Game 4 Chat

Bill Bridges —  June 12, 2008

Game 4 Chat

The pressure is off LA, slightly. One of the big reasons for the tight play of some of the Laker players was due to the sheer pressure of the game. Losing game 3 was, historically speaking, equivalent to losing game 7. If offensive efficiency is affected by players feeling comfortable and loose, then game 3 performance was exactly the opposite.

Both defenses also did a good job. The key adjustment for LA being the defensive switch putting Kobe on Rondo. Many on this board had been looking for this switch prior to game 1. We got it in game 3 and is likely to continue until Doc makes an adjustment. What could be the adjustment? Instructing Rondo to try to take Kobe off the dribble might be one – although his ankle may hinderance with this plan.

The poor offensive performance on both sides were amplified by the short turnaround after a trans-continental trip. Better rested, outside shots on both sides should fall a little easier.

I anticipate the Celtics going to KG on the low block with purpose tonight. Review of the 3rd quarter should have had light bulbs popping throughout the Celtic’s hotel. In a few short minutes KG got 3 of his 6 field goals – on a strong jump hook in the lane, turn around, and an open J from the corner.

On offense, KG and Pierce played poorly. But then again LO, Pau, and Fish also did. Game 4 might hinge on which of these players turn their offensive game around.

ddray has asked for more support and better Karma from Laker fans:

Laker bloggers seem obsessed by the dark side and pet agendas.
Many of our Laker bloggers don’t seem to understand or support the roles of many Laker players–suggesting that certain Lakers be benched or traded when these players fail to play according to some athletic fantasy that only these bloggers vaguely understand themselves.

Pau Gasol is a chamelion–a power forward playing out of position. Pau can score, pass, rebound, block shots, and defend–but not all at the same time. He rarely outshines other players on his team–even though he can. One game he might score 30–sometimes in the first half. Another game he might take down 19 rebounds–9 of them offensive. Another game he might frustrate an opposing player and hold his scoring way down. In game 3, Gasol played great defense on Garnett, and scored/rebounded in the fourth when needed. In a game against Utah, he made decisive game winning plays, such as a controversial rebound/putback that won the game.
Pau is castigated for not blocking out. It is difficult to block out a player that weighs 80 lbs. more than you-but there are other ways to get rebounds.

Lamar is Lamar. He has been an X factor all year. He does not match up well against Boston as an offensive threat, but can still play defense and rebound.

VladRad has had games like Sasha games three for the Lakers–and can make other contributions. Unlike Lamar, VladRad can hit the three–so he can spread the floor. VladRad can go to the hole, rebound, and play defense–but not like Lamar. They are complementary role players that Phil can deploy.

Luke is one of only three Lakers that has been to an NBA final before. He matches up well against Boston widebodies. Luke and Ronny Turiaf can both make the 15-20 foot shot that Boston defense allows–even if they haven’t shown that ability with any consistency yet.

 

 

 

 

These players have defied the odds and have made the finals when most pundits predicted that they would miss the playoffs entirely. They DO deserve our support.

Steve Javie is officiating, known as a visiting team’s official.

- Bill Bridges

Bill Bridges

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426 responses to Game 4 Chat

  1. So, where do we go from here?

    ***

    Just try to win Game 5. I think we will learn a lot about the team by how they come out in Game 5. There will be plenty of time to think about 2009.

  2. That reminded of all the regular season games when we never stepped on the throat of any of our opponents after taking a lead, a shameful moment for Angelenos and laker fans alike..a terrible moment for this city

  3. the other Stephen June 12, 2008 at 9:08 pm

    @CTDeLude. well, there’s an area in which we can learn from jazz fans, at least. but this is the FINALS against BOSTON. go sit down at home after the game. if i were there, i wouldn’t have sat down at all. unfortunately, true fans tend to only sit at the top. i think boston fans kept the emotion and energy going in the building really well. we have no excuse.

  4. 287. Learning what? How do you loose againts loosers like Garnett, Allen or Pierce??? C’mon… This young players don’t even know when they have to try a 3 pointer or when do you have to ask for a time out…

    295. Sure? Rivers wasn’t better than PJ. Rivers, killed PJ. It should be the Auerbach spirit…

  5. True Stephen, but there’s no way I could afford those seats. :)

  6. Wow. So finally a real game, and a game that kinda gives us more insight into the matchups than the other three games by a longshot.

    This game was the most fairly refereed of them all. They let them play, and by letting them play we learned about about the Lakers and Celtics as teams. On a side note, I just want to put out there that if the referees call every game like they do this one (except in the end they stopped calling fouls on Garnett when he had four), you would probably never hear anyone complain about the game being rigged anymore.

    So that being said, it’s quite apparent that when the Lakers play Lakers basketball, they are a far superior team. But, for whatever reason – whether it be being too content with the huge lead or the pressure of the series, they just gave up in the third quarter. Once again, they started playing right into the Celtics hands – they stopped moving the ball and settling for jump shots. Clearly the Celtics want this championship more than the Lakers do.

    What happened to Kobe tonight? His supporting cast did pretty much everything they could, but he didn’t play a great game at all. I don’t know if Pierce is that great of a defender, certainly not as good a defender as he is an actress. It was not the usual clutch Kobe we’re used to seeing.

  7. Anyone else wish at this point the Spurs had beaten us?

  8. This is going to be a long summer =(

  9. Honestly, I believe this Laker team just match up really badly against the Celtics. Imagine this Celtics team matched up against, say, the first or second of the Lakers’ 3-peat team.

  10. the other Stephen June 12, 2008 at 9:10 pm

    i agree with kev and TCQ haha. 298 299. all i have left to say is that i hope this series at least turns out to be a seven game series, so i can be entertained for a little while longer. and then next year, andrew bynum and all the rest of the younglings like farmar and ariza will come and make the rest of the league cry like infants. boston will rue everything. smashy freakin smashy.

  11. Better yet, Phil seems to have chanelled a bit of Doc Rivers’ spirit.

  12. Phil has done what he believes in – keep things relatively consistent so the players always know where they stand. He makes changes, but not quickly and not from game to game. Two weeks ago people were castigating Doc Rivers because he did everything by feel and the players didn’t know what was going to come next.

    At least he started to call timeouts faster in this series. I think we are finally seeing how young and inexperienced the Lakers are. We have been getting by on talent and structured coaching. That is not enough for this series and players are not able to continue to run the offense when the pressure mounts.

    I will be pulling for the Lakers, but don’t really feel they are consistently capable of winning 3 straight games. The Celtics will get their championship and we will get invaluable experience – unless this game puts much more temper in our players than it took out.

  13. Paul Pierce 4 Finals MVP!

    Just goes to show that PP has been SO underrated throughout his career – now the world will come to know of his greatness.

  14. I just kinda wanna add…a team that has a 17-18 point lead going into the third quarter and lets the other team come back to beat them on their own home floor doesn’t deserve to win a championship. As a huge Laker fan it hurts me to say that but that’s unbelievable.

