Lakers/Celtics Game 5 Chat

Kurt —  June 15, 2008

This Laker team has provided us with an amazing pure run of joy this year. One loss, no matter how painful to watch, does not change that — this squad evolved into a title contender before our eyes, it was the most fun most of us have had as Lakers fans in a long time. And I am not ready for that ride to end.

What I want to see from the Lakers tonight is what got them this far — a counterpunch.

When the Lakers were playing at their best during the season, this is what they did. When the opposing team took away something, the Lakers went to another option and made them pay. Mid-game adjustments were seemingly always key, everyone stepped up and played their roles at key moments.

Not so in the Finals. When the Celtics have made adjustments the Lakers have not ducked and counterpunched, they have taken it on the chin.

In the first half of game four the Lakers came up with a way to make the pick-and-roll very successful against the Celtics, getting the ball to a big at the free throw line on a sort of pick and pop play and having the other big cutting to the basket. The Celtics adjusted to that, changing how they defended the pick-and-roll (plus they were forced to go to a smaller lineup due to injuries, which helped with this). Credit to Boston, they stepped up their defensive intensity in the second half of the third quarter and the fourth. They didn’t give up and played like champions.

And the Lakers countered by….. nothing much. They did not counterpunch through the triangle. They stopped trying to run. They played worse on defense. Maybe they should have abandoned the triangle earlier, but I’m not sold that was the biggest problem.

I think KG summed things up pretty well in his post game press conference.

“If you’ve paid attention to them all year, usually the first half is team ball, second half is usually Kobe takes over the games. Like you said, they weren’t nearly as aggressive as they were the first half. It just looks like they wanted to get the ball to Kobe and him sort of finish it off. That’s what it looked like to me. It didn’t really look cohesive like they did in the first half.

“The second half I thought we took the lay-ups away, made them go to the second and third options. We were giving Kobe every look we’ve got in the book, from different matchups to trapping him, to a guy on the bottom. We were just making other guys make plays. “

Will the Lakers counterpunch tonight? Will the other guys step up? Will we see a team come out and play with real pride and passion. Will Gasol go to the rim and dunk the ball rather than put up a soft layup? Will the Lakers let Kobe go one-on-one at times and spread the floor with shooters (ala game three)? It’s a cliché but it’s one because it is true — they have to take it one game at a time. Win game five, defend your home court. Worry about tomorrow tomorrow. Will the Lakers come out and defend, rebound and finish with authority at the rim?

I hope so, because I am not ready for this season to end.

Kurt

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204 responses to Lakers/Celtics Game 5 Chat

  1. Warren Wee Lim June 15, 2008 at 9:27 am

    This is Aaron here speaking for Warren, but we’ve gotta keep on doing what’s been working all year round, so Warren (or his name at least) is getting the first post. I’ll post the same during the Game 6 Chat on Tuesday. GO LAKERS!

  2. morning Kurt, (can’t wait for warren), how’s waking up with the new addition these days? sleeping OK?
    And, HAPPY FATHER’S DAY DUDE!
    well, on to today’s game, couldn’t agree more, the thing today is win this game, at home, on father’s day, don’t worry about the mountain ahead of us to climb, like you said, worry about tomorrow, tomorrow. plus we DO NOT want to see any celebration on OUR floor, win it today mainly to keep the season alive, but also prevent the C’s from …well you know.
    I still believe we can pull this out, and I know Kobe and PJ do as well, let’s hope the rest of the team does too.
    it’s simple, win today, for the many reasons we just discussed.
    then prepare for the WAR we know game 6 would be, fight for that one to the bitter end cause we know the C’s DO NOT want to see it go to a game 7 where anything can happen.
    the pressure suddenly switches to them in a big way.
    it all starts with a W today, on the last game of the year on our HOME FLOOR… go LAKERS!!!

  3. also, (sorry for the double post), I think the C’s will come out less motivated, they have 3 chances to win 1 game, and they probably also want to win it on their home floor, so we have to come out early, take their heart out of it early, put our foot on their throat and don’t let up.
    win this game today…
    then we can worry about the rest of the series, and how we pull that out starting tomorrow. it’s very possible to turn the tables, and the momentum, but it has to start (obviously) today.

  4. 2. Chris, what is this “sleep” you speak of? In case anyone is curious, on FX at 4 am Pacific they show Buffy the Vampire Slayer repeats. That was a fun show.

    Thanks, and happy Fathers Day to all the dads out there who come by here!

  5. kurt, but at least you’re not a rookie at this sleep deprivation thing…
    Pee Wee was in those Buffy repeats, right?

    glad you managed to get Warren the first post, I’m also pulling my old C’s voodoo dolls from the closet, what ever works, eh?

  6. Kurt, well said! Its easy to forget how great this year has been for Laker fans (and I mean real Laker fans not the people sitting in the lower bowl at Staples during the Finals) so thanks for the reminder.

    Regardless of what happens this has been an amazing year and we will only get stronger next year with more experienced/mature players, Bynum returning and a full off-season to work with all the new additions. But like Kobe said, “this series isn’t over.” If we take it one game at a time we can still win… the Celtics “Big 3″ aren’t necessarily known for closing out games.

  7. Seconded and thirded-ed,
    Chris, Aaron ( Warren ) and Special K.

    Happy Faddas Day to the Faddas out there.

    Go Tiger, drop another coupla eagles on the Pines,

    Go Lakers– take the throat early
    and shake it for 48 minutos.

    Bounce back, Sasha, Pau and Lamar. Protect and Serve.
    Kobe and Fish make ‘em rain for your daughters.
    Trevor-rr and Far-to-the-mar,
    do that disruption and stealth.
    Luke, make your father eat his words
    and be proud at the same time.
    Suit up DJ and give Ronny some help.
    Fans– roar and represent.
    Norm Pattiz, use that rolled-up program
    and bop the iPhones out of the trendoids’ hands.

    Virtual fist pound to the fans I saw
    around the ciudad this weekend
    with their car flags still mounted.
    I too have my car flag flying for the duration–
    long may it wave.

    GO LAKERS!

    - 5 -

  8. Anybody else notice we play much better when expectations are low? Like this season when people wrote the Lakers off and they finished atop the west. And we can sometimes play kinda poorly when we get too high on ourselves? Like when we inexplicably lose to the grizz/bucks/cats. Or like going into this series thinking like we’re the favorites. I sure hope that trend hold true tonight, cause it’s hard not to hear the whispers in the wind saying that this series is over. I hope Sasha’s out there right now thinking real hard about Ray Allen WALKING past him on that last play. I hope Phil called in an MMA coach for Pau so he gets used to the idea of physical contact. I know, I know, he’s not that kind of player. Well we are. American’s play a more physical ball than maybe Pau is used to but if he can’t adapt his game to that contact (not necessarily power through it) he’s always going to be a liability. We need him to go hard enough to at least get a foul, which should be easy with the longest, most gangely arms on the planet. Right now he avoids getting just enough contact and gets off this weird little flippy shot, that as you’ve all seen, falls ineffectually by the wayside.

    Bottom line – this team has thrived on being the underdogs in the past and that should be a point of pride and hope when looking to tonight’s game.

  9. Happy Father’s Day!!!!

    Yes, protect home court! No Celtics celebrating in our house in our era!!

    Play with pride and the heart of a champion (cliche’) but it fits!

    Let the Celtics know that Lakers do not lay down and will not hand them the championship. That they are in a battle!

    The Lakers have NOTHING to lose (so play like that) as they were not supposed to be here anyway, the Celtics are the ones that have something to lose as they have been the projected champions from game 1 to 82.

    We can help the entire organization as fans even if we are not physically in the Staples Center, by sending them positive vibes and energy, mentally. Use our collective wills to have Pau and Lamar dunk everything, have the team make freethrows, play defense as a whole, work the offense, get every loose ball.

    Go Lakers!! FB&G visualize the Lakers winning!

  10. It is difficult to visualize the Lakers winning when I read stuff like this from Adande:

    “As one of the Lakers told me on Saturday, it’s not that their guys aren’t trying hard, it’s just that the Celtics are trying harder and seem to want it more desperately. And that’s been the difference.”

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/playoffs2008/columns/story?columnist=adande_ja&page=PhilKobe-080615

    People can talk all the X’s and O’s they want, but if the Lakers are not hungry enough (because of their so-called bright future of many more opportunities to win titles), then it’s not going to happen. Very disconcerting.

  11. It’s Father’s Day, my daughter turned 1 on Friday, the Galaxy pounded San Jose last night…I’m feeling good.

    I expect Staples to be rocking and Phil to get the team in a good mental state, not desperate but proud and in no way considering that the season will be over tonight. I think Rivers will consider this game a no lose situation–if the Celtics win, great, if they don’t oh well. I think he’ll rest the starters more than usual.

