Game 2 of the NBA Finals was a must win game for the Boston Celtics if they were to avoid heading home down 0-2 in the series. The Lakers simply outmatched, outclassed and even outworked the Celtics in Game 1, but game 2 thanks to the hot shooting of Ray Allen, was a completely different story.
The biggest thing the Boston Celtics have going for them against the Lakers is that they have 3 true superstars, well, 4.5 if you count Rondo and Rasheed Wallace. On any given night one these guys can absolutely light it up. Sunday night was Ray Allen’s turn to remind the world just how filthy he can be.
Ray Allen was unconscious from the field, setting an NBA Finals record with 8 three pointers and pouring in a game-high 32 points. Make no mistake, this was one of the greatest shooting performances in the NBA Finals, if not THE greatest. It was so good, that while it was happening, the commentators were comparing it Michael Jordan’s “shoulder shrug” game, but according to Ray, it wasn’t like Mike, it was better. Read more.
I understand where Ray is coming from in that running off screens is a different kind tough that shooting from a stand still position, and I get how he could say that his performance was a better display than MJ’s. I will say that this though, when you think of Ray Allen, you think of one thing, he’s a shooter, so to me, it wasn’t really outside his game to be knocking down three’s. In fact, as the league’s current active leader in three pointers, it’s not at all surprising that he could have a game like that. In MJ’s case, three point shooting wasn’t his strong suit, in fact, rumor has it that prior to that game against the Trailblazers in 92 when MJ went off, people were comparing him to Clyde Drexler and they were saying Drexler might even be a better long range shooter. So that game, being the competitor that MJ was, may have been a statement game, and the shoulder shrug after his 6th three ball of the half, well that’s MJ’s way of saying don’t fuck with me, and that’s why his performance to me is still tops.
The fact of the matter is this series is tied. Both teams still have issues, Kobe Bryant battled foul trouble all game long, Ron Artest and Lamar Odom were non existent as was the entire Laker’s bench and Kevin Garnett still isn’t performing on the offensive end. A huge positive for the Lakers was Andrew Bynum who had a very solid game and for the Celtics, Rajon Rondo, who notched a triple double was the big difference and one of the reasons Ray Allen was able to get so wet.
As the series shifts to Boston for three games, the Lakers have found themselves in a tough position. They had better win at least one of the first two games otherwise they’ll find themselves in a situation where they will have to beat Boston 3 consecutive times to win the title.