OK, I'm not really going to make excuses for Kobe and the Lakers after they got thoroughly dismantled by the Celtics in Game 1 of the NBA Finals... BUT, how does a fully grown man who stands 6'7 and weighs 235 pounds start crying like a baby when he goes down with an injury -- and not only had to be carried off the court but then subsequently pushed to the locker room in a wheelchair, all while squeezing out a steady stream of tears -- start writhing in pain, and then return to the game two minutes later with not one single noticeable problem with him physically?
No limp, no favoring of one side over the other, no problem with lateral movement, no problem whatsoever. Amazing! Or at least it would be amazing to me if I were a naive optimist. But since I'm a cynical misanthrope, I have to wonder both aloud and electronically what type of treatment Paul Pierce received while he was hidden away in that Celtics locker room? What type of magic went on back there where he couldn't walk on minute to being able to run with no problem the very next minute?
can you say "doped up"?
Then to add insult to injury, literally, Paul promptly drops back to back three-pointers, both swishes! Almost as if nothing happened to him just moments earlier! I am equally amazed and skeptical.
Forgive me but what is the pioneering medical technology discovered in Boston's locker room? Hell, I suffer from chronic shoulder dislocations -- where can I buy the mystery cure that was administered last night to Pierce? My shoulder hurt! Hell, give some to Andrew Bynum, too, he has a bum knee too!
I want to believe that I can go to my neighborhood Duane Reade and get the same thing over the counter. But my Spidey senses tell me that I'm more likely to find the miracle drug on a street corner, where I would have to engage in a clandestine hand-to-hand business transaction. Or I could simply go to Boston Celtics' locker room, where I'm sure they have plenty stocked up.
To err on the side of caution, I don't think it would do any harm for the NBA to demand a urine sample from Pierce just to make sure there was no funny business going on. This is not far-fetched considering the pains the NBA has gone through to clean up the collective image of its players. This would be just another way to make sure there is no funny business going on.
Now, with all that said, Kobe had a bad game, and the Celtics played great defense on him. None of Kobe's team mates stepped up, and pretty much everybody had a sloppy game.
In some ways last night's game reminded me of Game 1 of the 2001 NBA Finals when Allen Iverson scorched the Lakers en route to a victory. In both that game and last night's game the Lakers were seemingly caught off guard by the emotions of their opponents, which both times played a big role in the Lakers' losses.
But as I'm sure happened last time, this time Phil Jackson will remind his troops that they just need to settle down and remember that they've been there before while this is all new to the 2008 edition of the Celtics. And if history is to repeat itself, which it has a tendency of doing, the Lakers listened to their coach and responded by winning the next four games and the NBA title. I have no doubt the same thing will happen this time around.
I repeat, Lakers in 5.