    My random prediction: Luke finally breaks out of his slump, comes up big in the 3rd Quarter.

  12. Everyone seems to be quick to blame Lamer, or Pau, or Kobe or Phil for the way things have turned out. However, little has been said about one of the bigger contributors to this mess: THE FANS. As I sat at home yesterday and re-watched game 4, I noticed just how weak our fans are in comparison to everyother arena in the league.

    What makes me mad about this situation is that I think it is due to poor fan marketing by the Laker organization once they buy tickets. It seems that the Buss’ feel everything is fine because of the length of the season ticket holder wait list and all of the stars that decide to come to the Laker games to cheer our opponents. I think they view fan marketing in terms of percent of season tickets sold versus fan suport for the team. Frankly, I think they could care less if all floor tickets were sold to Boston fans. Man, why can’t they get off their high horses to understand the importance of fan support in a series such as this one. For example, how difficult is it to fork out some cash and buy some cheap white shirts that say “I believe in my Lakers” or “Go Lakers!” or “Boston Sucks” or whatever and rop them off at each seat in the lower bowl like they do in EVERY SINGLE ARENA BUT OURS? Surely an organization with the cash-flow that the lakers have can spend $2 on each fan to make that happen.

    True that the fans in the lower bowl are pathetic, but perhaps the Laker organization can look to other sports for guidance on how to get these fans involved.

    For example, ever seen or heard a european soccer match? Have you seen and heard how the crowd at those games sings anthems to encourage their team (or ridicule their opponents)? At the last holland game that I watched on the tube, I heard the dutch fans humming – yes humming – the theme to seven nation army by the white stripes as a way to encourage their team on their last game, which turned into a trouncing of their opponent. Sure, seven nation army has nothing to do with the Dutch soccer team, but man, it was impressive to hear on the tv how that sounded. I also was fortunate enough to watch a Man U match when I was in london a few years ago and the chanting and game atmosphere was something that I will never forget. Every single person in the stadium was singing. For those fans such as myself who did not know the songs, they passed out “hymn lists” so that you could read and chant along. Coordination of the chants was done by fan “captains” who would yell out the next chant to be sung. Man, this was almost a religious experience. I can honestly say that it brought tears to my eyes. Such passion, such love for a team, such love for a sport. Makes the NFL/College football fan seem like a casual fan in comparison.

    Well, that’s exactly what the Lakers need. Let’s take a page out of the soccer-fan book. The Lakers need to organize their fans. They can pick a few key “captains” (think Vick the Brick types) and have them at eery game leading chants and passing out hyms to every single fan that comes to the game. Then, put the jumbotronf good useto cue the fans on which song to chant. Wouldnt that be an effective way to pick up some good vibes when the crowd is dormant??? I know the fans in the upper seats will chant their hearts out and perhaps the fans in the lower seats will too.

    Or how about having the laker gilrs run around the aisles leading some pro-Laker cheers. I mean, are they not “CHEER-LEADERS”???? Damn, put them to work more on getting the fans fired up and less on learning lame dance moves.

    As much as Pau and Lamar seem to be lost in this series, they have been their most agressive when the crowd is behind them. Its time to make them start believing in themselves again.

    People, this is OUR TEAM. Let’s show them some support.

  13. Adande is a band-wagoner, just like the rest of the mainstream media. Notice there are no quotations around this alleged statement from and unidentified Lakers player. Reporters like him just state the obvious; don’t expect him to make any bold predictions.

    Not to be a downer, but I don’t think we are capable of taking their hearts out of it, as shown from the last game. I also disagree that the Celtics will play with any less fire because of wanting to win it at home. Pierce would love to win it in LA. Not to mention the rest of the team doesn’t want to put off a championship any longer than they have to, with there health not at full strength.

    That being said I believe that we have a great opportunity to win this game and will! It will go down to the wire just like every game has in this series. I expect Kobe to be Kobe, proving again why he is the MVP.

    Sasha and Jordan, please play as you did in Game 3…not Game 4!

    Odom, please show us that brilliance you displayed in the first half of the last game…all game today. We need you!

    Turiaf, please play hard nosed defense when called upon…without fouling! Pau can use a little help inside.

    Phil, please play Fisher for the majority of the 4th quarter. When the defense sags on Kobe in crunch time we need his proven clutch marksmanship.

    Time for the Lakers to play their last HOME game with desire and conviction!

    Happy Father’s Day to all, I think we are in for a nice treat today. GO LAKERS!!!

  14. The consistent theme that has materialized during these finals is that the Lakers are young and when Bynum returns they will become a dynasty.

    Lakers must become hungry not now but RIGHT NOW! The Lakers may never be healthier than they are right now, the injury bug has been with us for at least 4 years.

    No one is asking them to do anything that they have not done to get to this point. We are down because as Adande stated: Kobe has had no one to help him except two singular halves by Pau and Lamar. I would also throw Fisher in there for one half. Sasha and Farmar in sprinkles!

    Third quarter collapses are not new, they have existed this entire season. Kobe heroics have saved them several times down the stretch to win regular season games after blowing leads in the second half.

  15. I know this is obvious, but since G1′s 10 point loss every game (including our lone victory) have been decided by 6 points. This is a very, very tight series that has been incredibly entertaining. Cheers to both teams, both cities of fans, for a thrilling season so far. All things considered, even being down 3-1, I feel like the Lakers have a little left in the tank. Even after the collapse Thursday they have to feel they can compete with these tough Celtics. As close as these guys have played each other, it certainly doesn’t seem impossible to swing it in the other direction.

    Doc lost his father this year. Any other time (if not playing LA) I would like to see him get a win tonight. I respect the guy, and his team, but we need to step on their throats and send this back to Boston and get to G7. Nothing personal. This is business. This is the NBA Finals. This isn’t a dream anymore. All you have to do to have a dream is go to sleep. The reality is simple: win and stay in, lose and it’s summer vacation. I think it’s the Lakers by 14 tonight, ladies and gentleman. Go Lakers!

  16. I hope Kobe will make his team play

  17. “For example, how difficult is it to fork out some cash and buy some cheap white shirts that say “I believe in my Lakers” or “Go Lakers!” or “Boston Sucks” or whatever and rop them off at each seat in the lower bowl like they do in EVERY SINGLE ARENA BUT OURS? Surely an organization with the cash-flow that the lakers have can spend $2 on each fan to make that happen.”

    You might not remember, but I think the Lakers were the first team to do this–at least I don’t remember it before this–back in 2000, with Game 7 against the Blazers in the Conference Finals (the gold I Love LA shirts). I was expecting something similar in Game 3. Maybe tonight.

  18. Great Warren has the first post, I’m not worried anymore about today’s game outcome. Glad to see you back Kurt and Happy Fathers Day to all the fathers out there.
    Go Lakers…

  19. Happy Fathers Day to everyone and all the fathers in the world.

    As for this game…we cant say it enough to take it ONE game at a time. The Lakers cant focus on winning 3 straight games.

    Lastly, we as Laker fans have to believe this team can come back! I just hope the fans in Staples show some support and not be lazy to sit down pretty much the whole game!

  20. I BELIEVE

  21. Win this game, then win game 6 in the best playoff game in the season, then bets are off for game 7. Go LAKERS!!!!!

  22. Indeed.

    GO LAKERS

  23. ‘NOT IN OUR HOUSE’

    I like!

  24. Lakers Optimism here…We will rock the party! All is well that ends well… and the end is nowhere near! I am expecting a number of things from this game but these 3 things stand out:

    1. What will be the effect of injuries on the Celts. Perkins does not play. So Odom is more capable of guarding Powe because Leon is much smaller. Gasol has more breathing room and more rebounds are coming our way. If PJ plays it will be even better for us, he is too slow and monotonic on their offense, and can be beat by our bigs

    2. Our second unit has to live up to the billing. I remember times when 7-8 Lakers were scoring in double digits. Those were the perfect days… There is no reason why Farmar, Sasha (especially), Turiaf and Walton should not get 10 pts. If at least two of them has a double digit game, we are cooking

    3. Laker defense and offense (Kobe is the biggest factor, but I think he will show up tonight big). If Lakers play more Offense than defense (which is what happens usually) we do not stand a chance against the Cs (as much as I hate to admit it), We have to absolutely limit transition and second chance points. I hope we get 12-15 steals or more tonight and force Celts inot 22-25 turnovers or more.

    With all that time to enjoy the game

    GOOD LUCK LAKERS!

