Celtics Beat Lakers, Even Up Finals. Now What?

Somehow, this Celtics' lineup put away the Lakers last night.

The NBA Finals series is all square at 2-2 after the Boston Celtics fought their way to a Game 4 win over the Los Angeles Lakers, 96-89.

This was one of those "why we watch the game" games because the unexpected influence of the Celtics' bench brought the C's championship hopes back to life. I've read thousands of words and heard countless TV and radio interviews analyzing this series. Nowhere was the idea floated that Big Baby Davis and Nate Robinson making plays at crunch time was the key to victory for the Celtics.

Baby and Nate played most of the fourth quarter in guts-spilling fashion getting additional help from benchmates Rasheed Wallace and Tony Allen. Combustible? Yes, the C's survived untimely T's by Sheed and Nate but may not have survived to win without the effort both gave in the end. Sheed in particular seemed to relish the chance to buch Pau Gasol each time down the court.

While Baby and Nate combined for 30 points, the other big number on the night was 12, which is roughly the number of minute Andrew Bynumand his fluid-filled knee was able to play. Bynum had been a difference maker, tilting the matchup problems in the Lakers' favor. With two full days off, I'm sure his status will be monitored closely until tip time on Sunday.

I had a baseball coach in college who would always react to a great play or special effort by yelling, "Now what?" The idea being, congrats on that nice play but it's time to move onto the next play. Are you ready? How will you react? Can you do better?

Even with the series tied, I still get the feeling the Lakers can dial it up whenever they need to in order to take back control of the series. But with the variables of the C's bench pulling their weight and Bynum's uncertain health, Boston has to feel good about themselves going into Game 5.

So...now what?

After the jump, a few links of interest on the Finals, the draft and a nice explanation of the Pacers' wins produced numbers.

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