  15. This game was eerily similar to the game against the Hornets near the end of the season, except that Boston closed the deal like the veteran team they are. You have to give credit to the Cs though, they kept playing and made the comeback.

    The biggest concern I’ve had this whole season about our team is that I didn’t feel like enough of the guys had really, truly had their hearts broken in a big game and I thought that would work against them. More often than not I think teams that can stick it out down the stretch have had that kind of experience before.

    We tend to go long stretches where our intensity just dies, and it looks like guys are just going through the motions. It finally caught up to us, and I really hope that the guys can learn from it.

  16. can’t help laugh about it.

    ric and joe also make me laugh as they seriously came out of woodworks and seems to be having a party of their own.

    i don’t even know what just happened tonight.

  17. Hillary Ocholla June 12, 2008 at 9:13 pm

    Can anyone really explain what just happened?

  18. We got beat by a better team…that’s all.

  19. I’ll try to sum it up. We became the Cleveland Cavaliers in the second half. By that I mean not moving the ball, and hoping one player can save us.

  20. Phil Jackson and Pau Gasol lost this game. Pau needs to do some serious soul searching but it was PHIL’S DECISION to keep trying to run the offense through Gasol during tha tdead period in the third. Gasol was doing NOTHING. He was weak, he turned his back 15 feet from the basket on PnR’s and was tentative and scared and weak the whole game. Phil should’ve recognized this and switched the offense back to what was working.

    It took until 2 minutes in the 4th to switch back to the Kobe iso at the top of the key with a drive to the basket EARLY IN THE SHOT CLOCK. That has been our best offense all series and should’ve been employed in the 3rd. No heart, that lack of rotation by Gasol on that last play just shows you everything about his character. Odom redissappeared after you’d THINK he would’ve had some confidence.

    I’m so angry right now, I’m glad I have to go to sleep to get up for work tomorrow or someone would get hurt. We BLEW THAT GAME. The Celtics didn’t win it, WE BLEW IT. We knew they were going to get hot at some point, and make a run, but instead of us stopping it at 10-3, or hell 15-3, we let it go to 21-3 and then didn’t make the adjustments in the 4th. PATHETIC. We can call it a good season all we want, this was as tough a loss as I, as a young Laker fan, have experienced.

  21. 35-15. 20 pt advantage in bench points by Boston? That ain’t gonna cut it….

  22. the other Stephen June 12, 2008 at 9:23 pm

    kev is very right.

  23. Jesus shuttlesworth June 12, 2008 at 9:26 pm

    Hi! Jesus here, god just told me Lakers in 7. Believe!

    Go Lakeshow!

  24. Man I’m speechless. Why wasn’t Ariza played more? He was very effective in the 1st quarter. When the Celts made a run mid way through the 3rd quarter, the Lakers really should have punched back. Celtics played great D but wow….I’m gutted.

  25. Well, the good part is that we know for a fact now that we can outscore them by 21 during the course of a quarter.

  26. 307) “Clearly the Celtics want this championship more than the Lakers do.”

    I totally disagree with that line of thinking; also with the “Celtics tried harder for loose balls” or “Celtics put more energy into rebounding” (or vice versa, if the Lakers had come out on top).

    One team getting tentative DOES NOT mean that they wanted the victory less, just that they did not respond as well at that point in time. In this case, I believe that it is because the Celtics are a better team. (Which is not to say that it would be impossible for the Lakers to win the series. BUt usually, the better team wins.

    I think that a lot of people, myself included, put too much weight on the Celtics performance in the first two series of the playoffs, and “blew off” their regular season record because they played in the east.

  27. just to kinda of reiterate what other people have said i think this loss underlines that this team just isnt ready. Ultimately i think Boston showed in this loss that they are the better team. Championships are won by bringing it for 4 quarters for ALL games. Weve seen the potential of what this team is capable of doing (1st half of game 4 ; late rally in game 2), but also their inability to sustain it. Cheer up though lakerland….theyre is a lot of good years ahead of us! We have come far and are one of very few teams still on the upswing. But ya this one stings, especially since the Lakers usually have been tthe ones that have come back to sting their opponents…

  28. Yeah, I agree, we were the Cleveland Cavs offensively and Denver Nuggets defensively in the second half. We gambled too much on defense, we allowed too many layups, had too many timely turnovers, should I go on?

  29. Man, Kobe? Really?

    That one is going to hurt.

    The Lakers stopped attacking after the half. Boston’s D is too good to milk the clock in the third period.

    For all the talk about Doc sucking as a coach, can you give him a “good job coach” for keeping his players in the game? This was his win as much as any other member of the team.

  30. No heart, man. Unfortunately, the East coast has more heart. Ship Odom and Rad for lesser players with more heart and we’d have a better chance of winning a championship. That said, being 3-1 down is probably the scare we need to get our heart pumping.

  31. I disagree that this loss proves that Boston is a better team. Every game in this series has been within 2 or three points in the final minutes. We were a play or two away from a similiar comeback in Game 2. I think the teams are very evenly matched.

  32. This series really exposed what the Lakers need this summer:

    #1: Fix the SF spot – we need a tough nosed defender who can hit open shots adequately

    #2: Get Bynum healthy

    #3: Get a bruising post defender and rebounder as backup

  33. Friends:
    We canl win this series. We must believe. Boston fans know deep down that it can happen. They know this because their Red Sox, a mere 4 years ago, pulled off a 3-0 comeback to win the AL Pennant against the Yanks. Nobody ever thought a team could come back from a 3-0 deficit. It had never happened. Impossible, people thought. But it happened.

  34. SB,
    “I disagree that this loss proves that Boston is a better team.”

    Sure. And a 7 game series doesn’t “prove” it either. But clearly the Celtics have played better to this point in the series.

  35. Gutless.

  36. Doc Rivers was nothing up until now…he’s just been gift-wrapped a title (Thanks McHale). Possibly the most undeserving coach to ever win!

  37. Point taken exhelodrvr. And I agree that the Celtics have played slightly better in the series. But it has been very close and every game has been competitive, while the tone here is that the Lakers have been exposed as clearly inferior.

  38. Are you kidding me Armogeddon???

    Pau Gasol was giftwrapped to LA – we gave up real assets in getting Garnett – Al Jefferson, #5 pick, Ryan Gomes etc.

  39. Actually we gave the number 5 pick for Ray Allen but we gave picks to the Twolves, not to mention Al Jefferson who is a BEAST.

  40. SB-
    I dont think the tone is that the Lakers are inferior. Generally speaking teams that are in the finals are rarely completely inferior to one another. The point is that the celtics have found a way to get it done and we have not (ok fine ecxcept game 3) For all the competiveness though theyre the ones with the 3 wins to our one.

  41. actually, rick the celts did that. you didn’t do anything but cheer.

    this comment was edited. please, no personal attacks.

  42. 331. Wow, I wish jusy saying “we gave picks to the Grizzliies” would be enough for Popavic to say that the Gasol trade was fair. Doesn’t matter what you gave for KG, he was still giftwrapped for the Celtics by McHale.

