"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

U-G-L-Y (You Ain’t Got No Alibi)

I don’t know if I’ve ever seen as unsightly a Game 7 as the one played last night between the Lakers and Celtics for the NBA title. At one point, Jeff Van Gundy said that it was one of the worst displays of offensive execution and one of the hardest, toughest defensive efforts too. The defense played by both teams was terrific, and the offense was horrid. Hear that clang? More paint being chipped off the rim. Kobe Bryant, Ray Allen, name the player, they all missed a ton of shots. Ron Artest turned out to be one of the heroes for the Lakers and he missed a lot of shots too (it is somehow fitting that a junkyard dog like Artest would be the key to victory in such an ugly game).

It was the kind of game that made you want to sit up and yell at the TV, “Can’t anybody make a jump shot?”

Bryant didn’t only miss, he forced the action and took bad shots in traffic. He turned the ball over. Phil Jackson said that Byrant was pressing; after the game, Bryant, who was named the Finals MVP, said that he was exhausted. It would have gone down as his worst moment as a pro had the Lakers lost. But the Celtics didn’t bury Los Angeles when they had the chance–up nine, up thirteen–and in the end the Lakers were just too long, and they dominated the boards.

Sure, the Lakers got some calls, but for the most part the refs let both teams play. And in the end, the Lakers survived their own offensive futility by hitting a few big shots down the stretch (including the expected lollipop three pointer from Derek Fisher) and finally made their free-throws.

It wasn’t pretty at all. In fact, this game felt like the demon child of the Pistons-Knicks Era style of mug-’em hoops. By the middle of the forth quarter, all of the players looked more like heavyweight fighters in the 15th round, as if they were moving under water. It was an agonizing game to watch, and yet as bad as the offense was, the game was always competitive, never boring. And the entire season came down to the final minutes between the Lakers and Celtics. In our imaginations it should have looked better, prettier, more spectacular, but you couldn’t have asked for more passion or determination.

Just for someone to nail an open jumper.

Lastly, great night for Queens, so okay, Ron Ron, I’ll say it: Queensbridge, baby:

[Photo Credit: Ronald Martinez, Jae C. Hong, Christian Petersen, Lisa Blumenfeld: Getty Images]

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1 a.O   ~  Jun 18, 2010 10:45 am

All that and one big Bahston CHOKE!

2 Raf   ~  Jun 18, 2010 10:51 am

"First of all, I want to thank everybody in my hood" - Ron Artest

3 RagingTartabull   ~  Jun 18, 2010 10:59 am

The 40 Side of Vernon Posse

what I said on the earlier thread:

I got home in time for most of the 2nd Half. I had been rooting for Boston mostly because I generally like their roster and I really can’t bring myself to root for Kobe and Phil (the GF was pulling for LA solely because of the Kardashian connection, I wish I was making this up). The game played out exactly as I thought it would except for the fact that Kobe was kinda non-descript. Not great, not bad, just so-so. If that had been the case and they lost then forget it as far as reaction goes, but they won so it’ll just be a footnote. I kinda felt for the Celtics as they had to know that this was the last hurrah for their main guys, gotta be a tough feeling knowing that theres pretty much no way you’re gonna get back next year.
Anyways, the real basketball season in NYC begins TODAY…go out and get him Donnie.

4 Start Spreading the News   ~  Jun 18, 2010 11:03 am

I think Boston lost the minute Perkins got hurt. Lakers got 23 offensive boards yesterday including a crucial one with 27 seconds left. Perkins could have kept Gasol off the boards better than an undersized Davis or a rapidly aging Garnett.

5 Alex Belth   ~  Jun 18, 2010 11:54 am

It was going to be an awful, awful, never-forget loss for whichever team lost. And their fans. Kobe creeps closer to Kareem and MJ for six titles but L.A. also survived him having a poor night shooting the ball. Hey, thing about MJ is, he won six titles, and six Finals MVP. Kobe is now at 5, with two MVPS. Okay, so he's not Michael. That's no sin. He's the best player post-Mike though. Remember when the NBA was looking for "the Next MJ" and how guys like Grant Hill and Penny Hardaway were unfairly burdened with those expectations? Well, Kobe is one the one guy who wanted those comparisons and if he hasn't reached MJ's level well, that's like saying Pujols isn't Ted Williams. (And I wonder if MJ was ever guarded as fiercely, even against the Knicks, as Kobe was in this series.) Five rings. One more than Shaq. He's the greatest player of the Post-Jordan Era, even though he had a relative stinker last night. Gasol is the man.

6 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Jun 18, 2010 7:38 pm

[5] Right on, AB. People who say "Kobe isn't MJ"..such a ridiculous discussion. NO ONE is Jordan. Kobe still a top-10 player.
I thought the game was fantastic, such incredible energy and oppressive D by both sides.

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver