The NBA Finals Recap: Game Five

GAME FIVE

West’s Los Angeles Lakers versus East’s Boston Celtics (86-92)

(Celtics lead series 3-2)

Last Celtic home game of the season. Yes, the crowd was fired up.

The Celtics went off on a torrid start, shooting 3-straight field goals. The Lakers would then start to toughen up. Both Andrew Bynum and Derek Fisher were making unbelievable plays after another. Kobe Bryant would then add some of points in the scoreboard as well. A KG-Rondo-Pierce trio led the Celtics in the 1st Quarter. The quarter went back-and-forth. In the end, the Celtics would seize the lead, a 20-22 1st Quarter lead over the Lakers.

The 2nd Quarter was similar, as well. The Boston bench, who apparently sparked the Game 4 win, didn’t play stellar. Glen Davis and Nate Robinson, combine for 4 points only. Other than that, The Boston starting line-up made up for the inconsistency of the bench. 45-39 Boston at the half.

The 2nd half got a lot more interesting. The Black Mamba scored on all cylinders like it was an ocean. He scored 19 straight points at a time for his team. Sadly, Basketball is a team game. The other Lakers never contributed in the 3rd. Only Ron Artest, Pau Gasol and The Machine contributed. However, they contributed below than 10 points. On the other side, the Boston Celtics were just scoring bucket-after-bucket. No one can stop each and every single one of them, who stepped on the court. KG and Paul Pierce went on a scoring-tear. The Celtics’ Defense looked so inevitable. Even Tony Allen blocked a 7′ footer, named Pau Gasoft, err, Pau Gasol.

In the 4th Quarter, we saw Rajon Rondo do this:

-Yes, I too say it’s surreal.

A 21-19 4th Quarter would seal the victory for the Boston Celtics.

Hustle plays and Defense made the Celtics look inescapable. Throughout the night, we saw both of these in play. Now, the series shifts back to the City of the Angelic. Will we see L.A. have another ‘Bean Town Hang-Over’, or shall we see the Lakers push the series to Game 7? I say ‘Go Celtics!’.

PHOTO CREDITS:

1) Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Getty Images

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Q&A Session: Lucas Shapiro – The Celtics’ NBA Final Preview

Well, this is kinda late. Sorry.

Yes, the Boston Celtics. We all know them. They’re not as championship-hyped this year. But, hey, they proved everyone wrong. After winning against the Heat, the Cavs and the Magic, they’ve made a bold statement to the league and us, the fans. Remember the 2nd-half of the season? They were playing horrid. Finishing 4th in the Eastern Conference standings. Albeit, they still have that experience inside their team. And obviously, the Playoffs is a different scenario now. They’ve woke up and they’re now much more energized than ever before. Now, their against their all-time rival, the Los Angeles Lakers.

I brought in my good friend, Lucas Shapiro, who actually is my 1st boss in the NBA blogosphere. Anyway, he’s best-known for his works in Bleacher Report as a Featured Columnist and in Dimemag.com as an Intern. He is also Real Sports Net’s Director of Content in the NBA area.

The Q’s are in Orange while L-Shap’ anwsers are in Celtic green.

Way before the Playoffs started, Celtics weren’t even in talks being in the NBA Finals. How does it feel seeing your Celtics be back in the limelight after a 1-year absence and proving those analysts and haters wrong?

I’m happy for them. I definitely did not see this coming. I thought they were going to be gone in the first round since they were not playing hard at the end of the season. I guess the new trend of taking the second half of the season off has worked for them.

This team is completely different from the NBA’s regular season. With your guys getting rejuvenated and all, have you even expected them to wake up?

I thought they wouldn’t wake up. I was watching how poorly Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett were playing and I thought they didn’t have a chance this year.

What are Boston’s keys to win these series?

Their main problem is rebounding. They are not the tallest team, so their key is to box out. That means everyone too, not just the big man. Everyone needs to crash the boards, force L.A to only take one shot on each possession. If they can do that, they can win the series.

When the season started, we saw a different Rajon Rondo. He garnered an All-Star performace in Dallas early in the year. Not only that, he also lead the league in steals; earning him a spot in the All-NBA Defensive team. Now, the Celtics main concern is him being limited. How does this affect the team’s play and how do the Celtics bounce back from this?

