Around The World (Wide Web): Fouls, Fisher, & Game Four

Phillip Barnett —  June 10, 2010

Jun. 08, 2010 - Boston, MASSACHUSETTS, UNITED STATES - epa02193039 Boston Celtics' Kendrick Perkins (L) tries to shoot as Los Angeles Lakers' Andrew Bynum defends during the first half of game three of the NBA Finals at TD Gardens in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, 08 June 2010. The Lakers defeated the Celtics 91-84 to lead the series 2-1.

THE BLOGS

From Kurt Helin, Pro Basketball Talk: Plenty of people watching the NBA Finals have wanted to yell at NBA Commissioner David Stern about it. Celtics minority owner Jim Pallotta did just that after Game 3. He confronted Stern and said the officiating was an embarrassment to the league. That likely means a fine is on the way, and maybe a healthy one, according to the report in the Boston Globe. Officiating has become a big story this series, with Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, Kobe Bryant, Lamar Odom, Ron Artest and others having to sit because of foul trouble.

From Kelly Dwyer, Ball Don’t Lie: Speaking to the media Wednesday, Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers was clearly not happy with the way his team has been treated by the officials in the NBA Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers. At least not in Game 3. When asked to discuss how it was, exactly, that Laker guard Derek Fisher helped hold Ray Allen to 0-13 shooting in the Game 3 loss, Rivers seemed more than a little perturbed. “Besides flopping,” Rivers started, “he doesn’t do a lot extra. He plays hard. He’s been in the game long enough to understand. I thought he got away with a lot last night. I thought there was a lot of holding going on and a lot of flopping going on.”

From Andy Kamenetzky, Land O’ Lakers: Predictably, much of today’s practice chatter centered around Derek Fisher’s Game 3 heroics. 11 fourth quarter points. A coast-to-coast layup instantly added to a considerable list of indelible franchise moments. An unlikely showing of pick and roll dominance. Plus, the speeches he’s famous for giving as situations grow tense. Words captivating everyone spellbound as they leave his mouth. And I do mean everyone. Even Kobe Bryant, obligated to listen to nobody on the Laker roster. By his own admission, that’s basically the case.

From Tim Potvak, NBA Fanhouse: Celtics forward Paul Pierce believes he is on the verge of a much-needed breakout game at the NBA Finals, ready to rescue his team with a big shooting night. Lakers forward Ron Artest is thinking just the opposite, that his own defense is about to intensify, preparing to lock down Pierce even more than he already has. One of them is going to be awakened rudely Thursday night. The winner of that debate is probably going to win Game 4.

From Kenny Masenda, Ed The Sports Fan: The NBA Finals are supposed to be the greatest time of the year for all basketball fans. We get to see the two best teams, with some of the best players in the NBA, go at it, and they do it all in the name of the Larry O’ Brien Trophy. However, leave it to the officials to call these games in a manner that’s been so awful, so pathetic, and so unnecessary that it’s taking the fun out of the entire thing.

(UPDATED) From Matt Hubert, D-League Digest: Luke Walton never played in the D-League.  He entered the NBA in 2003 after being drafted in the second round by the Lakers (32nd overall) following a solid but not spectacular fifth-year senior season at Arizona. Back then his name was Luke Walton The Son of Hall of Famer Bill Walton.  Now in his seventh season with the Lakers, Walton has established his own NBA identity. He is far from a candidate for time in the D-League, but his performance in Game 3 of the NBA Finals was a blueprint of how a role player can impact a game, even on the biggest stage.

THE PAPERS

From Kevin Ding, OC Register: Trevor Ariza’s Twitter identification photo features him staring out the window of the Lakers’ team plane last season. Ariza wasn’t on the Lakers’ flight from Los Angeles to Boston for the 2010 NBA Finals. Instead, Ron Artest was. So was Lamar Odom, who similarly occupies a window seat on the plane, frequently playing cards with Jordan Farmar, Luke Walton and Adam Morrison near the window – Artest and Shannon Brown often joining from across the aisle.

