The finals are already making me sad...Courtney Lee just HAS TO make that layup for the win. Big ups to Pau "I only bathe when David Stern makes me" Gasol for backing up Kobe Bryant on that play. Who would've thunk that the play would actually go to Kobe's man? Genius play by Stan Van. Clearly Kobe didn't think so as he got caught by a devastating screener. However, Courtney couldn't get it to fall and the game (luckily for the Lakers) went to OT.
Courtney also had a chance to put the Magic ahead a possession prior to this play as he ended up with the ball and made a great drive to the rim and attempted a finger roll that backrimmed with Gasol again defending late on the play. (Big ups to Pau Gasol, who I've said repeatedly is the MVP of the Lakers. Its a tough argument, and if the Lakers win the title I swear I'll write the reasons why. However, his defense, if not physical, is superb. He finds ways to rub his chin in folks faces and seems to always be around the ball in the post. I think he gets an upgrade in the ranks of best bigs in the league.) The point I'm trying to make is, I'm not railing on Courtney Lee. Actually, he kind of reminded me a young Kobe, yeah I said it.
Think about it, Kobe as a rook had to take some shots (airballs) that no one else on his team were willing to take. I don't think the scenario is completely the same in Orlando, but its something about getting those reps, or opportunities at the highest stage that gives you supreme confidence. Here's the thing, someone had to try and make a play, and Stan Van and the players had confidence in Courtney making the play. Unfortunately, he couldn't come thru. He played a whale of a game, as he's had the arduous task of guarding Kobe every time he's on the court. When's the last time you saw a rookie coming in and being tasked with guarding the league's most dominant scorer of a decade? Don't worry, I'll wait...
So Courtney, I say this to you sir, keep doing your thang. We're watching, and we want you to succeed. You've earned your stripes, go show 'em what's up.
A BREAKOUT PLAYER NO DOUBT, WHO ARE THE OTHER BREAKOUT PLAYERS IN THE SERIES? ARIZA? PIETRUS? LET US KNOW YOUR THOUGHTS ON GAME 2 AS WELL!