Lakers/Celtics Game 6 Chat

Kurt —  June 17, 2008

Let’s be honest: This is the game that scares Lakers fans.

We know that the Celtics fans will come and be loud, expecting a coronation. We know that the Celtics themselves will come out and play like this is their game seven. We know it will be physical and the refs are not going to be as much help as we’d like.

We also know every game in this series has been close, and that the Lakers can win — but to do so they will have play their best game of the series.

Usually by this point in a seven-game series there are no secrets, no big matchup changes that can be sprung to turn the tide. And that is largely true coming into this game, although because of injuries and lack of execution there are some things that can be changed up for the Lakers.

On offense, the Lakers need to get to the basket and finish strong — it would be nice if Kobe could do more of that but the Celtics have worked hard to take that part of his game away. Kwame a. had a one suggestion on what to try to get Kobe going:

I think it imperative to play Kobe OFF the ball more. Whether this means cross-screens on the block to give him good post position, or running him off single-doubles on the baseline like Rip Hamilton and Ray Allen, or off the slice cut in the triangle, getting him a head-start to the basket. No matter what, we cannot stick with this top-of-the-key iso, it is asking Boston to flex its defensive prowess.

It is obvious that Odom and Gasol both need to be forces inside, both getting to the rim and on the offensive boards. They were more aggressive in game five but will have to take that to another level tonight.

Defensively, the Lakers need to play off of Paul Pierce more, make sure he doesn’t get to the rim, something coach Anthony Macri talked about at Basketball Prospectus:

The Lakers were largely successful in defending the Spurs’ side pick-and-pop action in the Western Conference Finals. However, their ability to guard high ball-screen action against an offensive player as big, versatile, and strong as Paul Pierce is has been a bugaboo for Los Angeles during this series. If they have any hope of defeating the Celtics, the Lakers must find an effective method of defending this ball-screen action. Because Garnett is such a capable outside shooter, L.A. cannot afford to trap the ball-handler. Their typical soft-hedge and fight over technique has also proven ineffective. Instead, in Games Six and Seven, expect the Lakers to find a way under the screen, daring Pierce to shoot the long jumper off the dribble but preventing him from wreaking havoc in the lane. Again, defense in the NBA is all about making choices, and at this point, with their proverbial “backs against the wall,” the Lakers have little choice but to attempt the high-risk solution.

Pierce is going to hit jumpers, he’s a great player, but fewer jumpers will fall than lay-ups. The Lakers have to force him into help, they have to be smarter on their defensive rotations. The Lakers need to take advantage of when Rondo is in the game by helping off him — but stop doing that on House.

But after five games, this game is going to come down to execution. So far in this series it is the one area the Celtics have outplayed the Lakers consistently — they have done what they wanted to do while the Lakers have seemed to take some mental vacations.

As fans, all we can do is wear our lucky rally cap, hope the Lakers execute tonight and cheer (and not some creepy government-approved cheer but something from the heart). It’s one game at a time still, for us and the team.

May the best team win tonight.

409 responses to Lakers/Celtics Game 6 Chat

  1. the other Stephenfarmar June 17, 2008 at 11:16 pm

    congratulations, celtics. damn good year, lakers family. never forget. lakers had better work hard over the offseason, especially ariza, bynum, and farmar, for whom i only have the highest hopes. and if mitch kupchak has weathered criticism and stolidly stood by his moves all this time, he shouldn’t feel pressured to do anything unnecessary this summer. i spent much of the game shooting tennis balls into a wastebasket with my friends. that’s how bad this game was, haha. cheers.

  2. Thanks Kurt for this great forum for Laker discussion. Really enjoyed your (and other posters’) posts and the healthy discussions. I look forward to the next season.

    And it’s good that you had the baby this year. Gives the Lakers a good chance at the title next year :).

  3. Congratulations Boston! Congratulations Los Angeles Lakers! It’s really disappointing that we had to see such beating this year but as many here said, redemption is sweet and all things considered, I smell blood next year. Kobe should too. His mentality entering next season hopefully after a domination Olympics will be important. The coaching staff’s concoction of a strong independent defense scheme will be just as important. And the maturing of our youngsters, salutations due, is as important.

    Then we can think about minor tweaking. Andrew will be back and after all he has seen and missed, he should make that Amare kind of comeback — meaning he does eventually come back to former state. A tough backup C and another veteran versatile big man for insurance to complement him and Turiaf should make the likes of Boston back off even at their present age. Ariza will be a joy to watch on both ends. I don’t mind starting him on SF. He just needs more consistency. I want to see him slash. We need a consistent cutter and Lamar hasn’t done enough of that. Kobe needs a cutter and an above-the-rim player so imagine him and Bynum running with Kobe. Hate to say it but I find good reason to shelve or send him elsewhere. He is a gem no doubt but we’ve said that year after year. We need the goods.

    I still have this thing for adding an explosive shooter in our starting lineup. Seeing so many bricks has been too hard to bear. Kobe can hit it. Vujacic looks like a very good sixth man granted he learns how to drive and score inside and make good decisions. Fisher can still anchor that bench. He can still be effective running with the frontline. Farmar has to be more consistent shooting. He has to be tougher and faster. He will run the Lakeshow engine and so he must be up to it.

    Another SF has to go, we need athleticism and strength from the bench. Ambitious but a Josh Smith type can help us either at starting SF or helping out the bench but that’s wishful thinking. We can’t beat other teams with our bench being a perimeter shooting one. We need bangers inside aside from Turiaf.

    I am EXCITED FOR NEXT YEAR. They should come out like Boston this year, eyes on the prize and dynasty in their minds. Oh yes I am pleased to say that things can only be better for the Lakers.

    [edited to remove some trade talk]

  4. the other Stephen June 17, 2008 at 11:18 pm

    oops. my name is not “the other Stephenfarmar.” cut the farmar out hahah.

  5. hats off to the green machine who played their butts off and executioned the lakers. oh yeah, i made up a word for that drubbing. executioned. the lakers just didn’t quite have it in this series, or tonight. Second place is the first loser but hopefully we can come away with a positive outlook on this season. shouldn’t be too hard, right? right? hey, where’d the bandwagon go? the lakers need to work this summer individually and we’ll see what happens next year. But seriously, what a much better year this was, compared to the last few.

  6. oh sorry about that, thanks for editing. thanks for upholding the rules =)

  7. I’m looking for Chick Hearn broadcasts, especially the radio broadcast from 1985 nba finals game 6.

    any regular season games from the 80s would be great also. I’m always looking to add to my collection, which has hundreds of games.


  8. funny how we talk about how Garnett was a gift to the celtics bla bla bla……wat about losing Bynum and miraculously we get Gasol w/out even having to give up anything i mean….the celtics have up A LOT of good young players including Al Jefferson , Ryan Gomes Delonte West among others….wat was given up for Gasol…that being said i guess its cuz gasol is as soft as tissue paper or cottonballs