Posts Tagged ‘Ray Allen’

Where the Tonight Show meets multiple sets of Big Threes

December 18, 2008

Let’s play a quick game of Classic Concentration.

What do you end up with when add together …

The Tohight Show

Karnac the Magnificent

                                                           +
Steve, Chevy & Martin

Steve, Chevy & Martin

                                                           +
Where Amazing Happens

Where Amazing Happens

                                                          =
                                                         ???
—————————————————————————

Hilarity & Hoops all wrapped up into one. 🙂

==========================================

Courtesy of BDL

One-on-One: Ernie johnson talks TV, being press secretary

Ernie Johnson is hilarious. It may not come across that way all the time on “Inside the NBA,” but when you sit down and talk to him, it’s easy to see why he has become one of the most popular broadcasters on television. Johnson has a wicked sense of humor and doesn’t take himself too seriously, which are both reasons why the show continues to have success.

This is the final Q and A in a series of interviews I conducted with the show’s personalities (Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith) during my behind the scenes look at the “Inside” set in Atlanta.

Ball Don’t Lie: TNT says that basketball’s biggest night is on Thursday. How can basketball’s biggest night only have two games?

Ernie Johnson: Well, sometimes it’s three. (Laughs) Because it’s exclusive, that’s why it’s the biggest. It may appear to be a misnomer … but no, it’s basketball’s biggest night because it’s the only night that has Charles and Kenny.

BDL: Do you think there is any part of “Inside the NBA” that could be better?

EJ: (Pauses) So, you’re asking what would I change about the show?

BDL: Yeah.

EJ: Nothing. I really wouldn’t. I’m older than these other guys, so I grew up watching Carson, they’re totally different shows, but one of the great things I liked about Johnny Carson when I was growing up was the fact that while he was funny, he was really great when some of his stuff wasn’t funny, or the jokes didn’t go over, and he played it off so well, he wasn’t afraid to [say], “We’ll take a shot at this and see what happens.”

And I think that’s kind of [the same attitude] with Tim Kiely the [Inside] producer and all of us. It’s like, “Yeah, we’ll try something.” And if it’s not funny, fine, but we’re not just gonna sit there and do a cookie-cutter show, that you know what’s coming if you watch it once, you say, “I know what’s gonna happen next Thursday, this is the way they do things.” You never know …

BDL: You never know what’s going to happen around here.

EJ: No, and that’s the beauty of the show. A lot of times even when something doesn’t work it’s like, “That was bad, that didn’t work at all,” but it was funny because we didn’t play it off seriously like, “Oh, well that wasn’t funny, we’re sorry. Is it funny that we weren’t funny … yeah. Not everything has to be hit out of the park; it’s just great sometimes the guys react.

==========================================

Bar none … this corner’s favourite show on television today:

Ernie, Kenny & Charles

Ernie, Kenny & Charles

by a country mile.

——————————————————–

“What he really meant … “ 🙂

——————————

For Everything Else there’s Mastercard!

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Raptors’ CRUNCH TIME offense vs the Celtics [Nov 11]

November 12, 2008

Perusing the net today, it was interesting to see what others had to say about the Raptors’ choice of offensive options during the final 3 minutes of their terrific game versus the Celtics last night.

Feel free to drop a note into the ‘comments’ section of this entry, if you saw or read anything which covered this sort of material, elsewhere in the blogosphere during your travels today. 😉

——————————————-

Coming the down the stretch [i.e. in the final 3:14 of the 4th Q] …

POSSESSION #1

O’Neal [TO] – Raps ran JK Down Screened for CB [R-Block]; CB Angle Pick for JC [R-Top Of The Key (TOTK)]; Garnett did not ’show’ & stayed with CB; Rondo went ‘over’ the Pick; JC turned the corner, drove for a layup; Pierce sagged off JK [R-Corner] to stop dribble penetration; JC kick to JK; Rondo rotated over from trailing JC to contest the open J3 by JK; JK shot fake, 1 dribble middle; Pierce recovered out; JK pass to JC [R-Short Corner]; Rondo & Perkins rotated to JC; JC middle pass to JO [in the lane]; Allen-R rotated in to check JO; Perkins recovered back to challenge JO’s shot attempt; JO should have shot the ball; JO passes back to JC, ball goes out of bounds; TO/O’Neal.

