Thursday, May 29, 2008
As Boston was turning in an epic collapse, letting a 15 point fourth quarter lead dwindle to a single digit, I thought Doc Rivers was once again going to blow the game for the Celtics.
But then out of nowhere, much to my surprise, Rivers might have made his best coaching decision ever, and one that very few coaches ever make. Up by three with under 20 seconds left, foul the opposing team! Rivers pulled it off not only once, but twice!
Maybe Doc watched the Memphis/Kansas Championship game and the idea was still fresh in his head? What really made the play work was that the Pistons were out of time outs and rookie Rodney Stuckey had the ball on each foul. You knew the inexperienced Stuckey was bound to choke under this amount of pressure.
So why didn't Detroit put the ball in the hands of Chauncey Billups? I mean the guy shoots something like 90% from the line. Also, with no timeouts, the Pistons never had a chance to regroup, draw up a play and inbound the ball from half court.
Another question. Why doesn't Detroit run that suffocating half court press defense more often? Boston was up 17 in the third, 15 in the fourth and finally Detroit put the pressure on by doing what has brought them to the Conference Finals so many times: Defense!
But Wow! Kevin Garnett! We all knew he could play defense, but some of the shots he hit! There's no defending that. He finished with 33 points on 11-17 shooting.
What really impresses me about Boston's defense is the fact they rarely allow easy baskets or any "and ones." How often do you see teams score fast break points on the Celtics? Anytime the opposing team has a break away layup, the Celtics foul. And foul hard, I mean like jump on the guy and pull him down to the ground. I never realized this was legal, but Boston has done it all year and especially in the playoffs.
With that being said, no way Detroit wins this series for the sole fact that David Stern wants the Lakers/Celtics Finals more than any fan.
And no way does Doc Rivers out coach the Zen Master. No Way!
Lakers in 5.