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Pierce, Celtics Take Tough Game 3 Loss

There are so many “ifs” one can talk about after their team loses a tough game, especially if that tough game is in the NBA finals. There is one “if” in particular though that I believe would truly have changed this game. My “if” is that if Paul Pierce had performed to the ability that he is capable of, then the Celtics would have won this game by a double-digit margin.

Pierce did not play like he is capable of and the Celtics did not win by double-digits. Instead, the Lakers took Game 3, winning 87-81. One positive sign is that the Celtics basically played without Pierce tonight and about half of Kevin Garnett and still only lost by six points.

Game 3 was all about Ray Allen for the Celtics, since someone had to come up big for them with Pierce and Garnett both having off nights. Allen had a great night and finished with 25 points, five rebounds, two assists, and was 5-7 from beyond the arc. Garnett started the game off very rough but came back a bit to finish with 13 points and 12 rebounds. Paul Pierce was the problem tonight both offensively by scoring only 6 points and getting into early foul trouble.

The Celtics did get help from their bench tonight through James Posey and Eddie House. Posey had nine points and seven rebounds while playing most of the minutes that Pierce was on the bench for. House also came in due to Rajon Rondo’s twisted ankle at the start of the third quarter. Rondo turned out to be fine after getting taped in the locker room, but House still finished with six points, three rebounds, and two assists.

The Lakers once again went to Kobe Bryant most of the night for all of their scoring. Bryant finished the night with 36 points and seven rebounds. Pau Gasol had nine points and 12 rebounds in the secondary role. While Leon Powe provided a great spark off the bench for the Celtics in Game 2, Sasha Vujacic was the spark of the bench for the Lakers in Game 3. Vujacic had 20 points in 28 minutes of and was 3-5 from beyond the arc.

Final Thoughts

I am not worried so much about the loss and I do not think it has anything to do with the Celtics past problems on the road in the playoffs. Those road woes ended in Detroit with the two wins there. Like I stated earlier, if Pierce had played like he is capable of then the Celtics would have easily won this game.

I believe that the Celtics will have a good shot at Game 4 based on the fact that they let this one get away from them and will be itching to get back to their winning ways. Also, Pierce typically plays a greater game after one that he has performed badly in. Nothing to worry about with Rajon Rondo either, as he was able to return to action after coming out with his ankle injury. Game 4 will be Thursday, June 12 at 9 p.m. in Los Angeles. Beat LA!!

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Discussion

2 comments for “Pierce, Celtics Take Tough Game 3 Loss”

  1. I blame this loss on Pierce. Yes, Garnett didn’t shoot the ball well but at least he did other things (12 boards I think).

    Pierce shoots 2-14 from the field and had some CRUCIAL turnovers in the fourth. It’s a possibility that foul trouble kept him from getting a rhythm and his knee may have been sore from the travel, but the captain needs to play better in the NBA Finals, plain and simple.

    The other thing which ticked me off was late in the fourth where the Celts decided to trap Kobe in the middle of the court near half court, he dished easily to Odom who found a wide open Vujacic for another dagger three. They didn’t trap all game and left a hot shooter wide open. I understand you’d rather have Vujacic beat you but they trapped in a bad position and suffered the consequences.

    Seeing a game like last night makes me nervous about the other games in LA. Yes, you can say we were lucky to be in the game, but Gasol, Odom and Fischer all didn’t show up AND the Lakers missed a ton of free throws and they still won. We’ll see if KG and the truth show up in Game 4 or the pressure is gonna build real fast

    Posted by Jeff | June 11, 2008, 8:19 am
  2. I don’t think you can really start putting blame on Paul Pierce. What a guy isn’t allowed to have an off night? I understand it’s the finals and that having an off night in the finals could end your finals run, but Pierce has put us on his back ever since Game #7 against the Hawks and has been steady ever since. Cut the guy some slack and let him get back into his groove tomorrow night. If he doesn’t, then you have a case.

    I am with everyone that says we need more from KG. Get him the ball a hundred times a game if we have to and let’s get #17 done.

    http://www.wickedpissadude.com

    Posted by Wicked Pissa Dude | June 11, 2008, 10:35 am

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