NBA Finals: Game 5 Preview & Chat

Darius Soriano —  June 13, 2010

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Paul Pierce was wrong.

Either late tonight or early tomorrow morning, both the Lakers and the Celtics will be returning to Los Angeles to continue competing in the NBA Finals.  But it will be the results of tonight’s game that put one of these teams in prime position to win the championship.  The winner of tonight’s game 5 will only need one more vicotory to claim the 2010 NBA title.  I’ve thought for a little while now that the first team to 3 wins will take this series.  And after seeing how these Finals have become a back and forth affair where no team can really get a foothold by winning more than one game in a row, I believe this even more.  Believe me, I’d much rather be in the Lakers position with 2 games waiting in my home arena, but having to win 2 consecutive games to take this series is going to be difficult for either team regardless of location.  So if game 4 was a must win for the Celtics, I see this as a must win for both teams. Neither group wants to be one loss away from elimination.

And to earn this win, the question (again) is who will step up and play at that high level and give the performance that their team can hang their hat on?  Kelly Dwyer is looking for Kobe Bryant to be that player and to a large extent I agree.  I’ve talked a great deal about how the Lakers can try to crack the code of Boston’s defense; how they can run actions within the Triangle to get Pau good shots.  How if they screen hard and cut hard they’ll not only get good looks in the post but other players moving off the ball will find the creases in the defense to get the makeable shots that every offense craves.  But, Dwyer is also correct that this Celtics’ defense is a tremendous outfit that is taking nearly every first – not to mention second and sometimes third – option away.  And when that’s the case, you need that tremendous effort from the nearly unguardable player to get points.

And in this series, that player is Kobe.  Kobe will need his jumper tonight.  He’ll need that excellent first step.  He’ll need to draw fouls, get to the foul line, and take the momentum of the game in his hands and control it the way a samurai wields his sword.  I’m not looking for Kobe to be the hero and play one on five.  I’m looking for Kobe to control the game – there is a difference.  He was able to achieve this against Utah and Phoenix by going into the post and making an unbelievable number of contested jumpers.  Tonight, he may need to do the same to keep it so the Lakers never do trail in this series.  I want to see him attack early and not depend on reading the defense at every turn to get a shot.  I want to see him get the Celtics on their heels by using all facets of his tremendous skill set.  Kobe knows the stakes, I think he’s ready to give one of those performances that make him the Kobe that we’ve followed his entire career.

But Kobe will also need help.  Help that a good-to-go Andrew Bynum can hopefully provide.  We all saw how having Bynum not able to play his normal share of minutes affected game 4.  The C’s scored inside at will and owned the rebounding battle by grabbing 16 offensive rebounds.  So having ‘Drew back will be major boost.  Phil’s looking for 24 minutes from Bynum and if that can be provided, I think the Lakers will be able to effectively stagnate the C’s defense in the manner they have for most of this series.

The other player I’m looking to is Lamar Odom.  He’s been a whipping boy around these parts for some time and his performance in this series has only raised the decibel level from those that rail against his inconsistencies.  However, we also all know that Odom can be a difference maker.  Odom knows this fact as well.  But if LO is going to have the impact on this game that we know is possible, he’s going to have to get back to doing “Lamar” types of things.  That means rebounding on the defensive end and pushing the ball back at Boston (like he did on a play in game 4 where he grabbed a rebound, pushed the ball, kicked ahead to Pau, then got the ball back and finished with an and one).  It also means getting back to being active on the defensive end by hustling around the court, trapping ball handlers, and then recovering back to the defensive glass to rebound.  Odom can not be a spectator for any of the minutes he spends between the lines tonight; he must be the player that is assertive and grabbing at the action with his long left arm.  LO is capable of changing the tenor of a game and there would be no better night than tonight to make that happen.

The Celtics are also going to have their say in how this game plays out.  They’re going to try and build on their success of game 4 and take their first series lead tonight.  They’ll surely look to get Ray Allen back on track while also looking to get a sustained performance from Paul Pierce (who had a very good 1st quarter of game 4 with a dwindling impact over the rest of the game).  Another key for the C’s will be getting Rondo going again after not doing much of consequence after his triple-double in game 2.  He is the conduit for their most successful brand of basketball and it’s no wonder that the C’s have performed no where near their peak with Rondo not performing up to the standard that he’d set for most of these playoffs.  And we can’t forget that they’ll try to accomplish of this while continuing to play their stifling defense.

