What Needs To Change

Kurt —  June 7, 2008

I agree with the assessment of many on this board — the Lakers played one of their weaker games of the playoffs. They can play much better. But the Celtics did not play their best, I would say (from my somewhat-limited knowledge of the Cs) slightly above average for them. (You could make the average argument, I wouldn’t fight it.)

In game two we are going to learn a more about the makeup of this year’s Lakers than we have all playoffs. If they can bounce back with an above-average to good performance, they will win. An average performance, or another like we saw Thursday would mean a loss (and have us seriously considering that it is the Celtics winning and not the Lakers losing). The big question from game one: Were the Lakers off or was it because of the Celtics defense? If it is somewhere in the middle, is it far enough over for the Lakers to win one in Boston? We shall see.

A few other thoughts:

• We (and many others) going in said the benches would be the difference, and it game one that battle went to the Celtics. Yes, the points were almost identical and neither bench shot a high percentage, but the Celtics bench did grab five more boards, got a boost at one point from Cassell and generally played better on defense. More importantly, you could argue that the benches battled each other to a standoff, but that still doesn’t help the Lakers who should win that battle. It’s a concern to me that the young Lakers bench seems to thrive at home but struggle at times on the road. Some adjustments need to be made, but this may be a mental thing those players need to get over. Fast.

• Crash the boards. Not only would that cut down on the second-chance points the Celtics got it gives the Lakers a chance to get out and run, to get some easy baskets in transition. When things were humming in the second quarter the Lakers had a few times where in the rush down the court the Celtics were forced into defensive mismatches that the Lakers took advantage of. We need to see more of that, but it starts on the glass.

• Ball movement, quick touch passes, with the offense working from the post out. That can be high post, mid-post or on the block, but the Lakers need to get the ball into the paint first and then move fast — be aggressive toward the hole and move without the ball. A lot of help came off Lamar Odom’s man, we knew it would, he must step up, play better, and be more aggressive. We need better than average games from him.

• I think commenter DTC had some good points:

1. Fewer long 2s, like other posters pointed out. Those are the most inefficient shots available, and he can have them any time – so it’s a fall back option
2. More patience on his drives. The Celtics rotate really well, with the objective of taking charges. That means you don’t go bulldoze into the defense – you drive but maintain your dribble, then look for midrange J, floater and runners as well as kick-outs. In Atlanta, Joe Johnson KILLED the Celtics D this way
3. More drives into the middle of the paint – and better if it comes from picks or post up situations. When he gets into the heart of the Celtics D, he becomes the ultimate decoy. And the C’s slap and grab like crazy, it increases the chances of him going to the line

• At the last practice Kobe was working from the post. Good. The offense works well that way (and back in the Jordan era Chicago had a tad bit of success with Jordan in the post — and by tad I mean post-panamax cargo ships of success).

• Side note to Kobe: The Celtic defenders were not biting on the pump fakes. Don’t expect them to start, you need to take it into their body to get the fouls. But you probably knew that already.

• This series is going to be physical. That’s fine, but the Lakers seem to take time adjusting to that (this is similar to Utah, where the Lakers did not really adjust to the style in their first game on the road, the difference was they won on their home court). The Lakers need to get into that mindset fast.

Kurt

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47 responses to What Needs To Change

  1. RIP Jim McKay.

  2. what about the lakers defense???

    are we just expecting paul peirce to not have a manu like majgical playing out of his mind game again??? even before the injury radmonovich was getting torched.

    and kg!. we had to double! that is really bothersome… when is the last time phil jackson team doubled anybody? that is not good. we didn’t even double duncan. pao needs to get onto garnet and key in. kg is just jumping over lamar. Or we can just hope that kg is not a clutch player and will not reproduce the same kind of game.

  3. Lamar had a subpar game. Kobe shot 35%. If either or both those events are avoided on Sunday then what was a close game, not decided until the last 2-3 minutes, will be a much closer game with a real chance for the Lakers to win.

    I’m not saying the Lakers don’t need to play better D or rebound better, but if Kobe shoots 45% there are less rebound battles to lose. If LO attacks the lanes and goes up strong to the basket, he’ll be available for putbacks or rebounding off misses on his assists. If the Lakers’ O becomes more efficient, playing a larger portion of Sunday’s game like they did the second quarter on Thursday, then you get a Celtics team worried about matching baskets with the best offense in the L.

