Glengarry Glen Ross Lessons: Derek Fisher Edition

Phillip Barnett —  June 8, 2010

Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant (L) congratulates guard Derek Fisher in the fourth quarter during Game 3 of the 2010 NBA Finals basketball series against the Boston Celtics in Boston, Massachusetts June 8, 2010. REUTERS/Adam Hunger (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)

Going into the fourth quarter, the Lakers only held a six point lead, a far cry from the 17-point lead that the Lakers held earlier in the game. With their new found momentum, the Celtics opened up the fourth with two Glen Davis layups followed by a Rajon Rondo lay up, cutting the Laker lead down to one.

With 8:56, the Lakers savvy veteran got to the rim to stop the bleeding. His layup pushed the lead back to three points. After a Kevin Garnett jumper and a Davis free throw, he went to work again, hitting a barrage of jumpers and leaners in the paint.

6:20 – 12 footer in the lane after creating space from Ray Allen
5:33 – 19 foot jumper to extend the lead to six points
4:33 – 15 footer following two straight Glen Davis buckets

We’ve become accustomed to scoring barrages like this since 1996. Kobe Bryant has always had the ability to light up the box score in short periods of time. Eight points in just over four minutes isn’t something we haven’t seen before – but this time it wasn’t from Kobe. It was Derek Fisher who almost single handedly kept the Lakers alive with the Celtics threatening to retake their first lead since just under five minutes left in the first quarter. And it would be Fisher who would ice the game. With just under a minute left to play, Fish grabbed a defensive rebound, pushed the ball and scored while getting fouled. His free throw moved the lead to seven and completely out of reach for the Celtics.

It’s always great to see a guy like Derek Fisher come through in the clutch. 11 points in the fourth quarter, closing the game for the Lakers much like his draft mate Kobe has done countless times over the years. It’s the ability to close games that gets you championships – the Glengarry Glen Ross principle as I like to call it:

To win championships, you have to know your ABCs. You have to Always Be Closing. In Game 2, the Lakers were given the conjectural Glengarry leads (a three-point lead with about five minutes left to play) and they couldn’t close the door. The leads were thrown away, allowing the Celtics to close and go back to Boston with home court advantage. Game 3, the opposite happened. The Celtics put them in a position to take another win from the Lakers and Derek Fisher came through for the Lakers despite the poor shooting from Kobe and huge game from Kevin Garnett. To further the GGR analogy, Game 3 can be broken down into four categories: AIDA (Attention, Interest, Decision and Action).

Attention: The Lakers really paid more attention to detail in Game 3, especially on the defensive end of the floor. I thought the Lakers did a fantastic job on Ray Allen. The Laker bigs were showing on screens, not allowing Allen to get off uncontested jumpers. They packed the paint when Paul Pierce had the ball, not allowing him to get going. He made three 3-pointers, but you can live with that when he isn’t able to get to the rim or knock down that shot he loves to take at the elbow. Keeping Pierce on the perimeter also meant keeping him off of the free throw line. Rajon Rondo didn’t come anywhere near 10 rebounds this game and was held to 11 points. Kevin Garnett finally got going scoring 25, but he was making a lot of tough, contested shots. I can live with that if the Celtics, especially since the rest of the Celtics only scored 59 points.

Interest: One of the things about Lamar Odom is, on nights where he’s not playing well, he looks disinterested. Tonight was not one of those games. Odom came in right away and created a good look for Pau Gasol which led to two free throws. 12 points and five rebounds are a far cry from his most productive game of the season, but it was a huge improvement from his first two games. I also thought he made one of the biggest plays of the game that won’t be found on the box score. With about 1:45 left to play, Pau Gasol and Kobe had to switch on a Rondo-Garnett screen and roll. Kobe was on the block guarding a hot Kevin Garnett (he had just made two straight shots on Gasol) one-on-one. Lamar Odom rotated over from the right block to double-team Garnett, which ended in a Garnett turnover. (You also have to give some credit to Ron Artest for rotating down to a wide open Glen Davis, who was having a great quarter at that point, also. Garnett saw him as Artest rotated down, if not for Odom and Artest, the lead is cut to two, and the Fish three point play probably doesn’t happen.)

Decision: The Lakers offense in the first half was much improved from what it was in Game 2. The ball was constantly moving, guys were moving without the ball, and most importantly, they were making quick decisions. For much of Game 2, I wondered what happened to the crisp passing and quick, smart decisions that gave the Lakers the Game 1 win. Well, those offensive principles came back for Game 3. There were very few possessions in the first half where the ball was held for too long, there wasn’t any over dribbling and the Lakers were attacking the rim which gave them the 12 point edge going into the half. Those principles disappeared in the third quarter, allowing the Celtics to come roaring back into the game. The Lakers decisiveness is going to be key in Game 4.

Action: Action is simply the state of doing, and the Lakers had loads of action in Game 3. They were active on the boards (43 to 35 advantage), they were active defensively and they were active when their collective backs were against the wall. Before the game, I talked with a friend about how I’d like to see the Lakers win a tough one in Game 3. There is nothing that puts more confidence in a group of guys winning a tough playoff game on the road – especially when it’s the NBA Finals in the Boston Garden. The Lakers acted upon the Celtics initial run by closing out the 1st quarter on a 21 to five run. After a big lead, the Celtics made it much closer than it should have been, but he Lakers fought through the adversary and closed the game on an 8-2 run.

The Lakers are now in a great position as far as this series is concerned, but it’s not over. There are still two more games to be won before they can put up their 16th banner, but knowing that they’re only two games away from the title because of Derek Fisher’s clutch play down the stretch is a great feeling. Game 4 is on Thursday.

Phillip Barnett

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93 responses to Glengarry Glen Ross Lessons: Derek Fisher Edition

  1. stop ray allen and win series. I told ya’ll that, b4 game #2. That’s the only way we lose. I take that back, there’s another way we can lose. Let Kobe shoot the jumper over and over and think he’s on the harlem globtrotters. 10-29. He’s not as good as you /he thinks he is. pass the ball … play the game… MVP .04Fish…. Fisherooooo.. Let big baby beat ya if he can, don’t think he can. Come on boyz… put the clamp on ray ray and away we go.
    Lakers in 6.

  2. D Fish deserves his cup of coffee

  3. can we dub that for today?

    F
    B
    C

    Fisher
    Be
    Closing!!!

  4. Such good D on Allen. Messed with him early and he pressed hard late. Late big misses seemed to be the result of that strong early play. Well played Lakers.

  5. hopefully Bynum is OK.. he looked pretty good when he came back late in the game with a big(ger) brace on. he’s definitely going to be key for the team for the rest of the series.

    anyone else notice that no one’s being T’ed up, even with some noticeable histrionics by the C’s? i guess that’s just as well though. let ‘em play! =)

  6. What a great recap.

    No one is going to get a T unless they go absolutely nuts. The Stern has spoken and you know this.

  7. Give that man a Cadillac too.

  8. isn’t it great that we’ve gotten this far… with the WORST POINT GUARD IN THE NBA??
    I haven’t been around lately, so I’m not sure if Aaron has been around much either, any word on our man Fish?

  9. Let me tell you something, I’ve been eating crow about Derek Fisher this entire postseason…and it’s been DELICIOUS!

    I thought he was washed up. I thought he was bad for the team.

    I WAS WRONG.

    This postseason, he’s been consistently fantastic, and tonight, he LITERALLY single-handedly saved the Lakers.

