If there was any doubts before tonight, Derek Fisher is one of the gutsiest players in NBA history. D-Fish will has never been an All Star and he's getting inducted into Springfield, MA but the Lakers should consider retiring his No. 2 jersey when he retires. As Big Daddy Kane would say, "Fish gets the job done."
In trying to think of a player who has had a career similar to, I'd have to say its Michael Jordan's back-court partner, John Paxson, who knocked down big shots continually for the Bulls during their 1991, 1992 and 1993 championship runs.
Fisher hit five crucial baskets in the oh-so important fourth quarter, which was especially important in a night where Kobe missed 19 Field goal attempts, and clinched the game, after grabbing Ray Allen's missed 3 and streaking up court past a snoozing Celtics defense to hit the layup and sink a free throw to give the Lake Show a 87-80 lead with 48.3 seconds remaining.
Doc Rivers came out and flatly said that Derek Fisher "won the game for the (Lakers)" in the post game press conference.
Also give credit to the Lakers interior defense tonight, which was great again tonight as they swatted away seven Celtic shots.
And did Ray Allen really just go 0-13 from the field and 0-8 from three point range and the worst in NBA Finals history since Dennis Johnson's 0-for-14 night during game seven of the 78 Finals after having one of the greatest shooting nights in NBA history in game two?
Looking at the bright side, the Celtics and their fans have to be encouraged by the fact they could've pulled out tonight's game, even with Allen's awful night and Paul Pierce recording only 33 minutes of PT due to foul trouble.
The 2010 NBA Finals has not been a great showcase for the officials, who have not had a good series thus far. Tonights officiating crew--Dan Crawford, Bill Kennedy and Bennet Salvatore, was better than the crew of Monty McCuthen, Mike Callahan and Ken Mauer who butchered calls through out game two, but also made their share of questionable calls tonight against both teams. Members of the Celtic nation were reportedly expressed dissatisfaction with tonight's refs as they left the TD Garden, and they had a right to be.
But at least tonight's zebras got the two replay calls in the final minute right, but the third time they went to check the replay, missed an important call when Lamar Odom who grabbed Paul Pierce's missed free throw in the final minute of the game but lost the ball out of the bounds after being hacked by Rajon Rondo.
But hey I like the fact that the NBA instituted the rule of letting officials look at replays in the final two minutes of the game.