An out of character performance; and another day, another rumour
We’ll find some traditional stuff for tomorrow.
On the biggest play of the biggest game, the Celtics loafed.
I don’t know if they hung their collective heads after Ray Allen missed the last of his last 13 straight misses with his team down four and about 50 seconds left but watching them slow to get back runs counter to everything the Celtics are allegedly about.
And, of course, as you know, Derek Fisher went coast-to-coast, finished a three-point play and the game.
Here’s how Doc Rivers put it:
“You know, I thought we lost our composure a little bit down the stretch. A four-point game, 47 seconds left, I'm not sure exact time. All you need is a stop. We let Derek Fisher dribble the ball all the way up the court, unattended, get a three-point play. If you get a stop there, we had two timeouts left, three timeouts at the time, we had plenty of time. But that's where we got the mental toughness part for us. We've got to hang in there.”
Indeed they do.
I’m not about to say this series is over (although you’ve got to admit Lakers in six is looking pretty good right about now) but if the Celtics don’t bring more effort on Thursday, this whole travelling circus may not have to traipse back to the left coast.
Maybe it’s me?
I noted in a story yesterday that only five teams have swept the middle three games of a 2-3-2 NBA Finals series and, as it turns out, I’ve seen two of them.
That’d be the 2004 Pistons, who won three at home over the Lakers, and the 2006 Heat, who got the Mavs at home.
Been thinking a little bit about this format the past few days because lots of people have asked about it and I’m quite ambivalent about I it.
I’m not sure if “favours” one team over the other and I do think it sets so that things do move back to the homecourt city to end it in six or seven.
I know the original reason – travel grind – is much less a factor than it was back in 1985 when it was changed but, really, I don’t have a problem with it, it’s unique so they may as well leave it as it is.
One thing I do hate?
These 9 p.m. starts.
Let’s go through a Grunt Day, if you will.
Get to arena around 4:30 to schmooze and do some early notes work, watch interminable whistle-filled game, write quickly and file about 12:25 a.m.
Of course, there are more interviews to listen to in order to gather stuff that you’re reading here and then, with adrenaline still flowing, there’s no way sleep comes so more schmoozing and catching up with cronies is called for.
All of a sudden it’s about 3:20 a.m., the stupid alarm’s going to go at 6:30 a.m. because there’s this to do and then it’s back to a couple hours of practices around noon before writing.
But at least there’s a local down the street with a lot of TVs and wireless where a guy might do some work and watch some pucks later on.
You have a nice day, too.
Hey, if anyone sees Paul Pierce, wanna tell him to show up Thursday? Because if he doesn’t, his whole “we’re not going back to L.A.” prophesy late in Game 2 is indeed going to come true.
Here we go again.
Hedo to Sacto?
I’m told by pretty reliable sources around that the Raptors haven’t talked to the Kings about The Disgruntled Turk but, come on, it makes entire sense that they would, right?
Just like, if they are serious about dealing him, they’ll call, oh, I dunno, 29 other teams?
One thing we’re not going to get is daily updates from Bryan Colangelo. He made it pretty clear yesterday that this is not an issue he’s going to discuss it publicly until something is, or isn’t, done.
Makes sense, doesn’t it? Taking the high road leaves all options open and if there’s a whiff anywhere in the organization that they think Turk could come back, there’s no reason to pollute the waters.
In the early morning phone call, Super Son reports it’s pouring rain back home, putting Mighty Yankees in jeopardy tonight.
So all of you planning to take the game in send inning-by-inning reports might want to make alternate plans
One of the first guys a fella runs into in a hallway outside the media room is an old familiar face from Indianapolis.
“You want T.J. back?”
Um, no, I don’t imagine they do
So a gaggle of talent scouts employed by the Raptors, along with all and sundry Henchmen, have descended on the Nets practice facility in New Jersey today through Friday for one of those gang workouts that are all in vogue.
But I got a look at the list of kids who’ll be there and even with my rudimentary (at the moment) knowledge of this draft, I can absolutely assure you the No. 13 pick is nowhere to be seen.
Maybe 23, or 33, or 43, or a bunch of kids who’ll get the full European experience but a lottery pick? Not on your life.
So I’m going to let that whole thing drop except to say that if they want to collect a late first- or early second-round pick, they might be watching them workout over the next three days.
First call for mail this week. Click here to send the questions along and I'll suss out some stool for later in this week to work on the answers.
Guess that Darrell Walker dude was right, eh?
(Irregulars will remember, others may have to search it out somehow).
Derek Fisher’s a big time player.
And quite a guy, too. I didn’t see it, but I’m told he choked up a little bit during a television interview after Game 3, which I thought was kind of cool.
And then he explained it when asked to describe what it felt like after the game-sealing three-point play:
“To see Pau's reaction and my teammates' reactions, that's why those moments feel so good to me. Hitting the floor didn't feel that good to be honest, but Pau's reaction and Lamar and Kobe and what the guys were saying to me, that's why those things feel so good.”
I can’t think of a really good team that didn’t have a guy like Fisher on it; an old head who just does his job and makes big shots when he gets the chance and plays with what can only be called a calm about him.
I don’t imagine Fisher’s got many years left – he’s a 35-year-old free agent who’s played almost a decade and a half – so it kind of makes a guy feel good to see him on top maybe one last time.