I always knew Rajon Rondo was going to be a great player ever since the beginning of the 2008 season. The lack of a consistent three-point shot can be a problem only if Ray Allen and Paul Pierce are missing shots. We saw Allen and Pierce go 0-6 from the three-pointer in Game 1 and that is one of the reasons why Rondo was less effective.


The Celtics are renowned for players, who contribute unexpectedly. Players like Glen Davis (HEAT series), ‘Sheed (CAVS series) and Nate Robinson (MAGIC series) headline the list. Now, which specific Celtic is gonna breakout and be the X-Factor in the team’s quest for Championship #18?

I really think that Tony Allen is the key to the series. It was mentioned on Dimemag.com recently and I completely agree. The Lakers don’t pay attention to the Celtics role players and Allen is the type of guy who can pick up the tempo and expose the Lakers’ lack of speed.

I’ve read your article on Bleacher Report about the 2010 NBA Finals. And I saw you picked the Celtics in 6. Why is that? Just to let the readers know.

(I actually picked the Celtics in 7) I think the Celtics have better chemistry and toughness. Everyone is talking about how the Lakers became tough. I don’t really believe it. They won one game! Call me biased but I think it takes more than one game to show your true colors.

I think that’s about everything, man. Anything else to say?

I’d say check my stuff out at Bleacher Report and Dimemag.com (*Click the links).You have a great site Mark and I’ll be sure to check it out. Keep up the great work.

Thanks! I really appreciate the time you gave us. Don’t give up on writing, Lucas. You’re bound for ESPN or any supreme Sports network out there in a few years.

PHOTO CREDITS:

Brian Babineau/NBAE/Getty Images

Elsa/Getty Images

Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images

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Follow Mark On Twitter (@InOutNBAMacGelo)

Shoot me an email at cualocsin12@gmail.com

Witnessing The End of Cleveland Basketball?

Nike calls us LeBron’s witnesses, right? Well, after losing the series against the Celtics, do we even bother to watch Cavalier games now? I for one, say ‘we still should’. The only reason why – Lebron James. Watching the King is like amazing. He’s fun to watch. Great basketball player. He can shoot, pass and rebound. But there are also negatives about him. I mean, he’s a complete player and all. But, come playoff time? It’s like the team doesn’t get the leadership from him. Also, Lebron has heard of criticism from the media and the fans. 2 rumors that is. 1 – Talks about him wearing the leaving the Cavs. And 2 – His mother Gloria sleeps with Delonte West, a fellow Cavalier. It may have affected the King during the Boston series, which they lost. It would be a totally different ‘Bron without those. Hence, those two horrid setbacks at home may have been avoided. Being regarded as one of the best players in the game today, it’s like his the only one who makes the team what it is today. It’s not like Mo Williams or even Shaq takes over once his cold. Even if his cold, he passes the ball well.

As i’ve said Lebron is a complete player, per se. With that said, a lot of teams out there are interested in his service. Particularly, the Knicks, the Nets, the Bulls, the Heat. And maybe, even the Clippers. If you’re a die-hard fan of the Cavs, you’re gonna feel more light-headed now. LeBron has cited in his interview with Larry King, that he’s given the Cavs the edge in Free Agency. He’s still weighing his options, though. We’ll talk more about this later.

Now, the Cavs have fired head coach Mike Brown. Can we say he’s responsible for the two horrid years? Yes. Fact: He doesn’t distribute minutes well to his players. That was the case with Shaq after losing in the Boston series. Shaq would complain and later they would exchange words in the locker room. Even LBJ can’t keep his mouth shut, the players are blaming him. For me, it’s a good thing he’s gone. It’s always a ‘No LeBron, No Cavs’ situation without the King. The Lakers are the complete opposite. I can’t believe i’m saying this but when Kobe was hobbled with injuries earlier the season, every Laker was contributing and everyone seems to step-up. Gosh, i’ll confess this sin right away. Anyway, let’s go back to the topic.

This team has been in NBA Finals talks since 2009. Instead, confidence took over. 2009 was just unacceptable for the Cavaliers. A surprising Orlando Magic team clinched an appearance on the NBA Finals after winning the series against the Cavs. And, it would all start from there. 3 weeks ago, the Celtics got the Cavaliers on a wreck. How would next season look like if Shaq and Z (retirement talks) aren’t in the roster? What about LeBron? Rest assured this is a long, long offseason. And most of the top-tier players are most likely to put pen into paper during August. From Cleveland celebrities singing “We Are Lebron” to L.A. Clipper fans parading for him, nothing gets more exciting than seeing him pick one team this offseason.

