Friday, June 13, 2008

Up is Down ....

So the Lakers aren't winning in five, and if the series ends in six games it will end with KG crying holding up the trophy. LA is down 3-1 heading into Game 5, the last game at Staples Center and possibly the last game for LA. How the hell did this happen?

In case you live under a rock, the Lakers blew a 40 point lead (OK, they were up by as much as 24) before losing to the Celtics 97-91. After four games, I have to say that Doc Rivers has outcoached Phil Jackson. Not only has he made a mockery of my finals prediction, I ranked him last on my list of NBA coaches.

Here's what went wrong with the Lakers:

First, I think we all were expecting Kobe to have an amazing series. However, he's been far from dominant. Look at this list of the Top 50 Finals performances. Look at some of the stuff Jordan did, who Kobe is always compared to. Its not even close.

Second, Ray Allen seems far from being done. I guess it was his family problems, and not his age, that was holding him back early in the playoffs. (This had to rattle him too)

And of course, Doc Rivers > Phil Jackson to this point. What usually makes Doc bad has made him good in this series. Doc coaches basketball like one of those old-school baseball managers, he goes with his gut. He's not a big X's and O's guys, and doesn't go by the book, which drives some of the purists nuts. He also seems to ignore stats, which makes the guys like me mad.

It wasn't X's and O's or stats that led him to go with KG, Posey, Pierce, Ray Allen and Eddie House in the third quarter, a line-up that gave the Lakers fits. It was his gut. It was his guy that brought House off the bench the past couple of games after watching Sam Cassell stink it up in relief of Rajon Rondo.

And here we are, since LA will probably not take two games in Boston, the worst coach in the NBA will have earned a ring at the expense at one of the most decorated coaches in the history of the game. Down is up.

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