Where were you during the NBA Finals game when Leon Powe outshined four future Hall of Famers? Putting his name right next to Gerald Henderson and Scott Wedman in Boston’s “One Shining Moment” archives, Powe played the game of his life in last night’s Game 2 win, dumping 21 points on the Lakers off the bench. In the first half Powe was a magnet for contact and got himself to the line time after time. In the second half he turned into a track star, getting a bunch of dunks and layups in transition as the C’s were on the verge of a blowout … Sparked by Powe and the outside shooting of Ray Allen (3 threes) and Paul Pierce (4 threes), the Celtics led by as much as 24 with about eight minutes left in the fourth. Then they got lazy on defense and sloppy on offense, and the next thing you know, L.A. had cut the lead to two in the final minute. Boston survived thanks to some big free throws by Pierce (28 pts, 8 asts) and James Posey and the fact that L.A. couldn’t get the ball in Kobe Bryant‘s hands on a crucial possession near the end … And leave it up to Phil Jackson to crap on Powe’s parade. In the post-game press conference Phil was looking at the box score, pretending like he’s never heard of Powe and says, “I’m trying to figure out how Leon Powe shoots more foul shots than our entire team in just 14 minutes. That’s just ridiculous.” Well, it could be because Powe spends most of his time around the basket and doesn’t settle for jumpers … Vlad Radmanovic took more steps than a rehab program on that breakaway dunk he had late in the fourth. And on L.A.’s previous possession, did you see Tony Allen screaming in Sasha Vujacic‘s ear as Sasha was launching a three in front of Boston’s bench? That was bush league … Where was Kevin Garnett (17 pts, 14 rebs) in the fourth quarter? He hit three jumpers when the Celtics were building the big lead, but from the 7:55 mark on, he didn’t score one point, grab one rebound, make one assist, block one shot or make one steal. Other than missing a couple of jumpers, he was just there. It would have been a bigger deal had the Celtics lost, especially because KG was also getting beasted by Pau Gasol in the first half … For the first 24 minutes Gasol (17 pts, 10 rebs) played like he had some hair on his chest — demanding the rock and yelling at teammates (including Kobe) when they didn’t get it to him where he wanted, dunking on KG, and pretty much scoring whenever he wanted — but over the course of the second half he went back to the same Gasol we saw in Game 1 … You’re going to hear a lot about the refs regarding Game 2, and like Phil implied, the numbers provide good reason: Boston shot 38 free throws to just 10 for L.A., and two ticky-tack fouls on Kobe early in the first half changed the landscape of the game when he had to sit down. Kobe (30 pts, 8 asts, 3 stls) also got called for a tech in the second half after he scored on a drive, thought he was fouled and got in the ref’s face about it … Wasn’t this series supposed to be easier for Derek Fisher? Sure he avoided Chauncey Billups, but Rajon Rondo (16 asts, 6 rebs, 4 pts) has outplayed Fisher so far. That could change once the series moves to L.A. and Rondo’s playing on the road, but right now he’s not looking like a wide-eyed kid … Coby Karl already looks like a coach, doesn’t he? … Nice halftime feature on Powe and his life story, but they somehow neglected to mention the fact that Powe has also had multiple major knee injuries that almost ended his career before he even got to the League … In Bill Russell‘s pre-game interview he said the Finals is the first time all year that you see “great basketball” on both sides. We have to respectfully disagree with that, but we do understand how a guy with more championship rings than fingers doesn’t get too impressed by a regular season game … Russell on Pierce’s Game 1 injury/comeback: “That’s being a Celtic.” … When Kobe lost the ball in the first half but threw his hands in the air and screamed trying to draw a foul, is that going to be a fine-worthy “flop” next season? Have we even determined what exactly the NBA is going to be consider a flop? … Someone go back to the videotape and see if there’s footage of Curt Schilling at a Suns game wearing a jersey back when he played for the Diamondbacks, or at a Sixers game when he played in Philly. We’re not buying that he’s some huge Celtics fan … We know it’s not gonna happen overnight, but we can’t wait until game producers really master the X-Mo thing. We don’t need to see a suuuuuuuper-slow-motion clip of Paul Pierce saying “Yeah!” Focus that thing on a point guard who’s leading the break so we can see where his eyes are going … A couple members of the Dime crew were at the TD Banknorth Garden for the game, and afterwards said Donovan McNabb and Eagles owner Jeff Lurie were walking amidst the Boston fans and getting heckled left and right. The Pats won that Super Bowl, right? Don’t understand where the venom is coming from … In case you missed it on DimeMag.com yesterday, our man Andrew is in Italy for Reebok’s Eurocamp 2008. Check his Day 1 diary HERE and read about Serge Ibaka, a 6-10 teenager out of the Congo who is drawing comparisons to a young Shawn Kemp and is available in this summer’s NBA Draft … We’re out like calling a travel …
Smack / Jun 9, 2008 / 1:17 am
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