    Just fantastic work by him.

    He gets a free pass from me from now on. He’s done this too many times in the postseason for me to complain when he has a bad game during the regular season.

  10. Win (hopefully) or lose (God, no..), can we waive the HOF rule and put Fish on the wall at Staples? After seeing his emotional post game interview, is there any doubt he epitomizes what it means to be a Laker? I was racking my brain trying to think of another non HOF’er who may be worthy, and am coming up blank.
    No steak knives for Fish….

  11. As Lamar goes… the Lakers go!

  12. Two thoughts:
    1. Luke had a +13 in 13 minutes, and I’m not surprised. He often completes the “hockey assist”, watch how many of his passes lead to a great open look one or two additional passes later.
    2. Poise would mean that Dfish makes half of those shots in the 4th quarter. It’s more than just poise.

  13. While laker fans should enjoy this one, there are some areas that they need to improve upon. Defensively, I’m not sure you could do much better. Pau should be ready if Garnett is going to bust out another throwback performance, but other than that, they looked good defensively. They won the battle of the boards on both ends and did a good job of contesting shots on both the perimeter and in the paint.

    It was this defense that was responsible for the win, because the offense in the second half was absolutely horrible.

    If you guys remember the actual games in the 2008 finals, you’ll remember that Boston had a knack for preventing the Lakers from initiating the triangle in a timely fashion. The Lakers demonstrated a complete inability to run the offense in the second half. Heck, they weren’t even running a P&R.

    Basically, you had a guard or Odom casually bring the ball up and then dribble and survey until the 14 second mark. Then they swung it around the perimeter, never getting the ball inside, which equals a ton of Kobe bailout shots, few of which fell tonight.

    We saw a lot of 2 guys on the perimeter on the supposed strong side with 2 guys on the perimeter on the weak side with one big at the free throw line. I don’t understand for the life of me what the heck the lakers were thinking in the second half. Outside of 1 play where Pau finally came over to the strong side and scored on Davis at the 2 minute mark of the 4th, we saw either a) no offense being run at all or b) a kobe-fish P&R, leading to all those Fish shots. So while this makes Fish the hero tonight, the Lakers have to figure out what they need to do to run their offense.

    The 3rd and 4th quarters looked exactly like the 2008 finals on the offensive end, and I’m not sure if you can look at the Celtic defense for this either. Sure, they raised the level of intensity with their perimeter ball pressure, but this does not prevent the lakers from getting to their spots in the offense. Even though they won the game, I am extremely upset about this. If they cannot rectify this, their defense will simply not be enough to win the series.

  14. I just love Fisher. The way some people wrote him off prior to the season and everyone DURING the season.. the man has the ultimate belief in himself and the resolve to thrive in situations that other mere mortals will wither in.

    I sympathize with Pau and Andrew. Any of the 29 other teams in the NBA would give up anything just to have either one of them on their team, yet our team too often ignores the obvious advantages we have in the low post. I’m looking at you Mr. Bryant. It all starts with you. You are the leader of this team. Everyone follows your lead. If you choose to shoot this team out of a huge win by taking contested 22-footers repeatedly, I don’t know why Gasol and Bynum will enjoy playing with you for much longer.

    Speaking of Andrew Bynum, I really hope he can continue his play from the first 3 games of this series. This man (I refuse to call him a kid now) is growing up before our eyes. He’s obviously not 100%, but I can’t help but smile every time he contests a shot, grabs a huge rebound, and finishes in the paint. He and Pau have such great respect and admiration for each other, one that is very different from the relationship between Kobe and Pau. I really hope Andrew can be fully healthy for the full season next year and dominate the league.

  15. I just wonder how many starting PGs in NBA can do what Fisher did tonight.

    Not many, I say. Not many. Especially in the Finals.

    I’ve also said that Fisher’s past his prime, but I’d still rather have Fisher on the floor right now than Farmar, Brown, Sasha, or any other non-All Star PG in the league…

  16. Happy with the win – like I said this morning, we win as a team and lose as a team, this was a team win, even though I thought we played a very sloppy 3rd quarter against the Celtics small ball.

    I was so into the game that I didn’t catch Bynum “tweaked” his knee till after the game, because the announcers made no mention of it. When did it happen – the 3rd or 4th Q, and did he play after the tweak?

    Would like to know if he just landed with stinging pain (to be expected), or something worse. Drew has given us big minutes and games this series – would love to see him continue to play his heart out out there.

    Props to Dfish tonight – game ball goes to him. But we have to play better in the next game. 3 games in a row a star guard/wing has been in foul trouble for most of the game, and while Pierce deserved it tonight, it is something to watch for the next game.

    Gotta step up our D at the end of the 3rd and beginning of the 4th. I don’t take much from the bad shooting night from Kobe other than I know he played 100% on D today, and made big plays throughout the game even when the ball didn’t go into the basket. A lot of his shots came off a pass way after the shot clock was down, so I think he was forced to jack up some shots (though some he jacked up for sure). Tony Allen played pretty stellar D on him tonight, but unlike Ray/Pierce/Posey of old, does not stretch the floor for the C’s and presents them offensive problems with Rondo on the floor.

    I also thought Doc Rivers got plain out coached tonight. I know the Celtics made their run, but he made some critical errors at the end of the game, and was surprised he took Garnett out of the game so early in the 1st when he was obviously on fire both offensively and defensively. I’ll take it.

    Good win. Gotta play better. We again have done nothing yet guys. Gotta get game 4.

  17. And remember guys, the Celtics and their fans are a front running team – whenever they are ahead the fans go wild, their is lots of chanting from their players, fouls go their way, and the shots tend to fall. When they fall behind, you see some desperation, a lot less talking, and a lot more gambles. Lakers gotta have the pedal to the metal in the first and get that lead. It changes the way all of their guys play.

  18. chris h,

    aaron basically sang fisher’s praises in the last thread. it seems like he typed it with a smile on his face, which i will take as the closest thing we can get from aaron re: fisher.

    I am reading Bill simmons live thread and during Odom’s foul shots in the end of the first quarter, Boston did this chant: “Ug – ly Sis – ter”!!!

    Which is probably the second most creative chant against the Lakers since Denver’s “No Means No” chant against Kobe in 2004

  19. when artest got foul#2 and luke came in, it was like the oil spill had been shut down. boom… this guys actually uses his brain.. Seeing Rasheed run around like a little kid was sweet. Key to winning the series is… stop ray. Let big baby beat ya, can’t let ray beat us and I think Phil helped. Putting in Odom early and having the help of God with that bank 3 pointer helps with my destiny theory that the lakers will hoist the cup. It is written ! Sacha hits 2 critical foul shots… way to go sach… It’s virtually impossible to ref a Bball game as instant reply proves. At least they kind of let ‘em play 2night. Kobe 10-29 ? what would the kobester be ‘screaming’ if one of his team mates did that? The game isn’t pass me the ball and watch me cause I am the great one… the game is move w/o the ball and pass to the open man and hope he knocks it down. Brass balls ala glen gary glen ross D Fish taking it to the hoop instead of running clock and getting knocked on his butt, knocking down the shot.. that took huge huge balons.. mvp .04Dfish.
    Perhaps playing ron (i’m not having fun) artest, less, might be a brillilant thought. Nice play on that defense by ron near end of game though. Ron’s lack of fun is concerning. Hey phil, give ron a book to read..Jonathon Livingston Seagull

  20. Clutchness, savvy, and effort mean so much. Maybe over an entire season they get outweighed by raw talent, but in the playoffs when the fate of a team can rest on a handful of possessions, making the right play is HUGE. And making the right play is not just a matter of luck but also a matter of rising to the occasion. I’m glad Fisher is a guy that can rise to the occasion.