  4. RIP indeed.

    What ABC Sports once was.

    – 5 -

  5. Mondo, I don’t mean to shortchange the defense, but the offense was the bigger problem. The Celtics shot a pretty average 46.1% eFG%, but if the Lakers take away the offensive rebounds (the Celts grabbed 27.8% of their misses) that percentage will fall because some easy baskets will be gone. Defensive rebounds are part of defense. Second, they just have to do better in transition D and not let guys like Pierce trail at the arc and not get anyone on them to contest a shot.

  6. By the way, Casino Drive is out of the Belmont with a bruised shin. That really opens up the field for Big Brown. None of the other horses are in his class, so long as he is not too tired from three races close together he is going to win this thing.

  7. I agree that fixing the offense is priority one – everything seems to be OK when the triangle is working well, as in the first half – but I feel like that game was really lost defensively in the third quarter. 31 points is way too many to give up to Boston in 12 minutes, and it seemed like there was a stretch there where the Celtics were converting on every possession.

    In the San Antonio series, the Lakers were able to withstand stretches of shaky offense with intense defensive effort. They can’t afford to take a quarter off, particularly on the road.

    For those looking to historical precedents, I’m hoping for a repeat of 2001. The (heavily favored) Lakers lost to Philly in OT in game one (at Staples, no less) – all the talk was about Iverson’s inspirational play, Mutombo’s stifling defense, the great job that role players like Raja Bell (he was a 76er then) were doing to take Kobe out of his game, how Larry Brown was one step ahead of Phil Jackson in his game plan.

    Then the Lakers righted the ship, quickly and decisively, dusting off their opponents in 5. I’d love to see that again, and I think it’s possible.

  8. when I was watching game 1, and Pierce went out (best actor award) then Perkins went out too, I kind of felt like the Lakers went soft at that time. they didn’t seem to want to take advantage of their injuries, and I said to my wife right there, “we lost this game because we are lacking a serious killer instinct”. in fact, the C’s not only held their own, they made up ground on us, which of course, and this couldn’t have been scripted any better in Hollywood, Pierce comes back, the crowd roars, and the rest is history.

    speaking of the bench, there was a time at the end of the first quarter when I saw them coming together, and it seemed like they were going to gel, and become the bench mob we all know and love…but something happened to take away that rhythm, not sure what it was, probably a change in the subbing pattern, not sure, but they were never a factor after that, too bad.
    LO has to take it to the hole aggressively this next game, perkins is hobbled, and the Lakers need to take advantage of that. (did Detroit show us any mercy when Byron and Magic came up lame?) I want the Lakers to show that killer instinct, no mercy, this is the Finals dammit!
    Sasha has to fight through the picks, stay on Jesus, and not rely on any acting to the reefs hoping they’ll bail him out for falling behind.
    do not look at the refs to help us win a game, and do not let bad calls distract from the mission, beat Boston, in Boston, no mercy, be killers.

  9. I agree that all the Lakers played a little flat. But I find Pau Gasol to be a major factor in almost every loss. He gets this lakadaisical attitude and it just looks like he doesn’t care. He simply stops going hard to the basket, he doesn’t box out and he’s always the last one down the court. How the heck do you leave Kevin Garnet open to crash through the lane for an offensive board and basket? It’s one thing to have a bad game. Its another to have a bad game then go passive-aggressive like a 2yr old kid. Gasol is a good player when he plays hard. He is an instant “We Lose” button when he doesn’t – and when he doesn’t it looks like he just doesn’t care. He pouts. Man up Gasol.

  10. carter blanchard June 7, 2008 at 11:43 am

    Pierce isn’t going to bank in fadeway 4-pt plays every game. I felt like that was fairly typical sequence as far as how the ball bounced for us on both ends in the second half. I feel pretty good about a strong bounceback game.

  11. Have to agree with you on the bench thought. It will be key for the Lakers bench to really outrun them the rest of the games this series. It’s time to dominate in the various departments we have advantages in, Kobe, Phil jackson, and the bench.

  12. Ok well sounds like your pretty satisfied that the lakers just need to make minor adjustments and they will win.

    Once again, lakers fan’s not taking the celtics seriously.

    HOpe on over to celticsblog.com and its like they are watching a totally different series.

