By Craig Kwasniewski
The Wost/Gayest Promotion Ever: Is it me or did the WNBA take over the Laker promotional department during the holiday season? Outside of Magic and Isiah tonguing each other during the 1988 NBA Finals this was possibly the gayest moment in the history on the NBA. The Lakers broke out the short-shorts circa 1988 for the game. On paper this idea probably seemed fairly decent... a full-blown retro game for a potentially classic Celtics-Lakers game. Why the F not, right?
Except that the NBA is a image conscious league in the bling-bling era where appearance means more than results. Flat out, the Lakers looked like a joke and were literally laughed off the floor by everyone in attendance (especially the Celtics). In all seriousness, the Lakers came out very timid against one of the top teams in the NBA and never posed a threat. Save the whacky promotions for AAA baseball or the WNBA... not in a marquee matchup!
BTW - The worst moment of the short-shorts experience (outside of the Lakers getting crushed by the C's) was when the players wore the shooting shirts over their jerseys... it looked like they didn't wear any damn pants!
I *SAW* the short shorts and all I got was a damn tee shirt! And I will NEVER wear this shirt in public again!
The Celtics are very VERY Physical: Something I couldn't really catch on TV is just how physical the Celtics are. From the opening tipoff they punched the Lakers in the face and clearly had them intimidated. Bynum wasn't a factor as Kendrick Perkins pushed and shoved him out of is comfort spots on the floor. The Lakers seemed content with deep jumpers and fade-aways and never established any inside game whatsoever. Clearly the Celtics are the most physical team I've seen this year! I can't emphasize this enough... television doesn't do them any justice.
Top 5 things Laker fans said to this Celtics Fan: People can criticize LA fans all they want, but they (we) know when to step it up when it matters. Staples Center had a playoff atmosphere with every seat filled at tup-off ready to run smack with every Celtics fan. Here's the top five things I overheard said to this guy:
5. Shut the fuck up Orphan Annie!
4. Shut the fuck up Carrot Top!
3. Shut the fuck up Bill Walton!
2. Shut the fuck up Scalabrine's Brother!
And the pies de resistance... with the "Kiss Me Cam" on the jumbotron, Laker faithful told the dude and his friend to:
1. Just suck his dick!
The refs were whistle happy: Seven technical fouls were called (4 in the first quarter!) as the refs tried to take control of the game. This game had the feel of a HUGE rivalry match-up and I understand that the refs tried to keep it under control, but OBVIOUSLY it never had any chance of turning into the 1984 Finals with Rambis getting clothes-lined by McHale.
Still, the refs felt the need to get control of the game and called a ton of early fouls, killing any flow to the game and making it a late 90's clutch and grab Heat-Knicks game in the process.
Doc Rivers will KILL the Celtics!!! Three minutes into the 4th quarter the game was virtually over. Instead of resting Garnett, Pierce and Allen and doing that old-school Jordan/Bulls thing of icing down in the final minutes, Rivers kept his stars in the game until 2 minutes left. The C's were up 20 points with ZERO chance of losing the game! The Lakers starters never played in the 4th quarter of a huge win over Utah on Friday. They spent the whole quarter taping up and icing down. Hey Doc, you might want to rest your very veteran team during blow-out wins.
What a letdown! This was a game I was looking forward to for weeks... WEEKS! Since 1991, this was the first time both the Celtics and the Lakers both had legitimate playoff contending teams (2002 didn't count, because that Celtics team had ZERO chance against Shaq in his prime!). Staples Center was buzzing all the way up to tip-off: both teams broke out retro jerseys, Kurt Rambis was sporting a retro stache and the Clark Kent glasses, even Jerry West (a noted Celtic hater) was honored before the game... this game had classic rivalry written all over it. Except that the Celtics were too big, too strong and too experienced for the Lakers and the game was over in 5 minutes. This goes to show that despite all the recent success, the Lakers aren't a top-5 team in The Association.
Fear the Stache!