Preview & Chat: The Boston Celtics

Kurt —  January 31, 2010

[picappgallerysingle id="3250774"]
Records: Lakers 36-11 (1st in West) Celtics 29-15 (3rd in East)
Offensive points per 100 possessions: Lakers 109.5 (9th in league), Celtics 107.6 (13th in league)
Defensive points per 100 possessions: Lakers 102 (2nd in league) Celtics 101.7 (1st in league)
Projected Starting Lineups: Lakers: Derek Fisher, Kobe Bryant, Ron Artest, Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum
Celtics: Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Kendrick Perkins

Lakers Coming In Today — or more likely Monday in Memphis — Kobe will become the Lakers all time leading scorer. He goes into this game 47 points short of Jerry West.

Here’s a note from the ESPN’s statistical research gurus (who rock):: Kobe shot 49.1% before the finger injury, 44% since, and he is taking two more shots per game since.

Celtics coming in: Check out yesterday’s post, an interview with Zach Lowe or Celtics Hub, or check out the roundtable we all were part of over at Land O’Lakers. But know that all those

Here’s another fun note from the ESPN’s statistical research gurus: KG is essentially the Pau Gasol of the Lakers in that their record with and without him is dramatically different. Without, 5-6, with they are 24-9.

Celtics blogs The Celitcs are loaded with good blogs. Jeff and Celtics Blog remain the OG and one of the best ever. You’ve met Zach from Celtics Hub. But checkout their links, there are a lot.

Keys to game: With just about every game, we say the Lakers need to exploit their advantage in the paint. Today’s game will be won in the paint as well, but for a different reason — the Celtics can match the Lakers in the paint. Gasol and Bynum got pushed around by Cleveland, the Celtics will do the same thing. Bynum needs to stay out of foul trouble and protect the rim like Perkins will. Gasol has to match what KG will bring. The front lines will be where this game is won and lost.

The Lakers can’t be passive, they have to go at those guys. Run the offense inside out. That said, the Celtics shut down isolation, one-on-one offense better than any team in the league, because it’s not really one-on-one — three players at any time three guys have responsibility for stopping the ball. They anticipate where the ball is going to go better than any team is out there. The Lakers have to counter that with passes and cuts out of the triangle offense.

Basically, the isolation offense that the Lakers resort to too much this season is going to cost them this game, but if they run the triangle offense and move the ball they will get good looks. Facilitator Kobe most make an appearance.
Where you can watch: 12:30 start on ABC. Plus, ESPN radio 710am out West.

Kurt

Posts

317 responses to Preview & Chat: The Boston Celtics

  1. I don’t get it – I mean get the pun, but what does it have to do with the lakers-celtics game?

  2. I guess 3rd ain’t so bad :)

    GO LAKERS!

  3. that first one was for Warren. (d’oh!)

  4. It was a long time since you (by yourself I mean) were at least in the podium, guess we can take it as a good sign, XD.

  5. When I found out I had to go to new york for a business trip in january I was a little upset … I hate leaving beautiful la weather for the cold. When I found out that the lakers were playing boston I made sure not to pass up the opportunity to see my lakers and their biggest rival. I left my hotel in NY this morning and I’m currently sitting on an amtrak train with my wife on our way to the game!!!! I got floor tickets row B right behind the “visitors” bench …. I had to come to this site and share since I knew you guys would be the only ones who would truly understand and appreciate my excitement right now

  6. About to welcome to this world another Laker fan – my second son. While I’ll miss today’s and the next few days games, what better way to welcome him in than by beating the Celtics. Go Lakers!! And go second child!

  7. I understand that the Lakers aren’t playing great. I think that the Lakers are a much improved team from last year…wait for it…if it weren’t for the injuries! The injuries to Kobe/Artest are the worst because they are nagging injuries which tend to reduce performance. I would rather each just sat out a month and they both came back at full strength.

    That said, as i said over and over during the offseason, no one has to worry about the celtics. I said it everywhere and anywhere. What did i use to support this claim? That oldness, like getting fat, happens so slowly that if you see it daily, you won’t notice it. You can gain 50 pounds, but if it happens over a couple years, you barely notice it until you step on the scale. Sure you see a couple pounds here and there, but you can’t notice the full extent. Oldness is the same. No one noticed, but KG/Pierce/Allen are now old and over the hill.

    Want to see the slow progression?

    KG’s PER over the last 7 years:
    29.4
    28.2
    26.8
    24.1
    25.3
    21.2
    19.6

    Do you see a trend? This is getting old in plain sight. The ONLY year his PER actually increased over the last 7 years was KG’s first year in Boston. Now? The guy can not even be considered half the man he used to be.

    What about Paul Pierce?

    23.6
    21.7
    19.6
    17.7
    19.0

    This is the last 5 years. Again, you see a marked decline, and Pierce is playing the best out of the big 3. His PER actually increased this year, but is still lower than the previous 3 and 5 full points lower than his peak. Again, you can see the disease of old staring you in the face.

    Ray Allen?

    22.2
    21.6
    16.4
    17.3
    14.0

    Is the trend becoming clear? Ray Allen has fallen off to such an extend over the last 5 years that he has fallen from Pau Gasol’s current level of play, to a BELOW AVERAGE NBA player! Yes, BELOW AVERAGE.

    I think my point is clear. It is OVER for the Celtics. They have ZERO chance of winning it. I wish i had the desire to look over the archives so i can show you when i said this over and over in the offseason.

  8. Boston Sucks! Boston Sucks!

    I just had to do that.

  9. Wow, congrats to the guy who is having his 2nd child…and congrats to the guy with floor level tickets to the game today!

    I’m sitting at home, uncharacteristically awake at 9am, in my boxers…not the same type of excitement as you two.

  10. I was fifth row last year at the overtime game in Boston, greatest basketball experience of my life. You could taste the tension in the air, and when Kobe nailed those back to back threes in the 4th quarter in Paul Pierce’s eye I knew that they were going to win the title. I still can’t believe the feeling of being there and winning that game and shutting up their annoying loudmouth fans. I remember leaving the arena (with the few lakers fans that were there) and Boston fans picking fights. I even got one on video, but I can’t wait for the game today. I hope this years Lakers team can show the same toughness last years team did (even without Bynum) and show the league who is best. Kobe kind of set the pace when he got into Rondo’s face that game (and living in kentucky playing against rondo in high school and hating the guy) I LOVED seeing that.

  11. I think the bench is also the key in that when the bench play is better than usual, each team is almost unbeatable. If House and Scalabrine can get hot from the 3s and give the starters a lot of rest, the Celtics can be tough to beat. However, they are only good if they get wide open looks. Our bench has to play smart and not break down defensively too much. ShanWOW’s close out ability on shooters could be the key as neither of those guys are threat to dribble penetration.

    Consequently, we need to hit some 3s to soften up their interior defense. Fisher, Farmar, and Brown needs to knock down at least 40% of the 3s this game. If we can’t do that, it will be hard for Pau and Bynum to do much on offense. That said, it will be interesting how they’ll defend post up Kobe. Neither Ray Allen nor Daniels can really bother the Black Mamba down low. It will be an interesting game, but I think we’ll win by 6-8 points. Close game till the end, but the best finisher in the game will come through for us with clutch baskets in the end.