  43. 329, don’t forget about their bandwagoning fans either…i’ve tried to put up many a post about them but I guess they get held for moderation due to too much cursing…but to go from chanting MVP to pretending you care enough to come over to other teams blogs to troll? Awful…I’ve been converted into a Yankee fan just from this series

    In all honesty I’ve felt like the Lakers have just lost 3 out of 4 coinflips and can still pull this out…Rudy T said it best, “Don’t ever underestimate the heart of a champion”. If they’re going to prove they’re champions, no better way to do it…and here’s hoping the Stern factor pushes this one to a Game 7 atleast..think of the ratings David!!!

  44. People, c’mon. To say that the Celtics are not the better team is either homerism or just delusion. The series stands at 3-1. The Celtics just erased a 24pt deficit to win at Staples, WITHOUT the help of the officials. I think some ppl need to man up and admit when another team has outplayed your own

  45. And you know what, I have to say it, but I miss J-Crit and his energy.

  46. Lamar really teased me tonite. Showed up big in the first half and nothing when it really counted. As for Gasol, he’s playing soft on offense and defense. Here is my opinion on Gasol, he played well againts Utah and Denver and seemed hungrier in those series. The knock on him was that he could not get past the first round of the playoffs. Now that he has done that he has clearly lost his intensity. I think his biggest problem is that he respects great players too much. Againts Duncan and Garnett he has been VERY passive.

  47. 336. I think almost everyone here (including myself, if I didn’t already say it) knows that the Celtics outplayed the Lakers.

  48. That still doesn’t change the fact that I feel McHale needs to be given a ring the first time the Timberwolves visit Banknorth Garden next season.

  49. Uh yeah, I remember the trade Ricky – just like all you haters say the Gasol trade was a steal, the Celtics and more importantly Doc Rivers and Ainge’s jobs were saved thanks to McHale…then every old semi-pro left in the league wanted to join the Celtics.

  50. saddest day in lakers history- kobe aint jordan and never will be with his second stinker in these finals

    blame phil jackson letting hisplayers hoot 6 staright 3 point bricks in the end of the second quarter to have them lose focus.

  51. 340. I really really miss J-Crit, sorry if I’ve already said that.

  52. Eh, I’m not trying to discredit the Celtics, I’m just saying there’s alot of variability in sports and the finality of 48 minutes just adds to that…for what its worth I wasn’t sure the Lakers were/are definitively better than the Spurs either, game 1 and 5 were total coinflips as well in that series

  53. I am still in a state of shock . I just went to a meeting with the Lakers up by 20+ and then this implosion? Really not their time isn’t it? Well, I am not counting out a comeback. I have always believed that there was this invisible stroke of a script in this series as in any. But who is in control of this script? If Kobe is, then I am sure that this would be one for the ages. If the Celtics are, then it’s really their year. I also believe that the Lakers with this unit have a good 4 more years. So that’s still enough time for Kobe to show up with more rings. Then again, I’d hope we hit back next year against these same Celtics a year older. For sure we need Bynum back and I imagine that this is factoring in heavily in this series and the rugged series they played leading to this. Remember guys not a lot imagined these Lakers to be here this year.

    But then, I don’t think I am ready to call this a series in just one game. Not over til it’s over.

  54. 341-j-crit wouldn’t have played a minute in this game, this team was ready, had the game in hand, and got great energy from our energy guys trevor and ronny…unless javaris can preform the heimlich on 5 guys at once, he wouldn’t of mattered in this choke job..

  55. I agree with DTC….Celtics are the better team period. They’ve beaten us 5 of the last 6 times we played them. If that doesn’t say they’re a better team, then what else do you want???

  56. Kobe press conference – uh yeah…he’s pretty pissed right now.
    The way the Lakers fans gave up on our team makes me want to lose game 5 purposely instead of suffer watching the Boston crowd get all intoxicated & rowdy in victory.
    Staples crowd should be ashamed!

  57. yes, i said it before the series, not that i wanted the lakers tolose, but the celts are the better team, and the bestplayer inthe world looks mediocre at best

  58. 344-agreed I said everyone in the building should be absolutely ashamed of themselves…the coaches, the players, the fans, all of hollywood for that matter..

  59. Well, i’m fairly confident that we’ll win game 5.

    This is Celtic’s first title in… oh i don’t know, 20 years?

    They must have added incentive to win at home.

    So, we’ll win Game 5.

    I feel so sad typing this.

  60. ya the staples crowd thing really irritates me too. I dont know if there is really anything one can do about it. I think its crap though to say its indicative of laker fans. Its just the ones that afford to pay for the games (with exception to the 300s theyre usually good..) But ya its just the unfortunate part of the Lakers being in LA. Its like the people who pay for lower seats are there to be entertained but not necessarily pull for the team…

  61. Celtics fans, you are welcome to post and talk basketball here, if you do it with respect and thoughtfulness. Simply not meeting those basic standards will get your post deleted.

  62. In a way, this game will serve its purpose in the larger picture. It’s the ultimate way to weed out the weak minded from the strong. Something like this is so devastating that if a player can recover, and play with confidence and pride, you know he is a keeper. Others wilt, shrivel and let disasters define them. We’ll know from the next game on who deserves to stay on the team. (I’m predicting Kobe, Fisher, Sasha, Farmar, Ronny, Ariza. Everyone else can potentially be shipped out. Gasol and Odom can stay, but neither has proved to be a reliable second option. Bynum will get his chance at it next year).

    And you know that one of the players on this team will be training ALL SUMMER as if he never won MVP, but were an NBDL guy with a dream of making it to the league one day. Yep

  63. DTC, you say we need a bruising guy in the paint and to get Bynum healthy for next year, but I think those are the same thing. Having Bynum at the five, Gasol at the four and Odom at the three solves a lot of what was wrong in this series. Well, that and some lessons for a lot of guys about what it takes to win a title.

  64. A Game 4 Haiku

    Lakers up Twenty
    Spaniard and Odom Vanish
    May I drink at work?

  65. 345. Oh come on. Don’t turn into a Yankee fan just because of this. Its the YANKEES.

    364. That thought is scary.

  66. Wow, shocked C fan here. Anyhow, I have hammered home this for the last couple times I have posted here, but, you have to exploit boston at the PG spot.

    Rondo was beyond awful today, but, after missing shots in the first half, house got hot. PJ did a nice job pressuring him with farmer, but the lack of Kobe and Sasha to stop Pierce and Allen from handling the ball negated House sreuggling to dribble. The MVP of th game is Ray. 48 minutes, and he handled the ball a lot. Pierce too dind’t turn it over.

    That’s the ball game right there. Celts were able to get away running their offense with no real PG on th floor.House allowed spacing out there, and he small lineup worked because there is no low post threat for the Lakers.

    By making some shots, the Celtics were able to set up thier defense, which is elite. I thought the Lakers did a great job off Boston misses in transition hoops and also quick offene in first half.

    Second half? Suffocating D.

  67. The only thing left now is for the Lakers to make sure Boston doesn’t win it in LA.

    I am still in a state of shock. How did a 24-pt lead turn into a 5-pt loss?