  25. I tried to talk myself into not watching Game 5 since the collapse. But as gametime nears, I’m probably going to switch it on.

    I bleed too much purple & gold.

    What I’m really interested in is how the fans at Staples will react. Will they support the young team for the great season they just experienced or will they start leaving with a minute left to play?

  26. Powe starting for the Celtics, which I don’t think is good for us.

  27. Good aggressive first two possessions.

  28. Again, how ridiculous can Pierce’s clumsy, flopping game get?

  29. Spreading the floor, Kobe getting into the lane. That’s good. And making KG a jumpshooter good. But man I can’t wait until next year when Radman comes off the bench.

  30. It’s good to have Kobe on your team.

  31. Great way to start out huh…

  32. This time, don’t start cutting your attacks short, keep driving to the basket. That Fisher contested layup is the kind of shot they stopped taking in the 2nd half last game.

  33. Guys (and gals) this just feels different than last game. Spread the floor and hitting jumpers, opening up things inside. Kobe getting in the lane, as is Odom and Fish. Gasol playing strong.

    I just like this more.

  34. Another nice start..lets just hope they keep it up for the next 3 quarters and ESPECIALLY the 3rd.

  35. Steals – check
    Gasols Chest pound – check
    Kobe’s shots – check

    so far so good…good signs…i believe!!

  36. Mihm in, Turiaf sits. Really? Well, lets give the big guy a chance.

  37. wow mihn is in

  38. Where the hell did Mihm come from. Interesting substitution.

  39. Ariza in, Walton out. That is a sub I like.

  40. mihm needs to sit

  41. The inexperienced bench hurting them again.

  42. Mihm, looking like he hasn’t played in a while with that pass. The first two fouls were just him protecting the rim, I can live with that. Then the bad offensive end foul then the bad inbounds. Still, I agree with Van Gundy — pre-injury Mihm was a solid center and that one bad year he was the second most consistent Laker behind Kobe.

  43. Here we go again…..

    19 pt lead down to 4…

    Can we please go back to attacking the basket instead of long jumpers!?!?!

  44. KG 3rd foul. Looks like the NBA wants a 6th game.

  45. this is like déjà vu…its really hard to watch

  46. There has been some bad officiating at both ends, the clear out by PJ Brown underneath, Garnett’s third.

    The Celtics are taking away Kobe again, Gasol and Odom need to take charge and get to the rim.

  47. Good ball movement that time. The Celts are a good job of disrupting the lakers offense again. They need better spacing.

  48. We need to get back out in transition, too.

  49. Kurt I agree but its hard to get out in transition, if you let Pierce get to the rim and score every time.

  50. man.. 39 in the first quarter no good no good. i feel like whenver lakers start off red hot, they just get too complacent and lazy on finer details in the game.

    i mean 8 points in second quarter? geesh…

    but i do like gasol looking for odom down low after drawing attention to him.

    i don’t like the fact that we didn’t have an answer for pierce while our second unit was in at the beginning of the second quarter.

  51. I BELIEVE! LET’S DO IT!

  52. What about our perimeter D? Kobe is the only guy who hasn’t been utterly atrocious. Why would you play up on Tony Allen like that??

  53. At least last time we had an 18 pt lead at halftime…

  54. We are NOT losing today. Put some effort into it. Stop worrying about the calls guys!

  55. I’m “watching” on GameCast … what’s the story on the Fisher double-tech?

  56. it just seems like celtics are playing with a lot of confidence while that game 4 loss is still on lakers’ mind.

    i can’t understand the disparity from quarter to quarter… nor will i try to analyze it. it’s just way beyond me about that inconsistency.

    i’m sure boston fans will argue it’s boston’s d stepping up, and la fans will say that it’s our second unit with mihm changing the flow of the game. whatever it is… one this is for certain, the refs are not calling anything seems like. at least it seems to be going both ways. well, maybe except for garnett…

  57. Grandpa Brown figured out they’re not calling a damn thing, so why not take advantage? Not sure what sport we’re watching, but it ain’t basketball.

  58. Well, I think I will bring up Phil Jackson’s name again. It was he who put Walton on Pierce and guess who immediately heated up and stayed hot the rest of the half. If Phil puts Walton on Pierce for ANY time for the remainder of the series he should be shot. That is a stubborn, I will do it my way type of move.

    This series Turiaf and Lamar shouldn’t be playing together. There are several player combinations where Lamar should not be playing and Phil seems to include them all. In this series Lamar is getting moved out of rebounding position because he doesn’t occupy enough space and the Celtics do. Arggggh!

  59. Gasol and Odom has to play together. Farmar and Vujacic combo works too. Luke is in a serious funk.

    And also….never post up Odom. He’ll just turn the ball over.

  60. I’m gonna scream if we put up another lackluster 3rd quarter.

    The fact that i’m in the office watching telecast probably won’t stop me, either.

  61. Lakers need a 40 point lead to pull this one out

  62. well wasn’t that sweet.

  63. Seems like Gasol is really getting the snot beaten out of him down low. Not that they’re calling much of anything on the inside this game. One play he got bounced off the court and the rebound didn’t come anywhere near him.

  64. Lakers bench just doesn’t look like it is structured for a championship. Lots of energy, but the basketball IQ is low. They need some more experience off the bench. It may be the fatal flaw in this Lakers team.

  65. Kobe needs to outplay Pierce to win this game. As pleasing as the 1st quarter was, I didn’t like Kobe taking all of those three pointers. It will only encourage him to settle for the rest of the game. Hopefully after a scoreless 2nd he will start attacking in the 3rd. God knows we need to win this 3rd quarter…for once! Go Lakers!

  66. The modus operandi against the lakers seems to be to play them HARD and PHYSICAL.

    Such games always end up favoring bruising frontlines much more than savvy backcourts, and it is no wonder that we’re getting beat.

    I really think the league should rethink its officiating principles. Why can’t the playoffs be like all-star games, with no real physical contact? I’m not saying there should be no contact, but i’m certainly more in favor of players playing a game that’s more like the ones we play, as opposed to one that will cause bad fistfights 100% of the time on the playground…

  67. get to the rim = win

  68. Enough with this fatal flaw talk…it’s not over! The Lakers are going to come out swinging!

    BTW the last comment (anonymous) was me.

  69. Telecast says we need to sit Kobe down and have the team play team ball.

    Or is he taking good shots that just happen to miss?

  70. Okay, i think i’ll keep bashing Kobe, we’re onto something.

  71. Celta are getting all the lo0se balls.

  72. second chance oppurtunities for the celtics are killing us

  73. They actually called that travel? He does that at least 5 times a game.

  74. Why is Radman on PP?

  75. Officiating is terrible tonight, but it is consistently terrible for both teams.

  76. Pierce is red-hot. Time for a good defensive line up.

    KOBE
    ARIZA/SASHA
    LAMAR
    FISH
    GASOL

  77. Kobe is picking a bad game to bring one of his worse games. I’m just agonizing over every darn text cast. This really can’t be good for me.

  78. perhaps that really is the difference b/w the two team’s defenses.

    boston seems to be able to help out against whoever is driving in by stepping out of guarding their man and taking charge, while lakers go up to block which usually result in either and one or just a layup.

    that’s like kobe’s 3rd charge isn’t it?

  79. I wish Doc would play Rondo more

  80. Lovely lovely lovely sequence. 3 pt play, steal, 3 pt.

  81. 80. Ive been saying the same thing.

  82. Heres the nightly celebrity roundup.

  83. Wow. The mustards off the hot dog.

  84. man… not every fast break has to end up like showtime lakers. stop and holding the ball is better than turning it over.

  85. good things happen in transition

  86. the celtics just look like they want it more and that kills me to say that

  87. Wow…Kobe is Ice cold…

  88. still i think that was the best 3rd quarter lakers played in this series.

  89. I agree with SVG why is Walton on Peirce, he practically walked right past him.

  90. YAY!!! The lakers actually won the 3rd!!

    24-18

    Now, can they finish the deal…

  91. wow. Odom now don’t ever take that shot again.

  92. I echo your joy marrl! Time to close em out.

    It’s great to see Odom and Gasol picking up the slack for Kobe in the 2nd and 3rd.

    Now Kobe needs to return the favor in the 4th.

    Keep it up Gasol and Odom! Go Lakers!

  93. Why is PJ Brown allowed to use two hands in the post? He does it every time he defends down low.

  94. Sash can’t buy a shot. That one was half way down.

  95. Dick Bavetta, please just retire. For the love of God.

  96. vujacic sure is shooting a lot hehe

    are these good shots though? i’m just basing on boxscore/gamecast from yahoo

  97. Sasha is the Machine. He feels nothing despite shooting 2-10.

  98. walton hurt us. kobe is going to kill us by forcing it.

