Before last night’s Lakers-Celtics match-up, the supposed “experts” were gleefully saying that the much maligned Los Angeles front court would have a field day against the even less talented group in Boston, who similarly played little if any defense, but who provided even less offense. Could they have been any more wrong?
Turns out the Celtics’ group totally dominated the Lakers front court, with starters Jered Sullinger, Jeff Green and Tyler Zeller shooting an amazing 77% on 23-of-30 from the floor, while pulling down 31 rebounds, all in only 90 total minutes of playing time. Reserves Brandon Bass, Gerald Wallace and Kelly Olynyk kept up the pace with a decent four-of-11
|for an additional 11 points in 35 minutes. Contrast this to the "High-Powered" offense of the Los Angeles front court, that last night saw Carlos Boozer, Wesley johnson, Jordan Hill, Ed Davis, nick young and Robert Sacre combine for a loathsome 33% shooting, on 15-of-45, including one-of-six from three-point range. The bench was particularly awful, with no-conscience former trojan brain surgeon young combining with Sacre to hit on six of their 24 shot attempts (25%).||
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The Lakers made new Celtics’ starting center Zeller look like a future hall-of-fame candidate, as he hit a virtually uncontested ten-of-11, while grabbing 14 boards, in only 31 minutes on the court. The 24-year-old seven-foot SoCal naive who played at North Carolina who is averaging less than seven points and less than five rebounds per game over his two-plus seasons, the first two with Cleveland, was a monster last night. It was only Zeller’s fourth start at center for the Celts, and his 24 points were a career high.
Amid a week of rumors of Kobe Bryant supposedly recruiting Celtics’ point guard Rajon Rondo for a future with the Lakers, Rondo came close to a triple-double in only 31 minutes of playing time, with 12 points, eight boards, and 16 assists. The Lakers shoot-first, pass, well, never, offense, managed a total of only 14 assists in the entire game, a figure that was less than one-half of the winning Celtics’ total of 29.
Bryant scored 22 in the game, and drew within 100 of Michael Jordan’s career total of 32,292 points, which is third on the NBA’s list of all-time scorers.
The five-and-15 Lakers had their nice little two game winning streak, against the vastly over-rated Raptors who are far from actually being as good as their Eastern-Conference-inflated record would make you believe, and against a really bad Pistons’ team, end, and after now losing their last two, continue with a portion of their schedule that almost seems designed to give them a few more wins. Over their next six games, they play Minnesota,
Oh, there is also a game with San Antonio in that mix as well. Maybe the Lakers can learn something about defense and team play while watching Gregg Popovich’s Spurs run over, around, and through them. They certainly are learning nothing from their own coach, Byron Scott, who continues to resemble a zombie in a trance when on and around the bench during games.