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Celtics Four-Point Play: Banner #17 Edition

I will devote the entire Four-Point Play to the NBA Finals against Lakers, which saw the Celtics win 4-2. I will analyze the play of MVP Paul Pierce, how the Celtics contained Kobe Bryant, why Phil Jackson kept starting Vladamir Radmanovic, and how the “numbers” played out in Game 6.

1. Paul Pierce was named MVP of the NBA Finals after getting 17 points and 10 assists in the series-clinching Game 6 win.

  • Paul Pierce had a real coming-out party in the NBA Finals, or at least his first coming-out party since the 2002 playoffs with the Celtics. This one…was different. Different because it was on the biggest stage of all against the top Western Conference rival and the best team out West all season.
  • Pierce looked better than Kobe Bryant did in this series, due in part to the Celtics terrific defense (I’ll explain later), but also because Pierce really showed how much getting this title meant to him. He had been in Boston for 10 years with not much success…but to have it all come around and be worth it because of one amazing season must feel great for him. He deserves the title and definitely deserves NBA Finals MVP.

2. Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, and James Posey all took turns in guarding Kobe Bryant during the Finals. The result? Kobe scored a sub-par 25.7 PPG on just 40% shooting.

  • He was especially unclutch in Game 6, going just 7-22 from the field for 22 points. He was hardly himself this series, and he can thank the Celtics team defense for that.
  • Pierce and Ray Allen terrorized him all series, playing hard man-to-man and forcing him to adjust his shot too much. They really enjoyed defending him off the ball, where they probably had the most success on him by disrupting his passing lanes and his path to the basket.
  • It’s all just proof that defense wins championships…even in basketball!

3. Going away from the defense theme, Vladimir Radmanovic continually started for the Lakers at the SF slot all series.

  • and……that really didn’t work out well at all. Radmanovic had no chance in guarding Pierce or KG, so he was pretty useless on the court.
  • He also had a knack of committing too many fouls because he was constantly getting beat. He is a three-point specialist only and does not have the defensive skill set to start in the NBA.
  • Perhaps if the Lakers team defense was good around him…but it appears that would be too much to ask.

4. What’s with the numbers? Well….June 17 (6/17) was the day the Celtics won the NBA Title. So?

  • The Celtics won Game 6 to win Banner #17 on 6/17.
  • Boston’s area code is 617.
  • Doc Rivers’ father, who passed away last November, would’ve had a birthday on 6/17.
  • Former Celtics legends Bill Russel (#6) and John Havliceck (#17) were in attendance.

About KC Downey - @kc_downey

KC is the "head coach" of the Sports of Boston, LLC blog network. Follow him on Twitter: @kc_downey

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