  99. dejavu….turn overs and posey 3′s.

  100. walton just completely killed the rhythm….

  101. so many tipped rebound out of bound…

  102. these droughts the lakers get into are unbelievable

  103. Drive the ball to the rim and score. No kickouts, Kobe. Shoot the damn ball. Own it.

  104. Kobe only kills us when he takes bad shots, right now the Celts are jumping the passing lanes. Get to the rim.

  105. no more jump shots. they need to take it to the rim.

  106. Everyone is thinking jumpshots..

    While the Celtics are getting high percentage shots.

    This is a recipe for another lost if this keeps up…

  107. Get the inside out game going now with KG in foul trouble…drive it at him!

  108. i think at this point id rather gamble with being blocked, hammered, or throwing up a bad shot due to a collapsing defense rather than trust the jumpshots

  109. Kobe is not even looking for his shots

    Now that PP and KG have 5 fouls i hope we take adv of it

  110. 5 on both KG and PP. If that doesn’t get the boys to start driving, nothing will.

  111. Why is Kobe playing so passively out there? I don’t get it, I know he has 4 fouls, but he’s not looking for his shot, nor is he moving without the ball. I have a bad feeling about our abiity to get more stops than the Celtics down the stretch. We needed about a 10 point cushion at this point.

  112. attack pp and kg and get inside and take out their offense

  113. Odom needs to make those ‘and ones’

  114. good thing pierce didn’t finish that ‘and ones’

    but i agree with you 114. lamar does need to finish those shots.

  115. I hate Poser — now HE is a dirty player…not a competitor, a dirty player.

  116. Hear that crowd, great to hear.

  117. Kobe waited way too long on those possessions…big mistake!

  118. weird couple of possessions, just iso kobe and get out of the way…

    i just realized we had a three guard line up on.

  119. little bit of breathing room!

  120. reminds me of mike brown actually, which is not really a good comparison when we do it on offense…

  121. Did you see J. Poser with the touch foul on Kobe’s legs at the end of that dunk…that crap is dirty! Bowen style

  122. the altercation he had with lamar makes me think posey is one of those that try to intimidate you through physical style of playing to get in your head.

    i think he rightfully succeeds bowen’s dirty player crown.

  123. Man…. let a 19 point lead go, then let a 14 point lead go… They better play better in Boston.

  124. free throws are killing us

  125. Uncharacteristically – they are killng us all series

  126. Can someone please tell me, why the best offense in the League decides to go Miami/D-Wade or Cleveland/LeBron style stand around and watch the Star try to take on all 5 offense at the end. I’m upst with Phil tonight. I’m upset with Kobe.

  127. man, should’ve been 3-2 lakers. oh wells, win’s a win still.

  128. I believed!

  129. Why does Phil CONSTANTLY kill the momentum with staying with the 2nd unit too long? This is the time of year you go WITH your MAIN guys. There’s no need to gain confidence. It’s there. I know early leads mean nothing, but this is too crucial to let the tide turn, and Phil is letting that happen.

  130. Yea Kobe made a good point, can they play any worse than they have in Boston already. I’m looking forward to the next game.
    Go Lakers…

  131. it should easily have been 3-2 LA, but I really think we can take Game 6. The flight back to the East coast is going to be much more tougher on the aging bodies of the Celts…PJ Brown and Sam C won’t be able to sustain their energy one 1 days rest…at least 1 or 2 of the Big 3 will struggle.

  132. Like KG said, it’s all Kobe at the end. Sort of a compromise between the star player and the star coach.

    Anyway, glad we won. Tacos?

  133. If ever there was a frustrating win, that was it.

  134. JVG was killing the Lakers w/ his comments…and I think he was right. His main point was that the Lakers defense is just awful, guys just making the same mistakes over and over again, and not learning from them. Thoughts?

    I’m sorry to say I think game 6 will be the end of the road. I’m really looking forward to getting Bynum back to anchor the defense next year, but as a team the Lakers need to become better defensively.

  135. lakerfan101,

    That is correct. But the LAkers need to play differently if they are going to win this. They haven;t been outplayed this series, but tey have been outworked, and that is what they are going to have to do to win this. What bothers me is the shots at point blank the Celtics are intent on getting (thanks PAu) and the ones the Lakers are settling for. They can;t win in Boston playing this type of game.

  136. Muffin-man,

    Looking forward to next year? Next year? I can’t believe I read that. What are we here for. We root all year for this! We know we can win this. The Lakers have not been outplayed. Quitters do not belong on this site. Please, shut your computer off.

  137. I STILL BELIEVE! A gut-wrenching win (for the fans). But this should inject something into their heads and I wish I were Phil Jackson telling them this…”they can win.” Oh am I getting “300″ imagery here. But they need that fire. They need that fire for so long in Game 6. My proposal is the same: run the gas out of these Celtics. Put their backs on the wall to test their pressure mettle. Better yet, just blast them out. They have see they can do this. They just have to take that crowd and that D out of their heads. Motion. Attack. Pressure D. Uncertainty is all around. And I still believe Kobe has that monumental performance saved for the best. I just have this unproven funny feeling. Go LAKERS!

  138. There was nothing in this game that made me feel confident about game 6 in Boston. The commentators talked about pick-and-roll defense — the Lakers had very little of this the entire season so I have to put this one on the coaching staff. Can’t they figure out a scheme and implement it? The free throws — what has happened here; I am used to 1-for-2 Lamar, but Fish and Kobe?? The Lakers are slow and predictable, making the Celtic’s defensive job easier.

    Lamar and Gasol don’t take up any space and the Celtics do. This means we are the ones fouling over the back or reaching. My opinion is that Lamar and Gasol cannot play together next year against physical teams or we will really pay for it. Thank god Bynum occupies lots of space around the basket.

    Ok, we got it done, but my biggest disappointment tonight is reserved for our rather pedestrian coaching staff. This is not what Jerry Buss paid the big bucks for.

    The only positive thing I can say (other than that we won) is that this team was not supposed to be here and these young players are getting a heck of a lesson in how to play basketball.

  139. Sorry to jump on ya. I’m just a little frustrated. I’ll be back tomorrow. Glad we won, but I’m baffled. Goodnight all. These games can be too much.

  140. Funny how we don’t have a single Celtics fan around this game. Anyway, considering that the C’s were without Perkins, I don’t see us playing much better in Boston. At least we stretched it to game 6, which to me is the least number of games to make it a real series.

    If we DO somehow win game 6 (maybe by doing what we do in the 1st quarter throughout the whole game?) i think it will be one of the most watched game 7s ever ;)

    PP played all 48 minutes, Ray played 40. Kobe, Lamar, Pau all notched 41, 42, 44, so we’re going to have a lot of tired legs Tuesday. Sasha is due another hot streak about now, and Kobe should have an efficient performance in his bag. PP had one if his better games against us, thankfully for naught.

  141. Craig,

    Right on. You know, I don;t think Doc is any good, but the things that he does wrong in the regular season, are things that are working in these Finals, like sticking with your guys who are getting it done, keeping your STAR on the floor (even if Kobe played like crap, he should be on the floor all 48), and having better execution on inbounds.

  142. I seriously feel that the Celts expended a lot more energy and that could be to our advantage come G6…Kobe must assert himself throughout the entire first half in G6 if anything, it could intimidate the opposing defenders if the game gets tight in the second half.
    He needs to score in the 30′s with better FG%

  143. I agree with you harold and right on wondahbap. Coaching has been quite frustrating. All this exposure has to pay-off soon. Hopefully in Game 6 they all click—Kobe, the stars, the bench and the coaching experiments paying-off against a consistent Celtics effort. Game 7 will be shrouded in mystery but should be fun. For this, they have to win the 6th!

  144. I believe….

    …that if the Lakers play like that on Tuesday that there will be a parade in Boston on Thursday.

  145. Well that was fun and exhausting. I love this game! I don’t think I exhaled for 15 straight minutes. Only regret is that friends in Boston, once again, were alseep, or their kids were asleep, and so I couldn’t call em. Again – why are weekend games starting at 9pm EST? Just dumb.

    Most fun: a friend was driving back from his dad’s house with other family members and couldnt hear the game. So he called me up and had me do play by play. I even got to throw in a “Fish put him in the popcorn machine!” If you haven’t done it before, record yourself doing play by play. It’s a whole heck of a lot of fun. Especially when you realize how many Chick-isms you use.

    Pierce has really taken his game up a notch, I admire his game more than ever (I just wish I wasnt on the receiving end of it).

