The NBA Finals are off and running. Well, not exactly running, too many whistles hampered the flow last night. Regardless, Kobe Bryant set the tone to leading the Lakers to a Game 1 win over the Celtics 102-89 and his teammates followed.
Pau Gasol played over 46 minutes and made more assertive, physical plays than he did in all of the 2008 Finals. Ron Artest was in his element chasing and bumping Paul Pierce all night. Pierce had a quiet 24 points and had to scrap for everyone of them, mostly at the line. A strong visual from this game was with less than a minute to play and the win on ice for the Lakers, Pierce stole the ball and took it through Kobe and Artest for a hoop and the foul. Kudos to Pierce for not giving up until the final buzzer, but when he was at the line I couldn't help feeling that Pierce was giving ditch effort to try to take something positive from the game. Sweat was flowing from his brow and he looked absolutely worn out.
Maybe that's a good sign for the Celtics and the series in general. They have to keep coming at the Lakers or they will get beat down. Time for Doc Rivers to start working the refs.
After the jump a few more links of interest, including what Tyler Hansbrough won't be doing this summer, a report Roy Hibbert's softball prowess and a Dahntay Jones' thoughts on Jim O'Brien.
No summer league for Psycho T
Mike Wells checks in with news that no current Pacers will participate in summer league games in July. No surprise since last year's rookies are both on the mend.
Dahntay Jones and prospect chat on The Zone
Check out the podcast of Dahntay Jones, Ekpe Udoh and Jordan Crawford with Derek Schultz.
Colts, Pacers play softball for charity
Andrew Astleford reports on the charity softball game Roy Hibbert co-hosted last night. Not injuries to report so it was a great night.
Mark Jackson to Have Second Interview With Hawks
Sam Amick reports that Mark Jackson remains in the mix for Atlanta's open coaching position.
Lakers draw first blood, take Game 1 of the NBA Finals
KD offers an initial report from Game 1 in advance of his BtB analysis.