  21. didn’t watch the game on livestream at home, but went to a bar. I’m gonna take credit for this win, by the way. I’ve worn a different Laker shirt each playoff game since the last 2 Utah games — except for Games 1 and 2 of the Finals; I wore the same shirt. I wore a different one this time and… voila!

  22. This one’s for Aaron!

    Fish was clutch! And I agree with the above poster (and metioned this myself in the game chat comments) – Fish needs to have #2 up @ Staples.

  23. Anyone keep track of Kobe’s blocks as the series progresses?

    It looks like he’s really into it, and definitely very comfortable with his knees and fingers going for the blocks.

  24. Major props to D-Fish. And his comments after the game were so great to hear as a long-time Laker fan. Class act, total role model and completely ice-cold clutch.

    Didn’t like Phil using Shannon over Sasha. I’d like Sasha to get those minutes.

    Also-Drew Bynum….when the heck did you become a grown man? You are playing great, strong interior defense, the exact thing we Laker fans have wanted. Thank you.

    Kobe, great effort tongiht, but please pass the ball more.

    Great win, 2 down, 2 to go.

  25. thisisweaksauce June 8, 2010 at 11:40 pm

    Part of the problem was giving Kobe the ball with like 6 seconds left on the shot clock. A lot of times, the Lakers were begging him to bail them out.

  26. http://www.forumblueandgold.com/2009/06/11/faith-rewarded/

    Given Fisher’s performance tonight and his post game comments immediately following I just thought the above entry might be relevant.

    Question: How do you know summer is upon us?

    Answer: Posters at FB&G are singing his praises.

  27. … from the last thread….

    I think everyone here knows how surprised I am that Fisher could hit those shots………. with them grapefruit sized marbles hanging down between his legs!!!!! This wasn’t Fisher hitting a couple wide open spot up clutch shots as we’ve seen so many times from him before. This wasn’t Fisher taking the big time charge late in the game. This wasn’t Fisher getting the big steal (ala Artest knocking it off Big Baby). This was Derek Fisher taking over the entire last five minutes of the ball game like Chris Paul. He was taking it to the basket, coming off of pick and rolls, and pulling up for tough 15 footers. This wasn’t Fisher playing like a good NBA PG, this wasn’t Fisher playing like an All Star PG, this wasn’t Fisher even playing like a Hall of Famer. This was Derek Fisher playing like a legend. In one of the biggest quarters this historic Lakers franchise has ever seen… we saw Derek Fisher play one of the best quarters a Laker has ever played. At a time when Kobe wasn’t Kobe… Derek Fisher was.

    … I will never again say one bad thing about him… I was wrong

  28. “the celtics are forrest gump of the nba”

    -jon barry

    You know the celtics are going to use that as motivation for game 4. lets hope l.a. is ready

    …. he also said “lamar is a box of chocolates”

  29. 1. Derek Fisher: When you do it over and over, it’s no fluke.

    2. Defense and rebounding really carried the game.

    3. I don’t want to hear anyone talking about Bynum for Bosh in the offseason. Bynum is manning up big time, in championship competition, with a bad knee.

  30. If the Celtics take Jon Barry seriously, then they are the Forrest Gumps of the NBA.

  31. The Lakers definitely need to work on not running the shot clock down in all of their possessions. Obviously the Lakers are not an “early offense” type of team, but the excessive dribbling and dependency on Kobe bailout shots, is seriously disrupting the flow of the offense. Kobe took close to 10 of those shots (maybe more) during the game and his shooting percentage suffered tremendously. Unacceptable. Ball movement is key and perimeter shooters need to get out of the habit of hesitating on wide open shots, and trying to dribble around instead of taking what the defense is offering. Pau has to be more aggressive offensively as well.

  32. Still on pins and needles and won’t feel good until we fanagle a 3-1 lead.

    The Lakers are what they are and I have no doubt they’ll have another stretch that has us screaming at them to RUN THE DAMN OFFENSE. But any doubts I had that we’d play with poise on the road against Boston are gone.

    Also – I can see why he doesn’t do this with Kobe, but does Phil ever ask Jordan/Shannon point-blank in private ‘wtf are you doing taking that shot?’ Be curious to see what their answer is.

  33. Wow…I’ve never seen a Kobe-Fish pick and roll before, and yet the Lakers went to it a number of times down the stretch with great results. Fish definitely could have been awarded two additional “and-ones,” but didn’t get the call on his made shots. I know everyone is complaining about Kobe going into hero mode, but it seems to me that it’s mostly a symptom of Boston’s denial of entry passes into the post. These Celtics are up there with the greatest defensive teams the NBA has ever seen, comparable to the Bulls of the 1990s. If our guys pull this series out, they will have truly earned the ring.

  34. Random things:
    -Mike & Ikes for Lamar before game 4
    -Fish probably does have a ‘switch’
    -Bynum is proving his worth.
    -Artest and Bynum are two players, who would really respond well to Kobe ‘nodding and acknowledging.’
    -Rebounding is about effort and focus, and it’s really showing in this series
    -Great to get a win while scoring only 91
    -It was kinda fun to have Kobe and Allen match each other’s miss with another miss.
    -The force was with Luke
    -Ron or not, we’re limiting PP and that’s great even if Ron is not really an upgrade over Vlad in the IQ department.
    -I think the ghost of Smush Parker hovers above Jordan and Shannon, possessing them every now and then.
    -Good to have Pau
    -PJ really is kinda lax about everything compared to Boston regarding timeouts
    -0-13 after being compared to MJ. Kobe is gloating.

  35. Have to go to my sons graduation from kindergarten tommorrow. I will be wearing my #24 jersey, and hoping some Celtic fans are in attendance.

    In regards to the defense on R. Allen, it seemed to me that LA switched defensive assignments once he got to a certain point on the floor. It’ almost as if they passed him off to either Artest or Kobe to keep Fish from getting lost on all those screens and allowing Ray to have open looks at the basket.

    Finally I must give some props to Big Baby, he kept the Celts in the game with his hustle and energy. In all three games he has come off the bench and given them quality minutes. You have to respect someone who is undersized, and not athletic taking it to our bigs in the paint. Heres to Doc leaving him on the bench and continuing to get nothing out of Perkins.

  36. game ball goes to #2 no doubt

  37. yeah baby!!! Its fisher time! Great job for the old folks kobe-fish…gotta pass a little bit more mr. Bryant especially if consecutive missed shots happens…give more playing time to sasha to rest kobe so he’ll be able to play to the highest level of his game. Go lakers! Lakers in 6 or 7.

  38. Oh yeah, Allen went 0-13 but he still missed fewer shots than Kobe.. (10-29). Hopefully we can run an offense that remotely resembles the triangle offense in Game 4.

    This is obvious, but every possession counts now. Especially against this Celtics team.