I’ve got one last thing to say. The Cleveland Cavaliers have two phases in a season -play great and choke. 2008 and 2009 had a lot of connections. Done.

I am so waiting for Anderson Varejao being an All-Star next year. Oops! Went out of my mouth. 😀

Check this out!

PHOTO CREDITS:

1) Jim Rogash/Getty Images

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Q&A Session: Rey Moralde – The Lakers’ NBA Final Preview

June 2008, the Los Angeles Lakers suffered a tough loss in Game 6 of the NBA Finals to the Boston Celtics. It’s been two years now since that horrid setback happened. And the Lakers have just won their 15th Championship last year. Now, their roster is a lot more different now from 2008. Seeing the departures of Trevor Ariza and Ronny Turiaf. They added the likes of Ron Artest, Shannon Brown and Josh Powell. Not only there roster has changed, their plays form 2008 and 2010 have a lot of differences. The Lakers have utilized their Big Men more. And Kobe Bryant is now a complete player. And when I say ‘complete’, it means he’s now passing and assisting while shooting a great percentage on the floor.

They’re rematch is now set with the Boston Celtics on Thursday (9:00PM EST, 6:00PM PST). The Celtics, who have found they’re winning-swagger back, fought through championship-caliber teams. And we even didn’t expect them to be in the NBA Finals back then. It was more like Magic or Cavaliers winning the East. But hey, there’s a saying “Expect the unexpected”.

In this Q&A session, I bring in my good friend, Rey Moralde, the lead writer of  TheNoLookPass.com and the host of the Chronicles of Crotty Podcast. He’s an LA guy. So obviously, he loves the City of the Angelic. You can follow him on Twitter too. Here’s his Twitter handle, @TheNoLookPass.

The Q’s are in orange while Mr. Moralde’s answers are in Laker purple.

Let’s get started.

Now that it’s all said and done, LA is set to meet Boston in the NBA Finals. How does it feel, Rey?

I waited two years for this. It’s probably dumb for me to say this but the title last year didn’t feel as special. I wanted it to be won at the expense of Boston. Orlando was a much better match-up for the Lakers last year because they’re not as physical as the Celtics. So, yeah, I’m glad it’s back on this time around. This is, after all, the most storied rivalry in NBA history

After a 1 year absence, the Celtics are back in the NBA Finals. And every baller knows that the Lakers know them pretty well. As a Laker fan, what aspect should the Lakers improve in to avoid a similarity of the 2008 NBA Finals?

Don’t be afraid to face the Celtics defense. The Celtics defense tends to bully every opponent and the Lakers have done a better job of withstanding them in the regular season games after that embarrassing 2008 series loss. L.A. should be physical back. The frontcourt is key to their success. Pau Gasol doesn’t want to get any more LAME nicknames like “Gasoft”, right? Right.

Are you afraid that the Lakers’ bench might go through an icy-slump? And does Andrew Bynum’s inconsistency affect the Lakers’ play?

Well, the bench has had its ups and downs. Hopefully, they’ll play a little bit of defense and hit some big shots (remember Sasha Vujacic had 20 points in Game 3 of the 2008 NBA Finals). Bynum’s health is real key to the Lakers winning. He is a big body and is most capable of being physical against the Boston bigs. He didn’t do a good job on rotating on defense in the Phoenix series and that’s mostly because of his bad knee. Hopefully, he can bear it for one last series.

Who is the Lakers’ X-Factor? And why?

Easy. Lamar Odom. You don’t know what you’re going to get from Lamar Odom. One game, he’ll have an outstanding 17 and 15 game. The next, he’ll suddenly give you only 4 and 4. He HAS to perform big against the Celtics in order for the Lakers to have a chance. Remember that he got huge criticism (along with Gasol) when he didn’t play well overall in the 2008 NBA Finals.

Rajon Rondo, who is arguably the best Celtic of 2010, is now playing like a Superstar. Does he scare you?

I don’t know anyone that is not frightened by this guy’s ability. And the Laker point guard defense is well-documented. Rondo’s going to run circles all over Derek Fisher, Shannon Brown, and Jordan Farmar. I assume Kobe Bryant is going to get a shot at him as well as Ron Artest. Obviously, the Lakers are well-served to let him be a scorer the same way Lakers tried to do with Steve Nash but everyone should be wary of what Rondo’s playmaking skills can do.

