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Rajon Rondo’s Unbelievable Tip-In

Rajon Rondo has made a habit of creating highlight-reel plays in the 2010 NBA Playoffs.  The play against Orlando when he dove for a loose ball was a perfect example of what can happen when the point guard combines his incredible athletic ability with full-tilt hustle.  Last night, Rondo made another hustle play at a huge point in the game.  Check out the video of Rajon Rondo’s tip-in against the Lakers in Game 5 of the NBA Finals, courtesy of YouTube user rondo9celtics:

Phil Jackson told his players in a fourth-quarter huddle that the Celtics know how to lose games late.  If not for Rondo’s efforts, he may have been justified in what he was preaching.  This particular video is a bit dramatic, but it shows how the Celtics point guard came out of nowhere to make a play on the ball.  It also shows that he was fouled by Lamar Odom on the play. It’s plays like this one that have the Celtics in a position to win their second title in three seasons.

Video Credit: YouTube user rondo9celtics

Phil Jackson Tells His Players Celtics Know How to Lose Games

I have mixed feelings about posting this video. On a fundamental level, I don’t think our TV cameras and microphones should be inside huddles and locker rooms for teams because it’s an invasion of their privacy. I don’t like it but I live with it. On the positive side, thanks to ABC’s access we caught a snippet of Lakers coach Phil Jackson mic’d up during the final minute. Trying to motivate his players as the team was down by five, Jackson took a shot at the Celtics. Here’s the video of Phil Jackson telling his players the Celtics know how to lose games late:

Phil could get criticized or laughed at by Boston fans for his comments during that timeout but that would be unfair. Think of the circumstances: he’s the coach of the Lakers and trying to give them confidence and encouragement so they can come back in the game. What else is he supposed to say? By the way, the Lakers may have had a chance at the comeback if Ron Artest hadn’t missed both his free throws, failed to foul Rajon Rondo on the layup, and then fouled Ray Allen over Rondo. Not saying it would have happened, but at least they would have had a better shot.

Video Credit: YouTube user MojoHoopsTube

The Many Faces of Tom Brady

To the left is a photo of Tom Brady wearing a San Francisco Giants hat at a Boston Celtics game, the same night he supposedly stole Leonardo DiCaprio’s seat at The Garden.  Does that make any sense at all?  Not really.  Did it piss Boston fans off?  Kind of, but who cares about the Giants and they (we) understand Brady was born and raised there so I guess it’s nothing too serious.  If you want to root for a team who’s lone shining star the past decade is Captain Juice Head himself, then that’s fine with us.  I mean it’s not like it’s a Yankees hat or anything.  He’s not congratulating Kobe Bryant after a Game 3 victory over the Celtics, so what’s the big deal?  Nothing much to see here, so let’s move along.

To the right, is a photo of Tom Brady wearing a New York Yankees hat.  Now that, my friends, is a big problem.  Boston fans don’t care where you’re from or which one of their (our) team’s you play for.  If you’re a Yankees fan — keep it to yourself.  If you’re the star quarterback of a Patriots team that won three Super Bowls in four years and millions of people consider you to be a hero — definitely keep it to yourself.  Oh well.  We got over it.  If Brady wants to root for the Yankees, he can go ahead.  He doesn’t play for the Red Sox, he plays for the New England Patriots, so I guess we’ll get over it.  Still, it’s not like he’s joking around with and high-fiving Kobe Bryant at a Celtics NBA Finals game in Boston after a crushing Game 3 loss that causes Celtics fans to start wondering whether or not they still have a shot at a title.

