Lakers/Celtics Game 1 Chat

Kurt —  June 5, 2008

Let’s Get Ready To Ruuuummmmbblllleeeeee.

No need brig out Michael Buffer to get Lakers and Celtics fans pumped up for this one. I think we all know we are in for what should be a rare and exciting finals. When was the last time the best team from each conference met in an evenly-matched finals?

And yes, I said evenly matched. The more I have looked at this series, the more I think it is a pretty even matchup. Kevin Pelton made a comment over at the TrueHoop statgeek showdown I thought was a great insight — the Celtics are basically a better version of the Spurs. They play very good defense (better than the Spurs). They have a “big three” surrounded by solid to good role players. Think about it. Perkins is better than Oberto, for example. And while I though the Spurs role guys faded away the Celtics have been getting other guys to step up and make plays (Rondo some nights, PJ Brown another, and the list goes on). Yes, the Lakers beat the Spurs in five but there were a couple close games and a better version of the Spurs means a bigger and harder challenge.

The most interesting end of the floor will be the Lakers offense against the Celtics defense — the best in the league against the best in the league. Boston plays great team defense, with quick help and rotations, plus they switch a lot (on picks) and have a great defensive chemistry. But they have been torched by a motion offense — Utah did it to them back in March. That game to me is key to what the Lakers have to do to win — when the help comes the Lakers need to move without the ball to the open space and then hit the looks they get. They need to work the ball inside (a post pass to Gasol or a Kobe drive) and if either of them are single covered they need to score. And, inside, there can be no “weenie shots” because KG sends those into the fifth row.

Boston coaches have said they plan to single-cover Kobe as much as they can (which means we may see a lot of Posey). In meetings earlier this year they were able to make Kobe a volume perimeter shooter, but Darius said he doesn’t see that this time around.

I wouldn’t be worried too much about Kobe “falling in love” with the jumper. What has separated Kobe during the playoffs has been his ability to take what the defense is giving him, to play in the flow of the game, and still execute at an MVP level. Against the Spurs, he realized that he was not getting calls on his drives and he also realized that the Spurs had Duncan (most of the time) patrolling the paint and waiting for him at the rim. Hence the jump shooting. When Duncan and/or Bowen were out of the game, Kobe went to the rim as much as possible by driving around Udoka and finishing over/around Oberto/Thomas. He knows what he has to do and is prepared to do it at a high level. Some players get taken out of their game and can not get their groove back….Kobe is not one of them. In fact, I think back to the times in these playoffs where we’ve been down, and Kobe is on the bench, only to come back in cold and bury jumper after jumper and make play after play. He focuses on what needs to be accomplished and then goes out and does it… I think we all have our fears of “competive Kobe/taking it personal Kobe” trying to do too much and inadvertently having a negative impact on the game…but I think those days are gone. He’s maneuvered brilliantly through these playoffs and his performance in the last minutes of Game 6 against the Spurs has convinced me that he is in the right mind. And I think that’s going to carry over when looking at this matchup.

One other offensive note – the Lakers would benefit by running. The Celtics can run and like the Spurs they are good in transition defense, but in any close game a few easy buckets can be key. Also, if Gasol runs down and gets early post position on the block, it means Perkins will have to run with him and that will wear him out.

On the other end of the floor there are some interesting defensive matchups that the Lakers will go with early: Radman on Pierce, Gasol on KG and Odom on Perkins. In crunch time I think we can expect Radman to be on the bench, with Sasha on Ray Allen an Kobe on Pierce. If either of those last two can get the other in foul trouble it will be a big help for his side

Bill Bridges also had some thoughts on the Lakers defense, starting with what happens when the Celtics post Pau up.

Much like Pau, Garnett wants help to come so that he find open teammates – especially Perkins for a dunk. Play him straight up and cover the shooters and the defense will be much more effective.

As Kurt mentioned, the Celtics are a jump shooting team. Their effectiveness increases with open shots initiated by a pass out from a doubled Garnett.

What (KG’s man) should do is to always play Garnett to go right. Garnett has 2 prime moves: a fake left, pivot right fall away and a fake left, fake right, fake left, pivot right fall away (say that 10 time fast). Don’t bite on the fake and step to the right with arms straight up and make his J difficult.

To keep you honest, every once in a while, Garnett will face up, and drive hard into the lane for a jump hook. This is his most unstoppable move. But luckily for us, he rarely goes to it and almost never in crunch time.

When fatigued, he hangs around the perimeter and takes jump shots. If the Lakers force him to run and play defense we might see a lot of jump shots from KG.

If a goal of the defense is to make the offense uncomfortable then we might try the following.

1. Make Garnett a volume shooter. He is more likely to shoot early in the game than late and I’d rather he not get his teammates easy looks with double teams. Much like the end of game 6 against Detroit, I like the thought of KG passing up an open J in crunch time to a surprised Rondo who hadn’t shot the ball in a quarter.
2. Ray Allen can catch and shoot straight, going to his right and especially to his left. But if he has to take a dribble or two to set up a shot, it is almost always to his left. Make him put the ball on the floor to his right. (He is basically a smaller Peja or a mobile Finley). I think he is an easier cover for Sasha than Manu or even Korver (who was making catch-and-shoot fade aways over his left shoulder- something Allen can’t do)
3. Paul Pierce is one of the few right handed player who likes to shoot jumpers moving to his right and drive to his left (Most other slashers drive to the right and pull up to the left.). That he drives left is another reason why I like keeping KG occupying that spot.
4. No player other than KG and Pierce can make shots with a hand in their face. So keep a hand in their face.

Maybe the deciding factor in this series will be the bench play — the Lakers have a good deep bench but the Celtics have had different guys step up nightly. It’s a little hard to predict how the Celtics bench will fare only because it’s impossible to know what Doc River’s rotation will be. He coaches by “feel.” I’d dismiss that out of hand, noting that he felt good about Sam Cassell, save for that his feelings are right at times, and he pulled all the right strings against Detroit.

If all of those words were not enough, check out Celtics Blog with Jeff, or listen to the Hoops Addict finals preview podcast where I stumble over fewer words than normal, or check out the LA Times Lakers blog as the Brothers K rock, or watch Tyson Chandler talk about Kobe, or read about how the Lakers almost got KG, or read the Laker fans at the Wall Street Journal (seriously). Basically, anywhere you point your mouse and click today you’ll find something good.

This is not going to be an easy series for the Lakers, and to really get into Boston’s heads the Lakers need to win one of the first two, and I think Game One may be their best chance. That is why tonight is going to be big.

And a lot of fun. Enjoy the game.



183 responses to Lakers/Celtics Game 1 Chat

  1. Game 1 is the key. The celtics basically have not seen these new and improved lakers. If the lakers are going to steal one of the first two, this is the one. Is it just me, or does does anyone else think VladRad will be the key to our success? If his shot is on, it becomes very difficult to help when kobe drives the lane. and please Pau, no more “weenie shots”! If you are going to get perkins in foul trouble, you have to take it to the rack ith authority!

  2. Sooooo excited for tonight’s game…but I’ll be stuck in class. Does anyone know whether there are any web sites doing something similar to the TNT/Yellowbook cam deal that they did during the WCF?