  13. Mando, no arrogance intended, but the factors that led to the Lakers’ defeat and the things that need to be changed are essentially *minor adjustments*. Although the Celtics did not play their best game, they essentially won using their blueprint: defense and rebounding. If we can make some minor adjustments on offense (Kobe in the post a little more, Lamar moving better off the ball to create better passing angles when they leave him for help, our bench producing a little better) we will be in a better position to win. We can have the back and forth of “the Celtics will also play better” argument, which would nullify our minor adjustments, but I don’t think the Celtics are really going to change that much nor do I think they can play tremendously better. Sure, their main guys can make more shots, or their bench guys (especially Posey) can be more effective on offense, but ultimately they are going to throw the same game plan at us. Winning the first game will dictate that they will just try to sharpen up their game, but, I don’t see them making any real changes to a winning formula.

  14. Mando, I think making minor adjustments puts the Lakers in a position to win. By no means does this slight the Celtics. Kurt is just saying that if the Lakers play like they are capable of playing (and that’s certainly not guaranteed playing against a tough Boston club) they are capable of playing with any team in the league. We’re just talking here about how the Lakers can turn this series around and we’re not in panic mode yet. Just because every post doesn’t being with, “the celtics are a great team…” doesn’t mean we don’t know that. don’t be a rabble rouser.

  15. Mondo (and any Celtics fans lurking here), I assume you watched the game. So you know that while the final score was a 10 point difference this was a close game the entire way, with the Celtics making the plays they needed to in the fourth. But in a game as close as that one, minor adjustments are all either team really needs to make. I focus on the Lakers ones because I’m a Lakers fan and I saw what I think they need to change.

    Also, do you really expect Lakers and Celtics fans to have the same perspectives of a game or the series?

  16. Boston fans seem to – generally – be a bit defensive. I don’t think many on this blog feel this translates to the Celtic’s ballclub. I think the major problem in game #1 was the reaction (wholesale) of players who haven’t been to the finals before – especially veterans. It was like they all expected something more than just a basketball game. In that type environment I have seen players like Lamar and Pau become less aggressive. The youngsters might have believed some of the tripe about the Celtics.

    Anyway, I too feel game #2 will tell the tale for both the Lakers and the Celtics. If the Celtics are as dominant, then they will be the ones who improved more through the playoffs and will probably win the series. The Lakers need to really put their limits and Phil must ‘crack the whip’ or it will be too late. Anyone not pulling their weight should have their status immediately reevaluated and the resulting decision acted upon before we lose any ground.

    I see the Celtics in the light of a ‘grind it out team’ and much harder to come back on. We have to react to any of their runs immediately and not let them get 8-10 pts ahead before we react.

  17. Haven’t been on since Thursday. But I noticed some things that might be of interest. Phil Jackson never panicked during the course of the game. The Lakers were too loose while the Celtics were really pushing it, grabbing and slapping. And because it was Boston, the refs gave the 50-50 calls to Boston. It is expected. The rebounding issues were touched upon but once again, we were outrebounded by Utah and SA and still won the game.

    That logo on half court is hideous. Take that ugly thing off the court.

    The Celtics offense is very average. It is Cleveland-esque type offense.

    Lakers need to force the refs to call the fouls on the Celtics. No more weenie shots please.

    Bring the killer instinct back and we should be competitive.

  18. Why are the Boston fans so defensive of the Lakers? One reason is that Boston has and have been the front runners since the last trade garnering Allen, however the playoffs exposed them for a team that was not quite ready for primetime.
    Meanwhile the Lakers have been a team that has continued to rise and impress through all adversity, i.e., Bynum’s, Ariza’s, and Bryant’s injuries. To make it to the NBA finals when at the beginning of the season the Lakers were slated to be an at best, 7th seed in the western conference.

    Lakers did exactly what they needed to do in the first half, that was to move the ball from east to west or west to east and force Boston to play defense for 15-20 seconds. THIS WORKED!
    Then the Lakers did exactly what they should not have done in the second half, which was to use a mere 10-13 seconds of the shot clock with one pass shots.

    The pick and roll needs to be abandoned when KG is on the floor, period!

    Phil Jackson broke a cardinal rule: Never change what has worked! We made it this far by utilizing the ‘bench mob’ we need to go all the way by that same method:
    A. It will either lead to a championship.
    B. Or it will lead to a finals loss at which point the
    ‘bench mob’ will have gained valuable experience
    and prepare them for greater success next year.