POSSESSION #2

O’Neal [Missed J2/BS] – Raps ran JK Down Screened for CB [R-Block]; CB Angle Pick for JC [R-TOTK]; Garnett ’showed’ vs JC; Rondo went ‘under’ the Pick; Rondo recovered out to JC; Garnett recovered back to CB; CB [TOTK] tried to back-cut vs Garnett, denied; JC passed to JK [R-Corner]; JO posted up [R-Block]; Perkins muscled JO off the block; JO forced out to 15 ft; JK post entry pass to JO; JK cleared through on the baseline; JO 1-V-1 on Perkins; Rondo sagged to the ballside elbow, into the lane, to deter JO from turning middle; JO should have passed out to JC [TOTK] for the open J3, the same one he hit late vs Milwaukee for the win; instead, JO turned to outside for his own turn-around jumpshot, which was blocked by Perkins; Loose ball recovered by Pierce.

POSSESSION #3

O’Neal [TO] – Sideline Out of Bounds. Raps inbound to JC [R-TOTK]; AP Down screened for CB [R-Block]; CB Angle Pick for JC; CB ’slips’ early to the TOTK; Garnett ’showed & recovered back to CB; Rondo went ‘over’; Pierce sagged off JK [L-FTL Extended (FTLX)] to deter the throwback pass to CB, while Garnett was still recovering; JC picked up his dribble, at the FTLX, in order to pass back to CB, who the play was originally called for; Garnett hard denied [full front] CB; JO posted up [off R-Elbow]; JC passed to JO; AP cleared out along the baseline; JO should have faced up and attacked Perkins off the bounce, 17 ft from the basket; JO passed out to JC; JO set Angle Pick for JC [R-TOTK]; Rondo got picked off by JO; JC turned the corner; Perkins ’switched’ to defend JC, and did so perfectly, without fouling, forcing JC to drive baseline under the basket; Allen-R sagged into the lane, then recovered out to defend AP; Pierce sunk into the lane, then recovered out to defend JK; Garnett had the discipline to never leave CB; Rondo had the discipline to never leave JO; JC read the play correctly and found JO with a high pass out, since he was covered by the smaller Rondo; JO caught the pass, then dribbled in the lane [which he should not have done; he should have gone straight-up for the shot attempt]; Rondo & Garnett attacked the dribble and stripped JO; TO/O’Neal.

POSSESSION #4

Calderon [Missed J2] – CB set Down Screen for JK [L-Elbow]; JK cleared out along the baseline; CB set Angle Pick for JC [L-Elbow]; Rondo was picked off; JC turned the corner; Perkins sagged off JO [R-Elbow] and rotated hard & fast to challenge JC; Garnett had the discipline to stay with CB and NOT help onto JC; JC made the correct read and took a pull-up Jumpshot, which was open; Perkins challenged the pull-up J; Missed J2/Calderon.

POSSESSION #5

Parker [Missed J3] – Sideline Out of Bounds. Inbound pass to AP [R-TOTK]. CB went to set a High Middle Pick for AP; AP rejected the Pick and, instead, attacked Pierce 1-V-1 off the bounce; AP took a J3; Pierce kept AP in front of him & contested the shot; Missed J3/Parker.

POSSESSION #6

Kapono [Missed J3] – JC [in transition] Dribble handoff Pick for JK [L-Corner]; Allen-R went ‘under’; JK [L-FTLX] took a J3, uncontested. Missed J3/Kapono.

POSSESSION #7

Parker [Made J3] – Baseline Out of Bounds. CB & JO set Elbow Screens for AP [L-Elbow]; AP curled around the 2 screens into the Right Corner; Perkins rotated to defend AP; JK cut to the Right FTLX; JO set a Down Screen for JC [inbounds passer]; AP passed out to KP; Allen-R jumped at JK to deter the open ‘catch & shoot’ J; JK shot faked and took 1 sribble to avoid Allen; Perkins & Pierce rotated to JK to prevent the open J; CB spaced out at the TOTK; JK passed to AP [R-Corner]; Perkins rotated out to contest the open J. AP took a J3. Made J3/Parker.