  39. I just watched the singing of the national anthem on u tube. !!! WE CAN’T LOSE !!! monica and her back ground singers sang it very professionally. was very nice. Couldn’t wait 4 it 2 end. Was not james taylor. There was no vib. In 2008, when mr. taylor sang it game 1, we were DOOM’d. It had a ‘vib’ that was really strong. SImple guitar / vocal, but real. Nothing but sweet sweet baby james and we lakers , us lakers, were blown out @ halftime -last game-the horror-
    game 3 they had monica sing it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eoXbLSe8L4E
    lakers can’t lose. stop ray. monica sang the anthem. go green not boston green. Her face waz covered in oil makeup. Her voice was high and far beyond the home of the brave. James Taylor was 2 brave 4 us. Monica is the opposite. Lakers can’t lose. Stop Ray. New mantra 4 Kobe. Decision – pass the ball and move ya’ll brothers badass pronto. Action – D Fish .04 pounds Ray into going 0 fo’ 100 after setting the record the game b4. That…. was sweet. Ray Ray FELT that and it took him off his game. BIGGIE BABY impresses me everytime I see him play. Let big baby beat you. He might. Let’s take our chances. Stop Ray- again and again. You want the truth? you can’t….. ! Pinch Perkins on the ass (sacha maybe) and he’ll get T’d up pronto. Dress Adam Morrison for Jim’s sake. Kobe needs 2 take a lesson from Ray Ray. Work 2 get open. run around like a chicken w/o a head and ya’ll get some more better open looks and we all know what you can do with open looks. You can follow thru n hit em up. Sweet 3pt jumper from pierce @ end of game. .004fish was the man. mcCale dumped rambis with intent 2 ‘no harm no foul’. We hit Ray with a long jab that hurt. KG was real spent @ interview room. Real real tired… moaning and groaning like a 2 cent stock. River’s ‘brain’ coach is leaving 4 another team. If Kobe had Red Holtsman (who coached Phil) as his coach, he’d ‘understand’ to pass the ball and move….when ur not HOT… Monica (not james taylor)sang the national anthem and it was not hell….it was purgatory…couldn’t wait 4 it 2 end . james taylor sang 2008 and it was heaven. Be here now.. go800 lakers… lakers in 5…celebrate in bean town… it’s not business, it’s personal. AIDA attention interest decision action – glen gary glen ross
    get ur attention ? ray allen sets record. Ties record in 1st half. Interested? in not having that happen again ? Decision? – smoother him with laker love. Action? – Brynum on KG means Gasol on Perkins? Perkins can’t put up 40… can he? Lets have the parade on the beach. Santa Monica Blvd.
    I love la. thank you monica 4 not being James taylor. point of order: POD: STOP RAY A MUST !!

  40. I find it absolutely humorous that Kobe has one “bad game” in which he scores 29 points on 29 shots (1 point per shot, which is a true shooting percentage of 50%), and he is made to be the death of the Lakers. How soon people forget how this guy has played the entire post season! Some were saying that it was the best he has ever played. And now after a less efficient game, in which he shoots a 50% true shooting percentage, he is a plague?

    Please. There is such a thing as defense and playmaking. Kobe took some bad shots, but let’s be clear, take Kobe out and put in an average player and you get a team which is knocked out of the first round of the playoffs.

    D-Fish had a great game with some clutch shots. But that’s what is needed to win a ring. You can’t have your stars win the game for you every time. The role players need to step up, and Fish stepped up tonight.

    But let’s not start throwing insults at the heart of your team, KOBE! And with such a bad game, i’m just wondering how his +- numbers were so high…hmmm, difficult one to answer. Err, perhaps it’s not. Kobe is great. That’s your answer.

  41. I am very surprised we won tonight because yes, the offense was really bad in that second half. I think the Lakers need to get into their offense much earlier and take it to that Celtic defense. You beat the Celtics defense by force. Passing the ball aroud and hoping for some mistake by Boston to allow an open shot or drive to the lane is not the way to do that. There has got to be more quick passing and action on the offense period.

  42. Great game. Kobe had a lot of bail out shots that messed up his percentage but does not matter, we won. Fisher and kobe found a wrinkle in the defense of celtics and exploited it in the fourth. We need to play luke more when celtics are pressuring the ball, luke made a lot of subtle plays that really broke the celtics back. Lamar had a BIG layup in the fourth against big baby. Speaking of big baby, can someone please attack his dribbling and block his shots, he looks down when he dribbles and has his mind made about shooting the ball. Kobe is playing some world class defense along with bynum.

  43. #10
    Big Shot Rob is another besides Derek who will not make the HOF who deserves to be remembered.

    Derek Fisher is my favorite current Laker after tonight. I used to enjoy Odom but he’s been terrible this post season. He has seemed to lose his enthusiasm for the game.

    As much as Fisher scored, Kobe, Farmar, and Brown almost shot us out. Even Gasol was shooting deep shots. We need to let Farmar go and get a veteran or rookie on the cheap to help with SG/PG duties. Hopefully we can also dump Vujacic and Adam Morrison, too.

  44. re: 10

    The Next Great Laker Debate:
    The Best Non-HOF Laker is:

    A. Derek Fisher
    B. Robert Horry
    C. Rick Fox
    D. Lamar Odom
    E. Kurt Rambis (but he was before my time, so I’m just guessing)
    F. Dennis Rodman (j/k)
    ….I’d go with Fish also. That post-game interview pretty much summed it up. All in favor? Any other suggestions? Speak now, or…..speak, well…. speak later I suppose.

  45. I wonder if anyone will write about the overturned out of bound call that went against the Lakers when it was clear that Rondo fouled Odom even though Odom last touched the ball.

  46. @ #36

    Allen also scored 27 less points, 3 less rebounds, 2 less assists, and 3 less blocks. Kobe had an awful shooting night, but his impact goes beyond his scoring, unlike Ray Ray who is a one trick pony.

  47. “We ain’t coming back to L.A.!”- Pierce

    Now if we can only make Pierce a prophet by sweeping the next two…

  48. 33, I agree. I don’t remember if it ever happened during the three-peat years, but I have never, ever seen a 1-2 PNR with Fish and Kobe like I did last night, not in the last 2 1/2 years at least.

    Phil often gets skewered for not calling timeouts or not making substitutions, which are sometimes deserved and sometimes not, but this adjustment went unnoticed. Absolutely no way the players begin running a 1-2 PNR with Kobe and Fisher unless Phil tells them to. Honestly, who in their right mind would think that would work?

    I’m not exactly sure, but Phil must’ve seen something that told him that Ray Allen just doesn’t know how to defend screen rolls, because the dude seriously failed at it. One time, Allen stayed with Kobe when Kobe absolutely nailed Rondo with a killer screen and Fisher hit a smooth jumper in space (it should be noted that Kobe set a series of absolutely Garnett-esque screens to get Fisher space, because he was throwing elbows, sticking his ass out, and shuffling his feet a lot. But hey, it got the job done). The next time, Allen showed briefly on Fisher, but not nearly hard enough for Rondo to recover from going over the screen, leading to a Fisher floater.

    Credit Phil for finding this wrinkle, and discredit the Celtics for not adjusting. It was obvious that the Celtics absolutely did not want Rajon Rondo switching onto Kobe, because they probably thought there’s no way he can handle Kobe one-on-one; Kobe’s just too tall and too big for Rondo in the post. But Allen either didn’t know to or couldn’t show on the screen rolls, allowing Fisher to get open and repeatedly going to the basket.