  68. At the end of the day, it’s about who wants it more. The Lakers were lolly-gagging when they had the big lead.

  69. I have to admit it, Boston is the better team right now. As PJ said “It’s not over. This is not over. The series is not over.”. I’ll enjoy the next game anyway.

  70. The Dude Abides June 12, 2008 at 10:41 pm

    Well, the key substitutions of the game were Doc going away from Rondo in the third quarter, and Posey coming in when Perkins hurt himself. House and Posey made the Lakers stretch their defense. When Boston went small with Posey, Lamar couldn’t take advantage in the post on offense, and doubled down too much on defense, leaving Posey open beyond the arc. Posey was the x-factor in the game for Boston.

    A huge mistake by Phil was leaving Farmar in too long. I know it’s because he wanted Jordan to pressure House full court, but the Celtics just counteracted that by having Allen or Pierce bring the ball upcourt. Phil should have adjusted and brought Fish in a lot sooner in that fourth quarter. He waited until only two minutes were left in the game. Fisher would have spread the court better. Boston’s defense treated Farmar the same way our defense treated Rondo. His man sagged off to help down low, and let him shoot the open jumpers, and he missed.

    All in all, Doc won the chess match tonight. He pulled all the right strings, and now that’s four straight games where we’ve gotten killed in the third quarter. We had this game in hand, but we let a better team take it away from us. I’m really hoping that the team bounces back and has a great Game 5. There is plenty of time to recover from this game. We can take it to the Celtics in Game 5, then there is a short turnaround before Game 6. Perhaps we can tire out the Celtics in Game 5 and win, then take advantage of the short turnaround and Boston’s fatigue and win Game 6. How the team bounces back from this gut-punch loss will be a true test of character, and could be a positive springboard into next season if the effort and at least one more win are there.

  71. i wish i could be a laker and show up for only 24 minutes of work and then be halfassed and unappreciative and still be overpaid

    the team disgusted its fans tonight

    and its over, instead of a brand new series its over, in cement

  72. PATHETIC. I AM BUMMED.

  73. The Dude Abides June 12, 2008 at 10:50 pm

    And I’d like to say phhbbbbbtttttttt to all the comments about Pau and Lamar being weak and having no heart. I can’t even believe I’m reading “ship this guy out” comments. Those two guys are trying their hardest, and helped bring to the final series one of the youngest teams in NBA Finals history. The team has just come up against a superb defensive machine in the Celtics. People forget that this team is in the finals one to two seasons earlier than anyone expected. You can tell that the entire team really wants to win. But that five-man lineup of House, Posey, KG, Pierce, and Allen came up huge. Every single one of these five veterans is capable of shooting the ball and defending like mad men, and they did. My hat’s off to them. It will take a near-miracle to come back and take this series, but it starts with Game 5. And since that game has to be played, our guys might as well go out there and lay everything on the line. It ain’t over ’til it’s over.

  74. The Dude Abides…you are right. I will never give up, but I am BUMMED.

  75. I got back from Staples Center tonight and all I can say is … Wow. That has to be the most devastating loss I’ve ever witnessed. So much to contemplate it’s hard to put into words other than to say the Lakers’ ineptitude in the second half was breathtaking. It is probably master-of-the obvious to note that we were out-coached and outplayed on both ends of the floor by an impressive Boston team that again imposed its will on us with its peerless defense, energy, and ferocious hunger to win.

    It’s hard to know who is responsible for the stagnation of the offense in the second half – is it Kobe for taking too many fade-away jump shots with hands in his face, the other players for not moving without the ball and just dumping it to #24, and/or the coaching staff for not getting them to execute properly? I don’t know what takes place in team huddles or the locker room, but it is noteworthy that Boston has really outplayed us badly in every single third quarter after half-time adjustments (or lack thereof). Who is responsible for Lamar disappearing after the first quarter, our bench being outscored 21-0 in the second half, and — most importantly — except for tonight’s first quarter and the last 7 minutes of Game 2, our *total inability* to solve Tom T’s ferocious D? I just don’t know, because you would think with an otherwise intelligent coaching staff and the League’s MVP that we would be able to beat that defense for a game. But I guess it takes everyone to produce one of the greatest collapses in playoff history.

    As a season ticket holder (in the usually vociferous 300-level), I do have to say that I think the anger of some people posting here towards the Staples Center crowd is misdirected. I thought the fans at the game were quite loud. To the extent that the noise dissipated during the Lakers’ epic meltdown, yes it would be nice the implosion motivated the crowd to become even nosier and more supportive, but I just think everyone was stunned into relative silence, as I’m sure many were while watching on TV at home.

    There’s so many other things that could be addressed — Luke and Ronny contributing absolutely zero this series, our inability to defeat a team playing without its starting point guard and center for most of the game, extremely questionable substitutions (as discussed by others such as not seeing Ariza much in the second half, going with Farmer over Fisher for most of the fourth), allowing bench players to kill us repeatedly (Brown in game 1, Powe in game 2, and Posey in game 4), and no one coming to help Sasha on Allen’s uncontested lay-up when a defensive stop would have given us a chance to tie. In the end, all you can say is that — sadly — Boston is the better team.

  76. Kurt, I think we are actually on the same page. Bynum fills an enormous hole in the current team for sure. Without him, we don’t have the option of playing big and strong inside.

    When I said bruising big man, I was thinking in a backup role – a Theo Ratliff or Dale Davis type whose sole purpose is to mix it up inside with the other team when Bynum is resting, and who could muscle the Duncans and KGs of the league so Pau or Drew won’t have to guard them all night.

  77. We’re definitely in all those stages of dying here at FB&G. It’s a tragicomedy in real time. There’s denial, bargaining, acceptance and everything in between.

    I was gonna try and walk you all back from the ledge but it seems that anything I could come up with was horribly patronizing. Carry on. Although, I’m miffed my haiku didn’t get more props. I thought it was hilarious.

  78. the lakers could have lost the series but won tnight and i would have been happy

    instead they have yet to play a 48 minute game this series and completely let down thier fans-tonight was an embarrsemtn to root for them- yes, i feel fans owe their team alot, and should not animadvert their losses, but when you literally play half assed for 28 minutes [including the last part of the 2nd quarter where they just decied to jack up threes for a coupleminutes] you offend the people who care about the game

    i literalyl feelsick, maybe im crazy to care about a team so much but tonight the effort of thelakres, not to take away from the celtics who showed heart, but the fact that our team did not, it just sickens me- these are the highlights of a joe schmo life like mine, a great bunch of guys who give ma pleasure and emotion anadpassion, not a bunch of people who feel entitled and can’t even work hard for an hour of real time

  79. Kurt, while the return of a [healthy] Bynum will be helpful, having Odom at the 3 exentuates some of the problems we have been having lately. Odom, while a solid rebounder, simply does not rotate all that well. The Lakers tend to give up a lot of those swing 3 attempts that are possibly big momentum builers (see Posey’s 3 late) and having Odom at the 3 will just give more of those options. Furthermore, I am skeptical on that Odom could match up with the SF/SG 3s, such as Pierce. Finally, Odom does not cut consistently, and we need someone who will on the floor with the passers we have. All this without mentioning his ability to shrink.

