Lakers/Celtics Game 3 Chat

Darius Soriano —  June 10, 2008

Obviously this is a must win game for the Lakers. Although fans of Boston sports know that a comeback from 3-0 is possible in a series, Lakers fans would rather not test that and would prefer a home win tonight to get this series back on track. All that said, we must remain confident. We are a great team. We have not lost a home game in months. And while the Celtics performed well on the road against Detroit, they were taken to 7 games against both Atlanta and Cleveland and really showed that they could be rattled on the road. They are not immune from having let downs on the road and tonight they face one of the best home teams in the league. I know the players believe; we should believe too. And on that note here are some keys to tonight’s game from several of the regular contributors to the site, in bullet fashion:



*The Lakers have not performed up to its (lofty) standards on the offensive end so far. A lot (and I mean a lot) of credit must go to the Celtics’ defense, while some of that dropoff can also be attributed to just missing shots and not playing in any type of rhythm for major stretches in both games. While the Lakers have had some early success in both games (and a nice run in the 4th quarter of Game 2) we must find ways to sustain that effort for longer stretches tonight. There are 2 keys to making this happen and they work hand in hand. First is establishing the post. Pau proved that he could score in the post on both KG and Perkins. He was decisive with the ball and attacked with aggression when given the opportunity. The problem was, those opportunities did not materialize in the second half as we continually went away from the post and were very perimeter centric. We need to continue to get the ball inside and let Pau create for himself and for others. He has a quickness advantage on Perkins and has the size to nullify some of KG’s length and athleticism (and as he showed on that baseline drop-step/spin move, he is not scared to challenge KG when it’s there for him). We need more of this in order to establish our half court offense. But, the Lakers can not just rely on half court sets to beat this Celtics team. The Celtics are one of (if not the) best half court defensive teams we have seen all year. When their defense is set, they do a great job of taking away passing angles with ball denials and shutting down driving lanes. So, we need to create more early offensive chances. That means rebounding the ball (something we were a lot better at in Game 2, 37-36 advantage Celtics) and pushing the ball. This is where Lamar can get on track by rebounding and pushing, and this is also where we can get Kobe more chances to work in space and attack where he sees fit. During our comeback run in the 4th quarter in the last game, Kobe basically got the ball in the open court, created for himself or broke down the defense and created good looks for our 3 point shooters. Basically, we need to play faster when we can, and when we can’t push pace, we need to establish the ball in the post.




*On defense, the Lakers need to play a much stronger game than what they’ve played so far. We need to play position defense and quit the reaching, grabbing, swiping, and hacking. The Celtics are a good FT shooting team and we can’t bail them out by getting into the penalty early. That means we need to quit fouling when players are not in a position to score and that means that we need to eliminate the off ball fouling. Also, defensive possessions end with a defensive rebound. We have played strong defense on many possessions, only to have Boston get an offensive rebound and just reset their offense. As I mentioned above, a major key to us being able to get out and run on offense is securing the defensive rebound. Every players focus should be securing the ball. The bigs need to box out and the guards need to close down the FT line. We need all 5 to the glass tonight.




*We need an improved effort from our bench. Traditionally in these playoffs they have played much better at home than on the road. We will need that improved effort from them tonight. One of the big keys to this series so far has been the effort and effectiveness of the Boston bench. The Lakers need to get that same effort, effectiveness, and execution from their bench. In short, we need a Leon Powe game from one of our guys tonight. Remember, this is a bench that has put up huge chunks of points in games throughout the season. They are capable; they must show it. As for a couple of specifics, I hope to see more Turiaf on Powe tonight. Turiaf is a similar player to Leon and I hope Phil uses him in the same way that he used Sasha on Korver/Ginobili in previous rounds. Turiaf can match Powe in energy and can bang with him on the glass and I hope he gets a chance to prove it. And while I hope to see Ariza some tonight for defensive purposes, I think we can only use him while Odom is out of the game. Phil said after Game 2 that he took Trevor out of the game because his presence was stagnating to the offense. With both Trevor and Lamar in the game, Boston is able to sag off of 2 Lakers and further control the paint with its help defense. So while Trevor’s defense can come in handy, Phil will have to be careful with how he dispatches him tonight (and if to at all) because of the impact it can have on the offense. But overall, we need sharp bench play. Our guys are young and should have fresh legs after a pretty quick turnaround and a long trip.



Overall, as I mentioned above this is a must win game. But we have the ingredients to beat this team and it’s a testament to our team that while playing below our usual standard, we have had the chance to win the first 2 games in the closing minutes. For more insight, please read the thoughts of David Thorpe and Mike Moreau over at the WWL.