    Also, on the play that really sealed the game, Fisher grabbed the defensive rebound and dribbled right around Rajon Rondo, then hit that amazing lay-up for an And1 over Garnett and Davis (another note that on the replay, Garnett clearly hits Fisher in the head, hard. Didn’t see that live, and neither did the announcers). Who would’ve thought that Fisher would be the one driving right past Rondo in transition?

    Honestly, I think the play was designed to switch Rondo onto Kobe, the same way the Celtics design plays to switch smaller guys onto Paul Pierce, but the Celtics decided to stick close to Kobe, which left Fish with really no choice but to become the scorer. But Fish hit the shots when we desperately needed them, and that’s why he’s so clutch and totally deserving of the praise he’s receiving.

  49. Ron was brought here to defend Mello, Lebron, Paul Pierce; not to score the ball.

    Ron was brought here to defend Mello, Lebron, Paul Pierce; not to score the ball.

    Ron was brought here to defend Mello, Lebron, Paul Pierce; not to score the ball.

    Now if we bloggers can just remember that.

  50. I read that Kobe had a bad game.

    Let’s see…29pts, 7rbs, 4assists, 3blocks, 2steals, 1turnover.

    Yeah! That’s a real bad game. If we Laker fans aren’t spoiled, then the definition of spoiled has changed.

  51. This is Doc’s comment on Ray Allen, “I thought he was pressing early on some of them, and honestly, I thought all of his shots looked flat tonight. I didn’t think he had any legs … of the 13, I thought eight of them were great looks, and all of them were short, all of them were flat. It happens to the best of us.”

    Ray had to guard Kobe, the Lakers were paying particular attention to him, and finally there was a cross-country flight sandwiched into a one-day turnaround. All things likely to get your basic older player’s legs to feel tired.

  52. Thank you Derek Fisher.

    As for Kobe’s shot selection; I thought there were various reasons for it. He started shooting in attempt to put the game out of reach. In turn the rest of the offense started standing around watching. By the time Kobe realized he didn’t have it going the offense was in watching-mode and couldn’t recover.

    Overall I think the Lakers outplayed the C-Words on both ends of the floor tonight. I was happy to see them win the 50-50 game as well.

    On another note; I heard Phil Jackson wanted to meet Chris Rock in the parking lot for an @$$ kicking after the game two loss.

  53. I also remember Ron was brought here to defend Durant.

  54. Great win last night. So ugly it was beautiful! Wins like these bring titles, it was won with D, even after Bynum went out because of knee issues.

    And Fisher, what can you say. Ok, on to business. I like that most of of fellow Laker fans realize Kobe had an off game, and took some bad shots. As many identified, however, 6 or 7 of those came with the clock winding.

    Sometimes he makes them, sometimes he doesn’t. To “the key” in particular:

    You take just about every opportunity to rip or criticize our best player. Always the subtle hints of “who he is not.” Let me share with you some analysis. Here are some of Michael Jordan’s shooting numbers in the Finals against Seattle and Phoenix: 9-22, 15-35, 15-35 (35! That is a lot of shots).

    Not even Kobe is that greedy. Jordan had some horrid games against LA too in 91, shooting 11-28 in Game 3. But they won, that is what matters. Jordan took 40+ shots a couple of times against Phoenix in ’93.

    This is what many people fail to understand. It was amazing that Kobe even had the energy to hoist that many shots last night, chasing and coralling Rondo. And how does Rondo hurt you? By controlling the tempo and getting rebounds. Last night: 11 pts, 3 rebs, and 8 assists. This explains some of Kobe’s shooting — legs.

    Jordan used to sometimes chase around Kevin Johnson or even Gary Payton for games. He could never handle Magic, which is why Scottie got the assignment. Imagine Jordan trying to guard Carmelo Anthony in the playoffs last year like Kobe did admirably in stretches.

    But in Game 3, like it was Rondo making key defensive and hustle plays, it was Kobe doing it. Blocking shots, saving balls, stripping rebounds. Those are heart and will plays, like Fisher’s shots.

    And Coach Doc Rivers had something to say about the importance of Kobe being out on the floor. But too many are still stuck in “textbook” basketball mode when it comes to Kobe’s shots. Give the man a break.

    You know what else I saw last night? Pau Gasol get absolutely owned. He shrank physically, but more importantly, mentally.

    To all Laker fans who love (and loved) to say he is our best player. Stop it. He made a few nice plays last night, but a Kobe or Fisher he is not.

    Go LA!

  55. Like always the media is going to make way to much of this win (as they did after gm1 and gm2). Let’s not forget Bos lost gm3 to Clev as well.

    this really only does 2 things for us

    1. In order to the win the championship the celtics have to beat us on our court at least 1 more time. that is not insignificant

    2. It gives us a chance with gm4 to really put the Bos in a bad spot with a lot of pressure. Let’s put the proverbial boot on their necks

    Game 3 was much tougher than 1 or 2 and I’m afraid game 4 will be more so.

  56. @49, 52
    Now if we could also remember that he’s been doing just that… We brought Ron in to be a defensive power house, not to be a scorer (it’s not like we needed another one anyway), and he’s doing his part on defense. It’s not showing in the stats, never has and never will, but we don’t need him to score. We need him to keep hounding Pierce the way he’s done so far.

  57. Artest’s defense of Durant is a plus for having him, but that wasn’t why the Lakers signed him.

  58. I felt that this was an absolutely surreal game. It looked like we were well on our way to another offensive collapse, and in the 4th I was flabbergasted: “Derek Fisher off S/Rs and dribble penetration is our best offense? Really?”

    Then after a bit: “Hey, I’m good with that.”

    Also feel like it’s worth pointing out I remember Gasol getting only one meaningful touch in the 4th at the 2:30ish mark. We scored. Wow. Never would’ve seen that coming.

  59. Hi!
    Was my previous message deleted for some reason? I don’t get it.

    By the way. Does somebody have or know from where can I dowload the 4th quarter, or the full game?

    Thanks a lot

  60. The Lakers really earned this win.

    The offense was terrible in the second half, with neither Kobe nor Pau shooting well, and the Lakers never really getting any of their sets going.

    There were some interesting things happening that I hadn’t noticed happening in the other games, and unfortunately I didn’t Tivo last night’s game (my HD is almost full and I don’t have things I can delete atm) so I can’t go back and see if they were the result of our “execution” or Boston’s defense.

    I noticed Pau getting the ball out near the 3-point line on the extended free throw line a lot in the 2nd half. I know that we want Pau to get touches in the high post to allow him to either take bigs off of the dribble, shoot over them, or make a great pass, but he was way too far away from the post when he got his touches and our offense stagnated pretty much every time this happened.

    When Pau did have the ball in the post he seemed tentative and unsure what to do. Even in the first half when we built that lead, Pau wasn’t playing particularly well with the ball. His screens even seemed a little off last night.

    Bynum was huge for us tonight. He did a pretty good job of getting position in the post for us in the first half and then seemed to taper off after tweaking his knee in the 3rd. I thought that made a big difference because you could see that he wasn’t using his knees and hips to hold the block. When he came back with the new brace, he seemed better.

    Kobe’s game was a mixed bag. He took a lot of bad shots that he didn’t need to, but he also missed a lot of bailout shots because the ball kept getting stuck in the hands of unsure bench players until there were about 5-6 seconds left on the clock and he had to work from about 25 feet out.

    He hustled like a madman tonight though. He was everywhere on defense and when the ball was in the air for rebounds and he worked his butt off in the 2-man game with Fisher late in the fourth.

