Jackie MacMullan and Bob Ryan are nodding happily this morning, after Derek Fisher was the cold assassin last night, hitting huge shots in the fourth quarter to hold off the Celtics, and boost the Lakers to a 91-84 game three victory at the Garden last night.

I had heard both MacMullan and Ryan last week touting the numerous virtues of the veteran Lakers point guard, almost to an extreme. Their faith in him was rewarded with the Lakers win last night.

After his record setting performance in game two, it was bizarro Ray Allen on display last night as the Celtics guard went 0-13 from the field, including 0-8 from three point land.

Get the full links from this one over at CelticsLinks.com.

The officials were once again a main topic of discussion, and while they are not to blame for the end results of any of these games, they have made all three games horrible to watch. Any non-basketball fans who happen to tune into these games come away with a WWE-like impression.  

What makes things worse, is the NBA’s practice of releasing the names of  the officials assigned to the game on the day of the game. Why not announce them all before the series starts? To do it this way just makes it look like they assign specific officials to specific games based on what they think needs to be done, the environment in which the game is being played, or to “make up” for the previous game.

The NBA continues to keep their head in the sand on this topic, allowing the referees to be the show, rather than the players and the game. There’s no way Kobe Bryant should’ve had five fouls in game two, and there’s no way Paul Pierce should’ve have had five fouls last night. It’s actually so predictable so as to be laughable.  

There has been no flow to these games, no way to enjoy the immense talent and skills on both teams, simply because the officials have not allowed it. They’ve inserted themselves into the games, they’ve made themselves the focus, and for the NBA to stand by and let this happen to the two marquee franchise of the league is inexcusable.

 Believe it or not, the officials working these games are considered the league’s best.

Check out Jessica Heslam’s MediaBiz Blog where she has several media interviews from the game last night, including Charles Barkley, John Havlicek, Cedric Maxwell and Steve Burton.

No more predictions, Paul Pierce must rebound – Steve Bulpett says that unless the Captain can get himself going, his prediction of not going back to LA can still come true.

So Far, It’s Hit Or Miss – Jeff Jacobs says that it is silly to make any sort of prediction about this series.

Slip, sliding away – Paul Flannery notes that the series will come down to rebounding.

Rivers officially miffed at refs – Peter May has the Celtics coach airing some grievances following last night’s loss.

Imagine if the refs weren’t ruining the NBA finals – Jerry Thornton tries to imagine a world in which the refs didn’t try to make themselves the show.

Rollercoaster ride continues for Allen, Garnett – Michael Muldoon touches on a number of points from last night.

Pierce predicts team will bounce back – Frank Dell’Apa has Paul Pierce still confident in his team.

Celtics give away big chance in Game 3 – Tim Weisberg notes that what hurts the most about this one is not the loss, but the fact that this game, depsite not getting all of their weapons firing at the same time, was so winnable.

After disaster, there is a Ray of hope – Gary Washburn has Ray Allen at least glad to get another chance tomorrow night.

Perkins on the bench the entire fourth quarter – Julian Benbow’s notebook looks at why Kendrick Perkins was benched in the fourth quarter.

Red Sox

The Red Sox won their second straight in Cleveland, taking out the Indians 3-2 behind Tim Wakefield, who passed Roger Clemens on the all-time innings list in Red Sox history. Get all the links over at RedSoxLinks.com.

Wakefield honored to pass Clemens – Gordon Edes has the knuckleballer honored and humbled at being in the same company as Clemens.

The night Wakefield found his way … and his smile – Rob Bradford has Wakefield finally following his own reminders.

The joys of father-son – Michael Silverman with a nice look at Terry Francona getting a visit from his Dad Tito on Monday.

Family reunion for Martinez in Cleveland – Edes with a piece yesterday afternoon on the Red Sox catcher being reunited with the family that took him in when he first came to the United States.

A striking change in Buchholz – Amalie Benjamin’s notebook has maturity resulting in fewer strikeouts for Clay Buchholz.


12 thoughts on “Fisher Kills Celtics In Clutch

  1. The refs are killing this series.

    I felt good about the C's chances after three quarters, having climbed back to within six points and about to get Pierce back on the floor. But then less than a minute into the fourth quarter he gets whistled for his fifth while simply jostling with Artest for position (it was a classic "no call" situation, where both players were guilty)–he then had to sit for the next five minutes. Then after the C's got to within 1 point and had the ball with a chance to take the lead, Allen was whistled for an off-the-ball offensive foul.

    These guys are just taking over this series. It's ridiculous.

    Stern won't do anything about it. Something tells me that for some reason he enjoys the WWE references whenver the officiating in a game smells fishy.


    1. Being just a casual fan of hockey and basketball (I'm more of a die hard for Sox/Pats, MLB/NFL) it's amazing of how terrible a product the NBA is when compared to watching the hockey playoffs. The refs are ruining the game. It's now like watching 1/2 court basketball. When is the last time you've seen 3 or 4 trips down the court in a row without a whistle?


  2. Why not announce them all before the series starts? To do it this way just makes it look like they assign specific officials to specific games based on what they think needs to be done, the environment in which the game is being played, or to “make up” for the previous game.

    I dunno…. maybe because they ARE assigning specific officials to specific games based on what they think needs to be done?


    1. I distinctly remember that when the C's had a huge FT disparity in their favor in Game 2 of the 2008 Finals, Jackson whined and whined at the podium about the officiating (and purposely mispronounced Leon "Pow's" name, too). When the series shifted to LA for Game 3, Crawford and Salvatore were assigned to the crew, and the first 10 whistles of the game went against Boston…and NOBODY was at all surprised.