  80. It’s a great haiku…we’re just still in shock to even type anything right now….

  81. asa turpentine June 12, 2008 at 11:16 pm

    I loved your haiku. In fact, so much so that I posted it to the CelticsBlog.com chatroom. It was a big hit.

  82. If anyone saw Kobe’s press conference, could you elaborate to those who don’t have ESPN or NBATV on what he said? Very interested to how he’s reacting since he is the de facto “best closer in the game” and he was apart of the team that lost to the C’s in the “biggest comeback in Finals history”.

  83. Tough loss, but it doesn’t diminish how much the Lakers accomplished this year. They accomplished far more over the course of the year then what they lost tonight.

    If they don’t win the series, they will still have discovered what it takes to get really, really close, and how it feels to have your heart ripped out at the end. A valuable lesson, indeed, especially for the young guys.

    Sometimes you have to lose before you can be a champion.

    They’ll learn from this. They’ll grow. Next year it’ll be our turn.

    Go Lakers!

  84. Our fans suck. Seriously, I’ve never heard them loud except the last 20 seconds of a game when lakers are about to win.

  85. 381–nothing really interesting…. btw you can catch it on nba.com, all the post press conferences. He was obviously mad and disappointed, but nothing out of the ordinary as one would expect.

  86. Just be glad that most of you don’t live in Boston like I do. I watched tonight’s game at a party FULL of Celtics diehards, and had to endure their roar after every made basket during their comeback. And tomorrow I have to go to work on a train full of full-page spreads, then have my co-workers remind me again, and again…

  87. Would have loved to win the title this year, but with a future this bright and considering where the team was a year ago can any Lakers fan really be all that bummed?

  88. Doc did not “win the chess’ match tonight, Doc does not know how to play chess, or know what it is for that matter. Doc’s all star talent, and the good fortune of Perkin’s hurting himself, alongside a total laker meltdown allowed this win to occur. I think Sam “area 51″ cassell does more good for the team on the bench than Doc does..

    Another reason this is really disappointingly, besides the fact that I thought we were playing well enough to win, I imagines this Celtic team almost surely had to suffer the same consequence as our ’04 team,

    did you know that Doc Rivers was commentating that Final, maybe he is a jinx

  89. the other Stephen June 12, 2008 at 11:47 pm

    379. i agree. that’s why i feel that he’s still going to have to play large spells at the backup 4 and 5. ariza, bynum, and farmar…work hard this summer, guys. i have great expectations for you guys. oh, and odom can still improve!.

  90. yeah i’m speechless as many of you are that this could happen to the lakers. i got worried about the lakers building such a big lead in the first half would decrease their intensity later on, the celtics showed a little bit of it in the end of second quarter. then it just fell apart in 2nd half, i just heard that lakers stat that they haven’t lost i don’t know how many games if they had a lead going into the 4th, the whole time i was just hoping this would remain the trend. but unfortunately….no

    deeply disappointed at pau’s inability to make open dunks and the poor collective team defense (yes kobe at times too tends to leave his man or not fight through screens)

    is it just me or does it seem like everything runs a little smoother when kobe decides to rebound the ball too?

    i agree with those up there that suggested adding another brusier to the team to take on the physical pounding that clearly gasol can’t take.

    feel sorry for kobe, (once we get to the finals we’re never guaranteed to go back the next year, especaily in the west, even with bynum coming back next year adding to our interior defense) he often said before the gasol trade that he was going into gun fights without a gun, now that we got guns, they stopped working in gun fights……

    for a speechless person i said a lot

  91. I agree with Scot (#375). I was at the game and I am a season ticket holder in the 115 section and we were loud. In fact the crowd was into it……..but like most of us, were pretty stunned throughout the 3rd and 4th quarter so it was kind of hard to root for our abysmal play. I recall numerous times were the crowd stood up and tried to encourage the Lakers to get it together. Maybe its how the mic is positioned at the game that doesn’t allow it to come off on TV too well, but I thought we were pretty loud at times (not the loudest ever by any stretch!). At the end of the day…….its not the crowd that lost the game……its the players. This loss hurt…….bad.

    The funny thing is that I think the coaching staff really needs to energize and get up on the players. I know PJ is more zen-like and all about calmness, but we have young players. Really young players!! They need motivation and encouragement from time to time. Also, being outscored in every 3rd quarter tells me that as a staff……..we are not making the proper adjustments or getting through to our players. Unacceptable from a proven championship caliber staff.

    As for Boston. I’m not impressed (not too sound foolish after they just smoked us tonight). In fact……..this is actually two very flawed teams. Do you think any of these two teams can match up to any of the NBA champs the past 10-15 years? I don’t think so….

    Be that as it may, I would like to see more of Ariza (who I’ve been mentioning alot this whole year). I would have liked to see Ariza on Allen, Sasha on Eddie House, and Kobe on PP. I think that would neutralize their top two players pretty well (PP and Allen).

  92. This loss completely ripped my heart out and shattered it. I dont care how good Boston is, Lakers blew this game and the team should be ashamed of themselves. Disgusting and inexcusible this is.

    The Lakers are just to inexperienced to win a championship, they have tremendous talent, but no experience outside of Kobe and Fisher. Thats one difference between Boston and LA.

    Another difference is that Boston plays championship level defense. The Lakers play average defense, maybe even good at times, but no championship level. Teams who win the NBA championship play awseome defense. Look at the Spurs. Also look at the Lakers back in 2000-2002. That team played great defense, not just offense.

    I dont like Odom. He has great talent, but is too inconsistent and that showed tonight. Gasol is too soft and needs to be more agressive. It will be big getting Bynum back.

    Hats off to the Celtics, they are the better team and deserve a championship this year. They have the big 3 and play some awseome defense. They were no joke.

    Basically people underestimated them just because they struggled against bad teams in the East during the playoffs, but lets not forget they went 25-5 versus the West this year.

    Lakers need to mature as a team and play better defense. If they do that I think this team can win a championship next year. Hats off to the Lakers, they made it a lot further than anyone thought this season.

  93. Does anyone else find it funny when they show the coaches before the game trying to talk to their team?

    Phil Jackson: Lets do the right things guys. (something like that)

    Doc Rivers: WHAT CAN EACH ONE OF US DO TO HELP OUR TEAM WIN! WHAT CAN EACH OF YOU DO TO HELP YOUR TEAM WIN! YOU NEED TO ASK YOURSELF THAT.

    Phil Jackson is a great Coach, but he doesnt seem to be motivating his team enough lol.