    I agree that we were likely trying to get the Celtics to switch Rondo onto Kobe, but the Celtics were determined not to let that happen and (understandably) let Fisher keep shooting, figuring they’d rather have him taking those shots than Kobe Bean Bryant.

    I thought Odom’s game was bigger than his point and rebound total. He got called for some questionable fouls but didn’t check out again tonight. He played through it, was seeing the court well, and was pretty active on the glass despite the 5 boards.

    I think Luke Walton was key for us in the first half. He kept the offense running properly and didn’t create too much of a deficit on the defensive end. If I had to nitpick his performance, I’d have to point out the play in the first half when Rondo got an easy layup because when you watch the play you see all 5 Celtic players on the screen, but only 4 Lakers, followed by the play in the 2nd half when he had Rondo guarding him in the post, Fish and Artest crossed in front of him on their way to clear out, and he passed the ball out of the post with time running down on the clock. But that’s nitpicking.

    Shannon and Jordan tonight were…um…unremarkable.

  61. I was at the game last night, and let me tell you unequivocally:

    THIS SERIES IS OVER.

    The Celtics cannot beat L.A. 3 of the next 4. Even Celts fans know it. And I can sense it in Garden last night — it was palpable.

    The Boston fandom was missing last night. Their biggest shouts were directed towards the refs. The place was never electric; rather there was this gloomy cloud of inferiority that I sensed weighing down the fans.

    They know their team is cooked. They know that LA is unstoppable inside, tough on D, and overall a better team.

    Oh, and a personal note: The Truth — “CPP” as he’s called in these necks — has been completely exposed. I am sick of his empty cockiness, and even his own fans are.

  62. In fairness, the reason Durant was never mentioned when we signed Artest might have been because that was right after the Thunder had their 20-win season. No one in their right mind would have brought them up as a playoff opponent.

    Anyways. To the matter at hand:

    Fisher did monster heroics in last year’s playoffs too and a lot of us promised to never doubt him again. And look what we did… Fisher, we’re sorry. We should have known better. We should have learned by now.

  63. A couple of quick points that I haven’t seen really mentioned:

    1) Lakers use of the 1-2 pick & roll. I don’t recall seeing this done at all during the season but it was a great tactic in this game. Ray Allen had done a fantastic job of guarding Kobe one-on-one and one of the reasons he was so successful was that he never had to fight through screens, the plays were mostly isolation plays where Allen just had to move his feet. Putting Allen in a pick-and-roll with Fisher was huge because the Celtics had to decide how to play it. Do they switch the pick and roll and leave Rondo to guard Kobe one-on-one where Kobe could just back him down and shoot over the top of him for an easy basket or do they try to fight through the screen and potentially give an opening to Fisher or Bryant (whomever the ball-handler is). They chose to fight through it as they didn’t want to give Kobe and easy mismatch to exploit. The results were Fisher consistently getting a step or two past Rondo and then hitting the pull-up jumper in space. A great play design that forced the Celtics to pick their poison, either a Kobe post-up over the much smaller Rondo or Fisher with a good look at a midrange jumper. They chose the latter and got burned.

    2) Gasol’s mismatch against Glen Davis. There were at least 3 instances that I can recall where Glen Davis was left to guard the much bigger Gasol in the final few minutes of the game. One instance Gasol stayed weakside to create space for the Fisher-Bryant screen and roll so I don’t fault him for not posting up. Another one he went straight to the left block and the Lakers immediately got him the ball for an easy turnaround jumper over the shorter Davis. The final one though was truly sad to see. Kobe was isolated on the left wing and they weren’t running the pick and roll with Fisher. The left block was wide open and waiting for a Laker to fill it. Rather than Gasol running to that spot and exploiting the mismatch he instead slowly walked across the top of the key without any sense of desire or purpose. The result was a tough jumper for Kobe over Allen that missed. For all the talk about the Lakers needing to feed Gasol more in the post, their are still plays occassionally where he doesn’t put himself in a position to demand the ball and this was a glaring example of it.

    3) Kobe actually played a pretty solid game. People will quickly look to the 10-29 from the field and claim he was awful. But let me pose these questions… who got every single steal for the Lakers? Kobe. who led the team in blocks? Kobe. Who tied for the most number of assists? Kobe. Who played the most minutes and had the fewest turnovers of any player (minimum 20 minutes)? Kobe (44 min only 1 TO). Who got to the line the most and also didn’t miss a single free throw? Kobe. Who also happened to grab 7 rebounds (matching the Celtics back court of Rondo and Allen COMBINED)? Kobe. So while Kobe certainly didn’t shoot well last night (particularly from 3), he had a great game with regards to EVERY other statistic and made great contributions.

  64. @ #40, and #54 Kaveh and Quis respectively.

    Yes. You both are dead on about Kobe tonight. He absolutely didn’t have his “A” game offensively, but he was a beast on defense. He neutralized Rondo fairly well and helped out a ton on the boards. He had a few huge blocks down low as well. Was it an efficient game? Nope but he did make his mark.

    About Pau….he didn’t have a very good game offensively or defensively to be honest, but I’m not knocking him really. KG came out really fired up and Pau just never seemed to get in rhythm on offense. We looked for him on the block, but he just didn’t have it tonight and he passed on quite a few opportunities to go one on one against Perkins or KG.

    Bynum really stepped up last night. If he were 100% I don’t know what the Celts could do with him because Perkins can’t hang with him at 75%. He played some great help defense, grabbed a good chunk of rebounds, and even had an impressive stint or two against KG. (He actually played him a bit better last night than Pau did)

    I have no complaints with how RonRon is playing in this series. If he can hold down Pierce to an avg of 16.3 pts per game then he is doing his job! Anything we get from him offensively is just a bonus and I have a feeling he will step up for us again before it’s all said and done.

    There is nothing more to say about Fisher. The man is clutch. He is Robert Horry clutch. Bill Simmons likes to call him a poor man’s Horry, but I think he brings more to this team than Horry ever did. Horry hit big shots. Fisher has the biggest heart on this team. He’s a rock, a leader, a gentleman. No matter what you need him to do he will do it and he’ll sell his body out every play getting it done.

    2 more to go! Would love to see them close this out in Boston!

  65. @44 Don’t forget Byron Scott, Jamaal Wilkes, and Michael Cooper. However, I still think that Fisher may win the debate because he is a tough defensive player, hits big clutch shots, but most of all, he’s one of the best leaders the Lakers have ever had.

    After their height advantage, I definitely think the leadership of Kobe and Fish are the next greatest asset of the team!

  66. Mimsy,
    You are absolutely correct. Artest was not brought in to guard Durant, but it is sure a great bonus for us.

    Fish is what he is and that is great for us. Lamar is what he is and that is ok for us, as long as we make room for him but don’t depend on him.

    The guy making the difference is Bynum. It is his presence that is making the start of the game so difficult for the Celtics. What I wish is that he would just stop leaving his feet for any reason whatsoever. People would make more shots over him, but 1) he would stop even more penetration, 2) reduce his foul situation even more than he has, and 3) it would be easier on his knees. I want him around for quite a few more years.

  67. I woudn’t say that the Lakers are the better team. I would say that the Lakers have better indiviual players, especially the starters.
    But Boston’s comeback yesterday somehow left me thinking that they have a level of resilience, game-plan execution and poise that the Lakers as a team hasn’t reached, at least during a full game. But on the other hand the Lakers have better weapons and use them properly at stretches of different lenght which seems moreless enough.