There are obviously more keys than the ones that I’ve mentioned – rebounding, playing with poise, making the little plays that generate momentum for your side or taking it away from your opponent – but in the end, these teams are so familiar with each other that one of the aforementioned factors will likely tilt this game in either the Lakers or Celtics’ favor.

And so here we are.  The NBA Finals have been reduced to a best of three series and tonight’s game is a major opportunity to gain the advantage that was not possible before this point.  As I mentioned, tonight’s winner will be on the precipice of claiming a championship by getting to 3 wins.  The stakes have never been higher.  Tonight we see which team has what it takes to go back to LA with the series lead that will likely be the difference in the ultimate outcome of the Finals.  Phil Jackson has been mentally prepping his team to be the team that achieves just that.  Let’s see if they can go get it.  Game on.

Darius Soriano

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476 responses to NBA Finals: Game 5 Preview & Chat

  1. i am so frustrated right now… i cant even describe it.

    just a couple of thoughts:

    – lamar keeps walking up the ball slowly and doesnt cut, nor does he set any screens. he doesnt drive on baby and he doesnt feel like banging with garnett. very, very sad

    – pau gets hit and scratched on every posession. i cant believe they dont call any fouls under the rim

    – vijacic needs to play more. he was very productive offensively and defensively.

    – people need to move FAST when kobe post up and the double comes. he had nobody to pass to all night…

    – and last but not least: artest should NOT crowd pierce and make him hit his jumperes. sticking to him from midcourt is really, really bad for everything were trying to accomplish.

    – REBOUNDS…. F****** REBOUNDS!!!!!!


  2. Artest doesn’t work smart enough to get over screens. He gets caught up in them every time. He’s ok 1-1 but he got killed in P&R. We gave up way too many layups. You can’t win shooting 40% vs 56%.

    I’m depressed but I wish I was more surprised at this result.


  3. Whew this website has gone downhill badly. Complaining about the refs when the lakers shot almost double the free throws than Boston.

    Face it people, the celtics played better. Period


  4. Kobe’s the only reason the Lakers didn’t get blown out in this game. The fact that with a couple minutes left in the 4th, no one but Kobe was in double figures (and he was 13-24 at that point) says it all. Pau, Odom and Artest wet the bed. Again.


  5. No 396, I aint going to respect a big baby who needs to make rediculous excuses in order to make himself feel better, get a life man


  6. IMO, this game was lost on sloppy play in the 4th quarter (too many TO’s – I think it was 5 in the quarter), missed FT’s, and ultimately the Lakers’ D. Boston shot 56% for the game (and higher for that than most of it). Boston was hot, but that’s not enough of an excuse. Gotta be more assertive on defense – close out harder, pressure the ball more, and stop with the mental mistakes (fronting where there’s not any weak side help, for example).

    But, credit needs to be given to Boston. They had tremendous spacing on offense for most of this game and it put the Lakers D in some tough positions. Oh…just a frustrating game.


  7. Hopefully we will leave it all out there on Tuesday.

    Kobe played a great game. Set up his teammates early in the game, scored when we needed, and made heddy plays down the stretch.

    We just need everyone to pick it up and play all out.


  8. First of all, great game by the Celtics. Team defense has been tremendous, and their patience & togetherness on offense is admirable.

    I’m ok with Pau having a hard time scoring against the mighty Celtic D. But defensively he failed to step up on rotations, didn’t show on pnr, couldn’t come up with loose balls, and couldn’t slow Garnett one on one. We’re going to need a teamwide defensive effort if we’re going to beat this celtic team.

    I’m still hopeful for two straight wins at Staples. If we can get something from the bench, LO & Artest hit some shots, and feed off home energy, we’ll be OK.

    P.Ami – I thought the game was well officiated, in fact even in our favor. A lot of flops and perimeter fouls going our way. I must be a complete moron.


  9. Don, I guess you are.


  10. A very frustrating game, and the Lakers wasted a big scoring game from Kobe. I agree with the poster above who said the entire Laker offense is thrown out of rhythm, and thus the poor shooting from everyone else. But, there are still two games left, and it is up to the players to show that they have what it takes. It will be VERY difficult but still very probable for the Lakers to win the next two.


