Celtics Win Game 2 103-94 behind Allen and Rondo
By Fanspeak Contributing Writer Geoff Nelowet:
Between Ray Allen’s eight three-pointers and Rajon Rondo’s triple-double, the LA Lakers would have had to bring their absolute best work Sunday night.
Unfortunately for the Lakers, they didn’t. Not only that but, Kobe Bryant, Ron Artest, Lamar Odom and Andrew Bynum combined for 21 fouls. Ron Artest fouled out, and the others nearly did as well. For most of the fourth quarter, Kobe Bryant was nursing five fouls, which essentially opened the floodgates for Rajon Rondo, as Bryant was assigned the task of guarding him throughout the game.
The Celtics playing in LA has been an interesting dichotomy – the Celtics have been the best road team in the playoffs, and the Lakers were previously 9-0 at home. In game 1, the Lakers dominated the underperforming Celtics, and the reverse happened in game 2.
At some point, both teams will show up, and it will make for an epic game. At this point, though, the Celtics have all the momentum as they head home for game 3. Ironically, after looking back at Phil Jackson’s perfect 47-0 series record after winning game 1, that figure now seems entirely irrelevant.
It is interesting to see how well Rasheed Wallace and Nate Robinson have played in the playoffs. Wallace had a quiet seven points and seven points in just 18 minutes, but he led all players with a +/- of +17. That statistic, point differential when on the court, can be misleading at times, but in this case it probably isn’t – Wallace has been a very solid player this post-season, and one could argue that he should be starting over Kevin Garnett. As for Robinson, he has been a spark for the Celtics off the bench, and he proved against Orlando in game 6 that he can be serious threat in the fourth quarter. It seems that everything is coming together for Boston at the right time.
It is hard to argue against Phil Jackson’s 47-0 series record after winning game 1, but at this point Boston looks like a better team. The LA Lakers massive foul trouble is indicative of that. Across the board, the Lakers’ key players could not guard the Celtics’, which accounts for a roster fraught with players with five-plus fouls. The likes of Kobe Bryant, a superstar that tends to have calls go his way, was on his way to fouling out at the onset of the fourth quarter. Guarding Rajon Rondo is clearly a difficult task, and that will take the Boston Celtics a very long way.