Lakers vs. Celtics, Game 3: Los Angeles Figures Out Ray Allen in Win Over Boston


Ray Allen got shut down by the Lakers’ defense in Game Three of the NBA Finals Tuesday night.

He didn’t get slowed down, or defended well—he got 100 percent shut down, like someone pulled his plug out of the wall.

One game after putting on the greatest shooting performance ever in an NBA Finals game, Allen was denied a field goal on 0-13 shooting, including 0-8 from behind the arc.

He finished with two points, connecting on his only free throw attempts of the game.

So, what changed for the Lakers defense in Game Three?

Well, clearly the Zen Master, Phil Jackson played a game of "pick your poison," and played it quite well.

The Lake show allowed Kevin Garnett to shine like it was 2004 again. They dared Paul Pierce to beat Ron Artest or Lamar Odom one-on-one. They let Derek Fisher take Rajon Rondo. The big men battled each other. But Kobe Bryant wasn’t going to let Ray Allen embarrass him again.

The Lakers loss in Game Two was their first home loss of the season. Allen’s eight three-pointers, an NBA Finals best, was not just a series-equalizing performance, it was a slap in the face, a slap in Kobe’s face.

Los Angeles seemed content letting the other Celtics players do their best to beat them in Game Three. The big mission was shutting down Allen, the catalyst on Boston’s Game Two win.

If Game Three is any indication, Boston could be some serious trouble for the rest of this series.

The Celtics’ high pick-and-roll with Rondo and Garnett was most effective in the first two games because the speedy point guard was getting past his man.

This afforded Boston a miniature two-on-one, with Rondo heading to the basket, with Allen in the corner, and Bryant the lone defender.

Even if he had an space, Allen was going to knock down the corner jumper, forcing Bryant to stay...

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