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.
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.