  11. Can’t blame the refs for complete disappearances of intelligence on defense. The 3rd quarter started with easy layups for Garnett and Allen, and that was a trend for the game. There was the casual drive into the lane by Nate Robinson with two left on the shot clock, the layup by Ray Allen off the pass by Robinson, and failures to box out all around.


  12. Lakers’ free-throw advantage 26-9, plus two intentional fouls the Lakers gave to make it 26-13.

    If this is how the refs fix the game for the Celtics, they’re not very good at it.


  13. Funky Chicken June 13, 2010 at 8:02 pm

    Well, I’m off for the night. Darius, you can tell me why I’m wrong about Phil Jackson getting outcoached again tomorrow.


  14. Mike Penberthy June 13, 2010 at 8:02 pm

    It’s actually pretty incredible how little has changed since 08. The Lakers still only have 1.5 consistent players, while the celtics have 4. Yes they’re older and that’s why they only won 50 games in the regular season. But in the playoffs when the finish line is in sight, they’re able to play through the aches that they wouldn’t play through in the regular season.


  15. Also, I’m pretty sure the refs didn’t put in those buckets that PP and KG made. Pierce scored 27 points – 1 point from the line. One.


  16. Totally agree with Darius: sloppy 4th quarter play ultimately did us in. Boston just needed a push and they would have rolled over, but instead we gave them 5 free possessions and missed free throws (Pau, Artest, Odom).

    We had a shot at this game at the start of the 4th and then crapped the bed.


  17. Despite palying an awful game (and boy, that was awful), we surprinsgly had several chances to get really close and sustain a good run.

    But we shot ourselves over and over in the foot by commiting a turnover, missing free throws, giving up an offensive rebound, giving up a lay-up with few seconds on the shot clock, etc, etc.

    Ok, there were some bad calls too, but there were several more bad (and frustating) plays from our players that led to this loss.


  18. Nobody besides Kobe came to play tonight. Nobody. That was a pantheon performance by Kobe, but it was wasted because we couldn’t get any stops in the 3rd. I know if we go in up in the 4th we win that dang game. I am so pissed. Time to bring everything we got for game six.

    All four of the big “four” had big games, and only Kobe did for us, and it came down to the wire. Ron’s missed free throws really hurt momentum – but the mental mistakes and inability to foul Rondo hurt worse.

    So mad. World is not over, we just gotta win at home now. This can be done. Lets get it done.


  19. …and it must be said that the Boston offense has the Lakers checkmated as well. Pierce carried them through the first half with exceptional play, and then their TEAM decimated the Laker defense with ridiculous efficiency. It should be noted that NO defensive strategy worked against the Celtics pick and rolls….switching, soft hedging, NOT SHOWING (Pau’s favorite option) so as to give up the uncontested three to Rasheed, under the screen, over the screen, the Boston Screen Rolls left the Lakers barbecued after one simple basketball movement, or two simple passes from the spit. This is when you’ve reached checkmate. Boston is getting better and better as these Finals go on, and the Lakers are getting less poised, less efficient, less effective, less physical….just less. I feel JVG calling out Bynum for not getting any rebounds is unfair. He’s playing on one leg and was clearly hampered. The Lakers as a team SIMPLY REFUSE TO BOX OUT CONSISTENTLY, and should Boston finish things off Tuesday, that will be one of the things engraved on the Lakers’ tombstone. Ironically, Kobe himself said it after the second of the Lakers’ two miraculous playoff wins on second shots (OKC and PHX). The pain is that he simply will not, can not, does not box out Rondo, and the rest of the Lakers have been just as poor.

    And another thing: The Lakers do not know how to foul. This is a skill that can be taught and executed. The Celtics no layup policy helped win them the game. The Lakers give up more soft and ones than any team in the League. The mental challenge of having to absorb the blows and make the foul shots is one that the Lakers (save Kobe) have not been up to. Meanwhile, the Lakers compound awful defense by gifting Boston an extra point on too many possessions.

    I am hesitant to agree with those who say that Phil Jackson is getting outcoached in this series (this term is overused anyway) for two reasons: First of all, it’s a staff against a staff, not Phil vs. Doc on a chess table. Secondly, people said about Coach Wooden that he could take his and beat yours and take yours and beat his. Does anybody seriously think the Celtics wouldn’t be up 3-2 with PJ coaching them? What would Doc’s answer be to Pau and Lamar no showing for such prolonged stretches?

