On the eve of the epic Game 7, Don (With-Malice) and I (The Purple And Gold Blog) discuss Game 6 and what to expect for the final showdown on Thursday.
Don: Well...That was exactly what the doctor ordered. Boston, full of piss 'n' vinegar sent reeling on their heels from an absolute beat-down. Honestly? I'd like one more, just like that... call it revenge for '08.
Ezra: The Celtics will come out better on Thursday, but it won't really matter. All the pressure is on them now to beat the Lakers at Staples Center that's only lost once the entire playoffs. That one loss happened on Ray Allen's best night, and I don't see Ray Ray doing any better than he's been shooting since Game 2. Their one and only chance to eliminate the Lakers was Game 6, and they blew it BIG time.
10 out of 13 teams that have homecourt winning Game 6 went on to win Game 7. If the Lakers come out with the same sense of urgency as a team and overwhelm Boston in the first quarter again, banner 16 is locked.
Don: It's going to be interesting... but I think the momentum's shifted yet again.
I'm expecting a steady diet of P&Rs and double-screens to free-up both Pierce and Ray Allen on the perimeter. The Lakers did an excellent job of crowding Pierce and chasing Allen through screens in Game 6. They will have to do more of that in Game 7. As long as they don't give a lot of easy looks for either one, I think the Lakers will be alright. But Kobe has to guard Rondo closer without letting him get to the rim. Boston still runs smooth when he is getting his teammates the ball. Having Bryant far away from him opens up way too many passing lanes.