    How cool would it be for Kobe to score 48 to become the all-time leading scorer for the Lakers and PJ to tie Pat Riley for the most wins as a Laker coach? But I’d rather see “facilitator” Kobe go for 25-8-11…

    Finally, Michael Zarabi…I envy you! Have fun…

  12. Celtics coming in: Check out yesterday’s post, an interview with Zach Lowe or Celtics Hub, or check out the roundtable we all were part of over at Land O’Lakers. But know that all those …?
    Kurt, looks like you forgot to finish your thought there.
    glad to see Warren in the top 3, (the real warren, hehe)
    that’s a good sign, (it shows that he knew he had to be here in person because of the importance of today’s game!)
    the gasol-garnett match-up is going to be fun to watch, and you’re correct Kurt, this is a key for us today, and Drew should dominate the Baby eater, (isn’t that Perkins nickname?) I want to see Drew beat him down the floor every time.
    I read recently that the Big baby is changing his nick name now, something like uno-uno, (his number is 11, so he’s following that footballer, ocho-sinco?, something like that)

    so we have, Black Mamba, the Big Spaniard, a Fish, a ‘drew, Crazy Ron, a ShanWOW, a Machine, and an LO…

    against, a Big Baby(aka uno-uno) a KG, a baby eater, the Big Faker (this is my wife’s nickname for Pierce, becaue of that game where we went out in a wheelchair, what a joke!), and Jesus Shuttleworth.

  13. Kaveh,
    I agree that the aging Celtics vets are in decline. The stats you lay out are very telling – especially for KG and Allen. However, this decline is something that carries much more weight in the regular season. So, while I think that their days of winning the East and earning #1 seeds are over, I also think that they’re just as dangerous when it comes to the playoffs due to the lack of back to back games (equating to more rest and recovery) and the focussed game plans created for a specific opponents.

  14. To win championships takes a double edge. Kaveh’s stats make it very clear that the physical edge the Celtics used to have is dulling. However, stats can’t show the mental edge.

    Garnett is a fighter with incredible intensity and focus. Pierce is a killer. Ray Allen is… Ray Allen is an assassin who knows exactly how to slice a jugular open in the last seconds of regulation. Perkins is the kind of thug that has to be pulled away from a battle before he leaves it. Rondo will do anything, literally, to win.

    Last year’s finals, the Magic were awed and excited to be there, so much so that they forgot that they still had to fight for at least four more games. The Celtics will not have that problem. However they play in the regular season, when the play-offs start the mentality of their aging vets will be a great advantage to them They will not have the same problem the Magic had… if they make it to the NBA Finals this year, and the Lakers do as well, we’ll be going up against something very dangerous: An opponent who is convinced they can beat us, and who isn’t the least bit afraid of us.

    Yes, I believe the Cavs and Bulls at least will give them a serious fight come post-season, and I don’t think it’s a given the Celtics will win the East. But I also think it would be a mistake to look at the stats and write the Celtics off because “they’re old”.

  15. Kaveh, Boston has zero chance of winning it really? Zero? In all truth they are one of only 5 teams that has a real chance to win it all. Your numbers being thrown around are inflated due to injuries and quite frankly those PER numbers dont mean crap come playoff time since everyone elevates their play at that point. Defensively they have been and will be one of the best come playoff time and that is how you win championships, not to mention they have a better bench than they have ever had since KG arrived. Have you seen that they have an allstar PG named Rondo who when he wants to can control the entire flow of the game. Boston probably stands the biggest threat to Cleveland in the east. Saying they have zero chance of winning is like saying there is zero chance of the Lakers winning it, when in fact they probably will both be there. It’s not just me who thinks it, ask any NBA analyst or expert, everyone thinks when healthy Boston is the best in the east and some would say the league. If you remember a Boston team took Orlando to seven games ***without KG playing****. How do you think the Lakers would have faired without Pau playing in a seven games series against the Magic? Those individual stats dont mean much come playoff time because they are a TEAM, and they play better together as a unit than almost all teams in the NBA.

  16. Gr8 Scott – Many congrats!

    I’ll also be missing the game, most likely, due to exams, but will record it and avoid the Internet like the plague until I can watch it. I think it was j.d. who was talking about how hard it is to avoid the sports tickers everywhere; technology has its downside.

    Should be a fun one today, either way.

  17. Did anyone else listen to this? http://sports.espn.go.com/espnradio/player?id=4870374

    Bill Simmons keeps trashing Kobe but Adande proves him wrong whenever the need arises.

  18. Eric is right Kaveh, those numbers decreased especially over the past 3 seasons because think about Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and KG before Boston they were all the respective best players on their teams and they pretty much did whatever they wanted in the games without having to sacrifice much. Then (Kg And RayRay) come to Boston and they sacrifice personal numbers for the better of the team, of course they are going to decrease. They are veterans and dont care about their stats anymore. While they may have slowed down a bit (especially KG due to injury last year) they still have a starting 5 that can be argued is the best in the league along with a solid bench. They will be fine come playoff time and have just as much of a shot to win it all as any of the elites in the league.

  19. Also the Lakers really need Lamar to step up and play big today because he’s gonna get big minutes. He actually came off the bench and played really well in Boston last year and was a big difference maker.

  20. Kaveh, show us Rondo’s PER over the last 4.

  21. I desperately need a link
    =)

  22. Best wishes to you and your family GR8 Scott!

    I feel like this game is a big milestone for this laker team to prove they still have that mental drive they had last year. They need to remember the 08′ finals and know that nothing has changed since we haven’t got the chance to rematch Boston in a 7 game series. These games are remembered during the playoffs and if the Celts’ push pass the other forces of the east, we will need to have this game as a stepping stone if we have to step into the garden in the Finals.
    Keys to the game IMO:
    *Laker ball movement (make this old team chase the ball!)
    *Coverage of Rondo and a not so shabby House (our backups have to step up and I wouldn’t be mad if Andrew picks up a foul by laying Rondo out.)
    *Kobe’s control of the game (he’s looked a lot better with the new wrap and hopefully that carries over in this game.)
    Go Lakers!

  23. I love that ESPN.com frontpage has Pierce making his flopper face.

  24. Off topic, but in a way Kenyon Martin is Denver’s version of Odom. Not in style of play, but in terms of being an X-factor. When Martin is making shots, the Nuggs are a tough team to beat. So many game plans will involve leaving Martin open in order to cover the Nuggs other scorers. And if Martin can make you pay by either making that 15-18 footer or in driving in and making his little floater/runner, the Nuggs have a very good offense.

  25. Agreed Darius, watching that game it just shows to me that when the Nuggets want to be they are still the 2nd best team in the West. I think the Spurs just aren’t as good defensively as they used to be and I dont see it being a problem they can fix with their current players.

  26. This is one team we needed the defense of Ron Artest for, guarding Paul Pierce. Let’s see what he can do. Ariza could not guard Pierce or Melo, we need his defense badly for the playoffs.

  27. The game hasen’t even started and Artest vs Pierce is already on fire.

    That’s gonna be fun

  28. Darius, that link just got canned.

  29. If Rondo is gonna hit that shot all game we will be in trouble cuz Kobe is gonna dare him to shoot it. Bynum already two misses inside. But you gotta love the activity of Ron Ron

  30. Are they gonna let them play? I hope the refs dont get whitsle happy. Bynum needs to settle down and look to dunk rather than flip the ball in the basket.

  31. NVM, I take that back. It’s back on.

  32. Xavier, I was saying just before the game, that if there’s any game in the regular season where Ron’s (in)famous temper might get the best of him, it is this one.

  33. Fisher cannot guard Ray Allen

  34. As I said on the last post, Kobe’s on Rondo from the begining. Now we gotta hope PGs can slow down Allen

  35. In Fishers defense, very few can guard Allen.

  36. Referees are favouring us slightly early. Usually doesn’t bode well for later on. But it’s tight both ways, to be fair.