The Lakers, who are in their 3rd-straight appearance in the NBA Finals, are seeking a repeat. Is there some kind of pressure for your guys?

All of the guys on the roster have won a ring except for Artest. With that said, I’m sure Kobe wants to cement his legacy by beating the Celtics in the NBA Finals. Not only that but he’s seeking his 5th ring. I think it’s more of what Kobe can add to his already hall-of-fame career. And the Lakers have wanted Boston for a while now. I don’t really think there’s any pressure, per se.

Can I ask what your final verdict for the NBA Finals or would you like to keep it a secret?

I just want to see the Lakers win. 🙂

Finally, anything else to say? Shoutouts? Your fellow Laker fans? The Celtics’ fans? Who?

Just enjoy the series. It’s rare for a Finals rematch to happen in the free agency era. Because I bet 10 years from now… heck, even 5 years from now… we’ll all be clamoring for this series again when these teams are no longer together.

PHOTO CREDITS:

1) Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Getty Images

2) Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE/Getty Images

3) Garrett Ellwood/NBAE/Getty Images

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Follow Mark On Twitter (@InOutNBAMacGelo)

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NBA Playoff Recap 5/27: Ron Artest Plays Superhero For Lakers; Suns Now Trail 3-2.

GAME FIVE

3rd-seed Phoenix Suns vs. 1st-seed Los Angeles Lakers

(101-103)

The Lakers and the Suns started a little bit rusty in the 1st Quarter. Neither team would make a field goal until 10:23. And that’s a Steve Nash three. After that, it became a battle of point guards. Steve Nash and Derek Fisher would make shots back-and-forth. Derek Fisher notched 11 points and Steve Nash registered 8 1st Quarter points. Grant Hill played tenacious D, resulting to 2 blocks and a steal. Grant Hill also hoisted a three. Amar’e Stoudemire had 2 blocks as well with 5 points. Pau Gasol would follow after Derek Fisher’s 11 points. He had 7 points. It was a close match-up after 1 Quarter. 23-21 Lakers.

Kobe Bryant, who had only 2 points in the 1st Quarter, scored 13 2nd Quarter points. And, the Black Mamba game-face was seen early in the 2nd. He was bombing from the three-point line. After making 3 threes, the Lakers would extend the lead to 16. After that, it was Lamar Odom for 3 minutes. Odom scored 10 points in that Quarter. The Suns were able to slow the momentum and make the game alot more interesting by dipping the lead to 9. Props to Amar’e and Steve Nash for that. Grant Hill and Jason Richardson would also help ’em out. 54-45 Lakers lead after the 1st half.

Early 3rd Quarter, The Lakers continued their scoring onslaught. Kobe Bryant scored 8 points. Derek Fisher and Pau Gasol combined for 9 points. But, the Suns never showed signs of submitting. With 2:28 left in the 3rd Quarter, Jared Dudley slips in a tough lay-up. And then he gets a 4-point play to go. Speaking of Jared Dudley, he would later end with 10 points. Afterwards, Channing Frye would add a three taking the lead down to 6. The Suns would later rejoice after that 3rd Quarter.

The Lakers would start the 4th Quarter quick. A Lamar Odom lay-up would be followed by a Kobe Bryant three. The Lakers stretched the lead from 6 to 11. They would continue afterwards. The Lakers hit jump shot after jump shot. Then, Steve Nash would then become a scoring machine. He would score on tough ones. He also managed to cut the lead to 3 with an And-1 play. Now, it’s still Lakers with a 92-95 lead. Amar’e Stoudemire would narrow the game with a deuce. Well, it’s 94-95. And one of the Lakers should step-up. Enter Derek Fisher. He shoots a jump shot. Nash would come back with two-jumpers while Lamar Odom would go past the Suns’ big men for a deuce. Now, the Suns are seeing a 3-point lead. Both Nash and J-Rich would miss both their threes. But, Jason Richardson managed to bank in a three in his 2nd attempt with 3.5 ticks left. It made the Laker crowd a bit silent. Laker Timeout. Kobe Bryant would shoot an ill-advised three, thus an airball. But, luckily Ron Artest would grab the loose-ball and would shoot the basket off the board at the buzzer. The Laker fans can feel it now, a third-straight NBA Finals appearance. The Staples Center just got wild and crazy. Final score: 101-103 Lakers.