  68. This series is not over. There’s still a lot of work to be done.

    I was not happy with some of Kobe’s shot selection but also wasn’t happy about the lack of triangle and how he was forced into some bailout shots.

    Completely agree with many of the posters mentioning the other aspects of Kobe’s game. He may not have had a great shooting night but he did so many other things. I really like how it seems like he’s making a concentrated effort to rotate down and go for the block. Constantly challenging Boston’s big men like that from angles they aren’t expecting will also affect them in later plays. It’s got to stick in the back of their minds that even if they get past Pau and Drew, Kobe might be lurking. That might cause them to rush and miss a shot.

    Bynum is just flat out gutting things out. His lack of mobility isn’t hurting the team as much as it did against Phx. I love how his bulk and sheer size is making a difference down low. He’s just not occupying space too. There’s a concentrated effort to go after boards and follow up baskets to clean up any misses. Also the size to bang on D and help patrol the paint. I noticed he got switched on KG a couple of times and was pleasantly surprised that KG didn’t seem to recognize it and go right at Drew. Or maybe he didn’t want to challenge Drew. Either way, Lakers got away with the switch that couple of times.

    Pau may not have had as dominating of a game as he did in the first two. But he still had a double double and 4 assists tying for team lead. Sure KG had a monster game but those were some tough contested shots falling. Agree with Phillip that you can live with that.

    This is still going to be quite a battle the rest of the series.

  69. Well done, Phillip – check out this pictorial ode to Fish & Kobe: http://bit.ly/92Flm2

  70. Great game by Fish, but HOF on the wall only. Sorry.

  71. Would be great if they found a way to “unofficially” retire #2 when Fish is done.

  72. Three cheers for the PUJIT !!!

  73. Dood & Zephid:

    Actually, the Fish-Kobe PNR has been run in the regular season before from time to time, albeit infrequently.

    In this context, I was definitely (and pleasantly) surprised by Phil’s decision to use it to this extent. And Zephid makes a good point; Ray Allen may be sufficiently competent to guard a PNR as the guard, but definitely not as a screener, and Phil was a master at saving this play for crunchtime exploitation.

  74. Darius, do you know anything about Bynum’s knee other than what has been reported?

  75. So yes there is an “I” in Win, But still no “I” in Team!

    Game 3 besides deflating the overconfident bad boy Celtics proved once again that it takes a team effort to win a ring. Don’t get me wrong, you need a work horse like Pau, a slave driver like Phil, and a mamba like Kobe to do it as well. But in the end it’s the ENTIRE team that will guarantee players sport the badazzaling blingful ring during the summer. Here’s what the Celtics should have noticed but perhaps with age “the obvious” comes slowly.

    #1. Artest is not going to beat you scoring—but he’s doing what he’s paid to do SHUT YO MAIN MAN DOWN!

    #2. Pau may be “soft” at times but the Spainiard is consistent on offense and so whatever KG does is simply nullified by Pau’s brillance.

    #3. Bynum hummmm, his absence could have been the single reason the C’s won in 2008. The young warrior happens to be silently killing any drives to the lane Rondo is accustom to getting.

    #4.Lamar is like “a box of chocolates”. You don’t know exactly what to expect but one thing for sure, “too much of it can make you sick”. Lamar’s scoring and aggressive made the C’s sick last night. (Did you see their faces, ugh!)

    #5. Shannon and Farmer are young and in the Finals, give em a break. But C’s must pay attention because these two stallions can drive the ball down your throat if you give em an opening. Like they did contribute 3-6 shooting, 3 boards and an assit in a short span.

    #6. Lukkkkkkkke, the guy reminds you of watching the Andy Griffith Show. Calming, consistent, get the job done.

    #7. Sasha——came though.

    Saving the best for last of course.

    Kobe Bean Bryant. The man is remarkable. Sure he had a really off night (it happens from time to time, with all great players) but he didn’t let that stop him from impacting the game. 29 pts, 7 boards, 4 assist, 3 blocks, 2 steals. Wow. He played out of his mind! He had the most blocks last night. He also had the most steals. Now that’s getting it done! Don’t for one minute think he wasn’t focus because his shots were off. The man is snake-like focused. It’s just that the C’s are great defenders and it troubles every team’s defense. Remember they shut Lebron down? Kobe is the Man!

    Last but never least, Fisher. What can we say. I see why Phil kept this guy around when naysayers pled for him to ride the bench. He is clutch. He was the difference last night. He willed the Lakers to the win. I just feel like placing a chief headdress on the man and chanting, “Oh great warrior, how wonderful you are”. Class, heart, fight, brains, and faith will always beat skill, youth, and hope. (Lebron, Durant, Mellow did you hear that?)

    Great win. I’m looking forward to the next game.

  76. Fish, per Denzel in Remember the Titans, “you’re a hall of famer in my book.”

    Something within me tells me that Artest is due for a breakthrough game (in the positive sense). He has flustered Pierce and it appears that the once called “Big Three” is now the “1/3″ as in only one of the three is permitted to have a “good game.”

    Yesterday’s win was the “waiting to exhale” moment and now, I’m a little worried that from an emotional standpoint, the team may feel as if they’ve partially achieved their goal of bringing back HCA to LA.

    Great game last night. And whatever happens to Fisher this offseason (most likely he’ll be in LA), let’s remember the real season starts in the playoffs and Fisher has never let us down in that respect. And I’m glad Aaron agrees with us about that now!

  77. Great game! I wonder why PJ had Brown in instead of Sasha in the 3rd quarter when scoring was a problem?

  78. @45

    The ruling was in line with the NBA rulebook.

    1. You can review out of bounds with 2 minutes left in the game.
    2. You can’t reconsider fouls. If the calls are missed,, so be it. There is no going back.
    3. You can reconsider possession based on who last touched the ball prior to it going out of bounds.

    The ball went out on Odom even though they fouled him so the Celtics got it.

    I think they should change the rule and if a foul occurs, that team should not be given the ball, whether the ball goes out off of them or not.

  79. I think some of us have to remember the Lakers are not running the Triangle in a vacuum. They are running it against a team that is doing all they can to disrupt it. And the C’s are one of the best defensive teams in the NBA.

    We have to remember that it is not going to always look pretty. At this stage in the season the skill level on both sides has to be respected. The Lakers are not about to run the Triangle to perfection every night and simultaneously run the Celtics off the floor. I believe the Lakers will win two more games. But I believe those two wins will look more like game three than game one.

    I am usually one to lament Kobe’s 10-29 shooting performances. However, he did so many other things last night. That block on Perkins was a thing of beauty. Those kinds of plays send a message to the other team.

    At this point the only numbers I care about are 2-1.

  80. The foul on Odom on the out of bounds review, clearly shows the need for the NBA to expand the review to include fouls and other calls which may affect the game.

  81. The best thing to come out of last night’s win is that after 3 1/2 quarters of poor shooting, Kobe decides to be the screener for Fish for the next 6 minutes and Fish delivering big.

  82. One other point.

    Andrew Bynum is becoming a man in this series. He is gutting it out and giving the Lakers some quality minutes out there. He is not sulking. He is not complaining or looking for sympathy. On the league’s biggest stage he is bringing it.

    My level of respect for him as a basketball player has jumped. I just wish he body would give him the break he deserves.