    The X’s and O’s are pretty much done for this series….it’s about heart and mental and physcial toughness, which leads to dotting t’s and crossin i’s. There is no question which team has been superior in these criteria through 5 games…….

    And yet……Kobe Bean Bryant, with a significant portion of his legacy at stake?

    Hope is all that’s left at this point.


  20. Kobe: 38 points
    Rest of Team: 48 points

    As much as Kobe tried, he also turned the ball over at some critical times.

    Phil on Artest’s fast-break fail: “That was interesting.”


  21. I don’t think either team has consistent performers in this series. Name one player that’s played well in more than 2 games? Kobe? Gasol in games 1, 2, and 3? Really, no one has had any consistency to their game. Boston has earned these last two wins by playing better in the 4th quarter, but by no means has it been on any sort of reliable performance from any of their best 4 players.

    Basketball is a game that can be influenced by big moments. I think one of those moments was when the Lakers were only down 6 with six minutes left and proceeded to give up a bucket, commit a turnover, and then give up another lay up to go back down by 10. Big sequence that deflated the Lakers big time.


  22. Phil Jackson when asked about Lakers’ bad defense:

    “Didn’t we hold them to 92 points? We’ll take that. We just need to score.”


  23. devastating.


  24. Can we get two in a row in Staples?

    Well, we did against OKC, Utah and Phoenix. But we couldn’t do it againd Boston in 08 nor this time.

    Now we have another shot at it.
    Maybe the third time is a charm.
    Would be nice to be surprised by this Lakers team in a good way for a change.

    Rudy T. once said that we cannot understimate the heart of a champion.
    Hopefully they listen to him and emulate the ’95 Rockets, winning games 6 and 7 at home.


  25. Jackson isn’t getting out-coached, the Lakers are just being out-hustled.


  26. I disagree with Phil there a little. If they are struggling on offense then they need to turn it up on defense to make up for it. Too many times tonight, the offensive futility affected the overall defensive focus and it led to open jumpshots and layups for Boston


  27. OK, I’m going to Disneyland to go clear my head.


  28. Well, Boston has had their fun. It’s time we bring we take care of business at home. This is why we fought so hard for home court advantage during regular season. We need hold on to our serve. The championship is ours.

    whatever frustration we have suffered in the last couple of games, it’s all in the past. We were close, even most of our players played poorly. I was hoping Fish would have a standout game again. But it wasn’t to be.

    Back home, all players will be re-energized. Go Lakers.


  29. We have the talent, they have the guts… I hope I’m wrong… I’m devastated right now… I’ll be facing a Lakers haters tomorrow…

    PS: Is Gasol alive? Can you tell him there’s a game on Tuesday?


  30. Mike Penberthy June 13, 2010 at 8:14 pm

    I agree, no need to overanalyze this game. Only one Laker came to play. That’s all the analysis you need.


  31. When the refs let the Lepers push and shove, grab and pull, all game long, and the Lakers are called for fouls when trying to do the same, I blame the refs.

    When the Lepers are given the calls on just about every decision at moments when the momentum is shifting towards the Lakers, and these are bad calls, I blame the refs.

    When the bad calls give a championship quality team second chances after good to excellent defense by the Lakers, I blame the refs.

    Of course, the Lakers did not play a perfect game, and of course if they played a perfect game then the refs couldn’t be blamed. That doesn’t mean the refs are blameless. Once again, they don’t have 5 men with skills and a system put in place to thwart their efforts, while the players do. I agree that LO needs to push he ball more. I agree that Pau needs to be more assertive. I agree that some of the bad calls went for the lakers but, momentum is a huge factor when two even teams are playing each other. Mistakes will be made by players because the opponent is there to create those mistakes. The refs have a much lesser excuse. The refs have let the Lepers keep momentum a number of times (games 5 and 2) when the game was still right there for the Lakers to take in the end. I blame the refs.


  32. Positive thoughts for game 6:

    1) Lakers completed this very task in 1988. After losing 2 of the 3 middle games in Detroit, the Lakers returned to the Forum to win games 6 and 7 and complete the Repeat.

    2) The older Celtics played their best two games of this series after having 2 off days. When they had to fly across the country on their lone off day, they played poorly in the game 3 loss. We have the same set up for game 6, and it’s at home. Advantage Lakers.