    Also, whatever happened to Hubie Brown on the ABC first team?! I hate Mark Jackson.

  37. Fisher’s just too short to cover Ray – he can just raise up and shoot over him.

  38. Anderson Verajao and Manu Ginobili would be proud of that flop by Garnett.

  39. wiseolgoat – that raising is getting shorter and shorter every year. I’d take our chances with Kobe denying Rondo, as Xavier said. But then again, we always had that in the 4th ever since the 2008 Finals; it’s just that we started doing this from the start of the game.

  40. The Lakers are being patient offensively, thats a good sign.

  41. Fisher will do a good job. This isnt some quick athletic point guard. Ray runs around screens now to get his open shots and Fisher will fight through every one and maybe get a few illegal screen calls on the offense.

  42. Rondo has never been a good shooter, that jump shot will be welcomed everytime.

  43. Is it just me, or is Sasha continuing to play calmer and with better focus in this game as well?

    Go Pau!

  44. Simonoid – oh, I completely agree. I would argue that Rondo is their most valuable offensive player at this point, so putting kobe on him makes a ton of sense.

  45. Rasheed has how many technicals now? He should be close to a suspension. Lamar is the Lakers best hope of guarding KG

  46. DREW! I love his energy today..dont back down son

  47. Throw it down Bynum that is the way to do it

  48. wow superb start

  49. Bynum being a straight up man against Garnett!!! My guess is Garnett fades away when big men come right back at him instead of being intimidated.

  50. Fisher is lucky Ray has missed two wide open jumpers, he cannot get lost on D

  51. throw it down BIG MAN, throw it down

  52. I love the Veetle player – more consistent, higher quality.

  53. Allow me to revert to middle school and yell..

    “IN YOUR FACE KG!!!”

  54. Is Veetle malware free?

  55. Tony Allen sucks!

  56. Eric – true, Lakers owe them a good six points, haha.

  57. wiseolgoat – yup, it’s good. None of that stuff.

    For the first time though, I had some trouble connecting to it; it’s usually really good. I’m using the justintv link ATM.

  58. It’s the on-ball defender’s job to cut off the passing lane when Allen is running off two moving screens. I can’t blame Fish for being 1 step behind when Allen is running through two moving screens along the baseline.

  59. Tyler, haven’t you noticed that Garnett never actually trash-talks or tries to bully people who have reputation for not being easily intimidated? He goes for the rookies and bench players/reserves, not for someone who actually has the backbone to get back in his face and dunk over him.

  60. @42. I feel slowing down Rondo is more important than slowing down Allen.

    Allen has seen his numbers fall, shooting 35% in 3s (from 41% last season) and and 45% FG (from 48% last season). In the other hand, Rondo’s becoming the Celtics best player and what’s the position the Lakers struggle the most defending? small and quick PGs!

    More over, Rondo driving could set our bigs with innecesary fouls we’d need to stop Garnett, Perkins and Wallace

  61. Farmar makes up for his turnover with that play

  62. Hey guys, does anyone have a working link?

  63. Mimsy, Yeah, thats kind of what I was saying. I looks like he thought he could intimidate Bynum but Drew didn’t back down, he just got pissed off and posterized KG.

  64. This link works on my PC: http://atdhe.net/12626/watch-los-angeles-lakers-vs-boston-celtics

    Showing a car commercial right now though.

  65. Other than a couple Tony Allen drives on Kobe, we’re playing championship level defense.

    And nothing beats Bynum throwing it down in KG’s face. Honestly, I could watch a 12-hr marathon of people dunking on KG and never get bored.

  66. That Bynum dunk on Garnett was sweet, this game will be even sweeter when Sheed picks up his second technical… You kno its coming

  67. Mamula, my comment to you is stuck in moderation, but it has a link in it :)

    Tyler:
    You’d think someone would have noticed by now and told Garnett that if a person gets in Andrew’s face and makes it personal, Andrew retaliates. So does Pau, for that matter. I can’t believe that Wallace thought he’d get away with smacking Pau in the head like that. Didn’t he watch the play-offs last year?

  68. Poor defense to start the 2nd quarter

  69. Shannon needs to take a tip from Kobe and play off Rondo. Seriously, the dude can’t shoot at all.

  70. Regarding working links, I often have problems with them on my laptop, but not on my desktop. They may need to be in Windows.

    What the hell was that!?! That was an intentionally aiming for Luke’s back!! Bastard!

  71. 58, Tony Allen sucks? He is a heck of an athlete and a solid NBA player

  72. Agreed Zephid, seriously I dont know if Shannon thinks he’s faster than Rondo or not but seriously dare the guy to shoot dont give him the lane

  73. cant belive im saying this but bring sasha back

  74. Second unit getting picked apart by rondo

  75. Sasha played well in the first. He looks as if he’s understood how to contribute without scoring and is starting to take pride in doing it.

  76. Rondo is just killing us

  77. 73. Exactly. I don’t know why he was playing him so tight. And now we see the adjustment, with Phil shifting Walton to Rondo.

  78. LO needs to step up the intensity to get the rest of this unit to do the same. Pau needs to continue to be aggressive to ride out this low.

  79. Phil made the right adjustment but Luke is not the guy for the job he doesn’t have the recovery speed necessary just in case Rondo gets by him, leave Shannon or Jordan on him and just tell them to lay off Rondo and dare him to shoot it’s pretty simple

  80. 82, ur right Lamar has a mismatch by whoever guards him he needs to be aggressive and take advantage

  81. Can we put Kobe back in now…?

  82. how can the lakers go from looking like the best defensive team in the 1st quarter, to this team in the 2nd quarter…i dont get it, they just lose their intensity

  83. LOL Van Gundy just abusing Jackson right now.

  84. There you go! Just run the offense, don’t let them get to you.

  85. Can someone tell Pau it’s okay to make a move like that aginst Cleveland. Boston’s bench is stepping up big right now.

  86. rofl, Artest wide open under the basket, can’t jump high enough to dunk it. rofl.

  87. JVG to Mark Jackson: “What are you talking about?!”
    good question jeff.

  88. Boston is playing with Allen, Pierce, and KG on the bench. How are they catching up?

  89. Our offense has looked out of sorts the past several trips. A few Gasol ISOs do not a great offense make.

  90. Booboo, because Rondo is on the floor. The guy is killing us.

  91. BooBoo it’s because they have a solid bench and Rondo is controlling the game on both sides of the court

  92. There’s no talking on D, the offense has gone all ISO…

  93. Can we get Bynum back in now?

    Just a suggestion…

  94. ahh stupid turnovers

  95. The Dude Abides January 31, 2010 at 1:26 pm

    I guess Phil has decided to freeze Bynum for some reason after that great first quarter. Not sure I understand the move. Drew doesn’t even have one foul.

  96. Awesome block by Artest.

    And on another note, guys, please, execute. Run the plays and talk to each other!

  97. Phil gave Boston the momentum by staying with that impotent second unit far too long. It is a continuing pattern with Phil and one of his worst traits as a coach.

  98. some careless passing by the lakers, we have seen two completely different laker teams and two completely different celtic teams

  99. The bench is what killed us. It let rondo get going and now they have all the momentum. The question now just is, can we survive this disasterous quarter.

  100. Gasol is playing great, but that outlet pass that Rondo stole was dumb. You’re 7′ tall, get the ball above your head, don’t throw a half court chest pass.