  3. Bring it on. I am so excited for this game. Maybe it was the long wait since the last game but I really excited.

    The Lakers need to shoot well from the outside, particularly on the road if they want to win. Fisher, Sasha, Farmar and Vlad need to do a good job of spreading the floor and hitting ony open shots they get. Vlad needs to continue cutting to the basket when the defense if focused on other players, he was quite effective against the Spurs.

    Good ball movement, and player movement should open up the offense. Making the extra pass, and moving without the ball will make the defense work harder. You can’t be stagnant and let Boston stay in their little “quasi-zone” they play, they will shut you down if you do that.

    Kurt is right, they do seem like a better version of the Spurs, maybe the 2005 Spurs.

    And one last thing, wouldn’t it be awesome if Kobe hit a junior junior sky hook to win the game (not in his repertoire but a fade away shot over Garnett would work as well). But I’d much prefer it not to be that close.

  4. I think your point about Doc coaching by “feel”…whatever that means (I say that not questioning you but rather Doc’s coaching decisions) could be key for us. His rotations seem so unpredictable at times that players are on edge a bit and they’re not sure about whether they’re going to be playing at particular times. On the X’s and O’s, and with the devil in the details, I think some Boston fans will be absolutely gnashing their teeth over the course of the finals, given that Doc’s rotations are often confusing….and I think this could work to our advantage. That said, I think this could be a very close finals, perhaps the best finals for a long time.

  5. Man, thanks for that Tyson video, it was riveting. Listening to him talk about Kobe makes me realize something. Kobe provides such a good example for all the incoming young players in the NBA. He works his butt off every year, all year long; remember the year he put on 25 lbs of muscle in the offseason? He is always adding to his game. Just look at the difference in his shooting, his post game.

    He does have amazing skills, but he is successful because he works harder and gives more than any other player. I know that I could learn a thing or two from him myself…

  6. Quoting Bill Simmons on a day lake this is borderline blasphemy. But, since we’re on the subject of Doc Rivers, I think it’s safe to say that even Celtic fans understand that the Lakers coaching staff is (aside from Kobe Bryant) the greatest mismatch between the two teams. In his post today, Simmons described the difference between who Doc has had to face in the last three rounds, and who he’s matching up against tonight:

    “Going from Mike Woodson/Mike Brown/Flip Saunders to Phil Jackson is like playing backup keyboard for a few weeks with the Jonas Brothers, then going on tour with Radiohead. It’s an unfathomable leap. Let’s just move on before I stop breathing.”

    I agree with Kurt that these two teams are evenly matched, which is why it could very well turn into a chess match. If that’s the case, I like our odds.

  7. This Little Pinky June 5, 2008 at 11:46 am

    Utah is had a better home record (37-4) than Boston did this year (35-6)

  8. One thing I would like to see the Lakers use a bit is the full court trapping press that PJ rolled out from time to time. Watching the DET-BOS series, Detroit was able to use a press effectively during the stretch when they came back from a huge defecit in the 4th quarter of Game 4.

    Boston is a weak ballhandling team. Once Rondo is trapped, you can see his decision making break down, as he made multiple risky lob passes out of traps in the Detroit game, and other than Rondo, they lack options (unless the bring in the completely ineffective Cassell). I am sure Boston’s coaching staff has worked with him on this, but as a young point guard he is liable to panicking from time to time. If the Lakers roll out their press at select moments, it could surprise the Celtics and cause a few turnovers and easy transition baskets. In a series that will likely be very close, those points could be a difference maker.

  9. what do you think about the “soft double” lamar was doing against Duncan? think we’ll see some more of that in this series? I think he can do it, step in to show he’s there to prevent the spin move to the basket around pau, and stay in the passing lane to keep it out of Perkins hands…

  10. Finally…after reading too many columns, participating in too many live chats, and watching too many features on SportsCenter, we have a game to watch. The waiting is over and we will start to see if anyones thougts bear out as truths.

    I agree with the sentiment that the Celtics are just a better version of the Spurs. But a couple of things stand out to me about that comparison.

    The first is in fouls commited. While the Spurs rarely fouled, ranking near/at the bottom in the league in fouls commited, the Celtics were in the top 8 and commited nearly 4 more fouls a game than the Spurs. This piggybacks on my comment that Kurt used in the game post, but if Boston is going to foul more than the Spurs, I can see Kobe commiting himself to driving the ball more and earning more foul shots. The key during the Spurs series (and Doug Collins pointed this out) is that Kobe was essentially sandwiched by Bowen and Duncan and when both those guys were on the court, Kobe had a more difficult time scoring. Now, in this series, the Celtics may have KG (the DPOY) and have another big bruiser in Perkins protecting the rim, but they don’t have that Bowen level defender in their starting lineup to contain or bother Kobe or force him into those bigger defenders to bother his inside scoring. I see Kobe drawing more fouls on dribble penetration and earning more foul shots when he does get all the way to the rim. I know the Celtics will counter some of that with Posey, but honestly, and no disrespect to Posey, he has never been an all-league defender and I don’t think he has the foot speed to stay with Kobe when he intiates drives from the perimeter (though he does have better length than Bowen to bother his jumper. though is he longer than AK47? no.). I think this can be a key to us getting easy points by Kobe getting to the line more and by him drawing fouls and getting us into the penalty sooner and getting more FT attempts for the rest of the team.

    The second difference that I see is in the Duncan/Garnett comparison. While both are supreme defenders, on offense they hurt you in completely different ways. Duncan is the classic (although still new age) post player that will kill you with deep post ups and power moves around the basket (while still being able to extend out and shoot the jumper). KG on the other hand is a jumpshooting big that would prefer to set up more in the mid post and take his turn around jumper and then off setting that staple move with the power drive that Bill Bridges describes. I think our defense is going to have an easier time defending this type of attack (KG) than what we had defending the power arsenal of Duncan. I just don’t expect any crazy 30/20 type games from KG like we were exposed to from Duncan. Maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t see it.

    So, overall, I just think that even if Boston plays the same caliber defense that it has all season, if they foul us more than the Spurs did it will hurt them over the course of the game. And when you combine that with the less efficient jumpshooting of their primary big man making them easier to denfend, I think we have advantages that will help us get the wins we need.

  11. IF I were Phil I would exploit the one difference between the Spurs and the Celtics – the man guarding Kobe (to start).

    Against the Spurs, Bowen’s length and wiles forced the Lakers to go away from what I think is the most dangerous triangle initiation – Kobe posted in the low or mid block on the right.

    From there he is a triple threat and can get his J over Allen or drive in the lane for layups, fouls, or if doubled, kick out to Vlad/Fish for the 3 or a cutting Gasol/Odom for the dunk.

    We didn’t see this scheme once (That I can remember) vs the Spurs. I would make the Celtics prove that they can stop this.

  12. Does anyone else feel like Utah will go down as the best team the Lakers played in the post season this year?

    They had the best home record in the league and can be way more physical than any other team in the league on a given night. That series scared me–the Spurs and the Celts don’t.

    Lakers will win in 4.

  13. oh so fun…I cant wait!!!

  14. I want to pick the Lakers in 5, but if they lose game 1, I might pick the Leprechauns in 7. It’s that important to me.

    I fully accept the analogy between Boston and San Antonio, but I think that the Lakers match up better to Boston–even if the Celtics have a better defense.