    The ‘bench mob’ has to know that we trust and believe in them. They also have to play at the same time together. There is magic in a bench that plays together and believes in one another. The last team bench that I can readily recall with that sort of magic was the Detroit Pistons. Rodman, Vinny, Sally et, al.

    We need to use Ariza at least a few minutes on Rondo to give a different look. I think we all know what KG, Pierce and Allen are capable of doing under pressure. WE DO NOT KNOW what Rondo can do under EXTREME pressure. The key is to take him out of rhythm and then get him off the floor with fouls or to cause Boston to distrust his decision making.

    It seems like in earlier rounds in the east that is what was successful for those teams, and the result was that Boston almost lost to less talented teams.

    I still say the Lakers will win in 6 games!

  19. C’s fan here, love the blog and the views. While I think the Lakers can play a little better, they do need more than minor adjustments. There is a question to ask, why has Bryant, LeBron and other big time scorers (check Denver at Celtics) struggled against Boston? It is the defense. Boston is fabulous as a team forcing great scorers to take jump shots. Yes, Kobe can make some of the shots he took, but, they are still lower percentage shots than if he got in the lane. How many 19 foot fadeaways should any player hit? At best it is going to be 45 percent. That works in Boston’s advantage.

    When Kobe is hot he hits everything.If Boston loses because of that, you tip your cap. But, Celts want to force him into taking difficult shots, which they did. I didn’t see many open 15 footers with no hand in his face.

    L.A. has to find a way to get Kobe in the lane. When Boston has struggled in these playoffs its been when the opposing team can get to the rim. FASTBREAK is key. Atlanta killed with the athleticism on the break.

    Boston really closes out well. They led the NBA, or were near the top, in 3 point FG defense. They concentrate in not giving up open 3s. They contest to the 3-point line.

    On offense, severely underrating the Celts offense. It is deliberate, not offensively challenged. I think Boston took the fewest shots in the NBA. They can score in the 100s if they get enough shots. KG can shoot better and usually does. Ray Allen can also shoot better. He looks light years better and is over his slump. If Pierce is healthy , big if, Lakers will continue to struggle defensively. I have read here that Laker fans think they did a good job defensively. If that is the case, you guys are in trouble because I thought the Laker defense was mediocre at best. Celts got any shot they wanted and got to any part of the floor. Take a look at Game 4 in the Pistons series, Detroit played lock down defense. THAT’S DEFENSE.

    On the boards it went as expected. Celts are the superior and more physical front court. I thought Boston can play much more physical too if they need to. Watch the Cleveland series, now that was physical. Celts couldn’t get to the rim in that series. They had no problem getting in the lane Thursday.

    Hollinger picked up on this. Lakers D is going to have to pick up immensely. Boston did whatever it wanted on offense.

    Celts have another gear BTW. If you think that was their best, you have another thing coming. Celts played .800 ball during the season. It was second best record in franchise history and a historic 10.25 margin of victory per game.

    I would say if the Lakers want to hurt Boston they have to get the pace up and if not flat out fastbreak, at least quicker offense. If they are going to try and run the triangle and use half court offense to beat Boston that is right into the Celtics’ hands.

    The teams that beat Boston were teams that were really athletic and broke Boston down off the dribble. They had trouble with Washington, Golden State and even the Suns. Even the Bobcats gave them trouble because of the athleticism on the wings and in the front court. Same with Atlanta. Athletic high flying wings who can get out on the break.

    That, or football style physical play (Cleveland, Detroit).

    That is what LA has to do. Play faster. II don’t think they will play overtly physical. You want to play 5-on-5? Boston is going to win that game.

  20. Besides Kobe our (Ariza) athletic wing is down with an injury. Lakers are not a fastbreaking team we break opportunistically. Besides that we are not Cleveland, Detroit, Washington, Golden State or even the Suns. WE ARE THE LAKERS.

    Am I French? We will do what we must do as we have done all season long. We only care about the championship.

    And BTW if you think that that was the best the Lakers have to offer on offense and defense Boston is over confident!

  21. carter blanchard June 7, 2008 at 3:34 pm

    Big brown sucks.

  22. Kurt, Darius, and nomuskies,

    Look… not that it rally matters but im a lakers fan..

    Ive been reading up on the celticsblog.com and some of the various message boards… it seems to me that they are harping on three points that i think to makes this “minor adjustment” thing we got going in lakerdom a little supsuct.

