Ray Allen and Paul Pierce were a combined 5-25 from the field, 3-12 from beyond the arc, and finished with 17 points combined. They only hit 5 field goals, 3 of which were 3 pointers. The Celtics can not have two members of the Big Three only hit 5 shots and expect to win the game. Celtics lost 91-84. Lakers have regained home court advantage and lead the series 2-1.
Pierce made the declaration that the Celtics are not coming back to LA. If you make a statement like that Paul, you better back it up. Pierce picked up right where he left off in game 2, missing open shots and not attacking the rim. I thought Pierce would put it together for game 3. The team desperately needed him to step it up, but instead it was KG that answered the call. KG was magnificent from start to finish. KG adjusted his offense, becoming a post player against Gasol instead of settling for jumpers. The strategy worked as KG finished with 25 points.
Celtics started the game on fire, taking it to the Lakers defense and jumped to an early lead. Phil Jackson called an early timeout to stop the bleeding and it worked. Lakers regrouped and played great defense the remainder of the game. The Lakers finished with 7 blocks and out rebounded Boston 43-35 and its clear the height of the Lakers has made Boston tentative around the rim. Though Boston had more points in the paint than LA, most of the points were from the post play of KG or in transition. The Celtics are not driving to the hoop, but there are two good reasons why they are not, Bynum and Gasol. I’ve been really impressed with the play from both men and they are starting to impose their will on the Celtics. If Boston is going to win this series, they must find a way to get to the rim. That means Pierce needs to get involved in the offense somehow.
Ray Allen only finished with 2 points, 0-13 from the field. Though Allen had a terrible night shooting, I can’t knock him for his effort. He was running all over the court using screens well to get open looks, he was just missing shots. Such is the life of a shooter; one night you’re breaking records, next night you’re cold as ice. The Bench for the Celtics had a terrific second half and was the main reason why the Celtics erased a 17 point deficit. The Bench finished with 26 points combined and was great defensively. Both KG and Rondo had it going. So, why did the Celtics lose? Celtics lost because of the play of Paul Pierce, or I should say the lack of play. Pierce looked tired. Pierce was not demanding the ball and when he did have the ball, he looked like he didn’t know what to do with it. This is not the Pierce we saw against Orlando. The Celtics will not win the series if Pierce is not attacking the rim and getting to the free throw line.
Celtics have a chance to right the ship on Thursday night and tie the series. No time like the present. Celtics desperately need Pierce to step up and step up he will. Pierce will have a big game on Thursday. If he doesn’t, this will be a short series and Gasol and Odom will be hoisting up the O’Brien trophy. I know…it’s a sickening thought.
As always, Go C’s.
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Written by johnw