… in every instance Jose Calderon and Chris Bosh read the Celtics’ Defense correctly, and made the correct play, accordingly.

While it’s 100% accurate to say that Calderon missed 1 contested pull-up jumpshot … the other execution errors were made by Jermaine O’Neal [3], Anthony Parker [1] and Jason Kapono [1] …

and it is wholly inaccurate to suggest that what the Raptors did in this game was ‘freeze out’ their star player, i.e. Chris Bosh, coming the down stretch vs Kevin Garnett & Co.

——————————————-

If you didn’t … know that:

1. Perhaps you got ripped off; and,
2. THE difference is in the details … when it comes to understanding fully,

How things work, possession by possession, in the NBA.’ 🙂

GAME REVIEW: Raptors at Celtics [Nov 10]

November 11, 2008

In the NBA, there are 3 distinct tiers of teams:

High End … Above .549 Win %
Middle … Between .450-.549 Win %
Low End … Below .450 Win %

One of the Key Performance Indicators [KPIs] which separates teams in the High End group from teams in the Middle group is how they tend to function [i.e. execute their ‘stuff’] during the final few minutes of a close game against a High End team.

High End teams consistently display the ability to stop their opponents from scoring during this specific phase of the game, and the ability to score the ball themselves at Crunch Time.

———————————–

FINAL SCORE: Raptors 87, CELTICS 94
Game Info

POSITIVES

 

pos

mp

fgm-a

3fgm-a

ftm-a

+/-

dr

or

tr

ast

pf

st

to

bs

ba

pts

J.Moon

F

16:25

2-5

1-4

0-0

+5

1

6

7

1

2

1

0

1

0

5

J.Graham

 

18:01

3-5

1-1

1-2

+3

1

4

5

0

3

0

0

0

0

8

K.Humphries

 

05:36

2-3

0-0

0-0

+5

0

2

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

4

NEEDED AREAS OF IMPROVEMENT

 

pos

mp

fgm-a

3fgm-a

ftm-a

+/-

dr

or

tr

ast

pf

st

to

bs

ba

pts

A.Bargnani

 

10:53

1-4

0-1

0-0

-9

0

0

0

0

4

0

1

0

0

2

* Despite scoring 23 Pts and recording 11 Rebs, in the last 3+ minutes of the 4th Quarter, Jermaine O’Neal committed 2 TO’s which cost the Raptors dearly and had his Turn-around Jump-shot blocked by Kendrick Perkins.

* Despite scoring 14 Pts and recording 6 Rebs, Jason Kapono allowed Paul Pierce to score 3 crucial FGs [6 Pts] during the final 3:14 of the 4th Quarter, cementing the victory for the Celtics, while going scoreless himself.

KEY POSSESSION OUTCOME[S]

———————————–

  3:14 Team Timeout:Regular
  3:14 Davis Substitution replaced by Perkins
  3:14 House Substitution replaced by Rondo
  3:02
[BOS 84-84]
Allen 3pt Shot: Made (17 PTS)
Assist: Rondo (3 AST)
O’Neal Turnover:Bad Pass (2 TO) 2:41  
  2:15 Rondo Fade Away Jumper Shot: Missed
Kapono Rebound (Off:0 Def:4) 2:14  
O’Neal Jump Shot: Missed Block: Perkins (1 BLK) 1:50  
  1:49 Pierce Rebound (Off:0 Def:8)
  1:38
[BOS 86-84]
Pierce Turnaround Fade Away shot: Made (30 PTS)
Team Timeout:Regular 1:37  
O’Neal Turnover:Out of Bounds Lost Ball Turnover (3 TO) 1:18  
  1:06
[BOS 88-84]
Pierce Fade Away Jumper Shot: Made (32 PTS)
Calderon Jump Shot: Missed 0:52  
  0:51 Pierce Rebound (Off:0 Def:9)
  0:34
[BOS 90-84]
Pierce Reverse Layup Shot: Made (34 PTS)
Team Timeout:Short 0:34  
Parker 3pt Shot: Missed 0:30  
  0:29 Rondo Rebound (Off:1 Def:4)
Kapono Foul:Personal (4 PF) 0:24  
  0:24
[BOS 91-84]
Allen Free Throw 1 of 2 (18 PTS)
  0:24
[BOS 92-84]
Allen Free Throw 2 of 2 (19 PTS)
Kapono 3pt Shot: Missed 0:17  
Team Rebound 0:17  
Parker 3pt Shot: Made (15 PTS)
Assist: Kapono (6 AST)
0:11
[TOR 87-92]
 