    Essentially the celtics bloggers are claing three thigns,

    1) this is the third game in a row that the celtics defense has slowed kobe and that the first two regular season games count because lakers had andrew bynum.

    2) what kobe and the lakers are talkinga bout in terms of ‘Minor adjustments’ — like crisper passing, rebounding, and kobe off the ball in the post (as you said darius) — are alot like what lebron james and the cavs were talkinga bout after a game one in which lebron was confined to jump shots.

    3) that the lakers are the least physical team that the celtics have played all year and that they, therefore, can continue to bully the lakers and keep them off the boards.

    so in othwords, out “minor adjustment” thing we got going on to make ourselves feel better are exactly the same points they are using to make themselves feel better about the fact that laker’s big three didn’t play well and it was still close. I think that is worth thinking about, that is all.

  23. 21. I won money on that betting the field. I was rooting against my money but I thought that was the smart bet.

    John S. Thanks for the insight. Like I said, look for Kobe in the post and to run the offense through him that way. And nobody here thinks that was the Celtics best, we just think the Lakers can play better. The C’s adjusted on the pick and roll, now it is the Lakers turn. We’ll see in the next game if the Lakers adjustments will give the Celtics problems that are not as easy to solve.

  24. John S. I would recommend you read 20 second timeout, they layout Kobe’s game 1 performance PERFECTLY to a T, essentially, if celtics play at the same level and Lakers again get outrebounded by double digit plus, the lakers would still have a chance so long as kobe make two or three more shots, i mean the reason why the final margin was 10 was because of those freebie free throws at the end…if kobe had hit even one more three (he missed a few, i counted two, that he would have made in the first three series and a few two pointers too that went in and poped right out). Really, game 1 didn’t show celtics’ dominance, all it show is that every game is going to be amazing and no one team is gonna dominate (I get the vibe from celticsblog that everyone over there think lakers is just gonna roll over and die if LA don’t make MASSIVE adjustments)…

    Anyways, check out http://20secondtimeout.blogspot.com/

    one of my favorite blogs second to this and truehoops :D

  25. Great points by John S.

    Kobe does need to get into the lane. We have been looking for him to do this off the dribble. But, Boston is using the same D that the Spurs used by protecting the basket with KG/Perkins, clogging the driving lanes, and this proved effective in game 1. Now, we have heard that he may work more from the post, either in the hub of the triangle or on the weadside of the triangle. I think this can be an effective way for him to get into the lane by passing into him in the post, running the action of cuts/screens, and then having Kobe turn and face and make a move. From this position on the court, Kobe can either attack the basket (and hopefully not find as much congestion with Boston’s bigs occupied from the off-ball movement of our bigs) or he can use his fantastic jab step/footwork game to free up space to get more clean mid-range jumpers.

    I also think we need to remember that in the first half, our offense was quite effective when we were decisive with our passing and with the guys making quick decisions about shooting. I can recall a couple of plays off hand where we had the open shot and just took it and we were successful (Sasha hit a long jumper when his man sagged off him when he was looking to make a post entry to Kobe; Gasol hit a top of the key jumper off a ball reversal; Lamar made a jumper off a handoff from the pinch-post at an elbow). Against a very strong D, you not only need to screen and cut hard, but you need to take the good shot (and with confidence) when you have it.

    One thing I think we can do is take advantage of the Celtics aggressive denial defense. One of the areas where we were not as successful with getting Kobe shots was on his cuts into the FT line area either off of the backside screen action or with his flashing from the weakside as a pressure release when there was not a good entry pass available into the hub of the triangle. Boston did a great job of denying Kobe on these cuts/flashes and we then had to reverse the ball outside the 3pt. line to the opposite side guard. This hurt the timing of our offense and pushed us further from the hoop while also having to work later into the shot clock. This ultimately led to long jumpers late in the clock or hurried, unsuccessful drives. And it all started with simple ball denials. But I think we can counter this with the other options of the triangle. For example, there are times when on the weakside of the triangle that we clear the post and set a double screen for Kobe to come to the FT line. If the Celtics overplay this and try to deny the pass, Kobe can back cut for the lob, or he can cut flat and go under the screener to the baseline side and establish deep post position rather than go over the top of the screen to curl into the paint/FT line area. And if Boston is insistent on trying to deny Kobe, that weakside iso at the pinch post is where we can hurt them as well. Since the ball is on the weakside, Kobe has the option of just cutting backdoor for the lob or fighting for position and ending up at the mid post, with his dribble alive (very important), and the ability to use any option to help the offense (I mean from there, he can shoot the jumper, drive the ball to score, drive and pass when the help comes, or just hold the ball and make a pass to a cutter of the motion of the offense).

