Irish Coffee: Interpreting Celtics vs. Lakers
|01.31.11 at 1:07 pm ET|
Wake up with the Celtics and your daily dose of Irish Coffee …
Considering all the stars on and off the court — for both teams — at Sunday’s game between the Celtics and Lakers, you would’ve thought there’d have been some great Twitter messages in the aftermath of the C’s 109-96 victory at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. There wasn’t, so I made them up anyway. Here’s my interpretation of what the players and celebrity fans should’ve Tweeted throughout the finals rematch:
- Matt Damon: “The Celtics are showing ‘True Grit’. The Lakers are playing like True …”
- Jimmy Kimmel: “I’m feeling Matt Damon.”
- Ron Artest: “Is this my second season with the Lakers? Time to check out.”
- Phil Jackson: “I’m going to kill Ron Art– (deep breath) Serenity now!!!”
- Kobe Bryant: “The ring I bought my wife and Artest’s contract cost the same. And I’m sorry for both.”
- Robert Rodriguez: “Black Mamba seems like a strange nickname for a guy who was once arrested for sexual assault, but let’s go with it Kobe!”
- Derek Fisher: “A cheerleader blew me a kiss, and I thought I got shot. I flopped like 10 feet backwards!”
- Zac Efron: “Who’s worse at acting: Me or Fisher?”
- Paul Pierce: “The only way I could’ve made this win better is to get the wheelchair involved.”
- Adam Sandler: “KG told a ballboy he had a better chance of catching Bin Laden than getting an autograph? Was it Bobby Boucher? ‘Stop making fun of me!’”
- Kevin Garnett: “It wasn’t a good week for me and things that hold balls. Just ask Channing Frye.”
- George Lopez: “Wait, why aren’t I rooting for the Nuggets? They have Eduardo Najera!”
- Glen Davis: “Coach told me to treat Odom and Andrew Bynum like a bowl of gumbo. Eat ‘em up. Ayo!”
- Lamar Odom: “I’m not sure whose badonkadonk is bigger: Big Baby’s or Khloe Kardashian‘s.”
- John Lackey: “Who’s better looking: Me or Semih Erden?”
- Brooklyn Decker: “I love basketball. How many touchdowns does Kobe have? Oh, and who’s better looking: Me or John Lackey’s wife?”
- Joey Crawford: “Wait, Kendrick Perkins is back? (whistle) Technical foul, No. 43.”
- Kendrick Perkins: “Two technicals in two nights. I’m in midseason form!”
CONTRASTING CELTICS & LAKERS
There’s no “I” in Kobe Bryant, but there should’ve been on Sunday. Thankfully, for the Celtics’ sake, Bryant reverted to his 2005 self. You know, the guy who tried to win games all by himself as his team failed to make the playoffs. And it played right into the hands of the Celtics, who coincidentally do have an “I” in their name.
The contrasting styles — the C’s playing as a team; the Lakers playing as individuals — were clear to anybody who watched Sunday’s game, and even clearer when you looked at the box score afterwards:
- The Celtics’ true shooting percentage? 67.4 percent.
- Pierce, Allen and Garnett made 28-of-42 shots (66.7 percent).
- Bryant took more shots (29) than Gasol, Odom and Bynum combined (27).
- Courtesy of Red’s Army: From 7:20 to 0:44 in the fourth quarter, Bryant took every shot but one (a Gasol tip-in attempt off a missed Bryant jump shot). In that span, the C’s lead doubled.
- Perkins led the Celtics in plus/minus at +13. Gasol (-20) ranked last among Lakers.
- Garnett grabbed as many rebounds as Gasol and Bynum combined (13).
- There was a 26-rebound swing from Game 7 (without Perkins) to Sunday (with Perkins).
- Rondo had five more assists in the second half (15) than the Lakers had for the entire game (10).
- The Celtics had nearly as many assists as a team (34) than the Lakers had field goals (36).
- The Lakers have shot 29 more free throws than the C’s (64-35) in the last two games called by Crawford.
- Bryant’s 41 points and zero assists produced, well, 41 points; Rondo’s 10 points and 16 assists produced 48 points (he assisted on six 3-pointers).
Paul Flannery’s Three-Pointer sums up what Sunday’s victory means going forward: “The Celtics’ performance Sunday proved that as of this moment they are the team to beat in the NBA. On their best day, and this may have been it, no one can even come close to matching them.”
REACTION FROM LOS ANGELES
The postgame comments from the Lakers were pretty tame, as Bryant & Co. pretty much stuck to the mantra that they need to play better against elite teams. But Phil Jackson is always good for a one-liner or two:
- On what Shaq brings to the Celtics (via the L.A. Times): “Humor. I think there must be something, but I’m not going to go there.”
- On whether Artest showed up late to the stadium (also via the L.A. Times): “No, he was on time. He got lost on the court.”
- On the Lakers’ struggles (via ESPN.com): “Is it the playoffs yet? No. OK. It’s not the playoffs yet, we’re still playing regular season games. We’ll get there in time.”