Celtics One Win From the Title

Steve O Speak

The series is far from over but the Boston Celtics got the job done at home, winning 2 of the 3 games. They now hold a slight 3-2 series lead as the games return to Los Angeles. While the Lakers will have home court for the rest of the series, I don’t like their chances of grabbing another title.

First off they have to win back-to-back games, something they have yet to do in this series. Secondly, they might even have more pressure on them at home than on the road, if the Celtics take an early lead in Game 6 the Laker fans might not give them the support they need. Another thing working against them is the fact they have only won one of the last 4 games, putting the momentum firmly in the Celtics hands. I also think they showed last night that they aren’t a team built to play from behind with pressure.

The Lakers vaunted offense fell apart last night because they couldn’t handle either the mental or defensive pressure. Los Angeles was well within striking distance, but Kobe Bryant tried to take over the game. While individually Bryant was successful, scoring 19 points to start the 3rd quarter, his team was not, as the Celtics increased their lead to double digits. Now you can’t fault Kobe entirely since his shots were going in (at a ridiculous rate), but by taking everyone else out of the offensive mix you took them out of the rhythm and flow of the game. That left the Lakers defense porous, and allowed the Celtics to match them (aka Kobe) shot for shot. Despite not shooting as well as a team, the Lakers played better basketball and were able to cut into the Celtics lead when all 5 players had a role in the offense. But it was too late and the damage was done.

Now the Lakers have to find a way to match-up and pull out two straight victories, over a Celtics team that has only lost back-to-back games once this postseason. Los Angeles will have to get their other top players involved early and often if they hope to match up with Boston. Because after last night’s game, it is obvious that Bryant won’t be able to carry this team on his back alone.

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