Bosh Foul:Personal (4 PF) 0:08  
  0:08
[BOS 93-87]
Pierce Free Throw 1 of 2 (35 PTS)
  0:08
[BOS 94-87]
Pierce Free Throw 2 of 2 (36 PTS)
Calderon 3pt Shot: Missed 0:02  
  0:01 Allen Rebound (Off:0 Def:4)
End of 4th Quarter

———————————–

* BOSTON scored on 6 of its final 7 meaningful possessions [3:14-0:08], four times by Pierce and twice by Allen-R

Allen-R [J3]
Rondo
Pierce [J2]
Pierce [J2]
Pierce [LU2]
Allen-R [1+1], and
Pierce [1+1]

* Toronto scored on 1 of its final 7 meaningfull possessions [3:14-0:08], by Parker

O’Neal [TO]
O’Neal [Missed J2/BS]
O’Neal [TO]
Calderon [Missed J2]
Parker [Missed J3]
Kapono [Missed J3], and
Parker [J3]

——————————-

Executing, successfully, under pressure, on a consistent basis … i.e. Offensively, Defensively & Rebounding wise … is a hallmark of a High End team, in the NBA; while failing to do is a tell-tale sign that an otherwise good squad still has a ways to go before reaching that same level of excellence.

When the Raptors make good use of Jamario Moon, Joey Graham and Kris Humphries, off the bench, they become a solid, up-and-coming team in the Eastern Conference.

When they don’t, however … like what happened during the 2nd Half of yesterday’s match-up vs Boston … and instead get an unproductive performance [from the field] out of Andrea Bargnani [C], a less-than-stellar defensive line from Jason Kapono, and untimely poor play from Jermaine O’Neal, coming down the stretch of Big Games vs High End teams across the League,

the Raptors are going to struggle closing out games.

Boston Celtics, NBA Champions (2007-2008)

June 18, 2008

Basketball is a game played in three distinct phases:

* Offense
* Defense
* Rebounding

What it takes to win the NBA Championship [Dec 12, 2007]

Teams which combine these three phases of the game, in the most well-balanced way, succeed … on and off the court.

Quality Rating (QR) is a simple measure which combines the:

* Points Scored Differential Ranking (PSDR)
* Points Allowed Ranking (PAR)
* Rebounding Differential Ranking (RDR)

to produce a Quality Index Ranking for each of the 16 teams which eventually make the playoffs in the NBA.

Legitimate Contenders in the NBA, Part I [Dec 18, 2007]

Since the early part of the 2007-2008 regular season schedule, the Celtics established themselves as THE dominant team in the League; at one juncture, ranking #1 in all three measures (i.e. PSDR, PAR & RDR) and with a QR of 3 …

Legitimate Contenders in the NBA: Part V [Apr 18, 2008]

which, fundamentally, did not change throughout the balance of the season.

Most NBA observers fail to understand the value of Rebounding & Defense at the highest level of competition.

Most NBA observers fail to understand the value of Individual Match-ups & Mis-matches in determining Winners & Losers within a specific game.

Most NBA observers fail to understand the value of a Core Covenant built upon Rebounding, Defense, Individual Match-ups and the concepts of Shared (Unselfish) Offense, Teamwork and Ubuntu!

Red Auerbach understood these things.
Bill Russell understands these things.

So, now, does Danny Ainge …
and Doc Rivers,
and Thom Thibodeau, Armond Hill, Kevin Eastman & Clifford Ray,
and Bryan Doo, Walter Norton & Ed Lacerte,
and Paul Pierce, Ray Allen & Kevin Garnett,
and Kendrick Perkins & Rajon Rondo,
and James Posey, Eddie House & Scott Pollard,
and Tony Allen, Leon Powe & Brian Scalabrine,
and Glen Davis & Gabe Pruitt,
and PJ Brown & Sam Cassell.