  33. *need some happy thoughts.*

    thanks #431


  34. Funky chicken of course Darius is going to defend Jackson. Jackson, pau, Lamar and fish can’t do any harm. Anytime someone calls them how for their play/decisions, we have to read why that isn’t so on this sight. This sight is the only one that feels the need to defend those guys, but second evertime someone calls out bynum and Kobe. I love this site for all the insight, but why what’s the point of defending those 4 paticular guys whenever someone calls them out.

    But back to the game. Doc trust all his guys to play. Phil doesn’t. Doc makes adjustments, Phil doesn’t. The celtics defend for 48 minutes, the lakers defend for 20 minutes. The lakers look for the home run play, the celtics wait for the best play. Doc is worrying about how to win the game, Phil is hoping the celtics give it up. And it’s funny that Phil brings up how bad the celtics are and closing how game, yet they stole 3 games by playing better in the 4th quarter. And the lakers have been absolutely terrible in executing in the 4th quarters in 4 out of 5 games they were just lucky to be up 20 going into the 4th in game one. The series isn’t over, but I would be more surprised of the lakers won in 7  if they lost in 6. The lakers buckle under pressure. Pau misses so many big freethrows. Lamar and artest are just bad freethrow shooters and don’t make them when they matter the most either. The lakers just have a bad case of step-up-itis.


  35. Lakers outscored 46-32 in the paint.


  36. Celtics were playing with eight guys tonight, three of them in grey


  37. No. The defense was horrible. In the 3rd Quarter when Nate is on the floor our defense is just terrible. He has really been their most consistent player, and we have not played well when he is on the floor. Phil was wrong, just flat out wrong. We never had any sort of control in this game, and always making runs from behind. When you do that on the road it becomes very difficult to win.
    If we didn’t force a turnover they got wide open looks all night. Our rotations were bad, and we deserved to lose. Now the Lakers have got to step up big time. We outplayed them in game 4 and lost, and they outplayed us in game 5 (and handily I might add if not for Supernova from Kobe). Kobe was supernova from 3 in game 4 as well, so its not like he is to blame (had turnovers, but is being fouled on every possession and they are “letting them play”) We lost this game because nobody but Kobe remembered this was the NBA finals.

    Gah. Gah. Gah.

    This is why we have home court. Gotta defend our home court.


  38. Mike Penberthy June 13, 2010 at 8:20 pm

    “The lakers look for the home run play, the celtics wait for the best play. Doc is worrying about how to win the game, Phil is hoping the celtics give it up.”

    What does that even mean? There are so many baseless cliches there i don’t even know where to begin.


  39. Completely agree with Darius.
    6 points down, 6 minutes to go.
    That was the moment to take the game over and we just made mistake after mistake, on offense and on deffense, and all of a sudden the lead was back to 11.

    Today was a awful and frustating game.
    Nobody played a good game. Nodoby.

    Even Kobe Bryant.
    He had a monster, out-of-this-planet third quarter, but had a cold 1-2 quarters and a sloopy 4th quarter: too many turnovers, forced shots and bad D in critical moments.

    Hopefully he and Gasol and the bench bounce back and we have a great game 6 and repeat it on game 7.


  40. I told you so. I can’t BELIEVE there are still some of you complaining about the refs. REALLY??? Also it never works to have a one man offense. Shooting 35% aint gonna cut it. Lakers are toast.


  41. Something to consider: Bynum gave us minutes tonight, but he didn’t give us great minutes. 1 defensive board. Not effective boxing out, not effective rotating on defense…he doesn’t look as good.

    He’s better than what we got in game 4, but if he’s not able to go back to 1-3 Bynum, we’re in trouble unless the bench really steps up at home.


  42. In the last three games I have asked myself – who besides Kobe is going to step up and help us get the win. Fisher did in game 3. Nobody did in game 4. And nobody did tonight.


  43. Just a thought, why can’t LO start and Bynum come in off the bench, seeing as how Bynum is getting bench minutes anyway.


  44. “of course Darius is going to defend Jackson. Jackson, pau, Lamar and fish can’t do any harm. Anytime someone calls them how for their play/decisions, we have to read why that isn’t so on this sight. This sight is the only one that feels the need to defend those guys, but second evertime someone calls out bynum and Kobe. I love this site for all the insight, but why what’s the point of defending those 4 paticular guys whenever someone calls them out.”