  94. Btw, I’m sick of people saying (ESPN especially) that this is Kobe’s legacy and “MJ wouldn’t have lost this series” talk. Michael Jordan had 2 of the 50-60 greatest players to play the game with him. He had perennially one of the best defenders as teammates the league has ever seen: Pippen who guarded the opposing teams best player everytime thereby saving MJ’s energy and Rodman who is one of the best rebounders of all time and post defender. They also had one of the best shooters in the league on their squad (Hodges, Paxson, Kerr). Kobe does not even have a freakin’ All-star on his team let alone a great rebounder or swing defender. He has to do everything himself. Yeah, he had a terrible shooting night and made some horrible defensive gaffes (left House open too much, let PP penetrate on him), but when it mattered in the 4th quarter……he showed up and had some crucial baskets. Its the other guys that need to step up.

    And one more thing…..although Pau has been soft and irritating throughout this series……..he pretty much has neutralized KG for the past 4 games.

    The problem is our bench, LO’s mental toughness, and poor coaching by the entire staff.

    I hope we can right this ship………having a bitter and angry loss will hopefully spark a new fire in this team that can last for 3 games!!

  95. I wouldnt say Pau neutralized KG in the 2nd half. I think KG finally figured out that he could simply drive on Pau or post him up after getting good position early and finish with his freakish length.

  96. What I’m worried about, really, is Kobe losing faith and trust in his teammates.

    What if he decides they aren’t good enough once in the finals?

    Thankfully tonight he had an off night too, so he won’t be too hard on them…

  97. I think Kobe’s usual formula failed him. The team was doing great in the first half because of the ball movement and the shots were dropping. In the second, Kobe decided to take over and the ball just stopped. If anything, he should have just continued assisting instead of going 1 on 1. I felt the rhythm disappeared when that happened.

    Either way, just don’t let Boston celebrate on our court.

  98. I don’t think that Kobe will lose faith in his players. I think this season has been inspiring to all of us, including Kobe. He knows what Bynum will bring to the table next year. I am not giving up on a title this year. It’s not over until one team loses 4. They just have to win game 5 to earn a trip back to Boston. If they can find a way to win in Boston they will earn a Game 7 where anything can happen.

  99. LAKERS GONAN WIN THE NEXT 2 FOR SURE

  100. Kobe didnt even play that poorly except in the third quarter. He had 10 assists, and played well in the fourth. Sure some of the blame rests on him, but PJackson will take a lot of heat for some of his decisions in this game. Keeping LO out for Radmon? What about Ariza who played so well in the first half?!?! Ariza takes Allen, Kobe takes PP, and Sasha or Fish grabs House…keep either LO or Pau on KG and the other patrolling the paint or on Posey, and you dont have the defensive collapse that we witnessed. And you certainly don’t have Ray Allen burning Sasha for an easy lay-up.

    Goddamnit…dagkjadgjhadkjg

  101. Guys, first of all – this is not lost yet. Surely, no team has ever recovered from a 1-3 disadvantage, but hey – no team in the finals has also squandered a 20+ lead:) Second – everywhere in the comments (not only on FB&G) there’s talk about trading odom for virtually half the league’s SFs. I say – this is a young team, unlike the celtics this our window is not closing, it’s opening – btw credit to these guys that after all the personal changes in the squad they managed to get to the Finals. Next season, when Drew gets back, we’ll see if this team clicks as it should and if it doesn’t, we can think about trades and stuff. Please bear in mind that if Drew was healthy this series and Ariza was in proper shape, we probably would have done way better defensively. So I still have hope – this guys can play championship ball and we know that, but if they fail – we have nothing to whine about. If everything goes right we can have more banners than the celtics very soon:)
    All my best to all LA fans

  102. I hate to say this, but…

    …see you next season.

    No way do you give up a 24 point 1st quarter lead, drop this game, and then come on to win anything worthy beyond this. If they have any pride at all, they’ll make sure the Celtics don’t win it in LA. But if they had any pride at all they would have held on to this one with their “insurmountable” lead. So, who knows?

    All I know for sure is, the goose is cooked and the fat lady is doing her pre-game warm up routine. I guess we can resign ourselves to hoping Kobe remembers how to shoot a basketball in time for the Olympics. Very disappointing.

  103. undoubtedly, kobe’s legacy has been affected by this game.

  104. I’ve been watching basketball for close to 20 years now, and I’ve never felt happier after a game! Of course I think I will feel even happier when we close out the lakers, baby!

  105. I have been a Lakers fan for 35 years since my dad took me to a game at the Forum. This is the most devastating loss I have ever seen. The Lakers went from having a strong chance to win this series to it being over in 24 minutes. That play was horrible and the whole team choked ON ITS HOME COURT!! After you spend your whole year trying to get to this point and coming up clutch at various stages of the playoffs, you cant let this happen. Champs dont do that.

    I am totally disgusted at this team.

  106. Grasping for any bit of hope this morning…

    2002 Eastern Conference Finals: Celtics stage the biggest 4th quarter comeback in NBA history to beat the Nets and go up 2-1 in the series.

    I’m guessing the Nets fans were pretty distraught after that one, especially with Game 4 in Boston, but what happened next?

    New Jersey won Game 4 in Boston, 94-92.
    New Jersey won Game 5 in New Jersey, 103-92.
    New Jersey won Game 6 (and clinched the series) in Boston, 96-88.

    I realize the 2008 Celtics are not the 2002 Celtics, but there is a precedent for a team bouncing back from a colossal collapse to win three straight (including two on the road) and take the series.

    The Celtics have clearly outplayed the Lakers, hence the 3-1 lead, but if the almost-comeback happens or the collapse doesn’t happen, this series is dead even. A few plays in either Game 2 or Game 4 and it’s a totally different series. The Celtics made the plays in those games.

    The Lakers have to make those plays the rest of the way. Can the flashes from the first four games suddenly turn into consistently strong play for L.A. the next three? It all starts Sunday. Coming out strong the first quarter is important, but playing 48 minutes of intense, crisp basketball will set the stage for the rest of this series.

  107. Coming into this series, everyone was saying how dominate the Lakers looked and how the Celtics struggled through the playoffs. I actually viewed it as the Lakers peaked too early in the playoffs ( with sweep of Denver, and short series in utah and Spurs ) while the Celtics were gaining steam to peak during the Finals.

    Man, our team is too soft…. we need bangers… Bynum will help next year, but Gasol and Odom are too thin to be intimidators….. I actually thing Farmar has more intimidation than Gasol or Odom.

    I’d say trade Odom for someone like Rasheed Wallace or Ben Wallace. They mihgt not have offensive skills but they have toughness.

  108. It’s funny that this Game 4 Chat thread was opened with the sentence : “The pressure is off LA, slightly.” It could not be further from the ‘truth’ now.

  109. By the by, I know Laker fans have typically been universally derided, but this was the clinching moment of Lakers fans’ apathy. Bill Simmons summed it up best:

    “8:06: “This crowd is absolutely stunned,” Breen tells us with the Celts trailing by four. Either that or they’re BlackBerrying friends to see where they want to meet after the game.”

    AND

    “That’s it, I’m rooting for the Celtics out of principle just because their fans seem to give a crap whereas the Laker ‘crowd’ would simply move onto whatever happened to be the next fad of the week.”