From Mike Bresnahan, Los Angeles Times: Twelve hours had passed since Derek Fisher reinvigorated a franchise with nine minutes he’ll remember forever, but the Lakers were back at work Wednesday, treading somewhere between cautious and confident, knowing the Boston Celtics weren’t done yet but definitely feeling the sting of a defense that continued to govern the NBA Finals. The Lakers met for a brief practice on what happened to be the 25th anniversary of their first championship victory over the Celtics, a time that will eternally live in the eyes of the organization.

From Mark Heisler, Los Angeles Times: Anyone have an extra Big Three? Anyone you can spare, whether it’s two star players or even just one, please send them to the TD Garden immediately. The Celtics used to have a Big Three of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen. Now it’s Rajon Rondo, someone like Nate Robinson or Glen Davis and whichever member of their old Big Three has a discernible pulse that night. If nothing else, it shows just how improbable the Celtics’ run to the NBA Finals was.

THE MAJORS

From Mike Trudell, NBA.com (Practice report with video): There was plenty of time during Wednesday’s media session for the Lakers to talk and think about their impressive 91-84 victory in Game 3, and we’ll get to that momentarily. But the team’s focus, almost immediately, had to turn to Game 4. “I expect a fight,” said Lamar Odom. “(The Celtics) are tough competitors as well as great basketball players. We expect a fight.” While the Lakers proved to be the more mentally tuned in team while reclaiming home court advantage in the series, they certainly expect Boston’s best effort in Game 4.

From Scott Howard Cooper, NBA.com: The ultimate irony, the ultimate assault on the senses, is that the two most important shots of the Kobe Bryant postseason are misses. His short jumper in the final seconds of Game 6 against the Thunder became the offensive rebound Pau Gasol turned into the basket that ended the opening round. And his twisting Hail Mary in Game 5 against the Suns was transformed into Ron Artest’s redemption bucket at the buzzer that turned the Western Conference finals toward the Lakers.

From Tim Legler, ESPN.com: Who knew that Forrest Gump would prove to be such a visionary when he so eloquently opined, “The NBA Finals are like a box of chocolates: You never know what you’re gonna get”? OK, maybe Forrest was referring to something about life when he uttered that famous line, but he might as well have been talking about basketball’s biggest stage, because the 2010 NBA Finals have been anything but predictable. The Los Angeles Lakers are two wins away from their second consecutive championship, and even they would admit that they have no idea what to expect when the series resumes Thursday night.

From Chris Forsberg, ESPN Boston: “Just keep shooting the ball. I thought I had some pretty good looks in Game 3. Really not discouraged at my opportunities. Really didn’t see a lot of double-teaming. A lot of those looks I got were looks I can make. So just stay positive, and if I get those same looks in Game 4, I’m confident that they’ll go in.” — Paul Pierce Those sound like words Paul Pierce might have uttered Tuesday night, right? Nope, those were spoken about two years ago on June 10, 2008, after Pierce labored through a 2-of-14 shooting performance and scored a mere six points in a Game 3 loss to the Lakers in that year’s NBA Finals. It was the only stinker Pierce posted during a series in which he earned Finals MVP. True to his word, he rebounded to average 25 points over the final three games of the 2008 series.

From Mike Freeman, CBS Sports: t happened, again, in Game 3 of the NBA Finals. An NBA player was whining about a call. Actually, this time, it was two players crying at once. After an official called a foul on Glen Davis, he exploded in a sort of fast walk away from the official, protesting the entire time. It was similar to what serial ref complainer Kendrick Perkins did during the Orlando series. Perkins was whistled for a technical foul.

Phillip Barnett

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29 responses to Around The World (Wide Web): Fouls, Fisher, & Game Four

  1. We play as a team and we win or lose as a team. I stopped celebrating game 3’s win by the time the Lakers were back in the locker room, and I am sure the Lakers did as well. Going to have to fight a strong first push from Boston, run our offense, and take them out of their game. Let’s go boys.

  2. For those who want to do a bit more bathing in the bask of Game 3 before tonight’s tipoff, check out my post on TrueHoop Network’s D-League Digest detailing Luke Walton’s Game 3 performance and how it should serve as a blueprint to aspiring NBA role players.

    http://dleaguedigest.com/2010/06/10/forget-mike-d-leaguers-should-dream-to-be-like-luke/

  3. so, I was over at celticsblog yesterday, hoping to catch some good basketball talk from the enemy’s point of view. instead, the focus seemed to revolve around the officiating.