As did Grady Rivers.

Kudos to the Men in Green … on a job supremely well done, from worst to first!

When things get bad … lean in

June 17, 2008

Doc Rivers’ Post-Game Presser following the Celtics stunning Game 4 comeback, on the road, encompasses everything these Boston Celtics stand for … and represents what they hope to achieve with a Game 6 victory this evening … i.e. the 17th World Championship in the history of their franchise.

What the 2007-2008 Boston Celtics Are All About

(watch the vid clip through to the end)

Enjoy this evening’s Game 6!

P.S. Sincere apologies to the regular readers for not being to keep up to-date with the goings-on in the world of sports since last week. Unfortunately, everybody has to go on the DL from time-to-time and these last few days have been my time there. Not to worry though, all should be back to normal soon.

Observations from Curt Schilling

June 9, 2008

Sitting beside the Lakers’ bench during last night’s match-up between the Lakers and the Celtics, Curt Schilling (pitcher for the Red Sox) had a chance to watch an NBA Final’s game ‘up close & personal’.

His observations are certainly intriguing … 

Manny, JD, Papi, Lester and the NBA Finals.
… it was a fascinating bit of insight for me to watch someone in another sport who is in the position of a team leader and how he interacted with his team and teammates. Watching the other 11 guys, every time out it was high fives and “Hey nice work, let’s get after it” or something to that affect. He walked off the floor, obligatory skin contact on the high five, and sat on the bench stone faced or pissed off, the whole game. Just weird to see another sport and how it all works. I would assume that’s his style and how he plays and what works for him because when I saw the leader board for scoring in the post season his name sat up top at 31+ a game, can’t argue with that. But as a fan I was watching the whole thing, Kobe, his teammates and then the after effects of conversations. He’d yell at someone, make a point, or send a message, turn and walk away, and more than once the person on the other end would roll eyes or give a ‘whatever dude’ look.

==========================

There are several specific reasons the Celtics are going to win this series.

What Mr. Schilling observed last night … even as a self-professed basketball ‘neophyte’ … is a revealing portrait of the inner workings of two divergent NBA teams, each operating at an elite level, and a prime example of more than one of these specific reasons.

Rebounding Differential, We not me … and, Ubuntu!

How the Warrior finally gets his ring

June 5, 2008

It has been a long time coming but … 12 years after being drafted No. 5 (Overall), in 1995, by the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Spirit of the Times dictates that this is the season this young man lays claim at last to what he’s been about his entire adult life …

Garnett after the battle. … winning an NBA championship.

Garnett sets the tone for Boston’s winning ways

After coming this far … from:

(1) Finishing 5th in the 2007 NBA Draft Lottery … and missing out on both Greg Oden & Kevin Durant
(2) Having the worst W-L record in the League last season (2006-2007)
(3) Experiencing the painful loss of their ‘eternal architect’, Arnold Jacob ‘Red’ Auerbach (Oct 28, 2006)
(3) Finishing 3rd in the 1997 NBA Draft Lottery … and missing out on Tim Duncan
(4) Experiencing the tragic death of Reggie Lewis (Captain, 1993)
(5) Experiencing the traumatic death of Len Bias (No. 2 Overall Selection, 1986)

there is no way that the Boston Celtics, with men like ‘The Big Ticket’, ‘The Truth’‘Jesus Shuttlesworth’, & Co., are going to be denied this season … not after amassing 66 Wins in the Regular Season, going to 7 games against the Atlanta Hawks (a young athletic team), going to 7 games against the Cleveland Cavaliers (led by the 2nd best player in the world), going to 6 games against the Detroit Pistons (a veteran team with the 2nd best W-L record in the entire League this season) … and, then, now reaching the NBA Finals against their franchise’s arch-nemesis, the Los Angeles Lakers.

This corner’s R.E.S.P.E.C.T. for Phil Jackson, The Triangle, Kobe & Co. is immeasurable … but 

these Boston Celtics:

* Have 3 proven scorers
* Have quality depth at each of the 5 positions
* Are an outstanding Defensive team
* Are an outstanding Rebounding team
* Are an Unselfish Offensive team
* Have the extra Home court game

and have been possessed with the spirit of Ubuntu! … since their training camp began their season.