    Here are some Spurs-Leprechaun comparisons:

    I don’t think that Rajon could even get a date with a “desperate housewife;” I doubt that he speaks French; and he has not won NBA championships. Tony is better. It may be heresy, but I’d choose Tim Duncan over Garnett at both ends.

    Fisher/Farmar match up better with Rajon than with Tony “Langoria.” Pau matches up better with KG than with Duncan. He has the size to challenge KG on the outside and the speed/length to stay with him on his inside moves.

    Odom may have more of a challenge offensively, but defensively, he should be able to defend either Perkins or Posey quite well.

    The interesting difference lies in Pierce, Allen, and Posey vs. Ginobili, Bowen, and Barry for the Lakers.

    Depending on whether Boston plays Pierce and Allen, or Pierce and Posey, the Lakers have multiple matchup combinations involving Odom, VladRad, Sasha, Walton, and Ariza–mutch better than against San Antonio.

    If officiating is consistent, tight officiating may benefit the Lakers, unless Gasol/Odom get into foul trouble.

    Let’s suppose the two teams tie in the first quarter.

    If early indicators are going well for Los Angeles, we should see scoring by VladRad and Fisher (Lakers), and Pierce/Rondo (Celts).

    If early indicators are going well for the Leprechans, we should see early scoring by Kobe (Lakers) and Garnett/Allen (Celts).

    Under the worst scenario for the Lakers, Gasol would be sitting on the bench in foul trouble half way through the first period.

    Under the worst scenario for Boston, Kevin Garnett would be sitting on the bench in foul trouble half way through the first quarter.

    I expect the decisive quarter will be quarter #2, when the Lakers deploy their “bench squad.” If the Lakers lead at the half by more than 10 points, they will be extremely difficult to stop.

    The other quarter that should go well for the Lakers will be quarter #4. The Celtic starters are likely to play longer minutes and will be tired. If he plays long minutes, especially watch Kendrick in the fourth quarter.

    If the Lakers enter the 4th quarter up by 10 or more, they will win.

    That’s about all that I can see in my crystal ball.

  15. I really want a barnburner of a series, but I’m afraid of all the hype leading to massive disappointment. I suppose the Lakers winning in 5 would console me.

    I’m tired of the talk, I want action. I’m looking at my clock here at work, saying, “go! go! go!”

  16. It’s been such a long lay off that I could use a few refreshers. How many points do you get for a free throw again?

  17. chris h.: I don’t expect to see too much of that “soft double” that we deployed against the Spurs, and for 2 reasons. First, I don’t think KG will post as often or be as effective scoring from there as Duncan was. And second, I think it will be harder for Odom to “show” in the lane and still recover back to box out Perkins. Odom could do that when matched up against Oberto (not a physical player and not that athletic) or Horry (normally near the 3pt line trying to space the floor) and not get beat on the boards. But if he does that when matched up with Perkins, we will suffer on our defensive glass.

  18. It is interesting that someone would apologize for picking Duncan (mentioned by some as the greatest power forward in history – yes, power forward) over Garnett. KG is a fantastic talent who hasn’t won anything yet and has sometimes been questioned in the last 2 minutes of important games. Exactly where is the apology necessary?

    I too have said since before the playoffs started that I feared Utah more than any other team. So far I have had no reason to change my opinion. I don’t want to underestimate the Celtics, but I still think Utah is tougher and deeper than any other team the Lakers have faced.

  19. When the Celtics pressure the ball and play the passing lanes, they shave seconds of the 24 second clock. With less time to work with, their opponents abandon the plays and sets they want to run. That is how the Celtics control tempo; that is how they grind out games.

    To speed up the tempo, the Lakers must do 3 things. First, get into the triangle as soon as possible. Second, avoid running plays that take time to develop. Third, don’t hesitate. Passing up open jumpers is risky; one may not get a better opportunity. Be decisive. Do not hesitate.

    I believe whomever controls tempo will win the series. I just don’t see the Lakers winning 4 games if they can’t get their offense going. They have the versatility and the clutch player to grind *one* game out, but to hope for anything more against the Celtics is unrealistic. Conversely, I just don’t see the Celtics winning a game when the Laker offense is clicking. The Laker defense is good enough to make scoring difficult.

    As far as Game 1, I believe the teams will feel each other out and get reacquainted in a jittery, unspectacular first half. I imagine the Lakers steal this one because of a prudent half-time adjustment.

  20. Man, I’m so pumped for this game, I’m literally counting down the minutes till tip-off. Let’s go Lakers!

  21. All I have to say is…….Lets enjoy the moment!

    We have come a long way from where we were last year.
    To be here, now, against this team, gives me goose bumps.

    Good luck Celtics, Better luck Lakers!

  22. #12 — According to some primitive tribal practices, a warrior can claim the strength of a bested combatant by devouring his heart. Devour the hearts of the Utah Jazz the Lakers did, and I hope we can incorporate their efficiency and movement into the offense.

    You can make a case for Utah’s superiority to Boston, but we’ll know in a week or two what the deal is. Personally, I feel Boston may be the real deal.

  23. i’ve caught a decent number of celtics games from day 1 to now. have to say, they were BEASTS during the regular season, and if this was the first round, i’d begrudgingly have to agree that it’d be celtics over the lakers (pretty easily, at that). however… given the results of the playoffs thus far, it’s easy to see why the general basketball-watching population is picking lakers over celtics. i think the lakers as a whole have a better understanding of what they need to do to win than the celtics do. celtics have been so up and down in these playoffs, and i don’t think that’s a good thing. if we’re talking SATs, i’d have to say lakers is to cerebral as celtics is to emotional. can the celtics control their erratic play and shut down the lakers like they did during the regular season, or is the current laker offense too much for any defensive system to shut down? we’re about to find out.

  24. I’ve been thinking about the Boston-SA comparison for a few days, and I’m not sure I’d call Boston the better version. Sure, the Spurs looked old and tired, but the Celtics have thrown more than a few clunkers in the playoffs (and have played a lot of games). The Celtics are mostly a newly assembled team, so I can’t believe they really play team defense as well as the Spurs, nor do they have the playoff/big game experience. Three of the five Spurs-Lakers games were very close, with the Lakers playing better in the fourth quarter through a combination of Kobe’s fire and Phil’s adjustments. I see the same thing this series, except I fear Boston a lot less if they get down in a game (or in the series).

    (By the same token, I think the idea that Boston can succeed against LA by playing physical ball is pretty funny after the Jazz series.)

  25. The comparison between the Spurs and Celts is real, they’re similarly tough and defensive. The difference is, the Spurs have won championships together and have that chemistry and experience built in to them. Save Pau and Trevor, these Lakers have been hacking away at the playoff totem pole for a few years now. They are tried and true. The Celtics are an assembly of great players, who had a great regular season, who since the first round haven’t looked the same. They’ll be better next year, and give the Lakers a run this year for sure, but they’re not champions yet. Our Lakers look and feel like a championship team.

    Plus, I know Turiaf is a better dancer than Mark Madsen. I know Bynum doesn’t dance unless flanked by two sorority chicks. But I wanna see Sasha and Vladman get their groove on this year. It’s a parade waiting to happen. I only hope they can execute their offense and avoid the “defensive guru” they have in Boston, which I think is nonsense. Is it Tex vs. Tom Tib-something-that-ends-with-deaux? I like Tex’s track record with Phil beyond this guy (who I hope ends up coaching the Suns next year) and Doc Rivers. Come one, really. Let’s get to playing….we’re close!