  146. ya obviously we need to play better to win in boston….i want to know when we are going to stop the damn pick and roll with pierce….jeez adjust already…anyway the hope stays alive…

  147. true or false? true. very true

  148. Why is everyone saying the Lakers survived game 5. Wether anyone wants to believe it or not the Lakers ARE the better team and WILL win in 7. If you look at this series, if it was not for the 28 free throw advantage the Celtics had in game 2 LA would have won easily, also if it wasn’t for the game 4 giveaway game, they should have closed this series out in 5 after winning 4 straight. What I’m trying to say is, they can win twice in Boston. Boston has not shown they are the better team. They’ve shown that they can come back against the Lakers just like every other team in the league. The Lakers have lost huge leads all year long. Laker fans don’t panic…..WE WILL BE THE CHAMPS IN 7!!!!!!!!

  149. A-Hole Carolla June 15, 2008 at 9:56 pm

    Ugh. I hope we can take it to another level on both ends next game.

    I CAN’T STAND

  150. I’d like to drink whatever BBAwoody is having.

    Seriously though, we survived. That was the main goal. Don’t let them win on our home court. Boston has been the better team thus far. Kobe’s attitude has been questionable. I’m sorry but even as a die hard Laker fan, it seems Kobe’s closing attitude disappears when he’s in the finals and confronted with a well oiled defensive machine. I’d like to take the Spurs out of this because they just spent all their energy chasing down Chris Paul so we caught a break.

    One thing I noticed is that the trapping defense that the squad pulls out to throw things off haven’t been used aggressively when Eddie House/Sam Cassell is in the game. Something the coaching staff should look at. Also, somebody needs to knock Vlade in the head. Too many times did he make a bone headed play.

  151. I think it’s Doc’s players who are making him look like a genius. He puts in Powe, the guy controls the boards and gets shots and fouls in the paint. He puts in House, the guy hits deadly jumpers late in games. He puts in Brown and Cassell, the guys use their “veteran savvy” to outwork the Lakers’ youngins. Heck, he puts in Tony Allen, the guy takes it to the rim for points (against Vlad, but still). Posey is Posey.

    For Phil, outside of some good work by Machine and Farmar, has been getting mostly duds from the bench. Ronny’s putting in the effort, but is simply overmatched. Luke is a walking negative +/- this series. Ariza and Mihm are too rusty to really contribute. I’m not blaming the players — they’re the ones who got us here — but for whatever reason (Boston’s D, Finals pressure, youth, something intangible) they are in a collective slump.

    I don’t think Phil is all of a sudden a bad coach. When things work you’re a genius, when things don’t, you’re a goat. That’s unfortunately the way it is.

    P.S. Sad news about Ray Allen’s daughter, especially on Father’s Day. I hope everything will turn out OK for her.

  152. A-Hole Carolla June 15, 2008 at 10:00 pm

    What the heck happened? Hit a key and it posted.

    I can’t stand the whole having the effing team standing around for Kobe to iso at the end of the game. Phil used to do it with MJ too. Disgustingly predictable.

    The Celtics have that thoroughly figured out, and Kobe ain’t going to be able to do anything by himself.

    Which makes me wonder… how was MJ able to be so successful in the same easy-to-read situation? Are these Celtics so much better defensively than any of the other teams the Bulls ever faced?

  153. 135) I too am discouraged by the defense. The repeated mistakes on the out of bounds are errors that occur over and over. The 3 point shooters getting open consistently on a double stack screen and yet we still have no answer. Come on man, can the Lakers fix one of these things? Can the Lakers take a charge just once?

    I am happy that the Lakers did not get a chance to win on our floor. Now keep climbing the hill and win game 6!

    Lakers thank you for the incredible playoff record at home, now go and win one on the road for us!!!

  154. The Lakers won–and they deserved to win. You may have been noticing points for KG going down down down and points for Pau Gasol going up up up as the playoffs have progressed. Tonite, Pau clearly outplayed Garnett. The only stat where KG clearly dominated Pau was in personal fouls.

    Paul Pierce did a pretty good ball hog imitation of the old Kobe; and our Kobe won the game with a defensive steal.

    Lamar was the X factor instead of the x factor tonight. You had to know that he was going to come through when he shot and MADE one of his patented “OH NO,” “Dumb” 3 pointers. Everyone where I was watching said, “Great Lamar–now don’t push your luck!” Lamar played an emotional inspired game.

    Everything that Doc pulls from his magic hat works somewhat, but not quite as well as before. Powe only played 5 minutes, but Sam Gassell and PJ Brown made major contributions. Still, it was Paul Pierce–all night long.

    Although the Lakers gave back most of the huge first quarter lead in the 2nd quarter, they WON the third quarter, and were much more rested for the 4th.

    They didn’t have any “home cooking” at the foul line–or they would have won easily. Fouls were almost exactly the same. The Lakers led by as much as 17, and trailed by no more than 2. They outrebounded the Celtics, hit a higher percentage of shots, and had more steals.

    Pierce was magnificent and Kobe was ordinary–which ironically is probably why the Lakers won the game!

    Basketball remains a team sport.

  155. Amazing_Happens June 15, 2008 at 10:25 pm

    Random Observations from Game 5:

    -Kendrick Perkins needs a new tailor. His suit looks about two sizes two big. All he’s missing is the black hat, and he’d look like Notorious B.I.G.

    -Gasol got some very timely rebounds. He’s still getting pushed around by P.J. Brown, but I think he’s getting the hang of this physical play.

    - Lamar Odom sighting! Lamar Odom sighting!

    - Again Fisher with a signature HUUUGE play, drawing the foul on House and still banking in the 17 footer. Veterans are nice to have on your team.

    - Sam Casell is CRAZY. He’s Radmanovic’s counterpart. Like Mark Jackson said, some players can keep both your team in the game, and the other team at the same time.

    - Sometimes, Sasha makes me embarrassed to be a Laker fan. Like when Sam Cassell tied him up, and Sasha fell to the ground like he was shot by a bullet in the shoulder.

    - Kobe got all ball before hitting Pierce’s side on that game-breaking steal. Is that still a foul? I don’t think so, of course.

  156. 149) I completely agree, but for one thing: Kobe. Something is wrong with him. He’s NEVER been this passive before over two straight games. Just a bunch of jumpers? I’m not sure whether it’s an injury or (I can’t believe I’m writing this) that he’s rattled by the boston D. Despite the crappy defense we’ve played, I would feel very confident going into Boston IF Kobe we’re looking like himself. But in his current state, I just don’t know…

  157. And so the basketball gods grant us redemption from the clutches of humiliation. Tonight was only the beginning of a journey that must last 96 more minutes. The gameplan is set:

    Game 5 – win at home as a team, gain confidence
    Game 6 – Kobe puts the team on his back, scores 35+
    Game 7 – anything can happen in game 7

    We must continue along this path towards the championship. These Lakers are capable of winning this year. I love LA…

  158. 149:

    no way are the lakers, as presently consisted, the better team. thibodeau has schemed kobe entirely out of the series. they can’t guard a the pick and roll, or the baseline fade, and nobody can guard pierce to save their lives. pierce is getting anything he wants whenever he wants.

    jvg is right, the best laker defensive possession was on a lucky reach by kobe. if kg weren’t such a choker, this series would be over right now.

    and i have to say, gasol may have had decent numbers in this game, but dude is so soft. i am beginning to really hate him as a person.

    gotta give props to lamar for coming to play in his once a fortnight game (although, that three was still lucky, and still ill advised).

  159. I want to see how many of you wishy-washy fans will be saying the Lakers will win the championship after they win game 6.

  160. with all due respect to doc and his defensive assistant coach, i think celtics have thrown all of their secret weapons, like play small down the stretch…this is as good as celtics can be, period..

    i think what cause the game 4 and 1 losses were the sudden line-up changes on celtics…remember that “fake” injury by pierce and perkins’ injury?….those make Lakers’ PJ confused a little…we all knew that PJ is not the smartest coach around with brilliant X’s and O’s game plans…

    so this is it…i think if lakers can deal one game at a time..and be patient but not laid-back when they lead big in a ball game like game 4…i think if lakers can steal game 6 at boston, anything is possible one the last game..so looking forward to seeing how kobe leading his team in game 6 and possibly game 7…

  161. Finally what i wanted to see; Great game by Gasol and Odom, both in double digits for points and rebounds and a bunch of blocks! i love’ em

    Go Lakers!!!