There is no more powerful force in this world than …

an idea that’s time has finally come.

Bloodied, battered and bowed

but never, ever broken

as this is THE season of Celtic Pride restored.

Arnold would have been oh, so proud … of the ‘Men in Green.’

The Zeitgeist is with the Celtics

June 4, 2008

zeit·geist
Pronunciation: \ˈtsīt-ˌgīst, ˈzīt-\
Function: noun
Usage: often capitalized
Etymology: German, from Zeit + Geist spirit
Date: 1835

: the general intellectual, moral, and cultural climate of an era

=======================================

A comprehensive assessment of both teams in the NBA Finals indicates that there are a number of important factors in favour of the Celtics …

* Rebounding Differential (BOS/+3.1; LAL/+1.3)
* 9 of the last 12 NBA titles (75.0%) have been won by the team with a superior Rebounding Differential; and 19 of the last 28 (67.9%) 
* Offensive Rebounds Allowed (BOS/11.0; LAL/12.1)
* Home court
* Absence of Andrew Bynum & limited contribution of Trevor Ariza
* Overall depth at the 4 & 5 positions
* 3 proven scorers (Pierce, Garnett & Allen) vs 2 (Kobe & Gasol)
* Interior Defense (with the Lakers missing Bynum’s shot-blocking)
* NEXT YEAR is the Lakers’ SEASON OF DESTINY, as a team, not this one (which has always been about Kobe Bryant’s MVP and getting the Lakers pointed in the right direction, once again)
* THIS YEAR has always been about CELTIC PRIDE and the inter-connectedness of …

Danny Ainge & Red Auerbach & Bill Russell & Kevin Garnett & Paul Pierce & Ray Allen & Leon Powe & Doc Rivers and …

Ubuntu: I am what I am because of who we all are.

No Rebounds, No Rings.” – Pat Riley

WE not Me … Basketball is a Brotherhood.

PLEASE NOTE: The Celtics (66-16, .805) finished 9 games ahead of the Lakers (57-25, .695), have home court advantage, and are +170 (moneyline) to win this series. There will never be a better opportunity to Capitalize on an ‘incorrect’ line.

8 Possessions which extended the Pistons’ season

May 27, 2008

One of the things which many astute NBA observers fail to realize is just how many games are actually decided by the specific outcomes of a small set of Fulcrum Possessions, regardless what other advantages and/or disadvantages might be unearthed from a detailed examination of the various ‘Game Stats’ from that contest.

The final score of last night’s Detroit victory (at home) versus Boston was 94-75 … a 19 point differential.

However, save for the following 8 possessions [#1-8, below] in this game … 4 of which the Pistons played on Defense and 4 of which they played on Offense … last night’s eventual outcome would have been markedly different.

———————————————————

Pierce Layup Shot: Made (16 PTS) 4:51
[BOS 73-78]
 
  4:50 Team Timeout:Regular
  4:50 Hunter Substitution replaced by Billups
  4:50 Maxiell Substitution replaced by Wallace
  4:50 Stuckey Substitution replaced by Prince
  4:38 Hamilton Foul:Offensive (5 PF)
  4:38 Hamilton Turnover:Foul (2 TO)
[#1] Pierce Jump Shot: Missed 4:28  
  4:26 Prince Rebound (Off:0 Def:2)
  4:05 Prince Hook Shot: Missed Block: Garnett (2 BLK)
Pierce Rebound (Off:2 Def:6) 4:03  
[#2] Rondo Layup Shot: Missed 3:46  
  3:44 Wallace Rebound (Off:1 Def:3)
Perkins Foul:Shooting (6 PF) 3:23  
Perkins Substitution replaced by Brown 3:23  
  3:23
[DET 79-73]
[#3] Wallace Free Throw 1 of 2 (13 PTS)
  3:23
[DET 80-73]
Wallace Free Throw 2 of 2 (14 PTS)
[#4] Allen Turnover:Bad Pass (2 TO) 3:13  
  2:55
[DET 83-73]
[#5] Billups 3pt Shot: Made (10 PTS)
Assist: Prince (3 AST)
Team Timeout:Regular 2:53  
Brown Substitution replaced by Posey 2:53  
Garnett Hook Shot: Made (16 PTS)
Assist: Posey (1 AST)
2:31
[BOS 75-83]
 