    P.S.: Where’s Warren?

  26. alex v (24): The Celtics play pretty darned good team defense. Team offense is where it begins to break down, and I think one indicator of this is that I saw Boston fans in the cross-blog experiment talk almost exclusively about matchups.

    Unlike the triangle offense, which is more geared toward passing and movement without the ball to create mismatches, Boston’s offense is more geared toward exploiting the best matchup for them. So thinking in terms of matchups makes quite a bit of sense when you’re talking about Celtics O against Lakers D–not as much sense (in my opinion) with Lakers O against Celtics D.

    When the Celtics are on offense, it may make sense for the Lakers to occasionally pull a defensive stunt, to confuse them, especially to double late in the shot clock.

    I think Darius’s point about the Celtics fouling on defense is exactly on point. It will be interesting to see if the Lakers make any tactical changes to exploit that difference between the Celtics and the Spurs.

  27. “I saw Boston fans in the cross-blog experiment talk almost exclusively about matchups.”

    When, that is, they weren’t just talking trash. :)

  28. I’m really excited for this… it’s been a tough couple of years for the Lakeshow, combined with a very satisfying ‘coming together’ season… and topping it off with a very competitve final… (and with a surprisingly good Simmons summary for the occasion)

    I think that of all the points above, the most important is keeping aware of Boston’s defensive tendencies. They love to jump the pick/roll and smother the sideline, as well as their willingness to switch everything… which if the triangle is moving and flowing, isn’t a problem… if they get too involved in the simple bball plays, and don’t continue the full rotation of the cuts and drives, we’ll see a lot of Laker turnovers and rushed Kobe jumpers.

    The team has shown over the last few months the ability to run the triangle through more than just the first 2-3 options… if they trust that and keep it moving, I think they will be able to score with a lot of efficiency, and win the series.

  29. This Little Pinky June 5, 2008 at 4:18 pm

    The thing that gives me the most confidence is that the Lakers have only suffered one blowout loss in this year’s playoffs.

  30. I only watched a few Eastern Conference Playoff games. I’m nowhere near the coverage of some people here who watched a ton. I gotta say, however, based upon my limited experience in those viewings…it’s a one word close out: boring. They miss shots, run stale offenses, slow the pace to a crawl for long stretches. Just boring. I know the defenses out there are lauded, especially Boston and rightfully so, but when does it also matter that most of these teams don’t play great offense? Some of the stuff I watched, I would have accepted mediocre offense. It’s terrible.

    I would rather watch the Spurs vs. the Chicago Bears than the Spurs vs. Celtics, so I’m glad the Lakers kept offensive basketball alive for another series. I just don’t think Boston’s offense is as good as the Laker defense is “bad”. Sure LA is the top offense and Boston is the top defense, but I think it comes down to the Lakers shutting down a stagnant group on their offensive end of the floor. Doc can “coach by feel”, but if I were him I’d feel pretty bad that I can’t find a closing scorer when it matters.

    One hour to game time!

  31. the other Stephen June 5, 2008 at 5:33 pm

    hey, what the craptoids gives with the cool, but strangely laid out banner? are we supposed to all go and buy that shoe?

  32. 31. It is actually a paid ad that will be up through the finals. The ad is fine, I am having major HTML issues trying to fit it in above the existing banner. I’ve learned some things about this site design in the past few hours that has me looking at a redesign again this summer to clean some stuff up. Like this.

    As for buying the shoes, that is up to you. But I am aiming for subliminal mind control, just to warn you.

  33. Whoa, I thought this site had been hacked for a second. You should keep up an ad or two…you know, enough to get some side dough (especially with these gas prices)…but not too many as to sell out. 😀

    Today–I’m going to keep my eye on Gasol. I mainly want to see how he responds defensively. I’m also interested in what Odom provides offensively.

  34. Analysts keep saying Lakers have faced no real diversity so far in the playoffs, which is funny. We’ve played nearly all different types of teams in the playoffs: Nuggets (run-and-gun), Jazz (physical, beat-you-up), and Spurs (dominant PF, defensive).

    I’m not arrogant enough to claim Lakers will sweep, though I hope so, but what can Boston throw at us that we haven’t faced in the playoffs?

    This is our time, this is Kobe’s time. Get it done.

  35. And Converse paying to place an ad on forumblueandgold? Nice!

  36. Nothing like a little James Taylor to pump up the crowd. Not!

  37. Well, I have conclude that we do have another clear-cut advantage… we have a better pre-game introduction.

    KG with his big head screaming? Paul Pierce sounding like he smoked 5 cigarettes before they recorded that? No paid dues to their past greats?


    LA is the place to be.

  38. I just noticed the add…nice. I loved that old *Weapons* commercial with Magic getting out of the limo.


  39. Soft Double on Pierce…

  40. It’s hard to watch this game in the library with all these people studying for finals.

    It’ll be interesting to see if there are many lead changes over the course of the game. Hopefully the younger Lakers have started to gain some of that killer instinct that comes with experience and we can put the game away when we have the chance.

  41. kobe took lots of jump shots

  42. Lakers seem a little tentative on offense, still throwing jabs, not any hooks.

  43. Seriously, Palani. I thought he’d be more agressive going to the basket, but I give Ray Allen credit right now, he’s playing Kobe well.

    Looks like our guards off the bench are feeling good so far, though.

  44. I’m so pumped up…I don’t think I can make it through the whole game. I need a sub soon.

    What happened to Mike Breen by the way? Did he get into a fight or something?

  45. I like what I’ve seen from Pau so far… Knock on wood.

  46. Kurt – just sent you an email you might find interesting.

  47. Early issues for the Lakers: not getting to the line enough and too many offensive boards surrendered.

  48. And, you can’t let Cassell get to his spots.

  49. Nice home cooking for the Celts atm.

  50. 46. Anthony, didn’t get it. Did you send it to

  51. Does the league have super scouts that can analyze with pinpoint accuracy that the Lakers are head and shoulders better than anyone else so the opposing team has to get all the foul calls all of a sudden? I’m getting tired of just seeing bad calls. Then suddenly it’ll change the seccond half to us and that’s all anyone will remember and we’ll be “tainted”.

  52. At this point, I could have said 2+2=4 before the game and I would have been wrong….

  53. I think we’re getting some of the shots we want, but they’re rimming out. I don’t mind some of the outside shots Boston’s taking, but they’re making them. I like the Laker ball movement, and we’ve started going inside better after taking (and making, but for Kobe) a lot of jumopshots early.

  54. resent – my bp article

  55. Now the offense is starting to look good, finding the gaps and Odom is finishing.

  56. I’ve noticed some calls that have gone against us, but I didn’t think they were that egregiious and expect they’ll even out. Overall I think some things have gone against us in this game, but it’s absolutely ours to take if we can tighten up and just focus on playing our game.

  57. Lakers. Are. Assisting. On. 76.4% of their FGs….

  58. Ah, Anthony, didn’t recognize who you were. Welcome. Got it, I was just swamped at the day job and trying to figure out some HTML issues and didn’t respond to people.

  59. Is it just me or are all these timeouts even more ridiculously long and frequent. All these commercials are killing me.