  101. Hmm… nasty how Rondo is doing us in there, but the good news is that Gasol looks like he is getting his legs back under him. Nifty drives, both the highlight slam through the middle and the little baseline drive and foul, good to see.

  102. Bynum’s back in, but Ron lost track of Pierce, left him at the 3. We’ve left a lot of people open at the 3 actually.

  103. Wow terrible Defense, way to leave a great 3point shooter wide open, giving allstars plays like that to get themselves going is not smart

  104. Count me in as not a fan of Kobe’s new finger splint.

  105. Worst offensive foul call ever

  106. I can’t’ stand PJs coaching. Our second unit sucks and he leaves them in to let them gain momentum.

    However, it’s almost like he wants the lakers to lose this game. Or make them battle it out in the end. Make his team climb out.

    Frick!! I can’t stand this game!!!!!!

  107. Why doesnt Phil leave he lineup that works for a while to blow open the game. As soon as we build lead he takes the starters out and puts in the bench. I understand he has a game plan but we dont need a tight game.

  108. dont know whats happened, everyones head has dropped and kobe is already going to hero mode

  109. I’m just updating box scores, but it’s a bit jarring to see LO with a (-12), and Sasha with (+11)

  110. This is the exact way the Lakers played against Cleveland twice, come out strong early in the first and then let your opponent get themselves going because of bad offense and defense

  111. We are getting outplayed and out hustled, this is starting to get frustrating to watch….

  112. Where was that foul? I knew their officiating would come back to bite the Lakers.

  113. I think I may have said something earlier about the Celtics being a legitimate threat despite being “old”…

    Ugh. This has been an ugly second quarter. Fortunately, there are two quarters left, and we just need to get back to what we were doing in the first. Turn it back on.

  114. Once again this game has shown the weakness of the bench for the Lakers

  115. agreed on not giving Bynum more time in the 2nd as he earned the playtime.

  116. Friggin PJ!! Why did he let them back in the game. this is fing sick!! We need new players!!!!!

  117. I’m sorry but Phil killed the flow of the game with his substitutions

  118. Pau got a great pass from Artest, then went up soft. Fisher with a horrible pass and even worse defense by the Lakers.

  119. I am so pissed at PJ and the bench!!!!!!!

  120. The Lakers have not made a single smart decision in the second quarter

  121. Karl, I understand that there is excitement surrounding this game. But so far you’ve essentially said we need a new coach and new players. Really? The game has gotten away from the team but it’s not yet over.

    The Lakers need to slow the game back down and be more deliberate with their offensive sets – which will also lead to better execution on defense.

  122. all thats gone wrong this quarter is cos no one can guard rondo

  123. Kobe did a little Shane Battier to Rondo, sticking his hands up over Rondo’s eyes.

  124. pj – 10 titles
    bloggers – 0 titles

    let’s give him a break and see how this plays out

  125. The unit that started the quarter killed the momentum with their lackluster D and tri execution.

    Bynum and Gasol need to finish those bunnies at the rim in the second half.

  126. some of you folks need to just settle down…
    breathe…
    we’re only down by 5, and we’ve got a whole second half to come back, and I have faith we are a better team, and as Daruis says, let’s just run the offense, play some fearsome defense, and fight til the last seconds, as I think this one will go down to the wire.

  127. Agreed Darius as bad a quarter as that was the game is far from over, make some adjustments and come out and regroup in the second half (mainly better team defense). Last year at the game in Boston the Lakers trailed in the 3rd and 4th and fought back and still won the game. Although I will agree the Lakers need some help from the bench.

  128. I have this hope somewhere that this is Phil showing Mitch his experiment, both to ask for a move or two for the bench and to point out how valuable Bynum is.

    A forlorn hope, and certainly probably not true, but it is the only hope I have for this. I cannot understand it any other way.

  129. I don’t know if I can finish watching this game, I’m getting unnaturally upset. Its probably due in part to watching my least favorite player in the league carve up the Lakers’ defense despite the fact that he couldn’t hit a jumpshot to save his life.

  130. Phil knows that guys like Brown and Farmar (and even Sasha) are going to have to play well in pressure situations for this team to achieve its goals in the post season, that’s why they will get the same burn in this game that they normally would. PJ’s long term view of the season can often times not mesh with our in the moment wishes for line up changes.

  131. On the plus side, our biggest weakness is just not losing track of Pierce on the transition 3s, which seems like an easy fix.

  132. Game turned when Walton, Farmar, and Shannon played the start of the second quarter with all the intensity of a couple of old guys during a Sunday morning pickup game at the park.

    Celtics got going, and never looked back. Once the starters came back in, they’ve had a hard time regaining momentum.

    They need to reestablish Bynum to get back in the game.

  133. There’s way too much frustrated anger and resignation to a loss at this blog right now. It’s only half-time people!

    More importantly, if anyone thought this was going to be an easy win, you are in need of a serious reality check (and this game is it, by the way). The Celtics are as talented as the Lakers, and their bench is better than ours. They play together better than any other team in the league, especially on defense.

    On paper, this is their win, not ours.

    Don’t get me wrong, we can still win this, because what is in paper is only half the game, and not necessarily the most important half either. however, top be crushed and giving up hope because the Celtics are playing very well and have a chance to win, is a bit… odd, gently put.

    The Celtics are very good. the way some of you are posting, you either didn’t know that, or you had a very inflated opinion of how good our team is.

    This is not meant as an attack or insult to any person commenting on the blog right now. I’m just saying that being down against the Celtics shouldn’t come as a surprise. And as long as we’re back up when the final buzzer hits, being down right now is not a disaster. It’s just one of the things that happens when you play a legitimate contender in the regular season.

  134. 3threeIII, it sounds like you are saying Phil is trying to say to Mitch that Bynum is to valuable to trade (for someone like Bosh). I would suggest that the request to check out that trade came from the opposite direction of what you think.

  135. [halftime report] okay, I’m a bit confused now — which of these teams is supposed to be old and a step slow?!

  136. Mimsy it’s funny I argued a month ago on here that the Celtics had a heck of a bench and one of the best in the league and many people argued with me or said I was wrong. Is there any question as to the validity of what I said now?

    The Celtics when healthy are the biggest threat to snatch the title from the Lakers and I’ve been saying it for months now, even with doubters. But this game is far from over there is plenty time to fight back, there have just been too many mental lapses on the defensive end.

  137. Kobe with the baby junior skyhook at 2:18 left. The nostalgist in me loves it. The strategist in me aint so sure.

  138. Lakers8884, I hope I wasn’t among the ones arguing with you on the quality of the Celtics bench. :)

    If anything, I agree with you, and I think it would be stupid and make us look just like the bandwagon fakers we Laker fans are so often accused of being, if we dismiss the Celtics or any other team as an easy win, instead of taking our opponents seriously.

  139. Good to see George Karl posting here even on a gameday.

    Couldn’t stay away from the game. Horrible quarter, but Gatinho nailed it. If we let the starters cover for the bench and hide their mistakes in a relatively meaningless regular season game, our bench won’t be used to physical games like this in the playoffs. This is one of the ways Phil seasons his younger players, and I’m with him. It’s how he prepared Ariza for the playoffs back when he was on the bench, and I hope it works in this case.

    I’m a fan of Phil’s decision to have Sasha as the first player off the bench, against a team he both hates and has played well against before. This was the right game to give him a little more burn.

