After a long period of 21 years the Lakers and Celtics met again in game 1 of the NBA season Finals. The game was played at the Celtics Home Court at TD Banknorth Garden in Boston. It was reported that Celtics had a strong team and would include their reserves only for a little time. However the game on Thursday night saw an important role played the Celtics reserves.
Before the start of the game Lamar Odom said he expected to match up against physical Boston center Kendrick Perkins, who outweighs Odom by 34 pounds. I’ll try to meet him as far out on the court as possible,” Odom said. “I’ll have my hands out, be like an offensive lineman coming right off the line and jam him early. I guess I’ll be Orlando Pace out there.”
The Celtics Resesrves outplayed the Lakers in Boston by 98-88 record game victory and took a 1-0 lead in the series of seven games against the Lakers.
“I really shortened the minutes of the bench last night, so that’s not their fault about not scoring and no productivity,” Jackson said. “The adjustments that our younger players will make, our bench players will be noticeable as we go through.”
Sasha Vujacic, Jordan Farmar, Ronny Turiaf and Luke Walton combined for 15 points on 5-of-15 shooting. Only Vujacic played more than 14 minutes.
James Posey, P.J. Brown, Sam Cassell and Leon Powe totaled 17 points off Boston’s bench. Cassell scored eight, and Brown pulled down six rebounds before exiting to a loud ovation late in the game. Even though Turiaf was 2-for-5 in Game 1, who eventually lost the shooting competition to Bryant, still found positives in the Bench Mob’s appearance on Thursday. We did a great job defensively so I think you have to also keep that in mind,” he said. “Basketball is not just offense. Sometimes we’re going to have an off night, but if you start the offense from scoring, I think you’re doing a great job.
Paul despite of being injured badly got carried off by Jackson’s inspirational words and was on his feet in two minutes. Despite a sprained right knee Pierce led the Celtics to victory. Pierce reported his knee was stiff and swollen and that he would spend the next two days getting treatment but that there was a “great chance” he’ll be able to play on Sunday. Celtics center Kendrick Perkins, who was injured in the third quarter and did not return, said he’ll be back for Game 2.
Pierce said that if Game 2 was Friday night, he wouldn’t be playing. But the Finals schedule has given him two full days before the second game , and that allows him to get rest and treatment. With the off days, and considering the stakes, Pierce likes the chances that he’ll play on Sunday.
“I think there’s a great chance I’ll play on Sunday,” he said. “Just knowing myself, knowing my threshold for pain … great chance I will be playing on Sunday.”