Commenting Note: Kurt has been out, but he has entrusted this site to us, the community that makes Forum Blue and Gold the great blog that it is. And in that spirit, I ask that we maintain this site in a manner that is respectful to everyone. So respect the guest posters. Respect the commenters. And for those that leave comments that do not show an understanding of the posting guidelines, your comments will be moderated and/or edited/deleted.



Update: Just wanted to mention that I received news from Kurt that Mom, new baby girl, and family are all healthy and happy. -Gatinho

Darius Soriano

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345 responses to Lakers/Celtics Game 3 Chat

  1. – What frustrates me about Odom the most is that I feel he had so much potential to become a great player.

    – Gasol played terrible, don’t expect that kind of performance from him again in the series (hopefully). However, Gasol did get some crucial offensive rebounds and converted those into second-chance points.

    – Kobe hitting his jumpers is a good thing and a bad thing. If he makes them, great, we’re unstoppable. If Kobe cools off, the offense will become stagnant and Lakers will struggle to score.

    – Doc Rivers, please, are you kidding me? Any coach that couldn’t lead this Celtics team to the Finals wouldn’t be a coach at all, so their record and current position is in no way a reflection of Rivers as a coach. Also, I noticed the Celtics’ main attack is Pick-and-Roll, then either letting KG pop the mid-range jumper or pass it out for a 3-pointer if the defense collapses. They’re scoring solely because of the individual talent of the players, not the coach’s brilliance.

    – Sasha is our Powe for this game, except Sasha didn’t shoot more freethrows than the whole Celtics team.

  2. No worries Laughing…=) Yeah, I’m still waiting for Odom to step up this whole series as well….

  3. the other Stephen June 10, 2008 at 9:46 pm

    that’s right. lay down the law, darius.

  4. Do I need to clean my ears or did I just hear Kobe say “shit” in the post conference?

  5. “I am sure glad Phil Jackson didn’t complain about the fouls.”

    He actually said “whine.”

  6. I’ve played with guys like Lamar… and one thing they always needed was a “rythm” for the game, let him shoot 4 outside shots in the 1st quarter. He will be open, they never body him up from the outside… just let him pull the trigger and watch the game come to him. Same with Gasol… 14-15 footers are there for the taking. Thats what makes these guys valuable…now if we can just get them to realize this!

  7. the other Stephen June 10, 2008 at 9:51 pm

    dude, man. so today i noticed how much taller vladi is than ronny. they’re both listed at 6’10”. i’m sick of listed height fluctuations and inaccuracies!

  8. So what do Lakers fans think about the Tim Donaghy revelation tonight?

    I’d say no Laker fan can ever complain about the refs EVER again.

  9. The next game is the really big one. If L.A. can tie it up, it ensures at least 6 games–and the longer this series goes, the easier it will get. Boston has faded in the 4th quarter twice in this series, and except for Allen, the Big 3 played pretty small tonight. They are too good not to come back, but Odom and Gasol almost can’t play worse than they did tonight… and fatigue is not a factor for either of them. If this thing goes back even, L.A. should win this series.

  10. Refs have had something to do with Odom’s play.
    Lakers play better every game from now on
    Refs can still take the series away from the Lakers
    Only three more wins to the championship!!!

  11. “Refs can still take the series away from the Lakers”






    No more complaining, Laker fans.

  12. 303 – People are going to discredit the Lakers even more from now on because of that.

  13. mark, are you going to post that link every time?
    we get it, your upset…

  14. “No more complaining, Laker fans.”

    Thanks for the guidance.

    Checking my list from post 31, the Lakers did OK:

    –contain Rondo better
    –be physical off the ball
    –attack the rim offensively
    –hope the Celtics, particularly Pierce, miss a few shots. Pierce is 7/8 on 3s so far.


    Pierce/Garnett were 8/35; OTOH, the Lakers missed 13 FTs.

    However, if they can’t get something from Odom, it is hard to picture a big comeback ,and the Celtics seem to have him stymied. I expect Jackson may use Bryant/Farmar/Vujacic a bit more at the same time in Game 4.

    The Donaghy story is potentially very big.

  15. Wonder if Mark is a Kings fan or a Celtics fan…

  16. the one positive we can take from this ugly win, is that we didn’t play our best ball, the refs weren’t really a factor either way, and we still eeked out a W.
    I think we can still play at the level we played during the WC playoffs, and that is going to get us a game 4 W…and game 5 is gonna be a WAR!!!

  17. 306. You should stop and think a minute before you go on saying that the games were rigged in the Lakers’ favor and say that we thus have nothing to complain about.