Allen Foul:Personal (2 PF) 2:14  
  2:14
[DET 84-75]
[#6] Hamilton Free Throw 1 of 2 (15 PTS)
  2:14
[DET 85-75]
Hamilton Free Throw 2 of 2 (16 PTS)
  2:04 McDyess Foul:Shooting (4 PF)
[#7] Allen Free Throw 1 of 2 missed 2:04  
Team Rebound 2:04  
Allen Free Throw 2 of 2 missed 2:04  
  2:03 Wallace Rebound (Off:1 Def:4)
  1:47
[DET 87-75]
[#8] Hamilton Driving Layup Shot: Made (18 PTS)
Assist: Billups (6 AST)

———————————————————

Full Play-By-Play (Bost @ Detroit, Mon May 26)

In a 3:04 span of the 4th Quarter (4:51-1:47), Detroit converted on 4 of their 6 possessions (66.7%), to the tune of 9 points, while allowing Boston to convert on only 1 of their 5 possessions (20.0%), for a total of 2 points (including 2 crucial missed FTA’s by Ray Allen, the leading percentage free throw shooter in the 2008 Playoffs). 

Given the time & score, at that point of the game …

* 1 Jump Shot: Missed (Paul Pierce)
* 1 Layup Shot: Missed (Rajon Rondo)
* 1 Turnover (Ray Allen)
* 1 pair of FTA’s: Missed + Missed (Ray Allen)

by the Celtics … in concert with the Pistons offensive execution, which included …

* 1 pair of FTA’s: Made + Made (Rasheed Wallace)
* 1 3Pt Shot: Made (Chauncey Billups)
* 1 pair of FTA’s: Made + Made (Rip Hamilton)
* 1 Driving Layup Shot: Made (Rip Hamilton)

proved to be THE difference between the Pistons’ season coming to an abrupt end on Wednesday night in Boston (Game 5) or ensuring that at least one more home game is played in Detroit during this post-season (Friday night’s Game 6).

 

NBA Playoffs Conference Finals Preview

May 20, 2008

Eastern Conference Finals

(1) BOSTON CELTICS (H)

(2) DETROIT PISTONS

By the Numbers

QIR – #1 (6)
Points Differential Rank – #1
Points Allowed Rank – #2
Rebounding Differential Rank – #3

QIR – #2 (10)
Points Differential Rank – #2
Points Allowed Rank – #1
Rebounding Differential Rank – #7
 

Basketball Acumen

Still the team to beat in the East with home court advantage. Team D is The Story, fuelled by KG. Must find a way to shake lose Ray Ray on Offense. Easier said than done. Key Match-up: Doc Rivers vs Flip Saunders, especially, during the last 6 minutes of each game.

Good enough to win the series. Quality depth is outstanding. Top notch young players will need to continue stellar play. Rodney Stuckey (PG) is the Real Deal. Must assert their collective will to match the Celtics on the glass. Key Match-up: ‘Good’ Sheed vs ‘Bad’ Sheed.

Who will win

It’s going to go 7 games and it’s just too close to call. 

 

Western Conference Finals

(1) LA LAKERS (H)

(3) SAN ANTONIO SPURS

By the Numbers

QIR – #10 (30)
Points Differential Rank – #3
Points Allowed Rank – #19
Rebounding Differential Rank – #8

QIR – #7 (23)
Points Differential Rank – #8
Points Allowed Rank – #3
Rebounding Differential Rank – #12
 

Basketball Acumen

Will need to out-score the Spurs. Bench must continue to score, making open shots. Key Match-up: Kobe vs Ginobili. Without Bynum, should be the underdog in this specific match-up. Must improve interior D to have a chance. Ariza’s D & Rebounding will be missed. Will go as far as the MVP takes them.

The Heart of a Champion. Quality depth is first rate. Versatile and physical. Veteran role players know what it takes to win. Will win the series if they can dominate the glass. Team ethos is the best in the League. Key Match-up: Gregg Popovich vs Phil Jackson, the two best coaches in the NBA today.

Who will win

It’s going to go 7 games … and it’s just too close to call.