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Celtics Even Up the Series

07 Jun 2010

In a surprise to few sports fans, the Boston Celtics got their act together in Game 2 of the NBA Championship Series, beating the Los Angeles Lakers 103-94 and evening up the series at one game apiece.  The difference for the Celtics was the play of their star Ray Allen.  Allen only scored 12 points in the series opener, but he found his shooting stroke in Game 2.  Allen hit eight 3-point shots in the game out of eleven attempts, an outstanding percentage for a shot from that distance.   Most of Allen’s 3-pointers came in the first half.  As he cooled off in the second half, his teammate Rajon Rondo picked up his game and finished with a triple double (19 points, 12 rebounds, and 10 assists).
The series goes to Boston for the next three games, where the Lakers will need to win at least one out of the three games to bring the series back to LA for Games 6 and possibly 7.  The first game was a convincing win for the Lakers while the Celtics won handily in Game 2, so it is difficult to predict where the series will go from here.  Most “experts” predict the Lakers to prevail, and there is some good reason for that logic—Lakers’ coach Phil Jackson has won 10 NBA championships and has never failed to win a championship series after his team won Game One of a series.

 One Liner “Allen looked Jordan-esque in the first half.”  (Quote references Michael Jordan’s memorable performance in the 1992 championship series against the Portland Trailblazers when he scored 35 points in the first half with some amazing 3-point shooting).

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The Basics

-The Lakers or the Celtics have won 32 of the 63 NBA Championships.

The NBA is divided into two Conferences, the Eastern and West conference.  Each conference has eight (8) teams vying for their respective championship in a best of seven series playoff.  The winners of the Conference finals meet in the NBA finals in June.   Much like baseball, no one really cares about the regular season unless it involves some traditional rivals (Los Angeles Lakers vs. Boston Celtics is the current gold standard).

Terminology:

Conference: A group of teams, usually geographically associated.  In the case of the NBA, there are the Eastern and Western Conferences.

Triple Double: When a player achieves double digits in three of five statistical categories (points, assists, rebounds, blocked shots, and steals).  For example a player with, 10 points, 11 rebounds, and 12 assists in a single game would have attained triple double.

Rebound: After an attempted shot that does not go in the basket, the act of retrieving the ball after the miss is called rebounding.  The player that retrieves the ball gets a rebound in that statistic column.

Assist: When a player gives the basketball to another player who then immediately scores.

Fast break:  a play in basketball in which a team moves quickly down the court in an attempt to score before the opposing defense can get set up