Kobe Bryant finished with 30 points, 11 rebounds and 9 assists. He is now playing complete, rather than just scoring. Ron Artest or LA’s hero, scored 4 points, that’s just about everything he got in the scoreboard. Pau Gasol had 21 points and 9 rebounds. Lamar Odom scored 17 points while hauling 13 rebounds. Andrew Bynum, who is not playing good as a player due to his injury, had 2 points and 7 rebounds. Steve Nash is the Phoenix Suns’ leading scorer and assister with 29 points and 11 rebounds. Amar’e had 19 points and 4 rebounds. The Phoenix Suns’ bench only had Frye and Jared Dudley as their best contributors. They combine for 26 points.

Series now shifts back to the Valley of the Sun. Will the Lakers head back to the NBA Finals for their title defense or should the Phoenix Suns get their chance to compete for the crown? Only answerable once the series ends. We have up-to-date news in here. Stay tuned for more updates.

There was this pic scattered all over the ‘net. And, it’s absolutely false. My friend, Rey Moralde of TheNoLookPass.com, told me to check a video from ESPN.com and he was absolutely right. Props to him for proving this picture wrong.

PHOTO CREDITS:

1) Jeff Gross/NBAE/Getty Images

2) @ZoDogg34/Twitter/TwitPic

VIDEO CREDITS:

1) Studio727/YouTube

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NBA Playoff Recap 5/25: LA-Phoenix Series Gets More Interesting; All tied at 2

GAME FOUR

1st-seed Los Angeles Lakers vs. 3rd-seed Phoenix Suns

(106-115)

Both teams started off sluggish. Like Game 2, Alvin Gentry’s zone defense was seen early in the game. And as always, the Lakers would try to make it look futile. The Lakers went to the paint mercilessly using their height to their advantage. They were also hoisting jumpers. Ron Artest leads the Lakers with 6 points in the 1st. Kobe Bryant played facilitator, with some 3 assists. The Suns defense was a bit useless, but their offense was perfect. Grant Hill had 6 points, followed by Jason Richardson with 5 points. Channing Frye still continued his icy-slump in the 1st. We’ll talk more about him later. Both teams were locked at 23 apiece after the 1st Quarter.

The 2nd Quarter was like a bonanza for the Suns. Their explosive bench, went out fiery. And when I say bench, I mean the likes of Jared Dudley, Louis Amundson, Leandro Barbosa, Goran Dragic and Channing Frye. Jared Dudley starts the 2nd, with a three at 11:43. Leandro Barbosa comes next, Louis Amundson follows and then Goran Dragic. Finally, the main story is all about Channing Frye. He broke out from his icy-slump. On the other hand, Kobe Bryant fried some of his Kobe Beef on the court. He scored 15 points in the Quarter alone. The Suns dominated the 2nd Quarter with 41 points. Mostly coming from the 5 bench producers mentioned above. The Lakers would trail after 2 Quarters with a 64-55 Suns lead.

As always, Kobe Bryant will deliver anytime for the Lakers. He scored 16 3rd Quarter points. Only 2 players from the Suns’ team had field goals.Namely, Robin Lopez and Amar’e Stoudemire. Robin Lopez made 2 tip shots. And Amar’e pretty much was everywhere. He was shooting on different angles on the court. Steve Nash and Goran Dragic also contributed in the free throw line. The Lakers would make the game alot more interesting after 3.

The Suns’ bench was inevitable for the Lakers, both on defense and on offense. Their defense was quite great, and their production went to another level. They scored a combine 54 points throughout the game. The Suns would later orchestrate an 18-6 run. Behind, Jared Dudley’s and Leandro Barbosa’s back-to-back threes. At the end of the game, the Lakers would lose all hope. The Suns tie the series with a 115-106 victory.

Kobe Bryant garnered some attention with his 38 points, 7 rebounds, 10 assists performance. For some reason, he has been dishing out the ball more often now. Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom followed Kobe’s performance with 15 points apiece. As mentioned earlier, the Second Five or the Phoenix Suns’ bench combined for a 54-point performance. Amar’e Stoudemire, who had a 42 point, 11 rebound performance during Game 3, finished with 21 points and 8 rebounds. Steve Nash had 15 points and 8 assists.