  60. Well I just hate bad officiating. Bad play…well fine but when it’s something that isn’t the players fault I get frustrated.

  61. So…Lakers haven’t done anything too spectacular and yet we managed to be up by 5 at half. So that’s pretty good. Pace favors us as well. Haven’t seen their crazy defense yet so that may yet be a factor.

  62. Good half, and that’s with Kobe shooting horrid. Ball movement and spacing are really helping us at this point. Just imagine if Kobe had made half the shots he missed and Radman hit that wide open 3-pointer.


  63. People from the west coast get mugged in Boston everyday, why should today be different? Don’t worry, it’s just like always…things will even out and talent will prevail. That means Lakers in 4-6 games.

    Seriously, if the Celts can’t go up at halftime at home in G1…when are they gonna rise to the occasion?

  64. Don’t ask me why, but everytime I see Babbetta changing his made about a call, it comes to my mind “The Usual Suspects”.

  65. 51% shooting, 14 assists on 16 FGs, against 4 TOs. Up 5 and Kobe is still feeling things out. I’ll take that every half of this series.

  66. My bad, I ment mind

  67. do guys anticipate any adjustments to be made by either team?

  68. We got some bad calls and after each one the Celts made a little rally. I hope the officiating evens out a bit.

  69. er. do+you anticipate. sorry.

  70. Oops, I guess we fell to 50%. And it’s 14 assists on 19 FGs (forgot to refresh my box score I guess).

    On the other hand, Celtics fans are saying “We’re only down 5 despite Pierce being a non-factor because of foul trouble.”

    Oh man, that Magic/Bird ad is kind of depressing.

  71. Wow, the Magic and Larry Bird split-screen NBA commercial is classic.

    Stuart Scott finally got something right, that raised goosebumps all over my body.

  72. the magic/bird commercial is not as good as i expected.. they should have photoshopped the young magic and bird. would have been better

  73. With all due respect, you’re nuts. Photoshopped “young Magic and BIrd?”

  74. Who beat up Mike Breen?

  75. What’s with the 5 second delayed foul calls?

  76. Van Gundy is a little ridiculous, isn’t he?

  77. Pierce is reaching D-Wade levels of flopping. I guarantee you he’s faking it.

  78. He landed like Bynum landed.

  79. Nononononono. Come on Pierce, get up. You’re alright. Hopefully he just banged his knee and can walk it off. .

  80. Okay, maybe not. My bad. I don’t retract the flopping comment though.

  81. mamba’s getting active now. like it…

  82. that looked like an illegal screen on brown

  83. garnett’s a stat monster in the 1H. hope he gets tired by the 4Q..or PP or RA continue w/ their so-so games

  84. Here’s pierce back, thankfully. Now the Lakers have to get their heads back into it. They’re about to face a furious rally.

  85. F’ that. There’s no damn way he went down that bad and pops in lke this.

  86. yeah, complete bs theatrics.

  87. Lakers let off them off the hook. Need to get sharp.

  88. great recognition by fish!

  89. I didn’t realize that Pierce is the new Manu. What a flopper!

  90. By my unofficial count, Kobe has given the Lakers a lead 3 separate times

  91. 21-33 rebounds, Celtics.

  92. lol @ piece on the bike. give it up, faker.

  93. I hate PJ Brown and his BLATANT moving screens….he should be fouled out by now.

  94. When Pierce went down (cough, cough) and then Perking went out, the Lakers almost played as if they were sorry for them. They didn’t turn it up and pour it on. They are paying for it now.

  95. Blatant moving screens and Paul Pierce the great actor. I’m sorry but they just make it easy to hate them. Certainly not to respect them.

  96. To me the problem is on the defensive end right now, the Celtics are shooting 50% (eFG%) and have an offensive rating of 113.2. Plus they have grabbed 30% of their misses. Still, only down a couple with a quarter to go.

  97. I’ve noticed that Gasol isn’t getting involved (or being involved) enough atm.

  98. we need to step it up now!

  99. Grab a rebound, man. EVERYBODY needs to crash the boards

  100. Great pass by Kobe to Lamar. That was a pass, right?

  101. I really hate our freaking free-throw shooting all playoffs long.

  102. TOs are killing us.

  103. We actually are not turning the ball over much, but there have been a few ugly ones.

  104. Its turning into the Kobe show and its not cool

  105. I’m sorry…but you either have Ariza in there to see what can happen or you keep Rad in. I cannot stress how much Walton is reliable to get lost on screens or just get abused by the bigger opponent.

  106. Doc should keep Cassell out there…he is helping us

  107. So….Kobe back in with 2 seconds to shoot?

  108. what about the call by Phil to rest Kobe? He’ll bring him back with 2 sec left

  109. Heart attacks so far: 7

    Great game no matter what the final score is

  110. 103 – we have 7 with 6 to go in the 4th. I’ll take that any game. We need to do a better job on the boards, but we always knew we were going to get outrebounded. If we get outrebounded, we need to take care of the ball – I’m sure the Lakers coaches pounded that home in preparing for the last 3 series (utah, SA, bos)

  111. How was that a foul on Walton??

  112. Wow. Pierce reacts to the slightest breeze.

  113. Its past Dick Bavettas bed time he really shouldnt be reffing this game

  114. That looked like a charge on Odom.

  115. i’m surprised Pierce isn’t European

  116. How many times have the Celtics grabbed jerseys for rebounds? PIerce just grabbed Odom’s jersey in the air, and it’s a foul on Odom.

    Brown puts his forearm in Walton’s face and pushes off, and it’s a foul on Walton?

    I’m not one for conspiracies, but it seems like Stern wants this series to be as extended as possible.

    All that aside, I don’t know what Lakers are doing. Twice already, in possessions that dwindled down to 4-5 seconds, it ends with a fadeaway jumper by Turiaf and another difficult turnaround jumper for Sasha. Execution?

  117. I like how Pierce had all of Odom’s jersey but they decide to call the other foul. Once again just tired of bad officiating. It’s just way too much apart of this game in comparison to any other.

  118. 116 I agree. The Lakers are getting into too many isolation sets. Not enough movement.

  119. PJ Brown is dirty with his hips swings to get contact and moving screens. Why did not call that after the first whistle?! They could’ve call it at least 3 more times after that play.

  120. All that being said, the Lakers are just WAY TOO into the mindset that it will be Kobe to save this game for them.

  121. We’re not losing because of the refs. It’s a total aversion to Boston’s physicality, Kobe’s horrible shot selection (everything a fade away with a hand in his face), and missed open shots.

  122. Free throws!

  123. we haven’t stopped any of their top 3.

  124. That PJ Brown-Walton call was bad but Odom was fouling Pierce as his jersey was being grabbed, then after. The officials aren’t why we’re behind. Missed shots and missed rebounds are.

  125. I hope this close road game loss doesn’t kill our confidence the way it killed the Suns’ in the first round against the Spurs.


  127. They call a bump on Rondo on the other end and they allow the Celtics to maul Kobe completely before calling the foul…

  128. If the refs were crooked, KG would have shot FTs on that dunk and Kobe wouldn’t be at the line after he made contact with Posey.

  129. just a horrible 2nd half.

  130. Great box out, Pau.

  131. If the refs were crooked, KG would have shot FTs on that dunk and Kobe wouldn’t have gone to the line after he made contact with Posey.