  162. Phils substitutions are just killing me. What was Mimh doing in this game? i could probably understand if we had seen him at least a few times during these playoffs. Whats his thinking? I just dont understand. Did he feel bad for Mimh? Not having played at all during this playoff run? Why now especially when this was a do or die game? Im glad we won, but Mimh appearance just baffles me.

  163. 159) You hate Gasol as a person because he’s soft? You need to grow up dude hahaha

    So would you prefer a less-soft player with less talent and less versatility? I DON’T. And i think that any smart Lakers fan wouldn’t too.

    He’s not Shaq FFS (and thanks God he’s not)

  164. Bingo T. Klown June 15, 2008 at 11:40 pm

    it’s so funny how many Laker fans seem to really hate the Lakers. I mean you’d have thought they lost by the comments here. I usually enjoy the regular well-thought out discussion of the game, the team dynamic, the what’s-in store…but so many of you talk about them like they’re supposed to be immortal and if they don’t win by 35 points its blasphemy.

    I think I now know what is meant when fans of other teams joke about Lakers fans feeling privileged, it’s here!

    Throughout the series with the celtics its been “Trade LO, Pau is soft, Kobe is a ballhog”…are you really fans of this team? In the context of a well thought out and informed observation, criticism can be insightful and provoking. Here sounds like a mess of words from the mouths beer swilling couch potatoes.

    This is YOUR team. They may be down 2-3, but give them a break they just put their bodies through 48 minutes of physical torture to entertain you and they WON!!

    Leave the speculation about future championships for the off-season.

    And for now, as hard has it’s been for the last week and a half, enjoy the rest of this season, one none of us expected to last this long.

  165. I have no idea why so many of my fellow celtics fans are so optimistic. Rondo is injured. Perkins is injured. Paul Pierce is injured and Kevin Garnett doesn’t want to go in the paint. We have no one to play center other than a 6’6” guy and a 38-year-old guy. The lakers have yet to play their best game while the Celtics basically played theirs in game 4. 2 chances to put the Lakers away just doesn’t seem like enough!

  166. BBAwoody, we are having a rational conversation here. Flaming in the name of homerism simply gets posts deleted. We are all Lakers fans here who would love to see the comeback and will be rooting hard for it. But that win would not give any rational fan irrational hope.

  167. 163, I agree in spirit, but I think that we are so used to seeing the Lakers perform at a higher level, that it is disappointing to see them struggle. I don’t think it is anything they should be ashamed of considering what a great team Boston is. I do think that we are missing some toughness. Ariza and Bynum will help us next season. I also think that LO will probably be traded simply because he has a huge expiring contract and the Lakers could probably get a good piece or two for him.

    I don’t think there is any reason that LA can’t win the next two games if they can sustain how they played the 1st quarters of the last couple of games for longer stretches. I think they let up and collapse mentally. It’s partly a good Boston team that never gives up as well.

    Make no mistake, Boston has been the best team we’ve faced and I will be elated if we win, but I don’t think I’ll be too grief stricken over losing to a defensive juggernaut like them. It just sucks that they happen to be wearing green.

  168. @156 First of all, I enjoyed your comments. But…

    - Kobe got all ball before hitting Pierce’s side on that game-breaking steal. Is that still a foul? I don’t think so, of course.

    Are you seriously questioning a non-call on a Laker, after the kind of play the Celtics are getting away with, and after game 4 was sealed by a Pierce flop off about 1/10th of the contact that the Celtics routinely (not to mention ever more brazenly) get away with? Come on… the only reason the Lakers won this game is they finally realized they need to join the scrum.

    It’s going to take a miracle for the Lakers to win game 6. I’m counting on 1) refs realize this is basketball not rugby and 2) Pierce is hospitalized for a hangnail.

  169. its not hate, its high expectations. and we know not to trust the lakers with big leads and such. i for one, who lives and dies with every possession, had to quell my emotions with that 19 point lead and it was justified; we gave it up! so dont chalk it up to hating, its just that we are true emotional fans and the only thing we HATE is not being the best team around.

    to be so calculated and evaluate things so even keeled is not what a lot of us are interested in. yet this is still the best forum on which to post our true laker feelings. i know there are a lot of well spoken and respected people on here with a lot of good insight and evaluation, but don’t brow beat the passion and the posts that don’t meet some sort of elitist netiquette principle

  170. Unless you are a fan of a team with no history, you are very demanding on your team. It’s only natural, and the longer you’ve been a fan, the more demanding you are, especially if you were around in one of the team’s glory days.

    Worse if you have a colorful history with yet another team that boasts a history as glorious or even more glorious than yours. Ouch.

    Unfortunately, the Lakers had a pretty memorable run of 3 in a row this very decade, and so even if they win this year, we won’t be too forgiving. And if you underperform against the Celtics, at this stage, it just doesn’t matter.

    I think it’s a no-win situation for the Lakers in that regard. Face Boston and you have the 8-2 thing rubbed on your face. Face Detroit and you remember the 5 game series. Face Cleveland and you may officially be stripped of the ‘best player in the league playing for our team’ status. Anyway, we drew the Celtics and any shortcoming against the Celtics will be magnified tenfold.

    Still, I don’t think any of these guys really think the Lakers are going to lose game 6 and decide not to tune in. I for one, despite all my rational thinking, think we’ll force game 7 by a magnificent performance by Sasha and Vlad, then win game 7 with Kobe scoring 40 on 80% shooting ;)

  171. Win or lose game 6 and 7, I’m just glad I get the chance to see this team play together again.

    It’s been quite a ride this season — just about everyone living up to my own homerific expectations — and I wasn’t ready for it to end on our own home court.

    Laker basketball has yet to be played over a full 48 minutes this series. Boston might be good enough to keep it that way. But that doesn’t mean I can’t hope…

  172. 163) I can’t agree more.

    Sadly there’s a lot of immature Lakers fans… i assume that’s because its a big team.
    So we always gonna have some haters talking $%@# about a player just because of him doing a bad game or whatever… and they call themselves Lakers fans… what a joke…

  173. The Dude Abides June 16, 2008 at 12:25 am

    I’m really proud of the effort our guys put forward tonight. Both Pau and Lamar played physical ball down low, without picking up any dumb reaching fouls. Lamar was definitely helped by not having to bang with Perkins, but this let the Celtics go small with Posey, who is a warrior.

    Phil needs to think seriously about benching Luke. Luke should not be in the game the same time as Pierce. PERIOD. I’ve made this point over and over ever since Pierce torched him in December at both ends of the court. When it’s time to go to the Laker bench, and Boston still has Pierce out there, we need to go with Ariza. Also, if Phil wants to try a different backup center than Turiaf, Mbenga is 100 times better than Mihm. That was pathetic. Those two drives by Pierce would have either been blocked by DJ or he would have put Pierce on the floor.

    Anyway, we need to take advantage of Boston’s age and the quick turnaround and travel between Games 5 and 6.

    Finally, and I think some of the Boston fans might agree, I believe the Celtics might feel some pressure to close out the series. They might play worse in Game 6 than they did in Games 1 and 2. If that happens, it’s going 7.

  174. 170. nobody is going to take your emotion away, but having people on this site say they “hate” Pau or someone else because they don’t finish strong enough at the rim is beyond that and into the realm of stupidity.

    Be demanding if you want, but don’t set the bar so high it cannot be cleared. After a magical season some people seem to have a “championship or it was a failure” attitude and, frankly, I pity those people. Life, and basketball, is about the journey not just the parade at the end. Enjoy the ride.

  175. (163) Agreed. Tonights game may not have been perfect, but we won. This season has been too amazing for us to watch it end being bitter and pessimistic even as we win.

    At the start of the season barely anyone gave us a chance to make the playoffs and now we’re advancing to game 6 of the finals.

    Sure things haven’t gone as well as we would have liked in this series and we could easily be up 3-2 but you have to roll with the punches and come back better the next time.

    I for one am excited to see us come out and play hard in game 6 and hopefully game 7. We need to stay aggressive going to the hoop.

    No matter what happens I’m proud of what this team has accomplished and I’m looking forward to sitting back and seeing how this crazy ride is going to end.

    If we can make the finals against all odds I like our chances in Boston. Go Lakers!

  176. I couldn’t agree with more with Dude Abides and Craig W. I was at the game, and the crowd was loud and excited. A touch of class at the end of the game by the entire Lakers squad for coming to the center of the court and thanking the fans. Never seen that before and really enjoyed it!

    As for the game, I don’t understand Phil’s substitution patterns. Luke should not be playing anymore. And why did he only play Ariza for a few minutes the ENTIRE game?? PP always goes on a run when Luke comes in the game. The C’s went on a big run the minute Luke and Mihm got into the game.

