Blow Out City
Los Angeles. Blow Out city. It was time for the Boston Celtics to lay an egg in this finals series. Hey they haven’t had one of these fellows since Cleveland game 3. They were due. They were tired. They are now going to play Game 7 on the road against Kobe Bryant and company after losing 89-67.
Phil Jackson will be coaching his first seventh game in the NBA Finals. Most of the players have never been in this situation. Game 7, winner take all. It doesn’t get any better than this.
How will the storyline play out. Nobody knows, but Game 7 is always the ultimate in sport. Actually any elimination game is. Be it a winner take all one game championship like we saw at the Olympic Hockey Tournament where Canada with the help of Sidney Crosby scored the overtime winner over the USA, or be it the Israeli Basketball Championship as Hapoel Galil/Gilbia beat Maccabi Tel Aviv.
However, a game 7 is set apart. Both teams have played each other to 3 games a piece. They know each other pretty well. They have seen what each can do and they know the explosiveness of some and the weaknesses of others.
The main point in this game is that the referees should not be whistle happy and let the players play the game. Let them determine the winner. As we have seen the last couple of games, the zebras have let them play and have swallowed their whistles some what with only 48 fouls in last night’s encounter.
That’s the good news. The questions will be, whose bench will play a major part in Game 7? Which players will rise to the top? Who will carry their team? Will it be one player ala Kobe or will it be a combination of teamwork that will win the championship? Will defense play a big part in this game? How will Andrew Bynum and Kendrick Perkins hold up, or play altogether?
Who will leave their sweat on the floor? Who will dive for loose balls? Who will dominate the boards? Who will lead and who will falter?
Who will want it more? That will determine the winner.
It has been exciting and The Sports Rabbi can watch these two teams play 50 times and I bet you the series score will be about 25-25, no question about it. That is how evenly matched they are.
In the NHl the Stanley Cup Finals have gone to 7 games five times in the last 10 years, with the Pittsburgh Penguins most recently winning in 7 games in 2009 over the Detroit Red Wings
Over the past decade only the Los Angeles Angels and the Arizona Diamondbacks won MLB Championships in 7 games and the San Antonio Spurs defeated the Detroit Pistons back in 2005 for the NBA crown in 7 games.
The Lakers franchise have a losing record of 3 wins and 4 losses in game 7’s while the Celtics are 6-0 in Game 7’s most recently a win over the same Lakers in 1984.
Hopefully the Lakers will even up the record at 4-4 and the Celtics finally drop the big one. I guess we’ll find out on Thursday night.
Thoughts from the Pulpit
1) How about a little love for one CC Sabathia and his New York Yankees with a dominant win over Roy Halladay and his Philadelphia Phillies. Halladay looked far from perfect giving up 3 home runs and 6 earned runs Tuesday night. I’m not saying that Halladay is not great, he is, no question about that. But boy could the Phillies use Cliff Lee. The Phils now sit in 3rd place in the NL East behind both the Atalanta Braves and yes, the New York Mets! How did that happen. As all of the Met fans were calling for Jerry Manuel’s head, he has led them to five straight victories.
2) Chipper Jones is mulling his future. Well that’s too bad. It would be a pity to see him retire before the end of the season considering his Braves as mentioned above are playing great baseball and could use his veteran experience down the stretch. He is batting .228 with 3 Hrs and 22 Rbi’s, not exactly the production you want out of your 3rd baseman but I would give him a little more time and see if he can snap out of the season slump he is in and use his presence as a launching pad for the balance of the year. Chipper, just one word of advice, don’t fall asleep in the clubhouse!