do it alone. The Celtics were running more and more screens to get him open, often times 2-3 screens in a single possession. Fisher struggled to keep up, eventually needing teammates to get involved on help defense. By the time a secondary player could switch over, Allen had the ball and was setting up his shot.

You know which Laker can do a better job getting through those screens? Smoke Monster. Seems like a good adjustment to make, but there’s a problem…

b) If Smoke Monster guards Allen, does Rondo open a can of whoop ass on Fisher?

I say yes, but not with absolute certainty. Over the course of the playoffs, I’ve watched Fisher frustrate Westbrook, Williams and Nash – not incredibly, but enough. Heading into this series, I saw several pundits basically writing Fisher off, but I don’t think Fisher is finished just yet. Don’t get me wrong, I do think Rondo has the advantage in this match up – especially one on one – but I think it’s more like a 60/40 match up (maybe 65/35 since it’s in Boston) as opposed to an 80/20 match up.

Interesting battle to watch for tonight.

Adjustment 2 – Interior Play

It’s important to remember that the Lakers are still winning the interior this series. Gasol and Bynum combined for 46 points, 14 rebounds and 13 blocks in game 2 while Garnett, Perkins AND Wallace combined for 23 points, 17 rebounds and…wait for it… 0 blocks. That’s right folks, Rondo blocked more shots than the three Celtic big men combined.

This HAS to change. Heading into this series, one of the key reasons Celtics fans felt they could win the series is because of tough interior play. Two games in, I think the Celtics most obvious weak point is its interior defense.

And remember, we still haven’t seen a good game from Odom yet, and you know its coming.

Adjustment 3 – Trash Talk

I’m generally not a big trash talk guy, but I allow for exceptions when it comes to Lakers/Celtics or Red Sox/Yankees. Or, well… any team playing the Cowboys. Or Duke. Or BYU.

Anyhoo, first came the news that Gasol suggested that KG’s lost a step. Next came the story that Pierce was overheard saying that this series won’t come back to L.A.

I don’t need a fork people. I’m just eating this up with a spoon.

Now, I know that both of these comments were probably made without malicious intent and I know that all these guys are professionals (except, of course Smoke Monster, who I suspect is fueled from the tears of weeping puppies), but as a sports fan I want the Lakers and the Celtics – not to mention Lakers fans and Celtics fans – to dislike each other.

So what kind of adjustment am I suggesting be made tonight?

I think Pierce should walk up to Smoke Monster during warm ups and say this:

(and yes, I did just suggest that Paul Pierce, captain and starting forward of the Boston Celtics, get in touch with his inner Sue Sylvester.)


~ by djepperson on June 8, 2010.

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