  140. It will be interesting to see which bench players get playing time in the second half. Will PJ play the same combo that struggled in the 2nd Q? Kobe will probably play the rest of the game and I would like to see Drew play the rest of the game as well without sitting for a long portion of the second half

  141. Lakers8884, their bench will only get better when marquis daniels comes back from injury after the all star break, he was their best guard off the bench before he got hurt

  142. What a frustrating second quarter. The Celtics picked up their defense and the Lakers looked confused by what the Celtics were doing out there. The referees have a tough job today. They are getting yelled at from both sides. They are making a lot of mistakes and will need to clean it up in the second half as well.

    To Mimsy, I dont’ believe the sky is falling but the Celtics clearly punched the lakers in the mouth during that second quarter and the Lakers didn’t respond. Lakers got outscored 33-17 . Of course the Celtics are good, but the Lakers should not have been doubled up if they expect to win. I think that’s the larger concern. I expect the Lakers to make some adjustments on the pick and roll defense but another quarter like that and the game is over.

    I’m interested to see how Ron Artest and Paul Pierce play in the third quarter. Both of them had out of rhythm first halves but Pierce was starting to get into the groove towards the end. Will Artest match him or will Phil need to go with the smaller line-up down the stretch?

  143. Laker8884 – I also agree that the Celtics are a beastly team and arguably the biggest threat to us, but their bench is not the reason. Tony Allen has already doubled his season scoring average. He is not nearly this good of a player normally. The Celtics are elite, I agree, but it’s because of their starters. Despite how old some other people think they’re getting.

  144. im not sold on the celtics bench. tony allen played the half of his life but beyond that they didnt do much.
    it was rondo that carved up our subs in that 2nd quarter with his penetration and passing

  145. Let’s not put all of this on the reserves. Some of the reserves were out there pushing our lead to 13.

    Boston played sloppy, and Paul Pierce missed a good portion of the 1st quarter thanks to foul trouble (as did Artest).

    Honestly, Artest is not doing a good job on PP right now, and his offense isn’t looking great either. Hopefully he picks it up in the 2nd half.

    The biggest issue with the start of the 2nd quarter was the switch of Shannon onto Rondo and Shannon playing defense right up in Rondo’s face rather than playing off of him which is what the book says to do on Rondo. That got him going and the rest is history.

    The Lakers just need to slow down, not get pulled into a running game with Boston, and play their offense. Don’t let Boston bait them into playing Kobe or Pau ISO for 24 minutes.

  146. On Bynum’s miss free throw, if Artest would have just stood where he was he could have gotten a rebound. Unfortunately he was halfway down the court already.

  147. nomuskles,
    I don’t think the sky is falling either. I’ve said it here before and probably will again, a serious contender can take a punch in the mouth, gets back up, and keeps fighting.

    I expect there to be a lot of adjustments, on defense as well as on offense, and I’m hoping that some of them leads to Rondo being slowed down and at least partially contained. If we continue to let him run free and do whatever he wants on offense, we’re done.

    If on the other hand we keep our head about us, keep calm, and take back initiative and control of the tempo, I think we can take this.

  148. Snoopy2006, Tony Allen may have doubled his scoring average but its because he is the backup to Ray Allen/Paul Pierce he doesnt get as many minutes or chances to score. In all actuality he played this well almost every game when Pierce was out and he got the chance to start, go back and look at game logs. He is more than capable of doing this, one game you may have gotten a chance to see is Christmas day against Orlando remember I think he dropped 17 points.

  149. Oh My God. Artest just made a shot at the basket. I’m gonna go buy a lottery ticket.

  150. So… Celtics: ugliest team in the league – agree or disagree?

  151. gasol needs to man up

  152. Bynum with the emphasis on the dunk, the Lakers bigs should finish that way every time

    Kehn, agreed, I think Perkins looks like a giant goblin, every time I see him he makes me think of Mr. T and the knight elf mohawk from World of Warcraft commercials.

  153. You cannot expect Gasol to stop Perkins if Perkins uses his strength. Bynum could body him up, that is not something Gasol can do. Do not expect him to be a Shaq/Ewing like center, that is not what he is.

  154. Kurt so what exactly is Gasol expected to do. We are not expecting him to do it on every possesion. But standing his ground on one possesion is not too much to ask for

  155. The lakers can not expect to win on the road against a good team when they turn the ball over this many times

  156. good to see drew keeping the aggressiveness going into the second half. on the other hand Pau is aggressive without being physical, if that makes sense.

  157. The Lakers are losing because they insist on making the spectacular pass, instead of the easy pass. Lower percentages.

  158. i think i should stop watching the livestream. Lakers have outscored Boston badly when I’ve not been watching it.

  159. 160. There’s what he CAN do and what he can’t. Perkins is bigger and stronger than Gasol. He can outmuscle him. It’s just physics.

    If Bynum was unable to muscle through a smaller defender, we’d be going ballistic. Gasol is quicker/craftier, not bigger/stronger than Perkins.

  160. I understand the physics part of it, but the basketball part of it is what i dont get. Gasol needs to decide to either foul before the shot or let the player get 2 points. He seems to be giving up too many and 1’s

  161. Every time we get a solid stop on defense, we negate it by giving up a turnover leading to an easy basket.

  162. the celtics do a better job on kobe than any team in the league

  163. Why Would Pau pass up a shot on the block for a 37 foot three point shot from Fisher?

  164. Too much isolation, too many threes.

  165. The ball is sticking way too much on offense. Gasol, Bynum, Artest, Kobe, Fisher, they’re all holding the ball when they should just keep moving it.

  166. I love Artest, but he shouldn’t have the same number of shot attempts as Pau at this point

  167. gasol really has checked out on offense

  168. That’s not what the Lakers need from Lamar attack the basket

  169. since starting 3-3 w/ 7 pts and 3 assists kobe has been quiet. i expect him to either bring us back or shoot us out of it in the 4th

  170. The offense is just not flowing tonight. The ball is stopping too much. The passes are lackadaisical and the Celtics are picking them off easily.

    Kobe needs to recognize those doubles sooner, and someone else needs to move to where he can pass out of it.

    Gasol seems hesitant to take a jumpshot over a much shorter Pierce.

  171. Lakergirl, I expect Gasol to be one of the best power forwards in the game, but I do not expect him to be able to defend a bigger, stronger guy powering to the hoop, not on one possession not on a hundred. He will gets some steals and make some plays because he is smart and crafty, but Gasol can’t stop Perkins if he protects the ball and uses his body.

  172. Question to those watching it live, what’s cooled off Bynum since his hot 12-pt first quarter? Are we not running the offense, or is he just plain missing shots in the post?

  173. Zephid and Kurt, but wasn’t this covered by Darius in a previous Post, the Lakers have essentially become an isolation team. Sure against average defensive teams they can disguise it and even move the ball better but against good defensive teams like Cleveland and Boston they are essentially forced to play 1 on 1 be it with Drew, Kobe or Pau.

    Kobe really hasn’t forced anything to this point, but Pau and Bynum haven’t decided to assert themselves on the offensive end while Boston has tightened it up on D

  174. Phil jackson hasn’t made one adjustment. I’m convinced lakers shouldn’t have resigned Lamar Odom. He’s has one really good game 5 bad games one decent game 6 bad games. Is that really worth 8 million a year. He only launched up long jump shots, turned the ball over by forcing plays, and hasn’t played a lick of defense. Fisher has played okay but again taking too many contested, and extremely long 3’s. He’s taken two 3-points at least 3 feet beyond the 3 with at least 5 seconds left in the clock.

    And does the number 16 jersey have the name Kwame Brown on it.

  175. some ugly play by pau in the second half

  176. Turnovers are absolutely killing us. Before this deficit ballooned, we had our chances, but careless passes led to Celtics fastbreaks, and now this.