  110. did kobe really walk off the court before the game was over (as plaschke said)? if so, and i love the guy to death, but that’s inexcusable.

  111. If you don’t compete for a full 48 minutes then you deserve to lose. The Lakers came out in the 3rd quarter as if the game was already over. They no longer tried to get out in transition offensively, they didn’t try to fight for rebounds or lose balls, they didn’t get back in transition D. It was ugly. Then in the 4th quarter it was as if everyone was afraid of the ball. They all just stood around like a deer in headlights. They just gave Kobe the ball and expected him to win the game for them. Truly an embarrassing performance. They should be ashamed of themselves.

    All the talk that “Doc out coached Phil” is kind of dumb. Really all Doc did was go with a smaller line up, which is something everyone was saying he should do, and really the only thing he could do. Just because his team played harder in the second half then the Lakers did, does not mean he out coached Jackson, this had more to do with desire, and the Lakers complacency than it did with any coaching decisions.

  112. An amazing ride if you are a Celtics fan. It will be interesting to see if Hollywood shows up for game 5. I do think that the Celtics now know what their real hole in the team is (as if they didn’t suspect it before) and will have to find someone other than Rondo as starting point guard.

    If they do we may see each other again next year. After all Russell still has his prediction that KG will win 2-3 rings with the Celtics.

    Personally I would rather see the Celts win the clincher in Boston. The last several NE championships have been on the road – 3 superbowls and 2 world series. It is time to have the clincher in Massachusetts.

    Pardon me if I am enjoying this – it is the Golden Age of Boston sports, and these things don’t exactly happen every year. You have to enjoy it while it lasts.

  113. Man, this team made a great season going to the finals. Once there you can win or loose but you have to show you have heart. And this team yesterday didn’t show that. They made something, like T.J. Simers wrote in the LA Times: “Incomprehensible. Disgusting. Deflating. Ridiculous. Sickening. Impossible to fathom. A total meltdown. Appalling. Revolting. Depressing. Talk about a choke job. Historical and horrifying. Alarming. Shocking.”

    That was REALLY EMBARRASING.

    Remember Marty McFly in Back to the Future? This team is a group of chickens. I really don’t like to think about another game with Odom wearing the Lakers jersey (I also don’t like Walton, Radmanovic, even Turiaf the only thing he can do is dance and make funny things, but he’s never going to give us something like what Powe gives to the Celtics).

    I don’t understand also why the Lakers keep Newble or Mihm in the roster. I mean, Ariza is back (and, Phil, he can play in the 3rd and 4th quarter, remember that) and MBenga is a horrible player but at least he keeps he’s name out of the injured list.

    So, if you say to me something like: (a) this was a good year, (b) this team has future, (c) next year we are going to be great. I’ll respond:
    a) Right, this was a good year (and that’s all, good, not very good, only good).
    b) I hope not. Every time are we going to be the joke of the NBA loosing games we were winning by 24??? Every time I look at this team I’ll remember this awful game.
    c) Are you sure? A team without character is always a team without character.

    I don’t know, maybe we should have be beaten by the Spurs and right now we would be looking at the Finals saying things like: maybe next year… But the good thing about this is that we tested those players. Now we know: they’re gutless, remember that.

  114. Is anyone else having flashbacks of the ’04 Finals?

    Like then, I came into this series confident. I didn’t believe that it would be all that easy, but I didn’t think it would be possible for us to fall behind this far. We can play decent enough defense to keep the Celtics in check, and we can

    Last night was especially brutal. At the start, I was thinking “This is it, they’re going to come out with all guns blazing, crush the Celtics and take this series by the throat”

    As the lead slowly slipped away, I could only think “Are you kidding me?” and various variations thereof, while I sat waiting for the rally that never came.

    At the end I felt like I’d been kicked in the gut and that Kevin Garnett had beaten me up and stolen my lunch money, then walked away thumping his chest and holding up the “Celtics” portion of his jersey.

    I was optimistic even after we lost the first two- I figured we’d hold down the fort at Staples and take one of the last two in Boston. The offense would reemerge, the bench mob would come back, and Lamar would screw his head on straight.

    Some of it has happened, but it hasn’t happened at the same time. And now the margin for error is basically a hair’s width.

    I’ll admit I was skeptical about the Lakers all season long. From Bynum and the bench mob’s improbable emergence (I definitely didn’t expect them to get so much better so quickly) to Gasol’s acquisition this year has been full of pleasant surprises for me. Overall, compared to our prospects at the start of the year, this season has been an unqualified success in my eyes.

    Furthermore, I’m not down on the future. Bynum will return next year to give us the stronger inside presence we need so desperately, the bench mob will have the experience of a deep playoff run, and maybe we’ll be able to dip in the bargain bin for a free agent or two like the Celtics did.

    I’m not too worried about this team’s heart either. We started the playoffs by sweeping a 50-win team, gritted out a crucial Game 6 on the road in one of the unfriendliest arenas in the league in the second round, and came back twice from large deficits against the defending champions. That’s guts and heart to me. Some combination of the pressure of the finals and the Celtic D has gotten into our guys’ heads, but let’s try not to question their character when they’ve come this far in the first place despite their relative inexperience.

    With all that said, this series isn’t over. Perhaps I’ll just look like I put on my blinders and went down blindly with the ship, flag waving, but I still believe we can push this thing to seven. I refuse to believe we’re so grossly overmatched we’re going down this way, especially against THIS team.

    Lakers in 7.

  115. Apologies for the double post, I was editing and mistakenly pushed “Submit”. Me and my 5-second attention span :(

    Second paragraph should be:
    Like then, I came into this series confident. I didn’t believe that it would be all that easy, but I didn’t think it would be possible for us to fall behind this far. We can play decent enough defense to keep the Celtics in check, and we can score on their vaunted defense when we run the offense properly. We just can’t seem to do either with any sort of consistency.

  116. Why is everyone being so pessimistic? KB is playing injured this year and we do not know what the future will bring. Nobody even thought that the lakers were going to get into the playoffs this year and here they are in the finals. The game is a growing process, u dont just jump from being bumped in the 1st round to winning a ring. The fact that the celtics might win a ring after not making the playoffs last year is an aberration, that never happens. I am disappointed by kobe`s and the lakers overall performance in this series but lets not act like we all assumed they were going to be in the finals anyway.. it would be nice if they win this year but it takes time and success comes after failure. Also, if the lakers somehow manage to get to game 7, they can still win the title because its not like the celtics have been conveniencingly beating the lakers, a little luck the other way and the lakers would be up 3-1. A serious adjustment has to be made by pj and people have to step up and want it. This is a young team and mistakes will happen but it is the responses to this mistakes that define character so lets see what happens in game 5 first before we start calling the lakers losers and quitters.

  117. the other Stephen June 13, 2008 at 8:45 am

    407. “I’d say trade Odom for someone like Rasheed Wallace or Ben Wallace. They mihgt not have offensive skills but they have toughness.”

    dude, there is no need to trade away odom. it’s possible that a tiny bench mix-up would help, but even then, i wouldn’t like it.

