Preview & Chat: The Boston Celtics

Kurt —  January 31, 2010

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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.



317 responses to Preview & Chat: The Boston Celtics

  1. The refs were pretty bad in this game. I’m so glad we won. There were several bad calls. Fisher hit a 3 pointer with the score at 50-58. The ref is looking at his feet but he is a full 6 inches behind the line but he calls it a two. If you taped it, watch that play. I was screaming at the TV and my friend who is a Boston fan said it was a three and laughed. TIVO it. Kobe was fouled by Allen on several plays that were not called. The TV camera out of bounds play and even the ball hitting the rim on Sheed’s errant 3-pointer. I am surprised that these guys were chosen for such a high-profile, important game.

  2. ray – No worries. I’m too poor to afford an iphone myself, but I understand – there were a ton of comments today.

    Don – I’ve given up trying to read Phil Jackson’s mind. There’s been so many times Drew’s played well and he’s gotten the shaft later on. And Drew missed enough rotations that I can’t say he played a perfect help D game.

    If I had to guess, it’s the latter two (of your reasons). I’d say Phil wants Drew to understand if he plays this way – rising to a physical challenge, working on the boards, and getting his offense at the right times, without hurting the flow of the offense – then he’ll play. He probably also wanted Drew in because of Rondo’s penetration.

    Maybe the question isn’t why Drew was playing – he definitely earned it tonight – but why Gasol was sitting. Odom didn’t earn much tonight. (But I don’t think there’s any hidden Philism there. Gasol played well overall).

  3. Ron showed some toughness out there, Pierce is a tough cover (even for Lebron) and he did an excellent job, as much as we miss Ariza sometimes this is what Artest was brought here for. His defense against Pierce (who killed us in the 2008 Finals) or the Defense he can play on Carmelo Anthony is what will pay dividends come playoff time, he may not always shoot well but we need him for defense more than anything. While he may not be able to guard Lebron like he used to that seems to be more of a problem of team defense, instead of letting the rest of the Cavs players beat you the Lakers should force Lebron to beat them. Just like in the Eastern Conference Finals last year the Magic played team defense and allowed Lebron to shoot 30 times a game and he may have scored in the 40’s but he took everyone else out of the flow of the offense on his team, the Magic shut down everyone else on the Cavs team and just let Lebron get his.

  4. That was a great win, the Lakers can beat Cleveland to they just have to play intelligent basketball the mismatches against both of these teams favors the Lakers IMO

  5. Fun win and congrats to Kurt on the NBC gig and to Darius on getting ready to play Vlade Divac to Kurt’s Kareem. Just kidding.

    And no, I still don’t like Kobe’s going 45 minutes in regular season games. I’d like to see him at 38-40 and Walton at 10-12.

  6. Oh, the refs also missed the Perkins’ goaltending Artest’s shot, the ball off Perkins that they called off Gasol, numerous fouls, etc….

  7. This game confirmed some seriously noticeable facts. Take this list with two asprins and abut of ESPN.

    10. Phil is always outcoached as for as plays and substitions go. But because he knows how to manage egos (often keeping them in check while riding the pine)and has the Mamba-he wins!

    9. Lamar needs tone incorporated in the offense. He feels better when he thinks he contributing. He’s emotional don’t u guys watch The Kardashians?

    8. Ron plays better when it’s a street fight

    7. Fish will have to turn his attentions to teaching the youngins. He’ll be more effective ad a mentor player than a starter. They pay u for that too!

    6. Phil looks bored at times. He mixes the game up with weird substitutions so he can stay awake!

    5. Pay is not soft. He’s just not hard!

    4. Can Shannon pleasssse get more pt?

    3. Sasha is on the trading block as I speak

    2. Last 3 mins of game the ball must always be in Kobes hands. Always!!!

    1. Lakers only play well under duress! If the game is too easy they will blow it. Boredom is the lakers main competitor.

  8. I’m sorry. I just need to get this out of my chest….


    There you go.
    I think I know why Phil played Bynum till the end…. cause he won’t get any tomorrow!!

  9. Great win for the Lakers. This stretch of games will reveal a lot about this team. They get a tough Memphis team. Then they go home to meet the always troublesome Bobcats. Then they get the Nuggets, back to Portland, the Spurs again, and one last trip to Utah before the All Star break.

    These are all character games. And if the Lakers come through on most of them like they did today this team is will be on its way. Kudos to the guys for staying strong and finishing off the C’s.

    Also, the Celtics organization needs to be concerned. As much we complain about the Lakers they have not lost three games in a row in two years. The C’s, on the other hand, are on a three game losing streak and are 6-11 since Christmas. Let us stop using Boston as a metric when assessing the Lakers. The Lakers are their own metric.

  10. 314 –
    Phil is always outcoached?? Was that sarcasm that i missed also? I hope so.