  83. Series is not over guys. Celts have shown that they can win in LA, and LA has shown that they can win in Boston. This is the first real “series” of the 2010 postseason, because both teams have won on the road, all of the games have been contested, and their have been no blowouts. Laker fans should not relax – we should want blood. Game 4 is just as important as game 3, and our offense and defense is going to need be be real sharp to win it.

    We win as a team and lose as a team. Fisher was big tonight, as was Kobe – but so was Bynum, Luke, Farmar, Vujacic, Brown, and Artest, and Pau. They all played hard and never gave up – even if they had the occasional brain fart. Thats what you ask for in a win, play hard. Now we have to play harder.

  84. For all you lamenting Kobe’s 10 for 29 shooting performance…listen to Fish and other Lakers after the game. Kobe was being handed the rock with under 10 sec left on the clock after someone else stood around and ran down the clock. Against the Celtics that sequence will normally result in a poor/very difficult shot. The only reason we are complaining is that we are so used to Kobe hitting all those difficult shots.

  85. @CraigW true, but you can’t deny that he forced a good number of shots too. He made those during the Phoenix series, but most likely because he didn’t have to guard anyone on defense. You can see most of his shots coming up short. I’m guessing his legs aren’t fresh as they were in the WCF.

  86. I’m not going to get on Kobe for his shooting last night (I never do). The guy does so many things and I think we forget that sometimes because he’s such a great scorer. Even Fishers shots had kobe written all over them. As Zephid put it, he was able to get open for shots because the C’s were paying so much attention to Kobe. I think some of his shooting issues last night stem from the same place Ray Allens did. Many of his shots (even though the shot clock was running down) weren’t close. They were banking off the backboard or coming up way short. Like Allen, I think the flight and short rest took away his legs and rhythm. I look for Kobe to have a strong game 4, rarely does he shoot like this 2 games in a row. The question will be if the rest of the team will join him.

  87. also, best quote from a post game writeup I read.
    “Fisher’s exactly what the Lakers needed. I had a conversation with a Hall of Fame player Monday night, and he refuted my theory that a series is about who prevails under optimal conditions; that is, whose best can beat whose best. He said it’s the opposite. It’s about whose grit is grittier. You don’t get “best” in the NBA Finals. The teams are too familiar with each other, the scouting reports are too detailed, the animosity ratchets up too high to allow for fluid, high-level basketball. Who can win the games when the plays don’t go the way the coaches draw them up in the huddles, when the officials’ whistles are disrupting the flow (yes, it happened again) and when the shooters’ shots aren’t falling? In Game 3 it was the Lakers, largely thanks to Fisher. ”

    -J.A. Adande.

    * tried to edit my last post but it wouldn’t let me.

  88. @44 :
    Best non HOF Laker
    A. Derek Fisher
    B. Robert Horry
    C. Rick Fox
    D. Lamar Odom
    E. Kurt Rambis (but he was before my time, so I’m just guessing) (coach+player)
    F. Dennis Rodman (j/k) HOF caliber, but not as a laker.
    —-
    G. Tex Winter (HOF caliber, 4 as laker)
    H. Cooper
    I. Divacs (maybe not as a laker)
    J. AC Green (held iron man and no woman streaks)
    K. Mychal Thompson (only laker champ #1 overall not in HOF)
    L. Mitch Kupchak (GM and player)
    M. Byron Scott (player, GM-non lakers)
    N. Norm Nixon

    Cheating :
    Pat Riley, Kobe Bryant, Shaq, Phil Jackson are not in the HOF, but they will be.

    Other notables (lakers technically):
    Gary Payton, Karl Malone, Don Chaney, Mitch Ritchmond, Glen Rice, isiah rider, Rudy Tomjonovich, Eddie Jones

    And my vote goes to : Tex Winter.
    The man deserves his HOF like no other on this list, and wont get it.

  89. Barath: Phil Jackson and Pat Riley are in the HOF ;)

  90. What about Jamaal Wilkes? If anyone is a legit HOFer it’s him. He scored 37 in game 6 vs. Philly in 1980, but no one ever remembers that b/c Magic scored 42 in that same game. He was an absolute star on our 1980 and 1982 championship teams, and John Wooden, who knew a little something about basketball, famously said that Wilkes was his ideal player.

  91. A few points:

    1. Props to Aaron.
    2. I think looking at the %s of Allen, and to a lesser extent Kobe and Pierce, we have to look at the fact that you had a travel day and a 48-hour turnaround. May have affected their shots. These are not young guys. Yes, Fisher is older than any of them, but some of his key shots were actually not jumpers.
    3. Craig W is right about Artest. Walton contributed last night, and it was Fisher’s night, but the biggest differences between 2008 and 2010 OVERALL are the presences of Artest and Bynum, and the absence of Posey. Pierce crushed the Lakers in 2008 and there were many easy hoops for the other Celtics. Again, Celtics’ point totals when both Gasol and Bynum have suited up:
    83
    89
    87
    89
    103 But based on 11/16 on 3s
    84
    4. We should not forget that Odom was 5/5 from the floor in this game and made a few other nice plays.
    5. When we were discussing Fisher earlier in the year, I said that we should acknowledge his shortcomings, but also pointed out that he seems utterly fearless on the basketball floor. Recall that he was 2/8 in G2 and was one reason Rondo torched the Lakers. Last night, we saw the other side. That said, I am with Aaron, in a sense: if the Lakers win this series, I will give this entire team a lot of slack going forward and try not to criticize nearly as much.
    6. This is a long, long way from over. If the Celtics can win the next 2, and they can, they still have the edge. I still think the Lakers need to win one of the next two. Recall 1988: after the Lakers split 2 with the Pistons in LA, they won a gutsy, memorable, ugly Game 3. But then they lost the next two in Detroit, coming home down 3-2. They did it get it done by winning Games 6 and 7 in LA–but it was a near, near thing. No one really talks about it much, but they were in far more danger of losing to the 1988 Pistons than of losing to the 1987 Celtics, in large part because they split the first two at home, rather than heading for the week-long war back east up 2-0.

  92. Derek Fisher is one of the DIRTIEST players in basketball. He is a total cheater which Phil Jackson I guess uses as Derek’s main talent, as otherwise Derek is basically slow and old. He “looked good” supposedly the other night, but it is his getting away with all sorts of underhanded dirty nasty acts that allows him with his “innocent” look not to be called that undermines the game in a is dishonorable, disturbing and destructive way. As a fan, I just can not enjoy a game where Derek Fisher is not being called on his dirtiness. Instead he is lauded. Doc Rivers is right right right…. Derek “Dirty Cheat” Fisher should not be holding Celtics’ players arms without being called. Derek’s flopping left and right, and playing dirty nasty tricks and not being called for his unsportsmanlike actions makes the games he is in cheap, and not games to which I want to bring my family. The dark side of basketball is represented by Derek “Dirty Cheat” Fisher, and that dark side needs to have light shed upon it. The best disinfectant is sunlight, and I am shining a light on the dark side of Derek Fisher’s dastardly basketball behavior. Simply, Derek Fisher’s playing is frustratingly overrated, and has to be judged in view of his predominant dark side. SHINE A LIGHT ON DEREK FISHER’S DARK SIDE. Clean up basketball by calling a foul a foul, and Derek Fisher’s basketball playing is FOUL, VERY FOUL, FOULSOME PLUS. I AM CALLING FOUL ON DEREK FISHER’S FOULISH FOOLISH OBNOXIOUS DIRTY PLAYING.