The series now heads back to the City of the Angelic. Game 5 is set on Thursday. Don’t miss it!

PHOTO CREDITS:

1) Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Getty Images

2) Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

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@InOutNBAMacGelo

HHC Talks to NBA Players: Ronny Turiaf

First of all, we would like to announce that, one of our favorite players, Ronny Turiaf, is now on Twitter. So, anyone who applauds his energetic play on the court, follow him. This guy loves to entertain his followers. A month ago, he kindly followed me and we even made a little chit-chat about the recent happenings in the NBA.

As of March 25, he’s already come up with 907 tweets. Way back then, he asked some of his followers about getting verified in Twitter, and he also made a contest, in which the winner, who gives him the most followers will win a signed jersey by Ronny, himself. I, who also is a fan, also joined, but I have struggled to the other competitors. I might not win that jersey, but I call it already a milestone of having Ronny Turiaf as one of my followers. It appears that for every mention he gets, he always replies. Now, that’s a 100% reply rating. Hoops Head Central is glad to give him a shoutout. Keep doing what you do, Ronny, because we love it.

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Here was our conversation about a month ago on Twitter:

Mark Locsin: Spurs win Game 3! Oh yeah, we have the lead in the series.

Ronny Turiaf: great series right there!!!!!!!

Mark Locsin: I see! Great pick, Ronny. Where do you think will the Spurs end their season? Semi’s? Conference Finals? NBA Finals?

Ronny Turiaf: tough to say….. conference finals… at least

Mark Locsin: Good pick there, so you’re saying they can’t get past the Lakers?

Ronny Turiaf: not at all. i just dont know this playoffs are so intense and crazy anything can happen. you know.. but lakers are so tough

Mark Locsin: Since you’re saying Lakers are tough, do you even miss being a Laker?

Ronny Turiaf: of course. but more so the friendship with my old teammates those guys were like my brothers. but business is business

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Follow Ronny Turiaf on Twitter: @MadininaRonny21

Follow Mark Locsin on Twitter: @InOutNBAMacGelo

Don’t forget to comment down low.

NBA Playoff Recap 5/24: Magic Avoid Broom Service.

GAME FOUR

2nd-seed Orlando Magic vs. 4th-seed Boston Celtics

(96-92)

The Magic and the Celtics started off hot, and I mean scorching hot. Both teams made shots back-and-forth. The Magic were pretty balanced in scoring with Matt Barnes leading the way. He made 2 threes in the 1st Quarter alone, plus 1 deuce, ending with 8 points. Jameer Nelson had 7 points and 3 assists. Dwight Howard with 6 points. The Truth, Paul Pierce scored 12 1st Quarter points. I have nothing to say about the 2nd Quarter, since most of the happenings happened in the other half. Magic lead 51-47 after 2 Quarters.

3rd Quarter starts Matt Barnes makes the 1st bucket of the 2nd half with 11:20 ticks in the clock. A scuffle between Kevin Garnett and Dwight Howard ensued. Only KG was given a technical. Celtics’ fans didn’t like it one bit. But, they were fired up. The crowd shouted chants of ‘Defense!’. The Celtics put it in their mindsets. Results were Defense turning into Offense. Kevin Garnett had his game-face on and he looked motivated. Sadly, he went 0/7 until the end of the game. Ray Allen scored 7 points in the 3rd Quarter alone. Dwight Howard also scored 6 , with some 3 rebounds.

The 4th Quarter was one hell of a quarter in the last few minutes, Glen Davis contributed alot and the Celtics thought they could win the game. Jameer Nelson and Dwight Howard worked together, and they seem to know what the other was doing. They take an 85-78 lead after the combined effort. Paul Pierce would rally the crowd for one last time, with a strong flush to the basket. It followed with a Ray Allen three, and an And-1 from the Truth. Game was again tied. Rajon Rondo, who was pretty quiet in the game, stealed the orange away from Jameer Nelson. And Celtics’ fans knew the game-winning shot would go to the hands of Paul Pierce. Ray Allen found an open shot. Sadly, Paul Pierce wanted an isolation play. Magic doubles him, he loses the handle and we head to Overtime–the 1st Overtime of the 2010 NBA Playoffs.

