Game One Observations

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Basketball fans all across the world enjoyed a wonderful basketball game last night.  It had everything.  The histories of the teams are both storied, and at the same time they have both been shaped by the 2008 Finals.  Key players stepped up during the game, and fumbled as well.  The defensive and offensive effort from both sides was excellent.  The game had ebb and flow.  It had exciting, and creative, and unexpected plays.  And the home town crowd was equally impressive.  The Staples Center has not been that loud in a while.

It’s hard to judge too much from the game, however.  Both teams got into foul trouble fairly early.  Boston was most hurt by the tight refereeing, as their best option in the first half was Ray Allen.  The regular rotations did not get played last night one bit.  I imagine the refs will loosen up as the series progresses.

We did confirm some preexisting conditions.  The Lakers play much, much better at home.  Invincibly, thus far.  Odom really shows up in the Staple Center.  Farmar and Brown play better there.  Heck, let’s throw in Gasol and Artest.  I see the biggest factor to be the Laker’s home court advantage.  The Lakers shoot a high percentage at home.  This really kills the fast break for Boston, which is one of their huge weapons.  For their part, I don’t see Boston dropping any of their home games either.

If I’m a Boston fan, I’m concerned about what seems to be physical problems with Garnett and Rondo.  No image of game one was more heartbreaking to watch than Garnett missing two point blank layups back to back.  That guy is hurting.  Rondo was slowed at times by his back.  It helped the Lakers manage him.  That said, the game was a lot closer than the score suggests.

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