    I think PJ should dedicate more time to Ariza and play him with the right lineup. Ariza is at his best when he is with a running lineup (i.e. Farmar, Kobe, Ariza, LO, Sasha). Also, if he is going to experiment and play Mihm……..PJ should think about putting in Ira Newble. Ira’s got the size and grit to play PP (plus he played in the Finals last year!!).

    The last thing that bothers me about the game is that I don’t think we set enough picks as a team. And I don’t mean 1 pick, but double or triple picks. We should set more picks for Kobe. And I really believe that the “Kobe iso at the top of the key” play at end of games is getting waaaay to predictable. PJ should think about having the other players set some picks for each other instead of all hanging out on the perimeter. That way……we can have some players open for a kick out or cutting to the lane for a pass from Kobe or for crashing the boards.

  177. 166, Pierce is not injured anymore. Hes playing at full strength and his stats showed that in game 5. So dont even give me or any of us Lakers fans that crap. He moved to the basket with full speed.

    I am proud as well that this team became a very good one this year. As for the West next year, I dont think the Spurs or Suns will get any better next year. Though the Hornets scare me with Chris Paul. Lakers will prolly be even better next year, but lets not forget the Hornets.

    As for game 6, Lakers are finished, I am not even gonna watch the game, the Lakers cannot defend watsoever. Pau and Odom each with 20 points, and Lakers sill almost cant win…ouch. Not to mention they cant hold a big lead against this team.

    Lets be real my fellow Lakers fans, Pierce cant be stopped by the dreadful LA defense, Garnett is hungry, and Boston is the better team….Lakers arent gonna win 2 games in Boston.

    I said it even before the playoffs started….the Lakers can score, but they dont defend good…need to have good defense to win championships.

  178. Anything can happen as long as thier is life. KG get can go down on the third play of the next game. You just never know. As someone who was 17 in 1989 I can attest.

  179. Lakers gonna go to Boston and cut their hearts out

  180. “we all want respect.
    you want it from your teammates, from the fans.
    you want it from the other players.
    there are million ways to earn respect.
    there is only one way to get the kind of respect, that is undeniable… the kind that they can never take away from you.

    win.”

    let’s go get that respect lakers!

  181. Warren Wee Lim June 16, 2008 at 6:06 am

    I am so glad chris h and Aaron are stepping up! Guess you all believe me now ey? Now believe me 1 more time. The Lakers are going to make an interesting storyline this year – and it will take Bill Murray’s baby steps.

    As I predicted, we are now a little bit gaining that belief. Emma calls my faith blind-pure, but in which cases, have they failed you one time?

    This is the story that will be written – and it will go down to the ages – something Kurt and I would gladly tell our daughters: The Lakers are about a winning tradition. We do not celebrate conference championships? The 2008 Lakers will bring home the prize back to where it belongs.

    And Kurt, happy Daddy Day for the 3rd time!

  182. 175 – Now that’s talking!

  183. The moving screen has become the most irritating part of watching basketball.

    If there is a rule in place forbidding a moving screen, so be it, but the refs need to actually enforce it. I hate watching the game and seeing moving screens every other possession down the court.

    Just make it legal, so every player can get away with it, and not just people named Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett or . The selective enforcement of the rule book definitely doesn’t help the NBA’s ref image problem.

  184. at the risk of being a cry baby, i’ll be saying my 2 cents worth. there are just some things i cannot seem to fathom in this series:

    1. the refs wont call the blatant moving and illegal screens by the celtic bigs, especially KG. I mean, they set a screen, then as the defender starts to fight through, the celtic bigs either move to give a shoulder, knee or elbow to jam the defender. aren’t you NOT supposed to move once you set the screen? can’t the laker organization send tapes to the league office???

    2. the celtic players get away with wrist holds, shirt grabs, shoves and an array of dirty tricks to gain a rebound, loose ball and defensive positions. did anyone notice james posey slapping kobe’s legs/ankles during the breakaway jam in the 4th qtr?!? I mean, kobe loses his balance on that play and he takes a nasty fall. he should at least be fined for that unsportsmanlike move. Its the playoffs, but that was a very dirty play.

    3. there’s a fine line between veteran guile, and unsportsmanlike and unethical behavior. the celtic players are the all-time floppers i have ever seen. call me a purist, but KG diving out of bounds to “create” a foul late in the 4th qtr, pierce “tripping on purpose” on a fallen luke walton to get a foul. Is the principle of verticality gone on basketball? on casell’s and one off farmar in the 4th, jordan jumped straight up to challenge a jump shot, cassell invaded farmars space. shouldnt cassell be called for a foul there or at the very least have a let go?

    on the laker side, these things i cannot understand:

    1. Kobe bodying up on pierce AT THE MID COURT LINE. how crazy is a pick and roll/fade at the mid court line?! thats the only reason the celtics got back in the game in games 4 and 5. shouldnt they be just containing him and then start bodying up, fighting thru the screen when he gets near the 3pt line?!

    2. the celtics are disrupting the passing lanes, going for the deflections. shouldnt be the lakers use more ball fakes and dribble penetrations?! farmar got away with two layups late in the 4th, and lamar got an easy lay up by just faking a pass thru the lane then going strong. the celtic steals are off deflected passes in the lane.

    3. seriously, vlad rad cannot defend anyone in the celtic roster. i think the only player he can defend there is james posey.

    4. they should play more Farmar and Fish toghether. they need guards who can break the celtic defense down off the dribble.

    5. They should let pau and lamar post up more, now that perkins is gone. that would tire out or have KG in foul trouble.

    GO LAKERS! I STILL BELIEVE!!!

  185. Just win on Tuesday….. then ANYTHING is possible.

    I Believe.

  186. Hillary Ocholla June 16, 2008 at 7:50 am

    That win was the best lift any Lakers fans can get, win it all or lose it all.

    muddywood, I’m totally loving your post!!

  187. Gusty effort by the Lakers, but like Kobe said at the end of the game it won’t be enough. The Lakers defensive is showing so many flaws right now it’s ridiculous. The biggest detractor is the lack of effort boxing out your man. We’ve said it from the time we picked up Pau that he doesn’t drive his man out of the lane. I hate this lack of effort. The second detractor is the slow rotations. How do these Lakers not realize Paul Pierce is going to drive in the lane and to make the proper and TIMELY rotations. Time and time again the Lakers are slow to rotate and end up allowing layups, fouls, or an and one play.

    The third detractor is the atrocious pick and roll defense. How does Pau not know to close off the lane for Pierce and allow Kobe enough time to get back to Pierce.

    I’m so glad Odom, Pau, Fisher, Kobe, and FARMAR stepped up tonight. Farmar is finally taking advantage of the slow defenders that try to defend him. The defensive scheme on Kobe is forcing tougher passes and congested lanes. I would hope new wrinkles are added to take advantage of the pressure up front. That would require backdoor cuts and for shooters to start hitting shots.

    At the end of the day intensity is going to determine the outcome. Everytime the Lakers build up a lead the Celtics eventually turn up the defensive pressure and the Lakers don’t respond. The Celtics are going to increase their pressure and effort. Can the Lakers respond to the pressure and not rely on Kobe to bail them out?

    Too many things to say, I’ll just leave it at that.

  188. I hate to pin things on the refs – but I truly believe that if the Lakers have a chance to win the next game, this can not be a ridiculously home-biased game. Certainly, as evidenced in last night’s 4th quarter discrepency – a HOME game – a lot of the foul trouble in Boston was due to the Lakers’ inability to stop fundamental moves such as pick-and-rolls but a huge discrepency in game 6 in FT attempts will not be a welcome sight. If the Lakers (and refs) can somehow limit Boston freethrows while continuing to be offensively agressive (and getting to the line themselves) they have a chance. If the stars are going to align for the Lakers, it all starts with letting them play. If the Lakers can win game 6, I really think they gain a HUGE mental edge – but that comes later. First things first.

  189. Bingo T. Klown June 16, 2008 at 8:37 am

    Just to be clear, I yelled at my TV – castigating Lamar for not finishing, Sasha for jacking up and missing too many shots – but in hindsight, like when I come check out the post game comments here, I take a deep breath and realize that my team, despite a combination of bad bounces, timely plays by the C’s and bad plays at times by the Lakers, WON.

    it wasn’t pretty but you can’t expect it to be with this team playing against the other best team in league. So to be angrily calling out players that put your team in a position to even be here without much more analysis is off-putting and seems like a rather fair-weather way of supporting your team. (I am speaking strictly of post game commentary; like I said I get on them while watching, that’s a natural emotional reaction.)