Overtime, no one scores after 2:18 minutes. Until, Jameer Nelson made back-to-back threes. Ray Allen would release his skills from his arsenal, shooting 2 threes too. In the end, Dwight Howard was too much. He would ice the game at 96-92 with an And-1. Paul Pierce also was nothing in that OT. In the end, the Magic celebrate a well-deserved win. Game 5 is on Wednesday.

PHOTO CREDITS

1) Elsa/Getty Images

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@InOutNBAMacGelo

NBA Playoff Recap 5/23: Suns avoid 0-3 series — Lakers lose.

GAME THREE

1st-seed Los Angeles Lakers vs. 3rd-seed Phoenix Suns

(109-118)

Both teams started fiery. The Suns looked for Amar’e to score easy points. And he used Andrew Bynum’s fouls to his advantage. STAT finished with 9 points and 3 rebounds in the 1st Quarter alone. Kobe Bryant pretty much did his work, scoring 15 points in the 1st alone. The Lakers and the Suns were playing ball like it was UNO, a back-and-forth battle. Alvin Gentry adjusted the Suns’ defense, making them execute zone defense more often. And it was successful. The Suns end the 1st half with a 15-2 run, with a 54-47 lead.

The 3rd Quarter starts, Derek Fisher becomes unstoppable. He scores 11 points in the 3rd alone. Ironically, the Suns’ players were just willingly driving down the basket, with Bynum in foul trouble. The other Laker bigs were not playing like they used to, particularly Lamar Odom. Pau Gasol only made 1 block. Kobe still was doing business, Ron Artest was helping out. The Lakers trimmed the lead down to two after three quarters.

Amar’e Stoudemire went on a tear the whole game, scoring 42 points and hauling 11 rebounds. He was too much for the Lakers to handle. He went inside willingly, and he converted he’s oppurtunities. The Suns’ 42 FT’s compared to the Lakers’ 20 FT’s helped the Suns’ causes as well. The Lakers lead the turnover ratio, having 17:7 turnovers against the Suns. The Phoenix Suns might’ve been blessed by the Basketball Gods to win this.

Amar’e Stoudemire, who scored 42 points and had 11 rebounds, lead the Suns in scoring and in rebounding. Meanwhile, Steve Nash, who averaged 14.0 assists/game coming to the game, had 15 assists and 17 points. Kobe Bryant had 36 points. And yes, he played facilitator again with 11 assists. Pau Gasol added 23 points and 9 rebounds. Oops! I almost forgot, Robin Lopez scored 20 points and had a block. Adam Morrison, DND-CD — why’d I even say this? Nevermind!

Lakers lead series 2-1. Planet Orange hosts Game 4 on Tuesday. And they need to win it so badly. Stay tuned for updates, here in HHC.

PHOTO CREDITS:

1) AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin

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@InOutNBAMacGelo

The Big O’ Transactions: Doug Collins Gets Philly’s Coaching Nod

After 7 years of broadcasting for TNT, Doug Collins will be seen once again on the sidelines, this time with the Philadelphia 76ers. This move forces him to vacate broadcasting duties at TNT. Some sources say that the contract will be likely a 4-year deal. Team President Ed Stefanski interviewed 2 more coaches with experience, specifically former Dallas head coach Avery Johnson and former Raptors head coach Sam Mitchell, and some NBA assistant coaches too, but the 58-year old emerged as the victor. He is the 1st offseason move of the Sixers, if I might add.

Yes, that’s Michael Jordan

It was a man named Paul Douglas Collins, who played a vital role for MJ during his young years as a professional. So, if the Sixers pick either John Wall or Evan Turner, they know they’re in good hands. Finally, let’s pray for Doug’s succes in the Sixer’s bench. I hope he brings basketball back to the City of Brotherly Love. After all, the Sixers haven’t tasted NBA Playoff success since 2001. If the players mesh with his system, we’ll see them back at the Playoffs. But hey, it’s too early to predict. In the meantime GOOD LUCK, Doug. You’re gonna need it.

The 76ers’ organization will hold a conference on Friday discussing Doug Collin’s employment. The newly-crowned coach will answer some questions himself too.

Paul Douglas Collins, famously known as Doug Collins had an 8-year NBA career in which he averaged 17.9 points and 3.3 assists.He also garnered a Silver Medal in the 1972 Olympics. Yes, a silver medal. Now, he has had coaching stints with the Chicago Bulls, the Detroit Pistons and the Washington Wizards. He’s overall coaching record is 332-278.

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