The NBA is a superstar’s league. Kobe, LeBron, D-Wade, Superman. Even when we get multiple superstars on the same team, we give ‘em one nickname, like the Big Three or the Twin Towers — it makes for quicker sound bytes and more clever headlines. So when the Celtics began the fourth quarter of last night’s Game 4 with an un-superstar lineup of Nate Robinson, Tony Allen, Big Baby Davis and Rasheed Wallace on the court alongside Ray Allen, who really thought that lineup would dominate L.A.’s starters and pave the way for the Celtics win to even up the series? … Down by two going into the fourth, Boston needed a shot of adrenalin, and the bench came through like dude in Get Him To The Greek. Nate (12 pts) dropped in floaters and finger rolls and threw himself into the front tow; ‘Sheed hit that vintage ‘Sheed backbreaking three; TA helped keep Kung-Fu Kobe in check defensively; and Big Baby (18 pts) was simply a beast. The and-one where he drooled on the Garden floor while Nate jumped on his back was the highlight-reel play, but just as impressive was the one where Baby snatched an offensive board, flung Kobe aside like a blow-up doll and scored. On a night where every Celtic except Paul Pierce was finding it impossible to crack L.A.’s defense, the bench sparked a 36-point fourth quarter. By the time Rondo, Pierce (19 pts, 6 rebs, 5 asts) and KG checked back in, all they had to do was maintain the lead … OK, time to settle down with the Derek Fisher lovefest. The announce crew all but elected D-Fish governor of California before the first quarter was over, called his Game 3 fourth quarter “Kobe-like,” and stopped just short of crediting Fisher with taking the Jazz to the ’07 Western Conference Finals. Fisher was solid last night, though. Ray (12 pts, 4-11 FG) couldn’t get anything resembling an open shot until Fisher was on the bench in foul trouble … As much as both fan bases hate the refs in this series, we’re assuming even Lakers fans enjoyed seeing Pierce punch official Eddie F. Rush in the face. Pierce was celebrating what he thought was an and-one when he popped Rush in the mouth accidentally. Or not. Remember, Rush was the same ref who ejected Kendrick Perkins in the Orlando series … We’re not gonna get into the referee blame game, but how terrible was that phantom foul against ‘Sheed when Pau Gasol tripped on his own feet and ‘Sheed got charged. That was the one time his theatrical temper tantrum was justified, but then he canceled it out with a indefensible overreaction to a foul he deserved in the fourth quarter … Kobe (33 pts, 6 threes, 7 turnovers) looked a little passive at first, before he broke out late in the first half when he ran off three straight long jumpers (two triples) to build L.A.’s first significant lead. Kobe hit some ridiculous J’s in the third — that look he shot Tony Allen after the corner three was purely homicidal — but struggled again through most of the fourth quarter (just like Game 3) while the Celtics pulled away. In the last couple minutes Kobe went on a mini-binge of buckets, but the comeback bid ran out of time … Perkins had been doing a good job of controlling himself, knowing he can’t get another tech — you could even say he’s playing worse because he’s too timid — until last night. One time Gasol wrapped up Perkins under the hoop to prevent an easy bucket, a completely normal basketball play. But Perk started yapping at Pau, Kobe and whoever else was near him. Then he went stomping over to L.A.’s bench like he wanted to start something. He still didn’t get a tech, though … New rule: No more calling Big Baby “undersized.” Have you ever been around the guy up-close? He’s at least 6-6, 290, and that’s being conservative. Glen Davis is a massive human being. He’s not undersized, he’s just short for a power forward. That’s like saying E. Honda is undersized … If you hadn’t heard, there’s some big soccer tournament starting today. If you’re like us, mostly basketball fans still learning about soccer, we’ve got some hopefully helpful stuff for you to read beforehand. Check out our World Cup vs. NBA player comparisons … We’re out like punching refs …
Smack / Jun 11, 2010 / 5:52 am
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