Boston Celtics 96, LA Lakers 89; “Big Baby” Glen Davis brings back the NBA Finals

  • Just an amazing game last night, and I’m thankful to both the Celtics and Lakers for restoring the parity and sheer excitement that should be synonymous with the NBA Finals.  The near-decade starting from the point Michael Jordan left Bryon Russell in his dust and ending with last year’s Lakers-Magic laugher was a blight upon the game; a historical anomaly causing most to plead with the league for some form of playoff realignment or induced parity.  That moment last night in the fourth when Boston reserves ran amuck, the TD Garden at its feet, was that which we have been craving for for so long – the sense of an epic tug-of-war pitting the league’s two-best at the highest stakes, each with little to no advantage.  That is the NBA Finals and at least for one year, it is back.
  • As is being mentioned on countless pages across the web, the Celtics owe this win to Glen “Big Baby” Davis and Nate Robinson who collectively, apart from a Napoleonesque mental misstep, were near perfect on the night, punishing the Lakers reserves with their odd physical powers.  On this night, strength and speed overcame height and length, reaffirming the sense of equality which I earlier discussed.
  • If you regularly frequent this page, you are aware that I am big on “moments” and none was more emblematic of last night’s emotion than the scene of “Big Baby” Davis frothing at the mouth after a made basket.  If the Celts go on to win, that sequence is what I and many others will go on to remember.  It hit home because it’s that same passion and hunger that we watched up-close for half a season from an undersized power forward of our own.  With Davis’ relentlessness on the boards, I saw last night what it would have been like to see Carl Landry playing in the fourth quarter of an NBA Finals.
  • I have to give major due to Van Gundy, Breen, and (begrudgingly) Jackson for their  establishment of the term “length” as designated in describing the Lakers’ defensive and offensive attack.  That’s the only word that truly captures the essence of a swarm of 7 footers at the basket – length. Regarding Bynum, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a 7 footer (I mean 7’even) who extends that long.  He has to be the longest player in the league.  It’s completely absurd when he goes to the turn-around as it appears as if he is almost putting the ball in the basket on the shot.  I can’t remember anyone else routinely getting that close to the hoop other than Shaq who was using power rather than length.
  • I’m really beginning to cement my “Kobe thesis.”  The Lakers guard hit a series of impossible jumpers en route to his 33 points, going 10-22 from the floor in the process.  Make no mistake, Kobe is easily the second greatest ‘2’ in history, easily better than Jerry West, Drexler or any other name thrown around, and I idolize/revere the overall life outlook signified in his pursuit of perfection, savoring every opportunity to watch him play, but….the base misunderstanding within his proponents is becoming clear.  It’s a basic confusion between talent and rank.  Bryant is invariably the most skilled player in this league (probably in history), but that doesn’t mean he’s necessarily the best. In their awe over aesthetic impossibilities, grasp of that distinction is lost, thus the employment of reductionist platitudes and outright rejection of real, quantifiable proofs/logic.
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