    I see these as all minor adjustments. We may just be dealing with semantics here, but I don’t think there are any *major* adjustments to be made. Both teams have gotten this far by playing their standard game. Sure, a few wrinkles here or there happen in order to diversify the attack or to not get caught up in always showing the same tendencies. But let’s face it, the Lakers are in the Finals for a reason. What we do (when we do it *right*) works. We have to stay mentally strong and realize the sky is not falling. We lost a game. We can just as easily win one tomorrow. Let’s go out and do it.

  26. Mondo, I think it is a valid point. But I think Phil Jackson’s minor adjustments and the talent he has to do it with over Mike Brown’s adjustments and the talent he has to do it with any day. Very different things, in my mind.

  27. By the way, looks like Terry Porter to coach Phoenix. A quick look back at his past stops and you have a Bucks team that was good to very good on offense but played no defense. Yup, that will be a big change for the Suns.

  28. I certainly don’t think the Lakers lost due to lack of effort, or “heart,” from players like Gasol and Odom. Sure, Odom has been lethargic in certain games and moving with a carefree attitude, but Gasol? C’mon. Besides, it’s the Finals. That is enough to motivate any player for a full 48 minutes.

    Execution by the Lakers in the second half could be better, and it needs to be if they want to win. There were several possessions in which the shot clock was drained down to 3 or 4 seconds and it ended with a difficult shot, like the two possessions where Sasha and Ronny both had to take a fadeaway jumper. There were times I felt Fisher held on to the ball for too long, all while I was screaming at the TV, “RUN THE OFFENSE!”

    Not to mention all the jersey grabbing, inconspicuous shoving under the basket, and just straight out bad calls. True, home court will receive the benefit of doubt, but some are blatant. The foul on Luke against PJ Brown? Brown had his forearm across Luke’s face and pushes him off, Luke then comes right back with a clean strip, and it’s a foul on Luke. Ridiculous.

  29. Big Brown fans must have felt like Lakers fans watching game 1: you get where you want to be in the fourth turn and expect your horse to drop the hammer and put it away like he has in the past, but he doesn’t get it done.

    I think we have to give credit to Boston for playing good defense in the first game, especially against Kobe. I’m not sure they can keep it up. I watched what they did to LeBron earlier. It slowed him down, but I couldn’t help thinking Kobe could score 50 if they let him roam the perimeter like that. If they can, it’s going to be a tough series.

    I think dribble-drives and or posting Kobe up are great ideas that should open things up for the Lakers. I’d also like to see the Lakers put more emphasis on getting out and running. I think they have a pretty big advantage in the open court.

    The 20 Second Timeout link from above is a good read.

  30. I just checked out the post at the 20 Second Timeout blog that DowJones referred to, and I must say, a very insightful piece of basketball journalism right there.

    These two teams are very very evenly matched. The only way there would be a blowout game in these Finals is if one team cannot simply match the heart and effort of the opposing team. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be a stretch to imagine every game being close coming down to the last 4 minutes of the 4th quarter. I also think 2 factors come into play here : a) Boston’s home court advantage and b) the best player in this series in Kobe Bryant.

    Whichever team can impose their respective advantage with greater effect will win the championship.

    Is it too foolish to declare the Sun has set in the valley of the desert?

  31. Andrew Andrekopoulos June 7, 2008 at 5:27 pm

    I agree that Gasol has to step up his game. He needs to play his size and go stronger to the basket. I look for Kobe in game 2 to get his offense going early and then get the rest involved. This works better on the road then at home when he can afford to do the opposite. Kobe needs to be more aggressive early taking the ball to the basket. This will then allow more doubles on him later in the game and he can dish to the open man. It seemed in game one Boston wanted it more! I felt in the fourth the Lakers were settling for the first open shot instead of driving the lane or making the extra pass. They also were trying to win the half court game (which will not work). The Lakers need to get out and RUN!!!

  32. I like the ‘WEARPRESENT’ a little play on the split screen of the players with the split screen of the shoes. Nice!!!!! Do you have a copyright on that little idea? I hope so.

