(Ed. Please remember, Glenn is an employee of The Squeeze and a Lakers fan…. whatever the hell that means. He has only been getting all this love because, well, I’d be a dick to not let him have it. The point is, say if the Cowboys ever win another super bowl (hehe) Sanel will be posting a lot (I hope). Yankees make the playoffs, me and TC will be here minutely giving you updates. And GOD FORBID THE JETS WIN. You will not escpae this site, at all. We will be OB-FREAKING-NOXIOUS TO the nth degree. I promise, we will cover more teams in the future. However, to the victor goes the spoils…)
It took seven years for Kobe Bryant to win his fourth championship and first without ex-teammate Shaquille O’Neal. Phil Jackson won his tenth championship to finally surpass Red as the ‘coachest with the mostest’. Whoever said Kobe would never win a ring without Shaquille… you were wrong. It was a selfish thing to say because everyone who knows basketball knows it takes a team to win a championship not just one person. You can say what you want about Phil Jackson and how each of the teams he’s won championships with has had great players and he’s only coached teams with great players. Stan Van Gundy said it best the game five post game; Stan said something along the lines of Phil being the all time best coach. “The guy has won 51 playoff series now… Check your record book and see how many coaches have even won 50 playoff games. It’s fewer than 20, and the guy has won 51 playoff series. It’s incomprehensible. You look at the guy’s record and it’s undeniable.” And just as a side note I believe he’s 43-0 when winning the first game of a playoff series. Phil Jackson is a god amongst men in the basketball world.
My hat goes off to the Orlando Magic for being able to overcome their underdog status through most out the playoffs, to turn heads and make most people believers. This is a very up and coming team and I look forward to watching them in the future. On a side note I believe Dwight’s post game interview after game 5 was very solid and this coming after LeBron went M.I.A after their ‘surprising’ defeat my compliments go again to Dwight for being truly a good sport.
Congratulations to the Los Angeles Lakers for bringing home their fifteenth title and fourth in the last decade. This is without a doubt the best NBA franchise in the last ten years and through thick and thin overcoming unnecessary controversy, battling egos, tough losses to the Pistons and Celtics in 2004 and 2008, respectively, they were able to overcome defeat and bounce back and make it to the finals six times in ten years.
I’ll break down the series with something short and sweet about each game.
Starting off with game one; which was an absolute blowout. The Lakers came out at set the tone defeating the inexperienced Orlando Magic 100-75. What you were able to see in this game was that the Lakers were hungry. Kobe was not going to be denied a fourth ring and dropped 40 points along with 8 rebounds and 8 assists. Orando’s highest scorer that night was Mickeal Pietrus who actually came off the bench with 14. Orlando shot just under 30% that game and for a team who relies on their jump shot more than anything you already know that’s a setup for failure.
Game two was a little different, a lot closer to say the least. It took a rookie to miss a failed ‘ally-oops’ as I say to take it into Overtime instead of the Magic tying the series at one a piece. I believe that this is where experience came into play once again, not to mention the home court advantage and the fact that the Lakers had the best closer in sports Kobe Bryant. Lakers went on to win in overtime fashion 101-96. Kobe scored 29 along with 8 assists and Pau Gasol had a great game with 24 points and 10 rebounds. On the other side Rashard Lewis had his best game of the series scoring 34 points and going 6-12 behind the arch.
Game three; Lakers up 2-0 at this point and this would be the first home game for the Magic of this series not to mention I believe the very first finals home game in franchise history. No better time to win their first game of the series and is exactly what happened. The Orlando Magic shot an astounding 75% at the half from the field and set an NBA record for any half in the finals. The Magic ended the game shooting around 62% for the game and edged a victory winning 108-104. Believe it or not even shooting 62% for the game they still were only able to win by four points and at one point with a little more than a minute remaining in the fourth quarter they were only up two points at which point a mix up between Gasol and Bryant turned over the ball, Pietrus was able to gather it up and hit two free throws opening the game up, extending the lead by four with not much time to go.
Game four; Derek Fisher comes up big again. I can’t even count how many times this little guy has made the impossible actually happen. Fisher forced overtime with a 3-pointer with 4.6 seconds left in regulation and then drilled another with 31.3 seconds remaining in overtime to go as the Lakers were able to overcome again in overtime fashion extending their series lead 3-1. Kobe poured in 32 points, 8 rebounds and 7 assists basically cementing his MVP finals award once the Lakers ends the series wither it was in game 5, 6 or 7 at this point. Orlando played HUGE in the first two quarters and most basketball fans thought this series was going 2-2, but then finally in the third quarter the dynamic duo of Trevor Ariza and Andrew Bynum!! That’s right! You heard me correct was able to score about 20 points total, out scoring the Magic 30-14 in the third eventually tying the game in the fourth and then destroying the Magic 12-4 in overtime.
Game five; I actually said Lakers in 5 all series long from the very beginning. I gave the Magic the benefit of the doubt and figured that they’d come up with the hot hand which no matter what LA did still wouldn’t be able to stop them and it happened in game 3. The Magic had the edge in the first quarter leading by two but the game opened up in the second where LA was able to outscore the Magic by 12 dropping 30 points in the second quarter and really putting the dagger in this series. I felt this way because the Magic were young, inexperienced down 3-1 in the series knowing that if they win they’ll still have to win two more IN Los Angeles none the less and pretty much just gave up all together.
Shout outs go to Kobe Bryant for winning his fourth ring and first without Shaquille. Trevor Ariza you are a great player, hope to see you back next season in the purple and gold. Pau Gasol both you and Kobe were the true key to the Lakers this season you were able to overcome and improve on your game yet again and I look forward to watching you next season as well. Andrew Bynum you disgusted me pretty much all through the series where you fouled more than you scored; however I do realize you were matching up against Dwight so you get a temporary pass because you guys won it in the end anyway. Derek Fisher you are the ‘Rudy’ for basketball, small in size, not the fastest but you have experience, your game is mature and you’re a true leader. You kept with your game and your shot and everyone believed and trusted in you. You’re just as big of reason that the Lakers won this championship as any other. Lamar Odom you wanted that title just as much as Kobe and you proved it pretty much all through out the playoffs and specially this series. Creating plays to get to the basket not to mention some key three pointers that put you over the top. Lamar you played good enough for both you and Bynum. Luke Walton youre game was well played this series, you took a limited amount of shots but none of them had me biting my nails and screaming at the TV asking “Why in the world did you just take that F$%#$% shot?!?!” Congratulations. Jordan Farmar I can’t say much but the limited amount of time that you did play was played well, a great role player and I can tell that you’re game is improving. Sasha Vujacic… lol man I bust on you so much on Twitter but you still haven’t responded. You didn’t hit not one shot all series. Please get to the gym this summer, or figure something out because I’m pretty sure the Lakers will be looking for a backup SG this up coming draft.
Once again I got bragging rights for the summer.
Glenn / www.glennreno.com
(One more Ed. Note, i actually have to work this week, so, some changes are coming soon. You have been warned.)