    Ironically, their home page photo on Andrew Bynum’s knee injury was a photo of Perkins pushing off on Bynum…

  4. #3 Matt,
    Thanks for passing that along. I’ve added it to the links in the “Blogs” section.

  5. Referees for tonight’s game via Kevin Ding’s Twitter:

    Scott Foster, Eddie F. Rush and Greg Willard

    http://twitter.com/KevinDing/status/15848706104

  6. Copied over from previous thread because I felt I wasn’t getting enough attention:

    For all those who are discussing our guard options for next season, consider this alternative:

    1) Start Vujacic at PG; Zephid et al. has debated this enough, and while I agree, I’ll let them back it up.

    2) Re-sign Fisher and play him as backup SG. The rationale here is that Fisher must still be kept fresh during the regular season and the limited minutes he plays behind Kobe will ensure that. Also, this relieves us of Shannon Brown if he decides to opt out and leave.

    The other reason is because Fisher while slow and still good at funneling quick PGs towards help, is definitely strong enough to bother SGs on defense (not just Ray Allen, but most SGs in this league), and I believe will do a more-than-competent job there.

    In the playoffs, if necessary, he can also return to PG for long stretches (if our PGs fail, obviously) – especially since he’s not the type to be confused about his role even when everyone else loses their marbles.

  7. Just curious, have any of Phil Jackson’s teams had an “instant offense” player on the bench (i.e. a Vinnie Johnson type)? I can’t think of any – doesn’t seem to really fit with the triangle concept.

  8. Darius,

    No problem at all. Thanks for linking, much appreciated!

  9. Can we please stop with the discussion about our options at PG for next year??? In case you haven’t noticed, there is a monster game going on tonight that we should all be focused on AND our Lakers have not yet won this series folks…. Geez. Keep your eyes on the prize.

  10. #8. Ex,
    I think Kukoc was kind of like that for his Bulls teams (he’s the offense creator/shooter to LO’s rebounder/defender). I’d classify Scott Burrell in that kind of mold too (though not nearly as explosive a scorer).

  11. 8 Ex- Glen Rice came off the bench for Kobe in 2000, Right? That came first to mind.

  12. Well, we had Isaiah Rider for a while in 2001…

  13. I expect Pierce and Allen to have pretty good games tonight. KG might fall back to earth a bit and Rondo will provide his usual presence, but it’s up to us to maintain our poise and keep it a close game and leave it up to the best closer to finish the game off.

    Phil did a terrific job of preparing the team’s mentality heading into Game 3. They didn’t panic even with Boston’s fast start and was eventually able to take a 17 point lead at one point. Hopefully, our team can show the same kind of mental toughness.

  14. @12 – Glen Rice was the starting small forward on that team. As I recall, the media tried to position Rice as part of a “Big 3″ with Kobe and Shaq, but he was never consistently productive enough on the Lakers for that to catch on.

  15. Pre-sale tickets go on sale at noon for Games 6 & 7 (if necessary).

    Hopefully, the games won’t be necessary.

  16. Thanks, Darius. I forgot about Kukoc.

  17. This is going to be the toughest game for the Lakers thus far. This is a must-win for the Celtics and considering the posturing that Doc Rivers has done in the media (notice that he’s blaming the refs and his teams lack of execution here) the C’s will come out motivated and aggressive. Our Lakers will have their hands full this game. The trick will be to play smart, avoid fouls (kobe, Lamar and Bynum) and stay competitive through the half. Let’s go Champs!

  18. I’m surprised that more hasn’t been made of the utter lack of respect shown by Boston’s players and coach. They do not appear to attribute any of the Lakers success to the Lakers, and seem to pin it all on the officiating and just “missing shots” on their part.

    Pierce does not credit Artest’s defense for his own putrid numbers. Rivers says that Fisher doesn’t do anything but flop against Allen. Rivers says that Kobe’s defense on Rondo isn’t any different than what Rondo faced in previous series, and everybody on that team points to officiating as the cause for Boston’s failures, apparently forgetting the simply horrendous calls and non-calls that have held the Lakers back.

