June 17, 2008

Lakers Hang On for Game 5 Win

The Los Angeles Lakers staved off another comeback by the Boston Celticsto survive Game 5 of the 2008 NBA Finals.

The final score was 103-98, but at one point during the game, the Lakers were up by 19 points. Again, the Lakers have demonstrated that they have a difficult time holding on to leads. When you think about it, had the Lakers maintained their 24 point lead in Game 4, the Lakers should be up 3-2 in the series instead of the Celtics.

It's always good to avoid elimination at the hand of the Celtics, but the Lakers have not convinced the whole basketball world that they are the rightful champions with the way they have played in the Finals. They got outplayed in the clutch in Game 1, they missed on a comeback of their own in Game 2, and fumbled leads in Games 4 and 5. In order to force a historic Game 7 in Boston, some points must be met:
  1. Lakers not named Kobe Bryant must step up - It's pretty clear that the Celtics are letting the other Lakers beat them. It was Sasha Vujacic in Game 3 and Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom in Game 5. Gasol and Odom must exceed whatever they have done in the Staples Center to give the Lakers a fighting chance.
  2. Check Paul Pierce - Game 3 was the game Paul Pierce managed to score only 6 points and the Lakers won. Go figure.
  3. Defense Please - As much as I'd like the Lakers play an elegant game, defending the basket has brought them tremendous success so far. And this interior defense relies so much on Gasol and Odom. I do hope the win has galvanized the defense.
The win in Game 5 was very nice. The series is far from over. We will see a Game 7 with a good performance from the Lakers in Game 6 in Boston.

blog comments powered by Disqus


Blog Widget by LinkWithin