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Friday, June 11, 2010

Oh right, our bench is better too

Another thing that the national media completely overlooked or ignored when forecasting the 2010 NBA Finals, was the fact that the Celtics' bench is about 10 times better than the Lakers.

Game 4, the biggest game of Boston's season, was all you needed to see for that to be proven for once and for all.

Glen Davis scored 18 points and Nate Robinson had 12 points off the bench as the energetic duo sparked Boston's bench (36-18) which doubled LA's output. The Celts won 96-89 in a game it had to win at the TD Garden.

Game 5 is Sunday night at the TD Garden, the final one there in the series.

Kobe Bryant had a game-high 33 points and six rebounds (with six 3-pointers) but seven turnovers proved how much he tried to take over single-handedly (sound familiar?) but couldn't do it against Boston's great team defense.

Pau Gasol added 21 points but without a healthy Andrew Bynum (2 points in 12 minutes), the Lakers are in Kenny Smith's words "the 2008 Lakers." And we all remember how that one ended.

Four of the five Celtics starters scored in double figures: Paul Pierce finally got untracked with 19 points with six rebounds and five assists, Kevin Garnett had 13 points, Ray Allen scored 12 and Rajon Rondo was held to 10 points.

Lamar Odom, off the bench, was the only other Laker in double figures with 10 points and seven rebounds. I like our chances if he gets even more minutes, him and Ron Artest (9 points, 7 rebounds) are completely useless.

Boston was up 19-16 after the first quarter but Los Angeles recovered to go up 45-42 at the half despite Garnett's buzzer beating jumper.

Again, the C's eeked out the third quarter (18-17) but the fourth, thanks to their bench, was one of the best of the first four games (36-27).

Its hard to quantify hustle sometimes but not in Game 4. LA made four more 3-pointers (7-3) but the Celts had eight more offensive rebounds (16-8) and rebounds (41-34). Boston also had more assists (15-13) and steals (12-6). Finally, they had 13 more fastbreak points (15-2) and twenty more points in the paint (54-34).

The teams know they're going back to the Staples Center for Game 6 but Boston needs to win Game 5 regardless. They can definitely win one more in LA but two more, down 3-2, would be a very tough task.

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