  132. we’re done. so frustrating.

  133. 129. How was that a foul against Garnett?

  134. All we need here is one in Boston, there are things to build on. Why so little Vlade in the second half after he did well on Pierce in the first half?

  135. What a weak second half by the Lakers.

  136. 134, he got him on the arm….but Pau should have box out first.

  137. 135. Pierce tore him apart during the first 2 min of the second half, where Vlad quickly picked up two fouls.

  138. Played exactly how Celtics wanted it. Big 3 scoring as they want and make Kobe a volume shooter.

  139. when pierce “went down,” we had a chance to take out their hearts for the whole series. instead we dilly-dallied. and now, they have renewed confidence. a very disappointing loss.

  140. Kobe bad game, terrible shot selection (and one hell of a fincky rim) and just not taking advantage of that Pierce/Perkins exit is what killed us. I know they outscored us by a ton after that and that’s where it happened.

    Nevermind crappy officiating too.

  141. That was pretty good home cooking. Why the heck are all the shots in and out today?

  142. 137. Plus PP would be the hero of the game….

  143. Well, it’s only one game, maybe we will get the next one.

  144. The comment by Darius in the original post re: Kobe’s jumper was in response to something I wrote a couple days ago. I’ll repost it here, and reiterate the general sense I had at the time: if Kobe Bryant stays in the same mode against the Celtics that he was in against the Spurs, the Lakers will lose. He needs to go to the rack, and the Spurs series was in many ways the worst thing possible to happen to him because of how well he was shooting the outside J. To quote:

    I’m actually a little worried about Bryant’s jump shot going into this series, in the sense that he has seemed to fall in love with it over the course of the games against the Spurs. My worst-case scenario could be the ‘revenge of the Popovich,’ in a way. Kobe was hot from the mid-range for basically the entirety of that series – as evidenced by his astonishingly low free-throw totals, yet 53% shooting (which is significantly above his career average even factoring in his usual aggressiveness). When he gets “that look,” as Doug Collins likes to say, he’ll fire from anywhere on the court, but it tends to be from the perimeter.

    What I worry is that he goes into the games against Boston looking to continue his streak from outside – and if he has lost a bit of that touch, reverting more to his season norm (which has been mentioned as being fairly mediocre from the midrange), he may try to shoot himself back into being hot. If he does, the Lakers will probably be unbeatable, as we saw against San Antonio. If he fails to do so, though, it could spell a lot of trouble and a potentially quick exit from the Finals for the LAL.

  145. The Lakers couldnt rebound to save their lives tonight…

  146. Wow that was rapeville.

  147. Was it just me or was the officiating infuriating this game?

    139 CTDeLude, I think Kobe had decent shot selection (for his standards anyway). He was just off. He couldn’t buy a jumper. I think the biggest problem was that he didn’t get to the rim once during a half court set. It looked like Boston is doing was the Spurs did and built a wall in front of the rim to keep Kobe from getting all the way there.

    Kobe needs to read that and post up to get better looks and a smaller chance of late double teams. Ray Allen can’t defend him in there and will let the Lakers to show us their great interior passing.

    A disappointing start, but I’m optimistic from we’ll win game 2.

  148. 88 pts tonight…offensive execution down the stretch was terrible…and too many jumpshots and not enough low post execution.

    Lakers were a jumpshooting team tonight and they couldnt hit shots. They better pray that next game, those shots fall because this Boston D is suffocating.

    Overall, it was a great game that lived up to the hype. It just didnt go to the favor of the Laker fans like myself.

  149. that was a bad loss, but it’s just the beginning. considering boston’s home court advantage boston is expected to win. it would have been nice if we played better and stole the first to add to phil’s 1st game win history. there’s still one more to steal on sunday. they need to regroup, kobe needs to find his shot, and go in there and take it with authority.

  150. Celtics (particularly their Big Three) had a big game. The Lakers had a sub-par game. Who do you think will win that? Credit the Celtics for making shoot a lot of jumpers and perhaps loose a bit of will to drive hard. That injury to Pierce may hurt a bit depending on how it plays like. If he is reduced to Ginobili, I look the Lakers to attack him or shut him down. REBOUNDS please! This is like that Utah series and the Lakers are gonna get pounded 24/7. They have to gang up and crash and not look around there. Kobe also had a sub-par game. 25 attempts or so producing just 24 points won’t do. In an efficient game, he should be somewhere in the mid-30s. The Lakers simply will not win if Kobe attempts to save the day from long range. His stroke was simply not consistent. Expect this to change. But I hope the team adapts as they have to this environment. They shouldn’t fold up now. Expect their offense to improve next game and look for them to steal one here. I hope they do or else they’ll be in a bad position. I do not expect the Lakers to sweep their homestand but I am ever optimistic. When the smoke clears, Celtics take round 1 but thank God no big damage to the Lakers. They should be a bit loose next time and drive hard. I can’t believe I saw so many fouls. Kobe should attack. So does Lamar and Pau. And they have to do so quick. They can’t gamble playing behind. All the best in the second game. I am just as positive on a win as I was before Game 1. GO LAKERS!

  151. Paul “benedict arnold” pierce should get berated with heckling when he shows his face in this city again. What a fake, what a hack, what a piece of garbage…if bavetta wasn’t blind it may have been a bit closer but still, we gotta bring the fire on sunday..

  152. btw, give pierce the benefit of doubt, he did have a perkins fall on top of his leg…

    Also, did anyone else notice this or is ABC just playing a cruel joke with my TV…Tony Allen was introduced as #44 Brian Scalabradie by ABC during the sub intros….O_o

  153. Man, 24 second half Boston free throws tonight. Part of that was stupid fouls by the Lakers, but I’m really disappointed to see the refs calling as much ticky tack stuff as they did tonight. Lot of trips to the line on marginal bumps near midcourt and stuff like that, and that was after really letting both teams play with lots of contact early. I hate inconsistent officiating more than anything.

  154. 133- Pau clearly hit KG’s wrist on the dunk. Didn’t affect the outcome so it was a good no-call, but if the refs were trying to put the game out of the Lakers grasp they’d call that. The refs had nothing to do with this outcome. Missed shots and bad rebounding did. And the worst game by Kobe since the opener against Denver. I’m glad he has 2 days to study that tape.

  155. Celtics’ fans are going to be insufferable in saying PP = Willis Reed for the next two days.

    Hopefully the Lakers make some shots next game and work the ball into the post more. Our inside-out game fell apart.

  156. The Lakers had a chance to steal Game 1, but played a poor fourth quarter.

    I think what really swung it was giving up a few offensive rebounds, a few bad fouls (like Sasha on Ray Allen at the end of the shot clock, Fish on Rondo while trying to press), and one particularly embarrassing non-box-out by Pau (there were four Forum Blue jerseys in the area, and every player inside one was just ball-watching).

    In such a tight contest, those little things slowly took the pressure off Boston and put it on LA. Enough pressure to make all those shots rim out, perhaps.

    As for Kobe, I think he tried to beat the double-teams by himself, only to end up taking a fall-away over four long arms or find himself face-to-face with KG or Brown at the rim.

    After all those days talking about how passing is the way to slice up the Celtics’ D, it was frustrating to watch at times, but really it was only a few possessions. Not closing out on Pierce and Posey on those three threes in the third (nice) was arguably worse.

