|Posted by shawn cassidy on May 11, 2012 at 2:30 AM|
I shouldn't gloat too much, because the Celtics could have easily been in the same spot tonight. But nonetheless, the Lakers are playing a game seven this Saturday. Ron,Ron will be back, and maybe that will boost their confidence in LA. kobe was battling a stomach bug, and he couldn't channel is inner MJ.
Bynum had made some dumb comments before game 5 the other night. Saying closeout game are "kinda easy." Their was more fire on that stack of logs, but we get the message Andrew. I hate the Lakers so much, that them losing can feel better than the Celtics winning at times. That wasn't the case tonight. Because I am still pumped after tonight's game 6 win.
First and foremost, the Lakers' starting frontcourt picked the wrong time to collectively fail to make their presences felt. Offensively, Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol struggled to discover any type of comfort zone, unable to connect on the shots both often convert in their sleep. Bynum's night was forecast on the opening possession for the Lakers. Fed with deep position, his layup and a putback attempt were blocked by Timofey Mozgov and Ty Lawson (!) respectively. Drew tracked down the loose ball for a third-chance bucket, but missed yet again. Beyond putback attempts, Drew had a difficult time converting much of anything.
For his part, Gasol waited until the second quarter to even take a shot, but found his touch to be equally miserable. Rainbow jumpers. Hook shots. Even a drive to the cup was stuffed by Kenneth Faried. His errant shot wasn't the only way he was ineffective with the ball. It's been a while since we've seen Pau look this out of sorts with the ball in his hands. Specifically, last season's playoffs, a dark time elicits flashbacks the likes of which war veterans experience while remembering their time in country. Nine of his 10 shots clanged en route to just three points, and just one assist was collected. Granted, his teammates weren't making many shots, but this low tally reflected just how little presence Gasol carried with the ball in his hands. Like all stats, +/- must always be taken with a grain of salt and actual eyeballs on the game. That said, Pau's -29 (the lowest of any Laker) only feels inaccurate because it actually seems too high.
Defensively, neither was able to properly protect the rim. Gasol embodied this tendency with a horrible and-1 foul committed on a lazy reach after reacting late to Faried running a backdoor baseline cut to the rim. To Bynum's credit, he certainly worked the glass, collecting 16 rebounds in all. But that control of the glass didn't translate into any tangible control of the game, and the evidence of Bynum being able to do so is clearly established. Especially with Kobe Bryant battling severe stomach sickness, this was a game where Gasol and Bynum absolutely needed to impose their collective wills. Neither succeeded even remotely well enough.