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Celtics vs Lakers Game 4: A New Hope

NBA FINALS GAME FOUR
LA Lakers (2-1) @ Boston Celtics (1-2)

Time: Thursday, June 10th, 9:00 PM EST
Venue: TD Garden
TV: ABC Radio: WEEI
Officials: Scott Foster, Greg Willard, Eddie "Satan" Rush
The Line: The Celtics have won more championships than the Lakers,
they've beaten the Lakers in 9 out of the teams 11 meetings in the finals,
and nobody on the Celtics has ever dressed up like a pilgrim and thought it was cool.
Except on Thanksgiving. But that doesn't count.

WAR ROOM | GAME THREAD

Oh noes! The Celtics lost game three! All is lost! The Celtics are down a game in a seven game playoff series! Ahhhh!

That's only where the bad news bears starts. According to the Necronomicon or something, 100% of the time a team is tied 1-1 in the Finals, the Game Three winner wins the series. For those keeping track of it at home, it's happened 10 out of 10 times.

Then, there are the Phil Jackson statistics. If you haven't heard, let me brief you. In the 47 playoff series where Phil Jackson wins game one, his team has never lost the series. Also, in the 34 playoff series where Phil Jackson sees his shadow after making a smug pithy remark, he beats Tex Winter at shuffle-board 78% of the time (it's because the pucks are round, not triangular.).

Then, there is the legendary stat of when Phil Jackson applies Kobe's after game musk to the nape of his neck and woos Jennie Buss. Kobe's Musk: "Sixty Percent of the time, it works every time."

Okay, I admit that two of those 'Jax Stats' were made up, but that's mostly because they don't matter. None of these stats do. Frankly, better men than myself have put it more succinctly, but there is still a game to play. On top of that its game between two very good teams, that have managed tight even games in 4 out of 5 meetings in the last year. It is far from a done deal.

You think you can tell me what's going to happen based on cherry picked statistics and bogus hypotheticals? Okay. I will see you and raise you. According a recent survey of actual historical events, Kobe and Phil Jackson are win-less in NBA Finals against the Boston Celtics. Also, according to those same actual historical facts, Kevin Garnett has never lost an NBA Finals series. Neither has Ray Allen or Paul Pierce. Or Rajon Rondo. Doc Rivers has never lost a Finals series as a coach.

I got some more numbers for you. It took the Celtics six games to beat the Lakers in 2008. In 2010, in every series they've played up until this point, they've won at least three consecutive games. Games 4, 5, and 6 are next.

Probable Starting Lineups

Boston Celtics

.

POS NAME MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO A/TO PF TECH

.

PG Rajon Rondo 41.4 16.4 5.6 9.8 1.95 0.1 2.9 3.38 2.7 0.2

.

SG Ray Allen 38.1 16.6 3.4 2.8 0.85 0.15 1.5 1.83 3.1 0

.

SF Paul Pierce 38.6 18.7 6.1 3.6 1 0.55 2.6 1.39 3.4 0.1

.

PF Kevin Garnett 33.4 15 7.6 2.5 0.95 0.68 1.3 1.96 3.1 0.2

.

C Kendrick Perkins 25.6 6.1 6.4 1.1 0.45 1.6 2 0.53 3.6 0.3

.

6 Glen Davis 20 7.6 4.2 0.5 0.75 0.35 1 0.45 2.3 0.1

.

7 Rasheed Wallace 16.1 6.4 2.7 0.4 0.45 0.55 0.4 0.88 3.4 0.3

.

8 Tony Allen 16.9 5.7 1.8 0.8 1.05 0.5 1 0.8 2.5 0.1

.

9 Nate Robinson 6.3 3.8 0.6 0.7 0.38 0.08 0.2 3 1 0

.

10 Michael Finley 6.1 0.9 0.6 0.2 0.24 0 0 0 0.2 0

Injuries And Stuff: None that matter.

Los Angeles Lakers

.

POS NAME MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO A/TO PF TECH

.

PG Derek Fisher 27.2 7.5 2.1 2.5 1.1 0.11 1 2.58 2.5 0.1

.

SG Kobe Bryant 38.8 27 5.4 5 1.55 0.27 3.2 1.57 2.6 0.2

.

SF Ron Artest 33.8 11 4.3 3 1.38 0.27 1.6 1.93 2.1 0.1

.

PF Pau Gasol 37 18.3 11.3 3.4 0.57 1.74 2.2 1.52 2.3 0.1

.

C Andrew Bynum 30.4 15 8.3 1 0.54 1.45 1.8 0.59 3 0

.

