Dedicated to the HATRED of all things trOJan


The Writing is on the Wall.

Just a flesh wound:  Menacing Lakers protect their turf and gun down Boston 102-89, drawing first blood with through-and-through penetration and bulletproof Gang Defense, but it’s just Game 1, and the armor-Pierced Celtics could retalliate with improved shooting

The Celtics brought a knife to a gunfight.  And the Lakers brought Ron Artest.  27 seconds into Game 1 of the 2010 NBA Finals, Ron Artest and Paul Pierce got tangled up and both went down like Professional Wrestlers, neither backing down from the contact.  They had to be separated, and they got Double Technicals.  And the War was ON.

The Celtics scored first, but that 2-0 lead was the only one they had all night, as the Lakers dominated on their way to a 102-89 victory.  The Lakers were able to dominate because instead of being the finesse team, Artest and the Lakers were the AGGRESSOR.  Instead of just passing the ball around the perimeter, the Lakers were intent on driving to the hoop and breaking down the Boston Defense.  The plan worked better than they could have possibly expected, as Kobe found open lanes through the Paint, and then Jordan Farmar and others followed in those footsteps.

Farmar actually played a KEY role in keeping the Lakers on top.  At the end of the 1st quarter, after the Celtics cut the lead to 1, Farmar drove all the way to the hole and made a beautiful contested shot to keep Boston from being able to take the lead.  Much more importantly, in the 4th quarter, Farmar was a Celtic Momentum-killer again.  The Lakers had started the 4th up by TWENTY, but the Celtics came out hot, finally, and cut it to 11, in just 3 and a half minutes.  But then Farmar stopped the run cold, with another impressive penetration to the basket.  And then, a moment later after a beautiful Blocked Shot by Artest, Farmar hit a gazelle-like Gasol with a long pass for a brakaway two, and a 15-point lead with 7 and a half minutes left.

The Celtics were able to decrease the deficit to 11 again with about 4 minutes left, but couldn’t get any closer.  The Lakers were too tough, too smart, too talented, and too well-coached to blow the 20-point lead this time (like they did in ’08).

Kobe led all scorers with 30, even though he made only 1 three-pointer.  The gameplan was to take it to Boston, and that’s what all the Lakers did.  Kobe kept slicing up the Defense, and when they doubled him, he found cutters.  Kobe dished out 6 Assists, which also led the Lakers.  The Black Mamba also grabbed 7 Boards, blocked a shot, and snagged a Steal.  He wasn’t as spectacular as in the last Series, but only because he didn’t have to be — The Celtics just didn’t bring it.

Credit the toughness of the Laker Defense.  After the first couple of shots, the Lakers settled in and converged on every offensive threat every possession.  Paul Pierce, usually guarded by Artest, had to scratch and claw to get his 24 Points, because he got virtually no good, unrushed looks.  Even recently-annointed Superstar Point Guard Rajon Rondo was not able to find many high-percentage shots.  He did hit three outside shots, but that’s what the Defense was willing to give him.  Hall of Famer Kevin Garnett was no help, missing 9 shots and grabbing only 4 Caroms.

The Lakers’ aggressiveness on Defense carried over to beating Boston to all the loose balls, sometimes by diving, and it definitely carried over to the Glass.  With 4 minutes left in the 3rd, the Lakers were beating Boston in Second-Chance Points 14-0, and for the game, they won the Rebound Battle 42-31.

L.A. was led in Rebounds by Gasol, who had 14, to go with his 23 Points.  He also proved his mettle with THREE gritty Blocks.  Andrew Bynum helped Artest and Gasol set the tone, with several early Boards, and he went on to total 6 Rebounds and 10 hard-fought Points.  Artest rounded out the Inside Dominance with 15, 4, and that great Block, as the Boston frontcourt was neutralized.  Forced to shoot from outside, the Celtics were held to 43% from the floor, and ONE-FOR-TEN from behind the arc.  And that last stat is due to the Lakers rotating properly, and tenaciously closing out on Boston’s best shooters.  I can’t remember them ever putting out so much effort to race out to contest the perimeter shooters, and collapse en masse on inside shooters. 

Despite Boston’s inability to hold their own inside OR hit from outside, Doc Rivers did NOT resort to his last resort, ex-trojan Brian Scalabrine.  B.S. WAS on the active roster, but never took his warm-ups off.  I hope he had a good view of Farmar’s clutch plays. 

Boston does have one excuse for their poor showing:  Ray Allen was in severe foul trouble all night, and never got in a groove.  He was visibly frustrated, because, admittedly, not all the fouls were blatant.  The agitated Allen hit only 3 shots, none from Downtown, and committed 2 Turnovers.  Even with the Lakers’ improved D, the Celtics and Allen are unlikely to shoot that poorly again, so I do NOT expect Game Two to be nearly that easy.

The Lakers do have one important historical stat on their side:  Phil Jackson is 47-0 in Series when he wins the first game.  That means that the Lakers are in good shape to avenge the painful Finals loss to Boston in 2008.  There is a REASON why The Who’s “Won’t Get Fooled Again” was played during the Laker intro’s. 


New reports state that the NCAA Rulings on Bushgate will NOT be handed down on Friday, as ESPN had announced.  USC is calling ESPN’s report fraudulent and irresponsible.  No word as to when the NCAA will finally end the suspense, and make (or not make) the trojans pay the piper.


Speaking of paying the piper, Florida Softball Coach Tim Walton got what he desreved yesterday, as the UCLA Bruins skinned his cheating Gators 16-3 in the College Softball World Series.  The Gator Pitchers were repeatedly getting busted for basically “leaping” into the air during their wind-ups, to get more oomph on their pitches, even though they are not allowed to have both feet off the ground simultaneously.  Instant Replay clearly showed that all the calls were correct, but that didn’t stop Walton from whining to ESPN during the game, when it was only 6 or 7 to 3, Bruins.  He moaned that his team was deflated from all these unfair calls. 

He sounded just like a trojan, when he tried to EXCUSE his Hurlers’ rampant abuse of the rule by saying that they have been doing it all season, and no one has been calling it.  WAIT — Let me get this straight — It should be okay to cheat if you’ve been getting away with it all year?  That is SO “sc.”   But Coach Walton –Why not STOP CHEATING after the first few that were called in this game?  Is it because the players were so SET in their cheating ways, that they simply could not make the adjustment? 

Walton just blamed the Umps, and gave no credit to the Bruins, crying to the Foul Line Reporter that it wasn’t fair — complaining defeatedly, all while the game was still completely up for grabs.  At that point, I was hoping the Bruins would make him pay for his disrespect, and they went on to score about another 10 runs to invoke the Mercy Rule.  The Bruins set several school records, while pummelling Walton’s quitters.  But the Gators are not eliminated — This is a double-elimination Tournament, so Florida may get another crack at UCLA.  Maybe by then they’ll be able to follow the rules, or at least not bitch about it when they get caught.  


I have to end on a somber note tonight:  John Wooden has been admitted to UCLA Hospital, and his family is telling the Media that he will probably be re-united with Nell in the next few days.  I hope they are wrong, and a miracle occurs — If anyone deserves one, he does, and I think Nell wouldn’t mind waiting a little longer, so that John can see 100, and a refurbished Pauley Pavilion, and a 12th Banner hanging from the newly-painted rafters.  If not, they can watch TOGETHER, hand-in-hand, from high ABOVE those rafters.  I mean, if ANYONE is worthy of those Pearly Gates…       

"ANOTHER L.A. DRIVE-BY" was published on June 4th, 2010 and is listed in Blue & Gold News, Non-Rivalry News.

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