Sunday, June 8, 2008

Playing 5 on 8

Halftime of Game 2 of the NBA Finals, Boston up by 12. One of the worst officiated halves of basketball I have ever seen...pretty close to the first half of Lakers-Spurs, Game 4. Maybe more miserable because of the free throw disparity, 19-2. Leon Powe has 9 FT attempts. Normally, I'd assume that he got a bunch of offensive boards, and got fouled on put-back attempts. Nope. Powe has 1 FG attempt and 1 rebound...and 9 free throws.

The worst isn't even the fouls called on the Lakers, though at least 5 have been questionable (including all 3 on Kobe). The worst is the inconsistency. The Lakers can't touch a single Celtic, but the Celtics have to really mug a Laker to get called. I mean, the Lakers have had one - one! - shooting foul called for them.

This is tough to watch. Maybe the Celtics are better than the Lakers are. It's sure hard to tell, though, when they're taking players out of the game on touch fouls. I wish we could just have a real basketball game.

Kobe needs to drive more. Against the Celtics, he inexplicably refuses to go around Ray Allen. I know they are showing a second defender, but not even getting around Allen to challenge that second defender is a strange decision.

EDIT: Well, game pretty much over now. Lakers can't let themselves melt down like that. They let the horrible officiating get them out of their game. They have to assume that the refs are going to rig the game for Boston, and play through it. Right now, they are a soft team. You don't let Leon freaking Powe dunk on you. You knock him down and send a message.

Of course, in meaningless minutes, the refs are calling touch fouls on Boston. Way to even out the final foul count, and make the box score look fair. David Stern is a genius. I just hope he dials in Games 3 and 4 for the Lakers. Basically need to win 4 in a row now...Game 7 officiating would be a disaster.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Leaderboard Update

Andrew: 14.5 (previous two rounds) + 4 (LAL) + 4 (BOS) = 22.5
Justin: 11.5 (previous two rounds) + 4 (LAL) + 4 (BOS) = 19.5
Jordan: 10 (previous two rounds) + 4 (LAL) + 4 (BOS) = 18
Rakesh: 9.5 (previous two rounds) + 4 (LAL) = 13.5

A refresher on finals picks:

Andrew: LAL (7)
Justin: BOS (6)
Jordan: LAL (7)
Rakesh: LAL (6)

If the Lakers win, Andrew clinches it, regardless of how many games it takes. But if Boston takes advantage of home court, and pulls out the series, then Justin is our new champion. Will the prestige of the title of "Best NBA Playoff Picker" motivate Justin to root against his beloved Lakers? Only time will tell.

One thing remains certain -- Rakesh's picks were aptly titled.