6 Lamar Odom 31.5 10.8 9.8 3.3 0.91 0.72 1.8 1.78 2.8 0.1

.

7 Shannon Brown 20.7 8.1 2.2 1.3 0.7 0.38 0.8 1.61 1.6 0

.

8 Jordan Farmar 18 7.2 1.6 1.5 0.63 0.13 0.9 1.76 1.3 0

.

9 Sasha Vujacic 8.6 2.8 1.2 0.6 0.3 0.06 0.3 2.41 1 0

.

10 Luke Walton 9.4 2.4 1.3 1.4 0.34 0.03 0.4 3.33 0.7 0

Injuries and stuff: Andrew Bynum tweaked his knee, but he'll play.

Matchup Of The Night: Paul Pierce V Ron Artest:

Paul Pierce's PPG average has dropped every series since the Heat series. Overall in the playoffs he's scoring roughly 19 PPG. Against LA, he's scoring 16, and that is mostly just bolstered by a decent but not extraordinary game one performance.

Ron Artest should be credited with a huge part in that. In game two, a game the Celtics won, Pierce went 2-11. In game three he went 5-12.

One of the Celtics' biggest problems is that the offense will at times just flat out stop moving the ball. People stop cutting, everyone starts looking for match-ups to exploit in isolations, and the ball movement that leads to transition scores and easy lay ins just seems to stop.

Ideally that would not happen, but we have the team we have right now. For the Celtics to weather those 2 to 5 minute periods, they need a hero that can make tough shots and create his own offense. That man is Paul Pierce. Always has been. He can be our hero, baby. (click on it. You know you want to. Even though you know what the song is, just click on it.)

Three Keys To The Game For The Good Guys:

1) If y'all wanna win, put Perk in: In game 1, Perkins played 24 minutes. Loss. In game 2, Perk played 32 minutes. Win. Game 3, 22 minutes. Loss. I literally do not know how to be any more clear. Perkins brings our defense up a notch.

Now, if you've been watching the games, that is not always evident. Perkins brings our offense way down. Perkins can really only play Gasol and Bynum. Sheed has been playing Gasol well too. Big Baby has been the Celtics most consistently energized player all series.

That is all true, but Perkins defense is absolutely necessary. It allows KG to use his length without giving up the body on Bynum, and it gives the Celtics more of an edge. Look for Perkins to avoid Eddie F. Rush like the plague.

2) KG has to 'be aggressive, B, E, Aggressive': It is a shame that KG's best game so far this series resulted in a loss in game 3, but that's what happened. One thing that was obvious though in game 3 is that Kevin Garnett can score 2 points on Pau Gasol almost any time he wants. As long as he's aggressive and moving towards the basket, he's golden.

3) Stop Looking At The Refs, You Schmucks.: Yes. The reffing has been atrocious. Yes. It has marginally favored the Lakers over the C's. But don't be fooled, the C's have been getting their calls too. The frank truth is that the refereeing has been mostly just plain bad. Not biased, not agenda-driven, just plain awful. The Celtics cannot control that. They can only react to it. Or, better still, not react to it. Y'all know what I am talking about. There is a blown call, maybe a non-called shooting foul or charge, or a bad moving screen call, and the Celtics start to pout. They look like some kid just victimized their cereal. Queue Lakers run.

That has to stop. I want them to play with emotion, but if they're going to come out of this with a win, at some point they're going to need to just understand that these refs are borderline mentally incompetent, and stop taking it so personally.

Bonus End On a Good Note Key To The Game) Whatever Glen Davis is having, give some to the rest of the team: Yes, I know if you wanted to chart what Glen Davis was eating on an hourly basis, you'd need two accountants and a biologist. I get it, people like to joke that he is fat. Well, this 'fat boy' is just straight up whooping on the Lakers while he is in the game. He's using his strength (and like Charles Barkley before him, he's also using his keester) and savvy to get good position under the hoop for boards and buckets.

The dude has been out-hustling the other 9 guys on the court every minute he is out there. Nobody is working harder than Glen Davis right now. But not nobody. Glen Davis needs at minimum 20 minutes on the court, and if Lamar Odom is out there, Glen should be too.

Okay. That's it. Everyone take a deep breath and perform whatever pre-game rituals you might have. I will be, as always, in the War Room with the rest of the Wreckin' Crew. I guess one or two people go to the Game Thread too. First person to ask "How come you guys don't have a game thread??????" in the comments section likes to watch Dora The Explorer in their underpants.