    We may not all agree on what our team needs to do, or is lacking or what is great about them, but let’s talk about why we feel this way not just “so-and-so sucks”. That’s not elitist is it?

    That said it felt like at times last night, as I have noticed throughout the series. Lakers have missed more open looks then usual. I am not talking about contested shots I am talking about fairly open looks that they seemed to hit more often than not. Is is a function of being tight? Also they haven;t gotten their share of rolls or breaks, bounces of the ball. I know the standard answer is that the aggressive team makes those bounces but I think the Lakers have been aggressive in this series but it almost seems like there’s an invisible Leprechaun out there, pushing the ball Boston’s direction.

    Now there’s some insightful basketball analysis for ya!

    ; )

  190. Bingo T. Klown June 16, 2008 at 8:38 am

    finally, the big mouth klown says -

    on a similar plane I am getting sick of media posts or comments aobut how “the Lakers can’t play like that and expect to win” when they just WON. What about the “celtics played bad” or “the celtics can’t play like that and expect to win”. All the Celtics get is “they were without Perkins” or “Rondo is hur”t. Now – and I mean no disrespect – they are focusing on Ray Allens family health issue. Can’t our guys get a little credit for winning a game against a team everyone says is better then them?

  191. Hillary Ocholla June 16, 2008 at 8:56 am

    I’m a bit concerned with the negative posts about Kobe. Sure it gets frustrating with what he does sometimes but he can’t do it all & ooooohhhhhh heck dont we all know that already. I keep wondering when he is going to explode and I believe this series wont end until it happens.

    I mean the Celtics have Pierce, Allen & Garnett to make shots from all over the floor. I never even knew such an off season move could be made outside of NBA Live (hang on, its not even possible on NBA Live).

    As for the players Lakers have……………………umm, whats that guys name again?? Oh yeah…….Kobe (who is a superstar no matter what you say about him). Its a simple fact that the rest of the Laker team need to play their role, lets not just expect Kobe to do everything. Lakers have what it takes in Lamar, Fisher & Gasol to give Kobe all the help he needs. Its just a matter of them doing what they are supposed to do.

    I mean who do some of you think Kobe is?? ******?

  192. I Believe.

  193. I have no idea why so many of my fellow celtics fans are so optimistic. Rondo is injured. Perkins is injured. Paul Pierce is injured and Kevin Garnett doesn’t want to go in the paint. We have no one to play center other than a 6?6” guy and a 38-year-old guy. The Lakers have yet to play their best game while the Celtics basically played theirs in game 4. 2 chances to put the Lakers away just doesn’t seem like enough!

    ***

    Asssuming you are serious, no team, as was repeated one zillion times, has ever won G6 and G7 on the road. in teh NBA FInals. In addition, the Celtics are the superior defensive team. Finally, neither Rondo nor Perkins is really a huge loss. Cassell, Allen and House give them about as much as Rondo does and Perkins has been far less of a factor than I thought. I think the Lakers have only about a 25% chance of forcing G7 and about a 10% chance of winning the series.

    Due to teaching commitments at night, G5 was only the second one I saw live. A few thoughts:

    1. The Lakers, as noted, simply lack athletic defensive skills and had too many lapses in addition. This was never a really good defensive team, and the Celtics are the first team that can disrupt the triangle enough to make it hurt. I hope and believe that Bynum and Ariza can improve the D of next year’s team.
    2. I am Ok with Kobe’s G5-particularly since he sealed the game with pick on Pierce. I do not love KB the way so many Laker folks do, but I do think he sometimes is in a no-win situation. If he stays within the offense, people want him to “take over.” If he takes over, he is being selfish. I understand that part of his job is to know when to do what, but I thought he played pretty well on Sunday.
    3. I was wrong about Phil Jackson in this series. I do not think he has done a great job, in that I think he needed to adjust his calm style a bit for this set of circumstances. He has not.
    4. As ugly as much of it was, this was a HUGE win, not so much because of the “don’t let the Celtics celebrate in LA” angle but because I think that blowing BOTH games might have really damaged a young team going forward. Getting it back to Boston, getting the bad taste of G4 out of their mouths a bit–I think that mattered.
    5. The Lakers are a far better passing team than the Celtics, but the Celtics match or exceed them in most other areas.

  194. you know, haven’t we all noticed, and I mean ALL YEAR??!! that the Lakers are a team that plays better when they are in close games, or behind. they do not hold on to big leads, it’s a mental curse they have, and…I think they play even better when behind.
    I would much rather see us behind by 2 points the whole game than see us build a 30 point lead and try to hold on.
    so, this leads me to believe we are in a great position. being behind right now, facing elimination, knowing we gotta fight to a bitter end.
    (remember, we were up 3 to 1 once, and didn’t prevail, I would hate to be up 3 to 1 in these finals and feel them coming up on us, that would be too brutal)
    so, consider this, wouldn’t you want us to be exactly where we are?
    game 6 is THE WAR GAME OF THE SERIES, we win it, the whole “pressure” thing has turned in our favor.
    go LAKERSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  195. weaker fans: check (boston’s fans seem to be up all the time throughout the game! we need to bring the house down!

    poor defense: check (when you hear phil saying that the offense will come instead of pick up the defense, something’s amiss!)

    is it just me, or have i seen Radmanovich let Pierce and other players just run by him?! pls. watch him next game and see how he defends boston. it looks like he does, but he ends up just standing around.

    kobe can’t keep winding down the clock to 5 sec. and not pass the ball. it’s a team for a reason.

    i feel that the team has played half-heartedly. it doesn’t show that they want it badly enough. kobe seems like he does, but his rage only shows when they’re losing or the game’s super close. but the other guys need to step it up.

    phil needs to match doc rivers’ aggression. i know he’s very zen and all, but it’s the PLAYOFFS!!! i think we’re more angry than him. and the experimenting with the bench who’s never played a sec. in playoffs need to end. maybe next season, but not yet!

    if KG seems to do a good job of explaining the laker plays, then that is saying something about our predictability.

    we need more aggression & an incredible up in heart and defense to win game 6.

  196. Celtics = 1-2 in Game 6′s this postseason.

    (Any stat will help).

  197. I’m still holding out the irrational hope that come Wednesday morning, my subway ride to work in Cambridge will be full of people in stunned and nervous silence. The hope is pretty fraqile, because the Lakers have not played intelligently enough the whole series. But there is hope because

    - Silly mistakes always have a chance of being eliminated quickly. For instance, I do not want to see Vlad leading a fastbreak again. EVER. For that matter, I don’t want to see him be the playmaker in the half court either. And please… no more unnecessary fouls! If they clean these little things up (IF!), their chances improve enormously

    - They showed enough fire to make me think they will play scrappy in Boston. Honestly, as a Laker fan who is already happy with this season, at the end of the day all I want is to say: “This team played their hearts out and pulled no punches”, win or lose.

    - The refs know how people talked about the last game in Boston. I expect a fairly officiated game, perhaps with a SLIGHT favoring of the Celtics.

    Just remember, the Celtics EXPECT to win game 6, just like they expected to win game 5. Everyone I know in Boston believes it’s already over. The Lakers are the ones with their backs against the wall. Play like it!

  198. Putting in Mihm was a head scratcher. You can laugh all you want but Ronny is not doing a bad job on KG. He needs to play more (but shoot less). Ariza needs to guard Truth and PJ needs to resist putting Walton on Truth. Even if that means leaving Luke on the bench the entire time. PS – if PJ really is the Zen Master, don’t you think the Lakers would have at least a little success guarding the P&R? With Shaq we had the built in excuse that Shaq didn’t do pick and roll defense, but what’s the excuse this time? Lakers in 7! (This prediction is laden with sarcasm and venom from the blown game 4)

  199. Just a few quick hitters:
    1. Why have the Lakers abandoned the point guard trap after made free throws? This has been surprisingly effective, Rondo or no Rondo.

    2. Why are the Lakers not doing the things for Kobe that the Celtics are doing for Pierce (i.e. higher screen rolls and guard on guard screen roll)?

    3. Why are slow guys (Walton, Radmonovic) and Sasha picking guys up 40 feet from the bucket? This either leaves help defenders with too much ground to cover when the ball handler (usually Pierce) blows by or results in a foul.

  200. new game 5 thoughts post up

  201. Da Raider,
    Turiaf, in 10 minutes per game, is averaging .6 rebounds, 2 fouls, and about 1 point. He is not doing very well; I think PJ gambled (with a big lead) to see if Mihm would be able to do any better.

    Turiaf has played pretty poorly all playoffs.

  202. the other Stephen June 16, 2008 at 11:47 am

    high time to make history.

  203. Just Win baby, Just Win!