    On a side note, Artest has been playing the passing lanes much better than normal.

  177. Eddie House hitting threes on us…deja vu.

  178. Gasol is killing us, not to beat a dead horse…

  179. @joel there aren’t many 10 and 10 guys available for the vets minimum which is the only thing we could use since we had to use the mle on artest

  180. sorry but why is bynum not in instead of gasol, he has clearly outplayed him

  181. Have a good feeling about this game…

  182. I love how games like this, at least so far, where Lakers fans see their favorite pet peeves in it, regardless. We should never have resigned Odom. Fisher/Farmar/Brown (anybody really thing Brown looks like the answer still?). Sasha and Walton’s contract. People will see what they want to see. If the Lakers lose I fear for what is said in this thread.

  183. Lakers still have a great shot of winning. They have managed to keep the game close.

  184. See that layup by Farmar; that’s our offense.

  185. If the Lakers lose, anyone expressing surprise still needs a serious reality check.

    The Celtics are a very good team. They play their best when they play the Lakers. This was never a certain win, never a guaranteed W. Anyone who thinks so needs to have a couple of delusions shattered.

  186. Kurt, anyone who says we shouldn’t have signed Lamar is stupid he is essential (would anyone rather Dj come in and play when Bynum gets in foul trouble) he’s inconsistent so what but saying we shouldn’t have signed him is crazy.

    Kobe really hasnt forced anything but Pau has not made his presence known in this game, Bynum has played well when he’s been given the opportunity and Fisher has played good for his standards (you can’t blame him for shooting a 3 late in the shot clock when Pau passes the ball out expecting to be bailed out with a 3)

  187. That airball makes me wary of sighing Kobe to an extension. The guy’s got to earn it.

    We’re still within striking distance but our offense has been appalling so far. We’re not doing a good job reversing the ball quickly when they’re doubling on Kobe in the post.

    What happened to the JVG-Hubie Brown team? I thought they had mercifully ended Mark Jackson’s reign of horror.

  188. again 3 lakers stand around and watch rondo get a rebound underneath the rim

  189. Zephid, exactly. They tried to get iso and couldn’t, swunt it to the weak side, got a cut off the high post and a layup. So, next time down Brown with the early in the clock pull up three. Ugh.

  190. and wtf does ‘hand down man down’ mean anyways??

  191. Kobe has been trying to facilitate but it’s like whoever gets the ball has no idea what they want to do with it, it’s like they are playing hot potato with it.

  192. When Shannon makes a couple buckets, he gains confidence but his shot selection also goes down. Which is why I liked that last drive so much. He’s one of the few who has the ability to create off the dribble, but too often he tries a pull-up or floater, which is not in his repertoire. Loved seeing him take it hard into Wallace’s chest.

    We need aggressive dribble-drives like that, when the Celtics are denying post entry and playing the passing lanes that well.

  193. I don’t want to break up the momentum of this thread, but all offenses are going to have built in isolation plays. Van Gundy made a great point about the secondary isolation that got Kobe a baseline jumper after a ball reversal. So, iso’s are not inherently bad. That said, we need to still have the combination of ball and player movement and the correct timing with the two in order for our offense to run smoothly. Too many times, we’re looking for a ball reversal and no one is there for the pressure release. That is a timing issue and that needs to be executed better. I’m more than happy to have Pau or Drew or Kobe in the post, but don’t just stand there and watch them go to work. Make yourself available for a pass. Move to open space. Make your defender pay attention to you so he can’t just focus on helping on our main option.

  194. Ray Allen is an underrated defender

  195. They’re fighting for it again. They’re clawing their way back.

    I love it.

  196. 178. Tony, after Drew’s stellar first quarter, Phil sat him for the first seven minutes of the 2nd quarter, and the other Lakers haven’t been getting him the ball since he returned.

  197. GO INSIDE AHHH

  198. If there was a team for Worst Shot Selection, Fisher, Brown, Artest, and possibly House would be strong candidates.

  199. Looking alot like last years game, could go to OT again

  200. thisisweaksauce January 31, 2010 at 2:56 pm

    What is with all this iso! It’s so frustrating! What happened to all the ball movement of last year? Brown with a fadeaway, Artest with an out-of-rhythm 3. Well, at least they’re still in the game.

  201. Looks like Bynum is winning his battle with Perk

  202. Kobe isn’t making the best passes out of the double either. He needs to pass out while the double is still coming towards, not after he gets away and the doubling man is leaving back to his original man. Kobe needs to know where the double is coming from and make the pass early, as well as our bigs have to be in position to receive the pass when the double comes. This should be something we should be able to exploit.

  203. Phil Jackson has figured Drew out if you ask me. He slights him and Drew comes out playing like a monster because he has to prove himself.

    Then Phil can go back and tell Drew, “Play like that all the time, and you’ll get the minutes when they count.”

  204. It seems people are either holding the ball too long, dribbling too much, waiting too long to make their moves or taking too much time to pass it into the post.

  205. There is not enough ball movement yet to make this a win. There is however enough aggression… judging by Bynum’s play, he’s not the least bit scared of Perkins. I like that.

  206. @209 – probably the team trying to follow orders and cut down on turnovers.

  207. When was the last time Phil let Bynum close the game and not Pau? Has this ever happened before? This kind of shows which big man has shown up today

  208. JVG is right, I can’t remember the last time we had a Bynum-Odom-Artest closing lineup.

    Bynum’s earned it, and Artest is needed against Pierce. I’m more surprised at Odom being out there.

  209. Why isn’t Gasol on the floor again?

  210. that offensive rebound by the celts hurts

    i take it back the celtics got a break…it was out of bounds

  211. Cant give up offensive boards at this point of the game.

  212. Gasol has already played 40 minutes tho

  213. #213,
    Last time we played the Celtics?

    Also, the refereeing has been unusually incompetent this game.

  214. very satisfied with Bynum’s play, no matter what happens, this gives me confidence we will have a primetime Bynum this postseason.

  215. glad to see the refs are on top of this game today

  216. Mimsy last time we played Boston Bynum was hurt and it was in Boston.

  217. I love Ron artest, lucky fip in and great job forcin the offensive foul

  218. WOW ron ron coming up big on offense and defense

  219. I know Lakers 8884. I was being fecetious. :) I can’t remember the last time of this line-up either.

    STOP! Kobe time!

  220. Clutch Shot!!!!

    One point lead!!!!!

  221. KOBE!!!!!!!!!

  222. Dont get cocky……this is far from over.

  223. My first contribution to this thread:

    Stop! Kobe time!

    Just need a stop now.

  224. Kobe!

    *whew*

    Allen had a great look at that last shot… I think that was the very definition of a 50-50 chance, and we got the dice to fall in our favor.

    *whew*

  225. fantastic shot by Kobe, but i am soo impressed with ray allen’s defense…i have never seen him play D like this

  226. Oh sorry Mimsy didn’t sense it, KOBE Big time

  227. Bynum is beasting Perkins…why wasn’t he doing this to Shaq???

    And Kooooobe!!!!!!

  228. Whew!!!!!!!!!!
    Laker’s win.

  229. Lakers win! Very entertaining game.

  230. LAKERS WIN!!!!!

  231. YEAAAA!! EAT IT CELTIC FANS…EAT IT!!!

  232. WE WON!!!

    I told you we could win!!