    Just need to take Sunday night’s game, then. Kobe will be better/smarter, hopefully Lamar will show up, and I have faith that Phil and the coaching staff will make the right adjustments.

  157. Gasol should get used to the fact that he is going to get banged up. He tends to disappear in games like this….

  158. Lakers need to make their jumpers to have any chance in winning this series cuz their postup game was nonexistant in this game.

  159. Lakers were a jumpshooting team tonight…and those shots just didn’t fall.

    As much as i hate to say it, game 2 is a must win for LA in my opinion. Also, the fouls that were called on LA was terrible…i dont like blaming the refs for anything, but some calls were just terrible calls. I guess home court means “Calls for Boston’s favor today”.

    Give Pierce some credit; he hit big shots that gave the Celt’s momentum and the Lakers never recovered after he hit those 3’s in the 3rd quarter.

  160. 153. I don’t agree man. I agree we did not play well. But that does not mean that the officiating was good or unbiased. There were so many ticky tacky foul calls against the Lakers while the Celtics were getting away with being very physical both on the boards and Kobe’s drives to the basket.

  161. Underbruin: my thoughts about Kobe and jumper were pretty much off. Although, I think that he (mostly) took what the defense gave him and just missed his shots. Did he take too many? Maybe, but if he makes even half of the 4-6 that he would make on a night that he’s even half way hot, I don’t think it’s even something we’re talking about because we probably win. Maybe he should have driven more. But, what I can say, is that when he did drive to the basket he was not looking to score, but rather to pass. I think he saw the help defender and was smart in looking to dish the ball because of the packed in defense that the Celtics played. He created plenty of good looks for the guys and there was a lid on the basket. A lot of jumpers tonight rattled out, but those are the breaks. I do think that Kobe forced some jumpers early, but I actually thought that Kobe got awoken when Posey grabbed him by the arm after the whistle had blown and Kobe was jumping and going to the basket. After that, Kobe was making his jumper the offense picked up and the execution was much better. In the first half the Lakers had (what?) 14 assists, were leading going into the 3rd so I was fine with how things were going. (BTW, I know that we’ll remember the ones he missed in the 4th. But I could care less about those. At the point where he was really starting to shoot the most, we were down 6-8 points with less than 3 minutes. At that point, scoring quickly is just as important as scoring at all because of the way that we were rebounding the ball and the slower pace that Boston wanted to play at. So while he was 1-6 in the 4th, three or four of those shots were just quick/first good look jumpers in order to try and cut the deficit.)

    It was the 3rd quarter where things went wrong. We instantly gave up the lead, did not execute the offense, and got lost on Pierce in transition where he hit those 3’s. We did not control our defensive glass, we got a little indecisive on offense, and just couldn’t make enough shots. Some of that was the Celtics defense and some of that was just bad luck/tough breaks. I think Pierce’s injury gave them some lift, but it was really PJ Brown and Powe controlling the glass while KG and/or Perkins were out of the game that did us in. Offensive rebounding killed us, and unlike in the Utah series, they were converting on their extra possessions, and it made the difference tonight. I mean, just off the top of my head I’m thinking of that Ray Allen putback and 1; I’m thinking about that missed 2nd freethrow where KG knocks the ball out of bounds off of RadMan who had just replaced Odom; I’m thinking about that PJ Brown rebound where he was tangled up with Luke and then got fouled; I’m thinking about KG’s follow dunk that essentially ended the game.

    Overall, I think we played well enough to be *in* the game, but not well enough to win. Besides a couple of defensive lapses at the start of the 3rd quarter I thought we played a decent game. While I don’t agree with those that are criticizing the referees, I do think that Boston got the 50/50 calls that home teams usually get. So I’m going to look at the Zebras and say “you didn’t cost us the game” and move on to the stuff that really made a difference.

    Sunday’s another shot for us to split. I think for us to win the series, game 2 is just as important as this one was. I know that the popular sentiment was that “Game 1 is our best chance” but I really don’t see it that way. We want a split. We did not get the win tonight, but Sunday is another day.

  162. To beat a great defensive team like Boston, the Lakers need better ball movement. They had this in the second half, not allowing Boston to set their defense up. However, in the second half there was just way too much isolation with players dribbling and shooting and not enough ball movement. The Lakers also need to be much more aggressive. Did Kobe take the ball to the rim at all tonight? I mean Boston doesnt have Bruce Bowen. Also, the Lakers need to rebound much better. I know most of you wont agree, but game 2 is a must win situation for the Lakers. I dont think they can sweep Boston on their homestand despite the Lakers being a great home team. It would be pretty difficult to beat Boston 3 in a row even if the Lakers have those games at home. I pray the Lakers win game 2. On the bright side, the Celtics played pretty much flawless all around, and the Lakers I still think could have won this game if they rebounded the ball better.

  163. I just heard that we shot 25% in the fourth quarter, I guess it did seem pretty bad. I don’t like the stat of who wins the first game wins the Finals 79% of the time.

  164. One thing we learned: this is isn’t Detroit 2004. Boston is not significantly better than the Lakers. The Lakers aren’t going to get run over. Phil J. and his staff should trust the bench, we’re deeper, younger and should have an advantage even with Kobe out.

    Paul Pierce is too big for most guys on the Lakers but the Lakers can go big with DJ Mbenga on Perkins, LO on PP, Gasol on KG, KB on Allan, Fish on Rondo.

    I think this game is a good sign that we can take their best shot. A few adjustments by the coaching staff and we should be good. No way KKKeltics or their fans can feel confident about this win. IThs game should be a big sigh of relief for them and a confident grin for us.

  165. Please play Ariza….if your offense ain’t working, might as well try some defense.

  166. Darius (162) – Yeah, it’s not that I totally disagree with what your original assessment was. But I think you’re still giving Kobe too much credit regarding how good of a shooter he is in the midrange. We have the stats – his eFG% on jumpers is about 46% (and remember, that factors in the bonus given for 3-pointers). He’s up to 56% on ‘close’ shots. He has the ability against this Boston team to get past the first defender – he did it on several occasions. But he settled too often for contested jumpers over the help, instead of swinging the ball around.

    True, it didn’t help that many of the shots that seemed to go down against Utah/SA rimmed out, but almost all of them were by Kobe. The Lakers minus Bryant shot 23-51, 45%. Kobe and Luke were the only Lakers to score fewer than one point per shot, and Odom, Gasol, and Fish all played well (Gasol and Odom were both 6-11, and Fisher scored 15 points on 9 shots by getting to the line consistently).

    All I’m suggesting is, if the Lakers are going to live-or-die by the jumper, that’s their call. But the team offense on display tonight was nowhere near as effective as it has been to date in the playoffs, and a big part of that was because Kobe was still gunning it from 18-20 feet out.

  167. well if anyone cares, the dodgers helped completely ruin this night for me as matt kemp strikes out with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 9th down 5-4

    I have to agree with all who say sunday is a MUST WIN, we can’t expect to win three games at home so we gotta steal one early

  168. Lakers will not play so bad offensivley, Pau will not play as soft as he did, and hopefully Phil will not put Kobe on Pierce for extended minutes again. I would follow the tried and true advice of Bill Bridges and let Sasha run the back-up 1 against Cassell (to put a bigger guard on the fetus) and allow Kobe to work on offense from the post (mid-post) to let him work closer to the hoop.