    Poor Paul Pierce couldn’t get on track because of foul trouble, while Derek Fisher became the best player on the floor in the 4th quarter of the last game while being saddled with 5 fouls.

    Coming in, I had huge respect for Doc Rivers, but to see him grovel and whine like Mike D’Antoni has really made me rethink my view. I hope Drew can play and that Kobe spends a little less time dribbling and a little more pounding it to our bigs.

  19. Does anyone know how to access the pre-sale?

  20. Ex,

    How could you forget Brian Cook, Sasha and Mike Penberthy?

  21. Wow, can’t believe Doc has the onions to complain about picks, etc. He should take a good look at his players’ moving screens and realize this: I should probably shut up. I wouldn’t be surprised to see some illegal screen calls on his bigs tonight as a form of “you want us by the book, so be it” reprise to Doc’s complaining (which of course weren’t aired when his team won Game 2).

    I understand the strategy here, but don’t understand it if his team violates the time immemorial doctrine of not complaining when you have unclean hands. His harping may very well backfire on him tonight. Also love how he went out of his way to disrespect Fisher tonight. I suppose all this is part and parcel of his “umbuntu” crap he preaches.

    I also love Ron Artest’s mindset that just as offensive (double entendre here) players like Pierce feel like their offensive games will ramp up, Artest feels like he’s due for a defensive “breakout” game. Love that. It’s going to be a good one tonight!

  22. With these refs, the smart money is on the Lakers tonight. Willard hasn’t reffed a Lakers loss since before March of ’09 and Foster since May of ’09. Maybe you say they’re due though. Who knows? I think the Lakers will pull it out again, this time Kobe gets it done with a hot hand.

    http://www.covers.com/pageLoader/pageLoader.aspx?page=/data/nba/matchups/g5_referees_2.html

  23. I just read that NBA Fanhouse article Pierce and Ron Artest. Do Paul Pierce and Doc Rivers know nothing at all about basic psychology? Do they not read scouting reports?

    Don’t mock the rottweiler, guys. He bites.

    And Bynum is probable, not questionable, according to the official injury report. Don’t believe all crazy rumors you hear.

  24. boston is whining and crying like a bunch of school girls. definitely not showing confidence. in fact, i smell fear coming off them, kind of like when tyson realized holyfield was going to beat him — so i expect a similar kind of melt down by boston tonight.

  25. CJM, I think you are spot on. The lack of respect shown by the C’s is most likely the product of something they have never faced when playing all their “big 3″ (or 4) together: fear of losing a series.

    What seems clear to me after 3 games is that when the Lakers spread the floor, move the ball with purpose, and pound it down low, the C’s cannot stop them.

    Moreover, when locked in defensively and playing hard, Boston has no answer on the offensive end. Both of Boston’s “bigs” have trouble getting to the basket over Bynum and Gasol (how many dunks do KG and Perkins have combined?) and often get their jumpers blocked. This dominance of the Celtic bigs without the aid of double teams allows the Lakers to chase Allen all over the floor and make him work harder than ever for his shots. And, finally, Pierce has met his match in Artest, and can’t do the only thing that Pierce does well–use his strength to bully defenders in the low post.

    If we can withstand the early onslaught (again) and be in the game in the 4th quarter, I think the C’s will tighten up big time. Let’s not underestimate the impact that playing every other night has on a team riddled with old guys. If Allen had tired legs in game 3, how’s he gonna feel tonight?

  26. lmao the boston team is a bunch of BABIES and whiners. Can’t wait to win it, hopefully on their home floor, and rub it in their ugly faces. Maybe then they will understand who the REAL champion is.

    I think many people pointed to this, but it seems like the boston team things THEY are the champions. Like honestly, how arrogant and narcissistic can they be? You guys are lucky you are not down 0-3, and about to be swept on your home floor tonight. Learn to give respect to others who clearly own you.

    Can’t wait to win it and shove it in their ugly faces! I hope a Laker makes a sarcastic comment to them when it’s all over!