  118. I bet Caron Butler would be looking great in a Lakers jersey right about now!

  119. the other Stephen June 13, 2008 at 8:53 am

    remember that with our enforcers bynum and ariza back, as well as maintaining gasol and odom, this team retains the most feared aspect of all: its extreme versatility and depth. boston isn’t the only type of team we play during the off-season, and gasol, odom, and all the other no-shows this series like vladi and luke will contribute in different ways towards the different types of play necessary.

  120. A new post is up

  121. A few random points:

    1. The haiku was good. I just don’t feel much like kidding around right now. I thought the Celtics were a little bit better going in, so I am not surprised, really, but as a couple of people said, you can’t blow a 24-point lead at home. Period. A “normal” loss would have been OK with me. This is a lot harder to take.
    2. I understand the frustration with Odom and Gasol, but I think this loss falls on Bryant and Jackson. One reason Jackson was so successful in Chicago was that his cerebral approach clicked with Jordan’s rage. I think this series leaves open the question, to an extent, of how well he clicks with Kobe Bryant. Also, while 99% of the folks here are smart enough to realize it, any media types and fanboys remaining who think Kobe is as good as MJ should be over that after last night.
    3. I think the answer at SF is on the roster–Ariza. I think trading Odom should be considered–not as a punitive thing because of his problems in the finals, but because of cap issues and the amount of money it will cost to retain some of the young guys. Also, Kupchak, as well as he has done, has too much money tied up in Walton and Radmanovich, one of whom I think should be traded if possible. I like the idea of a veteran banger off the pine.
    4. Jackson sees himself as the master psychologist and the cool head, but I think he needs to change tactics a bit and get some anger out of these guys on Sunday. I saw some of them looking scared at times last night, and that is part of the problem. I realize the pro game is far more complex than the game I played in high school, and anger can’t put the ball in the hole. But I don’t think Sunday is about X’s and O’s and adjustments as much as it is playing with an edge and with nothing to lose.
    5. It is, as I said yesterday, important to remember how far this team has come relative to expectations. At the same time, it is equally important that the FO, the team and even the fanbase need to realize that there is no guarantee the team will be back here again in spite of its youth. Yao will be back in Houston, Oden joins Portland, the Spurs will retool, Mark Cuban and Jerry Sloan are not going anywhere. Urgency needs to be part of the mentality as well.
    6. The Celtics deserve credit for not quitting down 24 in a non-must game. Assuming they win it, they deserve it.

  122. Celtics fan here.

    First and foremost, let me say that I don’t think that the people that are giving up on the Lakers should do so yet. The Lakers are a quality team, and I certainly respect them as a team that can get things done.

    Not that they will, or that I want them to, but I don’t think all is lost for you folks.

    Speaking as a fan of the opposing team, I am underwhelmed by Phil Jackson. I’ve never really paid much attention to him and what he does (besides win championships) but I am very, very surprised to note that the biggest thing he’s provided the Lakers in this series is his whining about whistles not going the Lakers’ way. It isn’t even this last game that shows that he’s being outdone by Doc Rivers. I don’t know why he didn’t have Rajon Rondo stepped on after Game 1 instead of Game 2 and I don’t know why he can’t seem to make a move without watching tape first. There was a comment on another Lakers blog that I was reading during the game that had it exactly right – Rivers was marching up and down the sideline like a madman and Jackson was eating nachos. That comment occurred during the third quarter. The commenter posted it in the manner that he thought it was a good thing — that Jackson had everything well in hand and Rivers was frustrated. Jackson didn’t, it wasn’t and Rivers was doing what Jackson should have been, which was coaching.

    Kobe Bryant is not on the same level as Michael Jordan. If his presence is comparable to anyone in the past, it would be to Magic Johnson. Kobe’s problem is that he isn’t Magic Johnson either, and the rest of the Lakers are, for the most part, not comparable to the Lakers greats of yore. Pau Gasol isn’t the same caliber as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Lamar Odom sure isn’t James Worthy. Luke Walton will never be his father, but I’m sure that everyone knows that except for Luke and Bill.

    By contrast, the Celtics players would match up well to the Celtics of yore in how they function and what they bring to the team. I think there that the difference is that the Celtics starting five were more dominant than the current Celtics starting five, and the current Celtics have a lot more depth.

    It depresses and saddens me to watch the fans of such a good team tear at them prematurely. If/when they lose the series, yell at them — but until then, they really do deserve all the rah-rah support you folks can muster.

  123. I have to quote Dennis Green here. The Celtics are who we thought they were. If you want to crown them then crown their a– but they are who we thought they were and we let them off the hook.

  124. 422–

    Good post. A few points:

    1. People would not be “tearing at them” if this had been a straight-up loss. But you just can’t blow a 24-point lead at home in the Finals., even though the other team is a little better. Let’s say that the Lakers win Game 5 and the Celtics are up 68-48 in the third quarter of Game 6, and then lose to allow the Lakers to tie the series 3-3. I think a few C’s fans would be a little worked up and negative. I think the crowd here is taking the loss well, all in all.
    2. As to Kobe and MJ, look at point 2 of 421. Most of the folks here are objective about Kobe, love him though they do. We don’t really need C’s fans telling us he is not as good as Jordan and Magic. The Kobe/MJ stuff is media-driven.
    3. Comparing acorss eras is tough, but the current Celtics are not as good as the 80s Celtics, IMO. They are the best team in the league, it appears.
    4. I agree about Jackson in many respects. Last night’s game will affect both his Kobe’s legacies going forward.
    5. I am not giving up–few of us are–but we are being realistic.

  125. @424:

    Thanks for your post. I see your point you make in item 1. And certainly Celtics fans would have been gnashing their teeth if the Lakers had won Game 2. But the fat lady hasn’t sung yet, and the Lakers are quite capable of winning the next three games, just as the Celtics are quite capable of losing the next three games. That road is hard for the Lakers, but not impossible. Especially not for this team. Paul Pierce said in his post-game interview that they were going to take it one game at a time, and that is exactly because he respects what his opponent can do. I’m seeing a lot of comments from Lakers fans that are essentially “see-you-next-year”. I don’t want to see you guys next year. I want to see you guys next week.

    As for 2, I see a lot of people saying that Kobe’s the best ever. You and I, even the majority of people may not agree with that, but that sentiment is easy to find. He’s definitely got more skills than anyone else on either team. I meant no disprespect to what could perhaps be described as the wiser Lakers fans, and I’m sorry I came across that way.

    3, The current Celtics are not as good as the past Celtics. But my dad pointed out to me when the old wars were going on that the Celtics were the best five-man team in basketball. And they were. The problem (from our perspective) was that the Lakers were the best eight-man or eleven-man team in basketball. Die-hard fan though he was, he was right. Those Celts had no one behind them. These Celts can afford to rest their big three.

    Again, thanks for the great reply. Here’s to all you great fans of the other side!

  126. will someone please hold me in their arms and whisper in my ear that Kobe is a good player and a good teammate and a good person.