Yes, The Los Angeles Lakers are NBA champions once again, back to back & belly to belly!
Please see The Sports Rabbi’s post from yesterday to see how prophetic I was.
Kobe needs to send thank you gifts first and foremost to Kendrick Perkins. With Perkins, the Celtics win this title it’s plain and simple. He would have been the X-Factor in game 7.
Perkins would have been the guy who would have altered Pau Gasol’s play. Bottom Line. Gasol ate the Celtics alive in the 4th quarter and if there would have been a game 7 MVP it would have been the Spaniard. No question about it.
The first half was a rough and tumble contest that the Celtics won hands down.
But the Champion Lakers were able to pull the game out when it counted most. with 0:00 left on the game clock.
Gasol was truly fabulous and deserves a gift from Kobe as well. 19pts & 18 rebounds, including a key board after a Kobe miss late in the game was what Pau gave the Lakers. Just as I had predicted as well.
And Ron Artest, a monster game with 20pts and 5 steals and he hit that amazing 3 near the game’s conclusion. His defense was superb throughout the play-offs, and he didn’t self implode, not once. Everyone was waiting for that “moment” but it didn’t.
And last but not least the referees. Thank you for calling so many shooting fouls in favor of the Lakers, that they actually had 20 more free throws than the Celtics. It really seems crazy that one team would deserve to shoot so many more FT’s in any game than teh other team, especially in the Championship decider. Yep, the Refs actually moved their grade down to D from the C- that I had given them yesterday. They just couldn’t help themselves.
Kobe’s legacy takes a minor hit here. He finished the game with 23 pts and 15 rebounds, but Bryant really needed his teammates to bail him out. His shooting was a brutal 6 for 24, going 0-6 from 3 point land. Brick layer city.
But he willed his teammates to the win and now gets a summer to heal and get better as he definitely played hurt the past few months. But not once did he complain about it. That is a true champion.
So Kobe, say thanks to the above for getting your 5th ring, because without their help, you are watching the Celtics celebrate a Game 7 victory on your home floor. And that would have been a terrible thought.
Thoughts from the Pulpit
1) The Yankees have lost to in a row and have not hit well in either of those two games against the Phillies. Brian Cashman better take a good look at his squad as the trading deadline is only 2 months away. Yes they have scored the most runs in the Majors so Yankees fans should not get all up in arms, however, it’s always good to be on the lookout when a team like the Yankees have so many aging stars.
2) Good for Chipper Jones for putting the media straight and not discuss his possible retirement until after the season. I for one am happy that he will focus solely on the Braves for the balance of the year. I have been having a discussion with a few friends over the past couple of days of which players currently playing will make it into the Hall of Fame playing for onely ONE club. The Players I have are Chipper Jones, Albert Pujols and then a trio of Yankees, Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera and Jorge Posada. That’s it. All of 5 players.
3) The Montreal Canadiens traded goaltender Jaroslav Halak, their 2010 playoff hero to the St. Louis Blues for Lars Eller and Ian Schultz. I couldn’t believe what I had heard when the DOC called me to tell me this news. Are the Habs yet again about to hand over the goaltending reigns to Carey Price? It certainly looks like it. The only reason I can see that this trade was made is because they could get value for Halak and zero in return for Price. And the Canadiens have to keep building up their team so they are not so reliant on their goaltender to bail them out game in and game out.