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Derek Fisher Emotional After Game 3

The Lakers beat the Celtics 91-84 on Tuesday night in a pivotal Game 3 win in the NBA Finals. With Kobe Bryant having an off night and not scoring almost the entire fourth quarter, point guard Derek Fisher stepped up and took over for the Lakers. Fish scored 11 of his 16 points in the fourth quarter, including a huge coast-to-coast layup and one with under a minute left that gave the Lakers a seven point lead. Because Fisher had been widely viewed as the weak link in the Lakers’ starting five, coming through for the team in such a crucial situation overwhelmed him. After the game, Derek Fisher was emotional in his interviews:

I will raise my hand and admit I was one of the people who said the Rondo/Fisher matchup would be a big advantage for Boston, but I did note that Fisher has the ability to makeup for his spotty defense with good offense. So far he’s done that: Fisher shot 47% on threes against the Thunder, had a big Game 3 in Utah, and he shot quite well in Games 3 and 5 against the Suns. On another team with less talent, Fisher would be exposed. On the Lakers where he’s a role player, Fisher has been making it count and his Game 3 performance may turn out to be the difference in this series. (That, and Ray Allen’s 0-13 FG after a record-breaking performance in Game 2).

Video Credit: YouTube user NBARauf

Pau Gasol Comment on KG’s Changed Game Portrayed Poorly by Media

You didn’t really think that Lakers forward Pau Gasol would be dumb enough to rip Celtics forward Kevin Garnett unsolicited, did you? He’s much smarter than that, right? During one of the off days prior to Game 2 of the NBA Finals, Pau Gasol was asked how both he and Kevin Garnett have changed as players since they first played against each other. As Bob Ryan explained for The Boston Globe, Gasol’s comments were an honest and accurate assessment:

“And also on Kevin’s part he’s also lost some explosiveness. He’s more of a jump shooter now, you could say, comes off the lane. Before he had a really quick first step and was getting to the lane and was more aggressive then. Time passes and we all suffer it one way or the other, but he’s still a terrific player, a terrific competitor and he’s going to bring everything he’s got. You can count on that.”

Of course anytime you hear that comment from Pau, like in this piece by ESPN reporter Rachel Nichols, the question asked is left out so people don’t get to hear the entire exchange to judge for themselves. Then the quote gets brought to Garnett and pisses him off prior to Game 2, and people start throwing out cliches about “waking a sleeping giant” and “tugging on Superman’s cape.” Any wonder why players don’t like dealing with the media? Or maybe Gasol should be more guarded next time and feed us b.s. because we kill players who give us honesty.

Sources:
Gasol wronged in Garnett comments [The Boston Globe]

Nate Robinson’s Fan Club Interrupted the Doc Rivers Press Conference

The sad part about the media attention paid to the NBA Finals is that the door is opened for idiotic reporters to cover the event. As soon as the NBA opens things up, you get people who don’t follow basketball turning it into a sideshow. Take for instance the dumb-dumb who used his question at Doc Rivers’ postgame press conference to let the Boston coach know how much he was screwing up by playing Rajon Rondo over Nate Robinson. Check out this wizard’s argument:

Korea Repoter: “Rajon Rondo hasn’t played particularly well since the Cleveland series. Nate Robinson came in the game for you today and had four assists and no turnovers. Do you plan on using Nate Robinson any more in the series?”

Rivers: “Well, you must be in the Nate Robinson fan club, clearly. Nate has played well, but I think Rondo is pretty good. I’ve got a feeling he’s going to keep playing a lot.”

I honestly feel badly that Doc has to even bother with answering such crap. Maybe the NBA needs to enforce stricter credentials requirements so Doc’s time isn’t wasted like that. On my list of 10 things the Celtics need to do better in Game 2, playing Nate Robinson over Rajon Rondo is probably 80th. This guy must be hanging out with Magic Johnson in his spare time or something.

NBA Finals Preview: Seven Things To Keep An Eye On

The NBA Finals are almost upon us.  While very few people (myself included) expected to see a Boston Celtics-LA Lakers Final for the second time in three years, I haven’t heard many people groaning about it.  The rivalry between these two teams is unquestionably one of the most exciting in professional sports.  The players don’t seem to like each other.  The fans certainly don’t like each other.  Celtic fans see Jack Nicholson sitting court-side and view him not as an incredible actor, but an obnoxious Laker fan.  Laker fans see Donnie Wahlberg court-side and still don’t know who he is.  LA wants revenge and the Big Three are facing their last real shot at a title.  It should be fun to watch. 

With all the buzz surrounding the series, there are plenty of story lines and themes to keep tabs on going forward.  I’ve come up with a little list of what I think are the most important.  Feel free to chime in if you think I missed something.

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