The keys to a Lakers turnaround
Statistics don't always tell the entire story, but so far in the NBA Finals, we can point to a few that certainly go a long way in explaining why the Celtics are up 2-0 against the Lakers.
Here is where the Lakers are getting done in and where they have to do better as the series shifts to Los Angeles for Game 3 on Tuesday:
Bryant, on the other hand, has had difficulty finding openings in Boston's variation of the box-and-one defense. It seems like the Celtics have the "box" on Kobe and the "one" on everyone else instead of the other way around. Reduced mainly to being a jump shooter, Bryant is hitting only 40.8 percent from the field overall (compared to 61.5 percent for Pierce). The Celtics have to be made to pay if they are going to play that type of defense on Bryant, but the Lakers' ball movement isn't crisp and they are often left with little time on the shot clock to try to generate something.
"I've never seen a game like that in all these years I've coached in the Finals. Unbelievable," Jackson said.
Nevertheless, the Lakers are committing a lot of dumb fouls -- reaching and slapping at the ball instead of getting in good defensive position. They always seem to be scrambling. They have to settle down.
The Celtics are getting to the line -- their advantage is 73-38 so far -- because they have been more aggressive. Boston has adjusted to the way the games have been officiated, while L.A. wants to argue calls more than it wants to just buckle down and play solid team defense.