  169. This is the third game in a row that Kobe has had disasterous shooting nights against the Celtics. I wonder whether the Lakers/Kobe will be able to solve the C’s D to get Kobe higher quality shots that are closer to the basket. Three games is a trend.

    As badly as Kobe shot the ball, I felt that Pau and Lamar’s weak second half was dispositive – as those two go, so go the Lakers. They may have both shot 6-11, but I disagree that they played well … particularly after halftime. Neither was aggressive, both were weak on the boards, and Lamar had only 1 assist. Although Lamar’s play no doubt has improved with Gasol’s acquisition, it’s disappointing that he still remains undependable – we simply do not know whether he is going to show up on any given night. He didn’t tonight. The team’s lack of effort, hustle and moxie at the start of the third quarter was particularly disturbing. And it didn’t take a genius to figure that the C’s were going to start the third quarter trying to get Pierce started. Therefore, to give up the lead on 6 Pierce points within 45 seconds was frustrating and the beginning of the end.

  170. Whatever. We’re taking game 2.

    That was the Celtics playing at there best and the Lakes having an off night. It’s as simple as that. Almost every uncontested shot in the last 1/4 of the 3rd and all through the 4th for just wouldn’t fall. The celtics vaunted “d” showed me little. There’s just no way that happens again. The Celts “d” was not that impressive and Fisher owns Rondo and Casell if we could have gotten some calls. Lamar was weak. Turiaf was week. Luke was non-existent. Gasol, Fish, Sasha, Vlad and Kobe all had looks all game long. We just missed. Period.

    We literally shot ourselves out of the game and then the ref’s called all the b.s. calls they could. In fact, that game reminded me a lot of our 1st home game this season against the Rockets… a game I always considered a “moral” win for us and not a true defeat.

    In essence? If that’s the best the Celtcs play at home (and I’m sure it is)? We take Game 2 then bring them back to the dojo for an a$$ kicking in three straight.

    Never say die. We missed some shots. Played pretty solid “d” and got shot by the ref’s… I believe Phil and Kobe are the best with regards to game to game adjustments.

    – “I hate the sunday whites – – – but I’m a laker for life!!”

  171. ps – That game also reminded me alot of the Iverson sixers vs. Shaq lakers finals game 1… we are so gonna win game 2!!!!

  172. I think #166 has it right. Can we please play Ariza? He is exactly the type of player that would give the Celtics fits (an athletic wing player ala Atlanta Hawks). I also think we should try a lineup of Fisher, Kobe, LO (on PP), Turiaf (KG), and Gasol. I think that will be a pretty good defensive and rebounding team.

    Anyway, tough loss but nothing that a few adjustments can’t fix.

  173. My irrational and bitter thoughts following the game.

    1. We all thought that if Cassell played instead of House, we would have an advantage. But Sam turned back the clock and played very well for the C’s, especially in the 2nd quarter.
    2. I do not know if the Lakers can really win this series if they continue to get pounded on the glass. We can afford to give up many 2nd chance opportunities to teams like Utah, but the Celtics are just too dangerous if you give them multiple possessions.
    3. Give credit to Pierce. He finished the 3rd quarter with a fury that even surpassed his start to open up the 2nd half. Those two back-to-back 3’s really fired up the crowd heading into the 4th.
    4. And speaking of Pierce: we do not yet know the extent of his injury, but 22 points on 10 FGs is amazing efficiency and something I’m beginning to seriously worry about. If he is focused, I think he’s the biggest mismatch in this series, including Kobe.
    5. P.J. Brown’s effectiveness. He and KG really turned the defense up a notch in the 4th quarter. I would be extremely disappointed if Pau or Lamar cannot take advantage of the legs of a 39-year-old (even though he’s going on 25.)

    It’s safe to say I underestimated these Celtics. They are hungry and extremely poised for a group that was built on the fly. Winning on their home court will prove to be difficult than we expected and I think it’s going to take an A+ effort from us and a B+ effort from the Celtics because they are a different animal on their court. Can’t wait for game 2.

  174. I think Bynum needs to go see Pierce’s knee doctor and get some of what he’s getting.

  175. Sorry for another post, but I have a question to the insightful and terrifically entertaining people on this blog:

    Should we sacrifice our transition game by having 4,5 people in the paint to corral the defensive rebound or should we just stick to our game even if it means continually allowing 2nd chance opportunities for the Celtics?

  176. the celtics did what they are suppose to do tonight, which is, win their first two home games. they just did what they “have” to do, really.

    i felt it was a close game up until mid 4th quarter, when questionable officiating start frustrating some of the lakers player… but the point is, we need to get one out of the first two, and therefore i m not too worry.

    kobe couldnt shoot any worst than tonight (touch wood), and i would guess LO and pau start getting the usual De-reb. did any of you guys count how many in-and-out shots by kobe, sasha and the rest of the team?

    all in all, i thought it was a good game, altho we lost, i thought its good competitive basketball, now with PJ and kobe on our side, i think they will make whatever adjustments for game two to make it even more competitive.

  177. the other Stephen June 5, 2008 at 11:32 pm

    hahaha Karl.

    “When Pierce went down (cough, cough) and then Perking went out, the Lakers almost played as if they were sorry for them. They didn’t turn it up and pour it on. They are paying for it now.”

    Comment by emh101 — June 5, 2008 @ 8:13 pm

    for reals, man. that was major. we knew pierce was gonna come back and rile up the crowd like some sort of war veteran. but we should have given him something to walk back to and knock the brave grimace right off his face.

    i also agree with 166 and 170 about playing ariza. i have real high hopes for ariza and bynum in particular next year. but i want to see some ariza now. we should talk about this.

    i also think that if kobe should have started going earlier in the fourth quarter. he should not have been sitting, and i think he came in too late to work up a rhythm.

    and i think i was yelling at PPierce all night. i could just kill a man.

  178. Chocom-Its a catch-22 to me…we need to rebound, but we need to run to get quicker, easier shots. Mainly that means that Odom needs to seucre boards and push the ball, but that means everyone else needs to box-out…and not any token box-out, I mean a real box-out.

    Anyway, I watched the game in a straight celtics bar and I honestly could sense their fear when they were down and relief when they won. I hope and think we win game 2.

  179. Does anybody else not like the 2-3-2 format? I rather have the 2-2-1-1 format. Two good teams are usually gonna go to at least 6 games. So with this format the Lakers will have to close out Boston on their home court if they are to win, which will be difficult.

  180. New post up guys, where we can continue the breakdown.

  181. 153/DowJones – I noticed the mistake with Scalabrine/Allen in the introductions, when it looked like they announced the wrong name. I felt sorry for the player, maybe blowing his only moment on national TV (good news: you’re activated for the big game; bad news…).

  182. I am from Oakland and not a Lakers’ fan but have followed them closely. In my view the key (beyond Kobe, of course) for the Lakers’ success is to use Gasol consistently on offense. Used correctly, there is no one in the league that can stop him. Against smaller players, he is unstoppable in the post and should go there again and again. But he does not. Phil Jackson should see that he does.

    Shaq became more dominant than ever before under Jackson, when he posted his unmovable body lower on the block on a consistent basis. In Pao’s case, he and the team must adjust to the defense, so it is a little less simple.