  33. godisnowhere

  34. 33 – Is this a clever attempt to display how two people can view the exact same thing and yet have 2 totally different yet equally plausible interpretations?

    Or is that your email password that you typed by accident? :)

  35. 32, actually, it looks like WEAPRESENT to me..which doesn’t any sense to me
    but i would buy a pair of those shoes if they existed

  36. The ad and phrase is based on the Converse Weapon shoe that some of the nba stars used to rock. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=90fRlMQTdSs

    I’m going to try and go through the game tonight and track possessions. we’ll see what i find.

  37. Jim Cleamons is clearly on board with Kurt and a bunch of others on the idea that the Lakers need to make some adjustments, but don’t need to “throw the baby out with the bath water.” http://www.nba.com/lakers/news/08playoffcentral.html

  38. Goo, you are correct, I initially thought wearpresent for some reason but as I analyzed the word more closely it is clearly weapresent. A combination of wear and represent I would assume.

  39. Chuck Taylor must be proud.

  40. I’m re-watching the game right now and PJ Brown gets away with everything under the sun. He pushes with his hands, grabs people coming around screens, and generally plays like someone who no longer has the legs to play the game the right way. He absolutely mugged everyone.

  41. So, I have some bad news when it comes to Kobe and his offense against boston’s defense. Their defenders, one on one, did a very good job staying in front and forcing him to be a jump shooter. Once he went up for the jump shot, he had a hand in his face way more often than not. I was one of those who felt Kobe missed a few good looks but Kobe only missed two shots that I would consider pretty good looks and both of them were threes (1:38 left in the 1st quarter wide open on the left side and 0:32 left in the 3rd quarter over Rondo). The rest of his misses were contested pretty closely, usually someone had a hand a few inches away from the ball on release. And by usually I mean, of the 26 shots he took, I considered 3 of them to be moderately contested, 2 were not contested at all, and the rest, a whopping 21 of them were contested closely.

    Ray Allen was a very good on-ball defender against Kobe. Period. The talk of him as a weak defender will have to be told to someone else because Allen did a good job clamping down on Kobe. Kobe had the most success when he took his shots in rhythm and without pump fakes. That being said, he does need to drive to the bucket more often to keep the defenders honest however. While taking what the defense gives you is great, sometimes you need to take what you want, regardless.

    In the first quarter, the Celtics barely helped on Kobe at all. they mostly left Allen, Pierce, and Posey on an island, and Kobe was not able to make them pay with his shooting. Kobe was not very active in the second quarter. Only managing two shots and an offensive foul for running over Mr. Alien, Sam Cassell. In the third, Kobe, very clearly came out with an offensive purpose and did his most damage here. He was still being covered just as closely and with help from the bigs, but he was able to make a few more shots, even some difficult ones. In the fourth quarter, kobe’s shot abandoned him, and you know the rest.

  42. here’s scouts inc’s take from espn.com on pretty much what i was talking about (but way more insightful)
    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/playoffs2008/columns/story?page=ScoutingLakersCeltics-Game2

  43. 39. I may not own any Converse basketball shoes, but I do have my Chuck Taylors.

  44. Game 2 chat up.

  45. I think Phil needs to swallow his pride switch completely to the zone. We are incapable of playing this team man to man! The match ups just don’t favor us and it allows the Celtics to penetrate break down the D and get to the foul line more often. Every time we’ve played zone we’ve been able to give the Celtics problems. This is evident by the 1st quarters of both games. We start out playing zone and we create turnovers and bad shots, then for some reason after the 1st we switch to man, It just doesn’t make any sense! Its obvious that Radman doesn’t match up with Pierce and it seems at if Pierce’s eyes light up everytime we put Radman or Luke or Sasha on him. It’s like we don’t respect him enough to put a solid defender on him. So if we don’t have anybody to gaurd him then I think its stupid to continue playing man to man and having Pierce expose us on D. Pierce has been the main factor in the last two victories and why we don’t focus our D on stoping him is beyond me! The keys to next game will be obviously defense and scoring from the bench. The Celtics bench in the last two games has basically outperformed the Lakers bench and thats an anomaly considering no one even who most of the Celtics bench players were! We need more offense and rebounds from Lamar , and Kobe needs to take what the D is giving him instead of forcing tough shots.

  46. What are your thoughts on Donaghy’s allegations that referees threw game 6 of the 2002 Lakers Kings series?

  47. Weapresent is a combination of weapons(converse shoe)+represent