    Come on. Give me this moment of “I told you so”. :)

  233. The Celtic’s seem to have some trouble holding fourth quarter leads. Is it because they’re so old?

  234. LO’s switch onto Allen really tied that 4th quarter together.

  235. Kobe Bean.

  236. Great win hard fought, a more consistent 2nd quarter and this would have been an easier win but a heck of a win. This is probably the biggest win of the season so far. Would LOVE to see a rematch of these two teams in the Finals because it would be a great series and great for basketball and the NBA

  237. We didnt even remotely play our best and we still won lol

  238. I feel like a kid again.. what a fantastic way to wrap up an awesome week (for me)!!

  239. 244. i cant believe we won this game, is rondo carrying the celtics?

  240. dave in hillsboro January 31, 2010 at 3:11 pm

    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  241. How many fouls did Ray Allen commit on that play before Kobe hit the shot? Beautiful shot, but the whistle should have been blown long before then.

    Wasn’t it a 1-point game in Boston last year too? Deja vu. Still, not our best game, and we were able to steal this one. Lots of places to improve.

    Most impressive game winner by Kobe this year.

    I’m terrified Artest’s last shot will convince him he needs to take end-of-game out-of-control drives every close game.

  242. I wonder if Kobe heard Bill Simmons raving about how clutch Bird was. Bird was great. MJ was great. Magic was great. But Kobe is ridiculous. His Black Mamba nickname is so fitting. SO DEADLY!

  243. Bynum was a beast and Kobe had it when it mattered.

    A strangely sloppy game at times, that Fisher cross court pass right into the hands of Rondo wasnt exactly veteran stuff (but Fisher did have a couple of back to back baskets at another key stretch of the game).

    The Boston team we saw today was quite different from the those of last year. This was Rondo´s team, and he was impressive.

  244. Why not run a play for Rondo?

  245. Great defense on the final possession.

  246. 244 Joe, I totally agree with you. Very soild W against a tough team on the road, but we didn’t even come close to playing our best! And that’s what frustrates me so much, even in a win, because we all know that if the Lakers play their best, nobody can come close to hanging with them. So the question is, when are we going to start to consistently play our best, and what’s been keeping us from doing that so far this season?

    But great W in a tough environment today. We at least showed a lot of grit and determination, which we haven’t always shown.

  247. I forget – how did we get the ball right before kobe’s shot?

  248. by the way guys im not sure the celtics are such are good team, theyve lost 7 of 11 i think

  249. 243 Lakers8884- I think a great legacy for the NBA would be a rematch between these two teams this year and then Lakers/ Cavs next year. If the finals rematch doesn’t happen this year it will most likely never happen for these lineups again. The NBA desperately needs Lebron to start his title collection but not until Kobe’s done with his!

    Edit: Oh yeah, almost forgot… KOBE!
    very entertaining win. Great way to cap off the week.

  250. 253. Pierce pushed on artest, offensive foul

  251. The Dude Abides January 31, 2010 at 3:23 pm

    Big screen LCD TV: $900.00
    Cable internet, TV, movies: $147/month
    Watching multiple Celtic fans do facepalms after Kobe hits the go-ahead shot with 7 seconds to play: PRICELESS

  252. Celtics fans crowing over the offensive foul on Pierce, as expected.

    We need to blow these guys out next time…. but I think they’ll still find some other reason to blame that on the refs as well.

  253. James – wasn’t that right before his out of control drive to the hoop?

  254. a total team effort, the bench was 9-14

  255. 260. wiseolgoat:

    Nope, it was right after that shot.

  256. thanks…my memory isn’t what it used to be

  257. @BurningBalls
    In their defense, the refereeing this game was even more incompetent than usual.

  258. At work,so didn’t see the game.
    But ESPN boxscore has one of the great lines:
    Sasha 0-1 in 6 minutes and no other stats-no rebounds,assists,fouls,anything-but a PLUS 11 for the game! Way to do all the intangible stuff Sasha.

  259. I looked like a crazy person on the freeway listening to this game on 710. Pumping my fist after Kobe hit the game winner. 18 points in the paint for the lakers in the 4th, 0 for the celtics.

    Couldn’t really gauge, but was bynum good today? If so, a few people here need to say that bynum did a good job. (few threads back, everyone wanted to see bynum do it against a good team.) Lets give the team props! Good win. Lets finish memphis tomorrow for 6 – 2.

  260. I turned off the livestream after Kobe hit the last shot b/c my nerves couldn’t bear to watch – how did the last possession of the game play out?

  261. The Dude Abides January 31, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    259. Yep, that’s to be expected. Sure looked like an offensive foul to me, and all three announcers thought it was the correct call. They have no reason to complain, as they got an extra possession on the Perkins offensive rebound that he first deflected off the camera behind the basket before controlling it…then they scored two points on the extra possession. Plus, Kobe’s offensive foul in the first half was a 100% phantom call, while Pierce extended his arm fully in pushing off Artest. If they’re going to call a foul on Kobe for zero contact, then they have to call a foul on Pierce for extending his left arm completely on his drive to push off on Artest. All in all, though, this is about the best officiating one can expect in Boston.

  262. The Dude Abides January 31, 2010 at 3:33 pm

    267. Ball inbounded to Pierce, I believe, then a Celtic big set a screen to free up Allen on the left wing. LO switched off Garnett to make a great contest on Allen’s shot. Fish got the rebound right before the buzzer sounded.

  263. 264. Mimsy:

    No denying that, but that inconsistency went both ways anyway.

    That said though, the “real” Celtics showed up at the Garden to give a great struggle throughout. Gotta give them props for that.

  264. @ray,
    Bynum was great. He owned the first quarter, he was fearless against Davis and Perkins, he dunked over Garnett… in short he played fearless and aggressive basketball. I think he proved himself this game. And yes, you’re right. There are some commenters who owe him an apology ;)

  265. if you’re Doc Rivers, and you’re down by 1, and your all-star PG has been on fire all game, and the Lakers are in the penalty, what do you do?

    if you guessed “draw up a play for a 3 pointer 25 feet from the rim,” you win!

  266. 268. The Dude Abides:

    Exactly. Not to mention the customarily uncalled illegal screens they set with their bigs almost every other play they make also.
    I’m pretty used to it now actually. >_>

  267. The Dude Abides January 31, 2010 at 3:42 pm

    273. Burning, I do believe you’re acknowledging the refs for doing a better job than usual on Boston’s home court, right? I think you’re saying that they usually don’t make that many calls on Boston’s illegal screens, but they did so this game. If that’s what you’re saying, I agree.

  268. Ahem. We won in Boston. We can either chose to moan and complain about illegal plays, or enjoy the sweet bitterness of Boston fans who now hate us even more for once again proving that they haven’t been true champions since the 60’s.

    I know what I’ll chose. :)

  269. You cant draw up a play for Rondo because he isn’t a dependable shooter and he didnt hit an outside shot in the 4th quarter. Pierce is their closer I am surprised he didnt take a shot because usually they run an iso for Pierce on the elbow and he takes his signature step back jumper. That is their go to play when looking to close out games, that’s why you saw both Kobe and Ron jump after Pierce when he was driving and Doc knew they would double him so they ran a play for Ray to shoot the final shot, it was good execution but he just didn’t hit the shot and Lamar did a great job contesting the jumper

  270. I wrote this morning:

    We are the team to beat, therefore, let’s make them adjust to US.

    Let’s hope:

    Pau shows up and doesn’t let KG punk him out; Pau played well in the first half and when he began to soften, PJ subbed in Bynum.

    Bynum uses his “length” and size against an undersized Kendrick Perkins; He did it in spades. He had a great game.

    Ron Ron shows us what a healthy stopper actually looks like; Job well done. Pierce only 4-11 for 15 points.

