kendrick-perkins
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Sunday , May , 30 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Kobe and Lakers oust Suns, face Celtics in NBA Finals

Get ready, Boston, for a rematch with Kobe Bryant and his Los Angeles Lakers.

Bryant wrapped up a magnificent series with 37 points, Ron Artest added 25 and the Lakers held off the Phoenix Suns 111-103 on Saturday night to win the Western Conference finals.

The Lakers and Celtics, the NBA's premier teams for much of the league's history, will meet in the finals for the 12th time with Game 1 Thursday night in Los Angeles.

"We'll see how much we matured," Bryant said. "They challenged us extremely well in the finals a couple years ago. Now is a chance to see how much we've grown."

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HoopsVibe's Quick Call: The Phoenix Suns' zone, fast tempo, and affinity for the three-point shot wasn't enough because the Los Angeles Lakers were simply better and deserved to advance to the NBA Finals.

For instance, the Suns' fourth quarter charge was put out by Kobe Bryant, who nailed two clutch jumpers, even though Grant Hill was playing air tight defense. After sinking the second jumper, Bryant even gave Suns coach Alvin Gentry a friendly tap and stretched his arms in celebration.   

The Lakers will now face the Boston Celtics in a classic finals match-up.

These two teams met in the 2008 NBA Finals, with the Celtics prevailing in six games because of their superior toughness down-low.

The 2010 championship will also be decided in the paint. Expect Boston to try and impose their will with bigs like Glen Davis, Kevin Garnett, Kendrick Perkins, and Rasheed Wallace, while L.A. will be anxious to show they can mix it up in the middle.

Got thoughts on a Boston-Los Angeles NBA Finals? Come back to HoopsVibe for more Finals coverage.   

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Saturday , May , 29 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Defense, Defense, Defense: Why Boston Celtics won the east

The NBA's most-decorated team avoided the biggest playoff collapse in league history and earned a chance to hang an unprecedented 18th championship banner from the rafters.

Paul Pierce had 31 points and 13 rebounds, and little-used backup Nate Robinson gave the Celtics a boost with 13 second-quarter points as Boston beat the Orlando Magic 96-84 on Friday night, earning a chance to play for a second NBA title in three years.

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HoopsVibe's Quick Call: Defense wins championships. Or in the case of the Boston Celtics, defense wins the Eastern Conference crown.

Flashback to mid season and the green-and-white were presumed dead. The Big Three was deemed too old and critics thought Rajon Rondo and Kendrick Perkins weren't capable of filling the void.

Well, they proved us wrong. All of us.

The Celtics defied the odds because they get stops, even on the road, which gives them a chance in every game and series. Offensively, they spread the wealth with many different players capable of carrying the load or providing a spark.

For instance, in the second quarter of tonight's contest, tiny Nate Robinson chipped in with 13 points to give Boston a commanding lead, despite barely seeing the court in the playoffs.

And if the Celtics continue defending they could well win their eighteenth championship.

Has Boston surprised you? Why? Why not? Get at us in the comment box below with thoughts.      

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Thursday , May , 27 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Worst ejection of all time: Rush on Perkins or Crawford on Duncan?

The NBA on Thursday rescinded one of the two technical fouls assessed to Celtics center Kendrick Perkins in Boston's loss to Orlando in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals Wednesday night, meaning Perkins will be available to play in Friday's Game 6.

The NBA took back the second of the two technicals, which occurred with 36.1 seconds remaining in the first half and resulted in Perkins' automatic ejection. Referee Eddie F. Rush tagged Perkins with the technical for arguing a foul call.

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HoopsVibe's Call:  Eddie F. Rush was too quick to slap Perkins with both technicals, even though the Boston Celtics' post is notorious for protesting calls.

Both of Perkins' technicals were overblown, and all three refs needed to show a little more patience, especially since game five of the Eastern Conference Finals is bound to be emotional. 

Coincidentally, Rush was working the game with fellow ref Joe Crawford, who also hit Rajon Rondo with a somewhat questionable technical.

Crawford, like Rush, has an itchy trigger finger on the technicals. A few years back, he slapped superstar Tim Duncan with two technicals over what was believed to be a personal conflict.

So, worst ejection of all time: Rush on Perkins or Crawford on Duncan? Watch both video clips and get at us in the comment box below with your call? 

(Rush ejecting Perkins.) 

(Crawford tossing Duncan.)      

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Wednesday , May , 12 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

What’s Wrong with LeBron James?

First off, he's undermined his coach by acting lax after losses when Brown has been sounding alarm bells. It is James' personality not to be too worried about anything and it was not expected that he'd be throwing people into lockers and such. But his "we'll get 'em next game" philosophy has clearly backfired. With the exception of Game 3, despite all the handshakes and nonsense, the Cavs have been knocked on their heels in every game.

It has further become problematic that James has been disengaged during the games. Not only has he fallen into the trap of "letting the game come to him," but he's been increasingly distant. In huddles he's looking at the ceiling or into the distance. It is not the James anyone on the team knows and his teammates and coaches have seen it. More problematic, they can't explain it and that is making the entire locker room uneasy. 

On Tuesday it was Zydrunas Ilgauskas and O'Neal that actually were more proactive. They were showing more leadership than James both on the floor and off the floor.

There were two skirmishes on the court. One was with Kendrick Perkins and O'Neal and the other was with Mo Williams and Rajon Rondo. James showed no such fire and then didn't get get involved in the exchanges, staying off to the side. 

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Sunday , Mar , 14 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Kendrick Perkins: Cavs Are Better without Shaq

"They still haven"t won nothing," he said Saturday of Cleveland. "They're just the best team in the league. They still haven't done nothing we haven't done. Right now, they're the best team in the league and we just got to go at them."

O'Neal has been sidelined with an injured right thumb he suffered against the Celtics on Feb. 25. The Cavs hope to get O'Neal back for the playoffs, but have gone 7-1 without the legendary center.

"In my opinion, I think they're better," Perkins said. "They can run more. You've got Anderson Varejao, who's more of an active body. He gets LeBron (James) open a lot - opens up the paint for him.
 
"I think they're a better team. Obviously Shaq can help them, but I think they're better - a more fast-paced team."