Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Derek Fisher

The Celtics and the Lakers decided to ditch the jabs and fancy footwork last night, and instead traded body blows for 48 grueling minutes. In the end, Derek Fisher was the last man standing. Without him, the Lakers would have left the court last night trailing the best of seven series two games to one. There's really no need for analysis here. Fisher simply wanted last night's game more than anyone else on the court, including Kobe and a resurgent Kevin Garnett. Fisher scored 11 of his 16 points in the 4th quarter, when the Celtics were thisclose to overtaking the Lakers.

Throughout a physical and exhausting final 12 minutes, the Celtics cut the Lakers' lead to one, one, two and two points. But each time, the Lakers responded with a timely basket. Sure, Kobe and Gasol contributed down the stretch, but as the clip below demonstrates, Fisher just took over the game's final minutes. His 1 v. 3 drive to the hoop was balls. "You know, I love what I do," he said after the game, fighting back tears. "And I love helping my team win. To come through again tonight for this team, 14 years in, after so many great moments, it's always quite surreal and quite humbling to experience it again."

I'm not at all surprised Fisher broke down during his post-game interview. He must have been exhausted. It's hard work carrying a team on your shoulders. Kobe's got some serious baggage.

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