    Kobe plays like Kobe in both halves; He helped carry us in the first half and then hit the game winner.

    Fish doesn’t get beat too badly every time down the floor and forces Rondo to his left; Didn’t work.

    Lamar bucks his daytime blues habit and gives us some offense and plays good defense against whatever “mobile” BIG he guards; and He had the best defense play by closing out on Ray Ray. Garnett and Rasheed 13 points, Lamar 7.

    The “Bench Mob” makes more than a cameo appearance. Bench 9-13 for 21 points, 8 rebounds, 3 blocked shots and only three turnovers!!! Extremely effective.

    Lastly, lets hope for a Laker victory. Even though I am one of the main ones saying it, let’s hope we shed the “SOFT” label. We beat the bullies in their home.

    Thanks Kurt, I hope we send you out a winner!!!

    Thanks Kurt, I hope you enjoyed the Lakers goodbye present.

  271. The Dude Abides January 31, 2010 at 3:45 pm

    258. I urge everyone to watch for the crowd’s reaction on any replays of Kobe’s game-winning shot. Multiple facepalms, with some fans even doing double facepalms. It really will warm your hearts.

  272. Is there any question as to who our “bench” is, it’s 3 players Lamar, Farmar and Shannon. I would say Luke too but he has yet to contribute as much as those 3 have (due to injury)

  273. Had something I wanted to check by the basketball historians on this site – is it true that the hand check rule was outlawed in 94-95? I always assumed it was later. I only ask because some (David Thorpe, for one) have claimed Jordan would have averaged 45 a game without hand-checking. So I always assumed the rule change was after 98.

  274. It’s funny how if a person didn’t follow the NBA at all, and then checked the comments during games on different sites (unfortunately here too from time to time), that person would surely believe that the Lakers are among the worst teams in basketball. I mean Kobe is a ballhog, Pau is soft, Lamar is inconsistent, Drew is a black hole, Artest has no lift whatsoever, Farmar is a bonehead, Fish can’t play if his life depended on it, the Machine is totally broken…and so on, and so on.

    It’s also funny how that collection of losers managed to win the title last year, and have the league’s second best record this year.

    (If you detect a touch of sarcasm, you might be correct.)

  275. Rondo is one of the most annoying players, but wow, did he pick apart our team. But I loved how Kobe started attacking more at the end of the game, especially with Ray Allen on him. Great win…love it. Hope this catapults our team versus the truly elite foes…

    And for Bynum, do NOT play in the Memphis game (he can pick either of these excuses: “flu-like symptoms,” “slept in again and missed the flight and no commercial planes could accommodate him,” “got jumped by the dudes from Southie in Good Will Hunting…”)

  276. Nice pic of the aftermath of the Laker win. What makes this pic is sadface KG.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/photos?photoId=415138&gameId=300131002

  277. LOL DY I was thinking the same thing, but the Lakers will need Bynum, the Grizzlies are one of the underrated teams in the league. They have talent galore and can beat any team in this league and they have been on a roll lately.

  278. My respect for Bynum also increased tremendously today. He came through in a tough Finals-like environment, and exorcised one demon (Celtics) with his play today. He deserved playing in crunch time today and if he continues to play like that, should be rewarded with more opportunities. No entitlements (except for Kobe of course) here…just reward the best players with crunch time minutes.

  279. thisisweaksauce January 31, 2010 at 4:03 pm

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/photos?photoId=415138&gameId=300131002#photo_415141

    That is the most lift I’ve ever seen from Artest. Haha.

  280. If Artest can keep this up, Lakers will be hard to beat. He should do this to lebron james

  281. At this point the two teams that I am most worried about are the Nuggets and Cavs. (and of course the Bobcats!). I think Boston will have a really hard time getting to the finals.

    Glad for the win. We needed it. Good to see Bynm get some crunch time run. I liked the balanced scoring though Kobe took too many shots to get his number.

    I am not much of a fan of Shannon Brown right now. He just doesn’t seem to fit the offense very well. I guess he’s all we got, though.

  282. can’t remember the last time we came back to win against a good team. great win.

    the last shot by Kobe points out something to me: we complain about Kobe’s shot selection but I think he almost has to take those tough (read: bad) shots so he can take and hit that last shot. Pau will wisely pass the ball when he doesn’t have the high % shot, but Pau is not likely to take and hit that game winner for you. Kobe will. Vive la difference.

  283. Wow, I thought this game was over when I went to work out with us leading like by 9.

    Now, next up, the Gasol Wars.

  284. The Dude Abides January 31, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    Yeah, harold. I hope there aren’t many complaints about Pau. He played a subpar game, but if his subpar games consist of playing the other team’s best player to a virtual standoff (like today), then I’ll gladly accept it.

  285. Next up: Third time’s the charm for Andrew to beat the Memphis jinx.

  286. Good to see Celtics finally being called for some illegal screens. No team gets away with more of those.

    Pau had some lobster claw hands tonight. Flashbacks to Kwame.

    Can someone give me some technology input? ABC’s transmission of the game came across as sputtered on my Sony HD any time there was motion by the players. I didn’t get this on any other station, and I noticed it on the Christmas day game. Is ABC shooting on some different HD cameras that my HD can’t handle? It’s a 720 p.

  287. I can’t express how happy I was to see the Lakers pull this game out. You have to think winning this kind of game will give us the confidence we need to win games like Portland at the Rose Garden, and Charlotte.

    I’m not even going to bother to be negative by pointing out our flaws in this game. We beat a tough team on the rode today. I hope Kobe’s ankle will be okay for him to lead us to a win tomorrow against Memphis. Lets go Lakeshow.

  288. TB: ABC broadcasts in 720p, so it should be great for your set. could be an issue with your local affiliate or cable/sat company. could be their camera too, but I did not notice a problem (KABC, Verizon Fios, 1080p LCD)

  289. I am quite glad that I did not follow the site during the game today. Talk about your roller coaster ride. My personal favorites are: Lamar should not have been re-signed, Kobe does not deserve an extension, and Phil Jackson can’t coach.

    I understand we want the Lakers to do well, but I feel so many fans require perfection from the Lakers on a daily basis. We expect everyone to play perfect on an everyday basis. It’s not realistic. I mean, are we perfect everyday we go to work? Every day? for every minute?

    The Lakers played well enough to win, and in the end that is all that matters.

    I was wondering how this site comments would have been during the Western Conference Finals in 00 v. the Blazers. “AC Green is too old to be in this game right now! he can’t handle Sheed. Shaq is not playing well.” Probably worse than that. then a whole lot of “OMG SHAQ!! KOBE!!! SHAW!!! HORRY!!! OMG!!!

    I haven’t watched the game today so I can’t give my thoughts on the play, but hell we beat boston at boston which is always a tough place to play (unless you’re atlanta) and we won. Tomorrow’s goal should be a win 6-2. I am expecting Bynum to either get sick or if he does play to get only 2 rebounds because he wont want to be around the post/paint at all in memphis. AND I WONT BLAME HIM.

  290. Bynum had better be on a plane to LA right now and kept in solitary confinement at his house for 48 hours.

  291. The kobe extension thing was sarcasm

  292. How about Lamar rotating out to Ray Allen to challenge the last shot attempt?
    Great play on both sides of the ball for the Lakers in the last 2 minutes.

  293. Lakers did a better job on defense in the 4th Q and held Boston to one field goal over the final 6:32.

    And Kobe hits another game winning shot. Hopefully Kobe will be a few points from the Lakers all-time scoring record and break it in LA.