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Throughout the majority of Game 4 of the NBA Finals, seven words could be consistently heard emanating from the living room of the Weinman household. Believe it or not, they weren't George Carlin's infamous "Seven Words" either. Even in the first half.
Nope, just two phrases: "Too much Eddie House!" and "Big Game James."
We'll get to Eddie a bit later, and I'm currently still trying to figure out why I spent the night screaming, "Too much!" Maybe he was too much for the Lakers. Maybe I'm a dope who needs a clue. Let's table that discussion.
As for that other phrase, well, just in case there were any doubts of his worthiness of the nickname, James Posey clinched it last night. He is Big Game James.
It feels like I've been saying this about different members of the Celtics bench on nearly a nightly basis throughout the playoffs, but I can't help it: I absolutely love this guy.
Once again, when the bright lights went on, Posey was there to play the same version of poised basketball that he always does, and he did it en route to sparking the Celts to a big victory.
He was one of the Celts' few aggressors in the first half, drawing fouls on takes to the basket and knocking down two big threes to help keep the game from getting completely out of hand in the first half.
That was just the warm-up. Posey picked up his fifth foul for the game in the third quarter, and when he came back in the fourth, he seemed completely unphased by playing with foul trouble. He simply adjusted and kept doing what James Posey does. Pose continued to play his strong defensive game, but he did so wisely. He chose not to take any lunging gambles on the defensive end that could have turned into a cheap sixth foul, and late in the game, rather than battling with a Laker big man backing him down in the low post, he gently leaned against him and then immediately moved off him, effectively pulling the chair out from the Laker (can't remember if it was Gasol or Odom), which caused a wild play that led to the Celts regaining the ball.
On the offensive end, it was the same James Posey whom we saw lightly flinging three-pointers into the bucket from the corner over an unwitting ball boy at halftime of Game 2. Doesn't matter the time of game; James Posey always takes that same relaxed, kind-of-falling-back-off-one-foot leaning three-pointer, and he consistently takes it with confidence. Last night, that calm stroke came out for the trey to cut the Lakers' lead to 81-80 late in the fourth and to extend the Celts' lead to an ultimately insurmountable 92-87 even later.
When he's not banging game-turning treys, giving out the coolest hugs of all time, heading to the line to shoot crucial foul shots like he's strolling through the park or shutting down the opposition's hot hand, James Posey is busy invigorating this team with energy through fighting for everything. Every rebound, every loose ball, every fast break. Nothing goes uncontested with Posey on the floor, and yet the man never seems to be even remotely ruffled either.
He's got a championship ring. He's got ice in his veins. He's helped get this team to within a win of securing another championship ring for him. He's made us believers.
Big Game James indeed.
* * * * *
BGJ was no doubt instrumental in the Celtics' legendary comeback last night in Los Angeles, but he certainly wasn't the only one deserving of plenty of love this morning. Some more observations from the disaster-turned-celebration that was Game 4:All of Steve's daily posts can be found in the CelticsBlog: NBA
- The aforementioned Eddie House was huuuuh-yuge. He had a rough shooting start to the evening but played nearly the entire latter half at the point and did a great job in doing it. He gave the team energy on the defensive end and largely avoided missed assignments, pulled down four boards and didn't turn the ball over a single time. Meanwhile, he got to be Eddie House in vintage form, hitting both the three that cut the Lakers lead to six late in the third and the go-ahead shot in the fourth. For the Lake Show, it was simply too much Eddie House when all was said and done.
- In a grand total of two minutes and 15 seconds, Tony Allen pulled down a plus-10 rating. Wonders may never cease.
- Paul Pierce's effort down the stretch of this game was something to be quite proud of, and it was a much nicer homecoming this time around for the Inglewood native playing in front of family and friends. He was instrumental in stopping Kobe and managed to both swish and dish at just the right times. Great crunch time work by the captain aaaaaand The Truth. The and-one was downright criminal. Beautiful stuff.
- To his discredit, Sasha Vujacic (1-for-9) simply didn't do a very good job of knocking down shots on this night. But to the Celtics' credit, the green did a far better job of staying aware of his presence and forcing him to hit contested shots rather than looks of the wide open variety. Makes a big difference.
- P.J. Brown's emphatic dunk (over Kobe, one might add) to end the third quarter was just hellacious.
- Phil Jackson's interview with Michele Tafoya at the end of the third quarter was priceless. Anybody else enjoy that?
- Lamar Odom took seven shots in the first half, of which it felt like he must have hit nine or ten. He finished with just eleven attempts for the game. Here's wondering if the Lakers didn't look to eastabish his presence enough in the second half (if so, why?), or if he simply grew passive. That one will require a look at the game tape at a more reasonable hour.
- Get well soon, Raj and Perk!
- It seems worth noting that there is a man who sat out 10 minutes of the fourth quarter of Game 7 against Cleveland and that said man might well be in line for an NBA Finals MVP award if all continues as everything is currently progressing. Ray Allen has been something special as of late. The drive past Vujacic to put a capper on the game was a work of beauty.
- Hats off to Doc Rivers for a great coaching job in Game 4. The man pushed all the right buttons and made the moves that needed to be made all night long. Excellent work and no second-guessng to be found here tonight, sir.
One win to the ultimate promised land, folks. Still surreal.
Can you feel it inching closer?