    The KEY statement is not that the games were rigged to have Lakers win. No, that’s the OUTCOME. The KEY is that the games were rigged to INCREASE REVENUE.

    Think on that for a minute, and then think again what would be the most feasible way to achieve that. It’s to give the home team obvious advantages until game 7, dragging the series to 7 but making it a one-game series.

    Assuming what Donaghy said is true, it is the LEAGUE that fixes the games. The league, however, does not benefit any more or any less if a certain team wins; on the contrary, it benefits whenever a series is dragged out.

    So the ‘correct’ or ‘educated’ conclusion to be drawn from the article you have linked is that the Lakers were indeed shafted in games 1 & 2, while the Celtics were given the short end in game 3.

    And that’s if you believe Donaghy.

  18. wow, that above post came out very poorly. that’s what i get for trying to post in English after working a full day using only Korean.

    Anyway, what i meant to say is that:
    1. Assuming TD is telling the truth
    2. The league fixes games to stretch series for revenue
    3. so it’s safe to assume that they give the benefit of the doubt to home teams because
    4. if home teams always win, each series is guaranteed to go 7
    5. ‘home advantage mystique’ can cover iffy calls better than anything given the ‘crowd influence,’ and ‘home turf mentality.’
    6. thus if you believe TD, this year EVERY visiting team has had good reason to complain about reffing
    7. and since the Lakers were the visiting teams in games 1 and 2
    8. we have every right to complain if we believe TD.

  19. 309 – My money is on Kings fan. What else to they have to do in Cow Town but recall a bygone era?

    Plus, It’s pretty late on the East Coast and so all the “Sullys” in Southie have gone to bed.

  20. I still think Celtics have a huge advantage. If they win one of the next two games they win the series. Lakers MUST win both games 4 and 5. It wont be easy. Both teams played bad tonight, but Lakers made the big plays and won. Gasol and Odom must play better or Lakers arent going anywhere.

  21. Weird “win” tonight. We kind of should of win game 2 because of the officiating I guess, but I don’t think we should of win game 3. Weird how the NBA works. The Lakers need to shoot some FTs. Making at least 70% tonight would have sealed the deal.

  22. Mark, the “fix” Donaghy mentioned was to extend the series to 7 games, not to allow a team to win. They gutted it out in Game 7 in Sacramento and the Kings choked.

    Also, in Game 6 (the game they supposedly “fixed”), Horry made one of the all time clutchest shots. Did the referees ensure that shot to go in? Or was Divac in on the fix too, tipping the ball to the wide open Horry??

  23. The Dude Abides June 10, 2008 at 10:35 pm

    Thank you Phil, for doing what I pleaded for you to do before Game 1, and then after Game 2, and that was to put Kobe on Rondo. Such a simple move…Kobe doesn’t have to chase Ray-Ray through all the screens, and can lay off Rondo in order to play passing lanes and double-down on the block. Fisher is big enough and physical enough to guard Allen, and when Kobe doubles down, he’s a bigger presence than Fish.

    Also–Mark regarding 2002 Game 6 WCF, yes, the 4th quarter was a joke in the Lakers’ favor, but it was also a make-up quarter for the Game 2 and Game 5 debacles in favor of the Kings. Even will all that, the Game 6 officiating wasn’t nearly as much a ripoff job as Game 2 last Sunday night.

  24. Sorry, I meant the fix of Game 4*

  25. The Dude Abides June 10, 2008 at 10:38 pm

    lolwut, Horry’s shot was to win Game 4. The Game 6 foul breakdown was 27 FTs for the Lakers vs 9 for the Kings, although it was only 19-9 before the Kings started intentionally fouling. However, a number of those FTs of that initial 19 were undeserved. It was a total makeup job, but I’ll take it, because Games 2 and 5 of that series were so bad.

  26. The Dude Abides June 10, 2008 at 10:39 pm

    That’s 27-9 in the 4th quarter.

  27. new post up.

  28. I just got home from Staples Center tonight – one of the weirdest playoff games I’ve ever attended, particularly one with so much at stake. The building was absolutely dead from the start, and remained a black hole until Farmar took the charge against Pierce in the 4th quarter. It’s almost like the lack of passion in the crowd mirrored that of the team in the first two games. I can only attribute the vacuum to everyone’s nervousness and fear over the 2-0 deficit and the lousy way the team was playing. Our poor performance on offense, the over-abundance of foul calls, and the choppy pace of the game kept the environment shockingly low key for an NBA Finals game.