      Seriously, if Stern wants his league to be considered less like the WWE–a comparison I've heard raised more and more by fans all over the country over the last year–he should do something about this mess with his officials.


      1. Based on the facts you presented, this means Game 4 will be Gasol's turn to sit, since KG, Ray Allen, Kobe, Pierce, and Artest have all done time on the bench. This will give Boston the advantage and they will win the game barring extraordinary shooting by LA.

        This series was deemed a 7 game series from the start by the NBA and that is where it is going.


  3. I have a bunch of things going through my mind. A couple of which you could care less about but I need a place to vent this sight is perfect.

    1) I was watching the end of the Memorial Tournament on Sunday. Justin Rose of England who was a teen prodigy in the late 90's finally won his first tournament in the USA. Jim Nantz thought it was a good idea to thrust this upon us.

    "When the night has been too lonely and the road has been too long …
    Just remember in the winter
    far beneath the bitter snows
    lies the seed
    that with the sun's love
    in the spring
    becomes the rose" (thanks to Deadspin for writing down the words)

    That's right, he read words from Bette Midler's the Rose. Nantz tries way, Way, WAy, WAY too hard for sentimental approach to broadcasting. The only tears being shed were by those, like me, who were yelling, "Make him stop!!!"

    2) I am a huge horse racing fan, sue me. I grew up with it and have always loved it. I was so happy that ESPN was going to carry the Belmont. They are usually terrific. This year I would like to use Ken Fang's description of the telecast. It was an abortion! The features that were run, which were very good, were not run just once or twice but three times. Are you kidding me? ESPN/ABC actually skipped a major race, the Manhattan Handicap, in favor of one of the features. You mean, ESPN could not get more live interviews with jockeys, trainers or owners. Also ESPN, wanting to have a younger, hipper audience had the Belmont drop the quintessential N.Y. song, "New York, New York" for that awful Jay Z, Alicia Keys "Empire State of Mind" sung by some 16 year old Disney Star. Some folks in New Hampshire did a version of this song and called it "Granite State of Mind". I buried my head in shame as a citizen of the state.

    3) Michael Holley should have given himself an outstanding on Friday when he something that I have been saying since the late 70's. Yes I am old. Holley said, "Officials seem to make many calls based on what they think is going to happen as to opposed what really happens." Two great examples of this were in game two. The first Glen Davis's block of Andrew Bynum. It is as though the officials could never imagine a guy 6'7" could get up high enough and have the strength to block a 7'1" 295lbs. dunk attempt by Bynum, so they assume a foul has been committed. The second was on Kobe Bryant's fifth foul. Rajon Rondo was about to strip Bryant. Rondo lost his balance and fell out of bounds but a foul was called on Bryant who never touched him. It is as if the refs thought that Rondo was going to pushed out of bounds and called it without any visual evidence. When it comes to officiating in basketball, the game is in the midst of a huge conundrum. Officiating is poor at all levels of the game. From high school to college to the NBA, it is amazing how poorly the game is called. There is no consistency and each official has created their own rule book.

    4) I will now channel my inner Mark Twain when he said there were "lies, damned lies, and statistics". We have heard many media pundits say the following, "since the use of the 2-3-2 format and there has been a split in the first two games. The team that wins game three is 10-0." Is this statement true? yes. Does it means the series is over and we do need to watch anymore? Absolutely not. What the pundits fail to tell you is that only two of those series you could say were still up in the air. The 1988 finals between L.A. and Detroit which the Lakers won 4-3, a tremendous series in which both teams were very even. The other was the 1994 finals between Houston and New York which was a dreadful series. The only question was who was going to play worse to lose the game. The other eight series, the better team won. I include 1985, the first year of the 2-3-2 in which the Lakers won 4-2 but split the opening two games. What we did not know was that one Larry Bird got in a bar fight and broke his hand. I still feel he should have received more grief for that. I will not name the other series, the Wiki covers it nicely. But you will see teams like the Bulls, the Shaq era Lakers and the Spurs were much the better than their competition. I don't think you can say for certain that the Lakers are definitively better than the Celtics at all, unless you are T.J. Simers.

    A couple of quick questions.

    1) Is Rachel Nichols of ESPN stealing money? Discuss.

    2) I wonder how Canada feels now that the best play-by-play announcer is American Mike Emerick by a ton?

    Finally Vic "the brick" Jacobs was on F&M today. It was some of the best radio I have heard.

    I now need to ice my hands.


    1. You know, you can start your own blog on blogger.com or a number of other *sites* for free. In fact, if your blog is good enough, Bruce may post a daily link to your blog.


      1. I know, but as you can see my grammar is atrocious and I have no idea how Bruce is able to run a daily blog while working and having a kid. I just can't see myself doing this everyday.


        1. Blogs are not required to be a daily thing…unless that's what you say they're going to be at the outset. Shanghaiing someone else's blog, on the other hand, isn't cool.


  4. I hate NBA refereeing. Outside of some shaky calls in the NHL final last night, the NHL is far superior and consistent in the officials officiating than the NBA. O'Brien better thank his lucky stars the NHL is inflicted by Bettman, otherwise sports fans would abandon the NBA in droves for a more legitimate sport.


    1. Lance, did you mean David Stern or as Boston Mayor Mennino calls him Donald Sterns? I agree with you with regards toward Bettman. There are not too many more insufferable people in sports than Gary. I saw an interview with him on the CBC's Hockey Night In Canada. Ron MacClean did not do himself any favor crooning happy birthday to the smug one. Bettman was indignant that MacClean would ask questions about other teams finances during the finals. Gee Gary, maybe it's because there are five franchises teetering on bankruptcy that are all in the south that you felt were can't miss, while Canada has cities like Winnipeg and Hamilton all set to fill up stadiums, but you ignore them.


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