June 06, 2008
NBA Finals Report Card: Game 1
Los Angeles Lakers
Derek Fisher, PG
41 min., 15 points (4-9 FG, 1-3 3PT, 6-8 FT), 4 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 TOs
Savvy veteran point guard helped keep Lakers in game most of the night. His ability to step up and hit open shots bodes well for rest of series.
Kobe Bryant, SG
42 min., 24 points (9-26 FG, 0-3 3PT, 6-6 FT), 3 rebounds, 6 assists, 4 TOs
MVP got off to slow shooting start and never quite found his rhythm against Celtics' team D. Managed just four points (on 1-of-6 shooting) in fourth quarter.
Pau Gasol, C
41 min., 15 points (6-11 FG, 0-0 3PT, 3-4 FT), 8 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 TO
Swished his first jumper and made some nice passes en route to 12-point, four-assist first half, but was awfully quiet over final 24 minutes.
Vladimir Radmanovic, SF
17 min., 5 points (2-5 FG, 0-0 3PT, 1-4 FT), 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 0 TOs
Might as well have gone snowboarding in Vermont. Showed promise early, but foul trouble sent him to the pine for all but 17 minutes.
Lamar Odom, PF
39 min., 14 points (6-11 FG, 0-1 3PT, 2-5 FT), 6 rebounds, 1 assist, 0 TOs
Poor Man's KG pretty much lived up to billing. Played OK, but was part of tepid team effort on backboards and dished just a single dime.
The Bench
60 min., 15 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists
Sasha Vujacic (eight points, two rebounds) and Ronny Turiaf (five points, two rebounds) helped stake Lakers to 51-46 halftime lead. But they wilted in second half, and they provided little help on the backboards.
Phil Jackson, Head Coach
Had his team ready to play at start, and made nice adjustment by putting Bryant on Cassell to slow him down. But he might have stuck too long with small lineup instead of going back to Radmanovic.
Boston Celtics
Rajon Rondo, PG
35 min., 15 points (4-10 FG, 0-2 3PT, 7-10 FT), 5 rebounds, 7 assists, 2 TOs
Second-year point guard showed no signs of jitters. Played solid floor game all night, and kept Boston in the game with six-point flurry in second quarter.
Ray Allen, SG
44 min., 19 points (5-13 FG, 2-6 3PT, 7-8 FT), 8 rebounds, 5 assists, 4 TOs
Take that, Kobe! The formerly slumping shooting guard continued his improved play by sinking several big shots, while chipping in big-time on boards.
Kendrick Perkins, C
23 min., 1 point (0-1 FG, 0-0 3PT, 1-2 FT), 4 rebounds, 0 assists, 1 TO
Picked up three fouls in first six minutes of third quarter, suffering a sprained ankle on the last one. At least he had a good seat for Pierce's heroics.
Paul Pierce, SF
31 min., 22 points (7-10 FG, 3-4 3PT, 5-7 FT), 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 TOs
Willis Reed-like return to court after seemingly traumatic knee injury provided emotional spark. Subsequent consecutive three-pointers didn't hurt, either.
Kevin Garnett, PF
41 min., 24 points (9-22 FG, 0-0 3PT, 6-6 FT), 13 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 TO
The Big Ticket was good early (eight points, four boards in the first quarter) and late (two-handed jam to seal deal) while setting defensive tone for Celtics.
The Bench
66 min., 17 points, 12 rebounds, 3 assists
Led by old-timers Sam Cassell and P.J. Brown, they actually outplayed their more celebrated Lakers counterparts. Cassell (eight points) and Brown (two points, six boards, two assists) were especially big during periods when Pierce was out with either foul trouble or injury.
Doc Rivers, Head Coach
Take that, Zen Master! Rivers had his team ready to play from start, and got them to pick up the defensive intensity in second half. Also kept team calm when Pierce injury seemed to spell disaster.

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