    As far as the game itself, I am feeling more of a sense of relief than any euphoria from the season-saving win. Kobe and Sasha obviously were magnificent and team defense was stalwart in stretches, but the offense as a whole was breathtakingly inept at times. Given that we’re now 18 games into the playoffs, it is stunning how discombobulated, confused, and over-matched Pau, VladRad, Lamar and Luke look out there. While a win definitely is a win and the team deserves credit for prevailing while not bringing its A-game, it’s hard to believe the Lakers can rally and take this series if Lamar and Pau in particular cannot elevate their games to their prior high level of play. It’s hard to know how much credit Boston’s defense should get, and how much “blame” should go to Lamar and Pau for not fulfilling their offensive responsibilities – they really have been embarrassing. While Kobe absolutely needed to do what he did tonight and I only applaud his aggression, a Kobe-dominated offense has to be fool’s gold in the long run. I’m sure Boston will make some adjustments on Kobe for game 4 – who else among the starters is going to finally step up? At this point, I don’t think we can just *assume* Lamar or Paul will finally bring it.

    Finally, I was also impressed with Jordan Farmar tonight. He outplayed Fisher, was quick and aggressive, and the charge he took on Pierce finally electrified the crowd and may have been the turning point in the game.

  29. Hey guys. I could not watch the game today. Glad that the Lakers won. I was reading the play-by-play report and it says Lamar Odom committed an offensive foul with 6 secs left. Can somebody explain what exactly happened? Thanks.

  30. It would sure be nice if we had Bynum. That will make us more physical next year alone. We really miss him vs this physical team. The exp in these finals (win or loose) should make one of the youngest teams in the NBA that much better next year. And like him or not, Kobe clearly has the respect of his teammates now moving forward. I still think we win this thing. We could have won both in Boston while playing pretty bad. We won tonight playing pretty avg (at least offensively) and I think with this win we will relax a little and play better and blow them out next game. Then the Momentum shifts with the celts feeling like game 5 is a must for them. Can’t wait till thursday..

    PS: long time lurker over two years) and first time poster

  31. [329] drove to the hoop and the player took a charge. simple as that.

  32. pw, Lamar took it to the hole in semi transition and Joey Crawford said that Lamar cleared out with his off hand while trying to dunk over Ray Allen. Dubious. Dubious.

  33. admit that I am a short white guy who never played is there something that pjax can do to get those two going? or do they simply need to nut up? cause yeah we need them, thats very true. (lamar and pau)

  34. The fact that the Donaghy situation exists is problematic when coupled with what looks like very poor officiating during this series.

    I think the Fisher foul on Barry was obvious. He should have taken two shots and the Lakers should have won in overtime.

    Regarding the Donaghy allegations, dude took money from criminals and fixed basketball games. You want to take his word for the truth about anything? Maybe the Kings Lakers series was fixed. I certainly think the officiating was bad in that series. Maybe that aggressive style, the sort of beatdown that Shaq was capable to putting on his opponents in those days has an effect of the refs. If so, I don’t blame the players. I blame the refs and a league that does not protect every style within the context of the rules.

    I think that tonight’s game was poorly officiated. Doo Doo Brown has been fouling like an idiot and there has been allot of clutching which is are not being called by the refs. Moving picks are being allowed to the Celtics. Pushing off is being allowed to the Celtics. And being the aggressor is not any excuse to let those fouls go. A foul is a foul.

    If the Celtics win the series, then they’ll be champions. In these first three games they look like the better team. I do think the officiating is biased towards them although I can’t say that bias is conspiratorial or even consciously enacted. I think the refing in the league is garbage. It just so happen that in this series the garbage is falling on us.

  35. Thanks, nomuskles. Did you think the officiating was fair for this game?

  36. Dude Abides,

    You hit right on the head. The Lakers were robbed in Games 2 and 5 of the Sac 2002 series. The refs have the hardest job in any sport and they are bound to miss some, and call some that are questionable. I think the NBA really needs to look at having 1 more ref to control the game. I also think the “Flopping” fines will make a difference next year and return some integrity, honor, and respect for the game (at least I hope it does).

  37. lakers did a good job tonight! energy outmatched that of boston’s. probably mostly carried over from end of game 2.

    i can live with ray allen scoring the most points for the celtics because he has to guard kobe on the other end so good luck with that.

    i can live with Poe scoring the most points for the celtics as long as they dont come easy and they are not second chance points. less shots for the “big three” means they won’t be a factor.

    KG has his hands full with gasol so hes not on help most of the time with anyone else. ray allen/paul pierce are definitely not able to guard kobe.

    give “the machine”/rad more open threes and they will have to spread the D meaning more room in the paint for our big three meaning easier points/free throw attempts

    paul pierce is a garbage player and always will be, guard him, make him work for points or even the ball and u see the results (game 3). KG will be trying too much on defense. ray allen is just another brent barry with less defense.

