The Celtics used another stellar defensive performance and an outstanding showing from Paul Pierce to come one game away from an 18th banner. Pierce was huge this game. He has had a lackluster Finals and playoffs in general, but he always seems to come up big during the biggest games. People talk about Lebron, Wade, and Kobe as the best players in the league. However, in a must win playoff game I'd put Pierce right in there with them. This series has been about unsung heroes, but at the end of the day you need your superstars to step up and that is exactly what Pierce did.
Rondo and Garnett each played solid games as well. Rondo's steal in the 4th all but sealed the game. Garnett was terrific on the boards with 10 rebounds. The bench, which was so huge in Game 4, didn't do much outside of Nate Robinson playing another inspired performance. Could Nate's performance from Game 6 of the Magic series on be one of the top 5 most surprising things to ever happen in the NBA playoffs? You could make a case for it.
We all knew Kobe would have a game like he had tonight at some point in the series. The fact that he did it and the Celtics were able to come out with a win was absolutely huge. He put on a show in the 3rd quarter but none of his teammates showed up. Garnett played some great defense on Gasol holding him to just 12 points. The fact that Gasol only gets 12 shots in a game is just bad coaching on Phil Jackson's part. Speaking of Phil Jackson, why would you say the Celtics have blown more 4th quarter leads than anyone? Sure, that was probably true in the regular season, but I think it's clear at this point that the regular season means nothing in the NBA. Sucks for season ticket holders but that is just the way it is. Anyway, shut up Phil Jackson and win a title without the best player int he league for once.
Ron Artest continues to be the best player on the Celtics. Yes, you heard that right., The guy reminds me of all the players in Space Jam that lost their talent. I actually get upset when he commits a foul because I want to see him in the game longer. That flop he had when Rondo got the technical was comedic genius. That is all Ron Artest is anymore though, a joke.
What a huge win for Boston. Now they have two shots to finish it in L.A which they are more than capable of doing. Howver, like I said in the Cleveland series, you don't want to get into a game 7 with a marquee superstar, though I'd still put money on the Celtics winning it. The great news for Celtics fans is we still haven't had all our big 4 have great games offensively at the same time. Sure, they had 75 points combined, but Ray and Rondo can play better offensively. That, coupled with Kobe's huge second half are huge positives to take out of this. I said Celtics in 6 starting out this series and am sticking to it. Beat L.A!