  38. am i the only one not getting the new post to load properly?

    can’t see a thing on Game 3 thoughts.

  39. Not a Kings or Celtics fan, I’m a Sonics fan and more importantly a basketball fan. Who can’t believe the audacity of Laker fans crying about refs. And I’m sorry, but all those responses absolutely pale in comparison to the fact that the 02 series was FIXED. There’s really not a good comeback to that one, sorry.

  40. The Dude Abides June 11, 2008 at 1:36 am

    Mark, so you believe it was fixed by the league to go seven games? Did the fixing start with Game 6? Because after the Lakers won Game 1 in Sac even though Sac were the favorites, that was six consecutive playoff wins over the Kings. The Kings were DONE. Then, Kobe got sick before Game 2, the zebras got whistle happy, and suddenly the Kings had life. For Game 5, the whistles again went the Kings way, especially the final 20 seconds. Lakers up one, obvious ball out of bounds to the Lakers but refs say Kings ball. Blatant moving pick on Webber to free up Bibby for the go-ahead jumper. At the other end, Bobby Jackson pulls Kobe’s jersey completely out of his shorts as he goes up and misses the game-winner.

    Yes, the whistles went against the Kings in the 4th quarter of Game 6. Nineteen FTs for the Lakers to nine for the Kings, until the final minute when the Lakers shoot eight FTs on intentional fouls. Some of those first nineteen were jokes, no doubt–especially the one where Bibby turned his back and ran away from Kobe and still got whistled for a foul.

    So, if you want to say the fix was in, I say it began after Game 1.

  41. Mark, what part of the fixed games don’t you understand?

    They fixed the game to have it go to 7.

    That means that they rigged both Laker wins AND losses. You can’t get to game 7 if the Lakers win in 4, can you?

  42. I’m unable to load the new post. (As matter of fact the whole page doesn’t load).

  43. Mark, even if the ’02 series was fixed, it doesn’t make it better to have officials plaster the Lakers. That just compounds the problem. I’m pretty convinced that game 2 was a fix. Every fan of the NBA should be pissed about that. Hate the Lakers all you want, but the integrity of the entire league has to come before any one team.

    Not to mention that the Lakers aren’t responsible for a LEAGUE conspiracy. I doubt anyone on the Lakers would have wanted preferential treatment, because of precisely what you are doing in this thread.

  44. “Not a Kings or Celtics fan, I’m a Sonics fan and more importantly a basketball fan. Who can’t believe the audacity of Laker fans crying about refs.”

    Take it elsewhere. Even if we assume you are right and Donaghy is telling the truth, and he may well be, I am sure there are many games/series that were shaded in this manner. Miami/Dallas in 2006 comes to mind, for example, and given how Jordan-centric the league was in the 1990s, many Bulls games/series. And of course ALL teams have fans that complain about the refs. It is a fan trait that varies from fan to fan. Further, there is no coherent logic in saying, “The 2002 WCF was fixed, so you should never say anything about the refs again.” It is just an emotional response on your part. Indeed, if you are concerned about the integrity of the game and think the refs are dirty, you should applaud Phil Jackson and Bill Bridges et al here for focusing on them. I personally thought Doc Rivers showed some class by not blaming the refs after Game 3, but if the refs are dirty, maybe Doc is just an NBA company stooge.

    I saw Games 6 and 7 of the 2002 WCF and like most Laker fans, remember them vividly. The last 8 FTs in the 4th qtr of Game 6, as said, were after intentional fouls. There were some suspicious calls., and I do not blame Kings fans for being angry. That said, the Kings simply choked at the line in Game 7, particularly Webber, going 16/30 at the line in their homecourt, and that, as much as anything, cost them the NBA title that year.

    So, Donaghy may well be telling the truth. But if he is, it is a league issue, not a Laker issue, and singling out Laker fans is simply your own bias.

  45. To piggyback on what The Dude and Harold said, if the fix was in, it sure wasn’t just the Lakers who were affected by it. I thought watching Game 5 that the Kings were the beneficiaries of some ridiculous calls. If the refereeing was fixed, it’s not the Lakers’ fault. It’s the refs who are in cahoots with some sort of organized ring. But the fix was certainly in on Game 5 also. No one seems to remember that the league determined that half of the refs were involved in gambling but Stern said (unsurprisingly tersely) that none of the further gambling was serious ( So I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Donaghy was just the tip of a very dirty iceberg.