    You must not read this site, then. I’ve criticized all of those people, but I try to measure my criticism and try to use facts. Simple statements like “Phil needs to make an adjustment” “Phil’s being outcoached” are just statements with no substance. Tell me what adjustments are there to be made. Tell me what the player should do rather than just complaining about what is done. Simple arguments with little to back them OR ones that lack nuance to actually see the big picture don’t really fly with me.

    Also, I think it’s interesting that Phil is taking the approach that he is. IMO, he’s trying to build his players up because that’s what they need right now. Burying his guys right now doesn’t do him any good. He needs a confident team and one that believes they’re going to win game 6 and then the series. At this point, there’s no need to harp on all the mistakes – and he’s no dummy, he knows there were mistakes. At this point, it’s time to circle the wagons and get everyone believing that their goal is still right there for the taking. I don’t know if it’s going to work, but I see the wisdom in this approach. But then again, you know, I’m just a lackey that never sees the bad in anyone. 😉


  45. I misspoke. Bynum had 1 offensive board and NO defensive boards.

    Lamar Odom the only player with a positive +/-, with Ron Artest at an even 0.


  46. Darius’ point on what Phil seems to be doing jives with what I’m seeing too.

    At the podium they asked him about not being able to steal the win and he said something to the effect of “they got some lucky breaks with the airball call that went their way, a few fouls that were peculiar, and that really lucky inbounds play. They got the lucky bounces tonight and we were right there.”

    That sounds like someone trying to keep his team believing.

    The question is really who’s confidence is the most shaken. I think that Andrew’s confidence in his knee is not there. I think that Pau is doubting himself a lot. Maybe being at home will help him. I don’t know, but I hope Phil’s able to hold them together for 2 games.


  47. Yes DJ and ONCE AGAIN, the free throw disparity once again heavily favored the Lakers. Funny how that works.


  48. Bynums minutes were fine. I actually think we are paying Perkins way too much respect from 15 feet out. There is no reason to ever cover him out there – even on his picks. He is not Amare Stoudemire and does not roll to the hole in the same way, and he is not a jump shooter. If he is going to be 15 feet out we gotta ask for that shot all day, cuz thats a 30% look for Boston.
    Our bigs are showing on every pick involved with ray allen, pierce, or robinson, and even though they may clank, it gives Perkins too easy of a chance for rebounds.

    I also don’t understand why the Lakers do not try to force mismatches. When Sheed and Baby are in the game, Lamar has to cut through Pau’s lane and set a screen against Sheed so that Baby is on him. Sheed is a much better one-on-one defender than a help defender. Odom does not need to be playing the floor spacer out there, the Celtics are begging him to take that shot and are allowed to soft double Pau all day with Odom out of rebound position.

    With the Lineup – Fisher, Artest, Kobe, Pau, and Odom – they are always showing a double on both Kobe and Pau and the Lakers are not spacing correctly to take advantage of it.

    Also, bad passing and critical mistakes with 6 minutes left in the fourth Q took any sort of momentum we had built from the 8 to 6 minute mark. I think the Lakers were trying to cut 10 to 2 in 1 minute, and were not running an offense with good shots. The stops were coming in the 4th because Ray was way off and the Celtics were running out of gas, but our guys did not play with poise on the offensive end.

    Twice in the game the Lakers allowed a tip up fro under the rim off a shot where the Lakers had position to rebound and a hand on the ball. 4 points right there.

    You can tell I am ranting and I am sorry Darius. So dissapointed that our guys did not come to play tonight.


  49. #451. Cdog,
    Tough loss, so I understand. I’m not a robot and I’m in a tough mood too. Remember, I’m the one that said tonight’s winner would have a very strong hand going back to LA. This is a tough defeat to deal with.

    All that said, at this point this game is over. We’ll recap the contest (Phillip is on it tonight) but we’ll move on to what needs to be done the next game. I still believe in this team. Some things need to go the Lakers way (there will be some luck involved here), but the Lakers need to do better and seize the moment better.


  50. We had our chances and just had some poor execution in the 4th that did us in.

    Give the Celtics some credit, they made the plays in the end to sustain the lead and keep us at bay.

    I like the fact that we turned them over so much tonight. Something that we can build on.

    Just need to bear down and win game 6. that’s it. one game. and then worry about 7.


  51. Darius is on point here. At this point, the first step is for the team to believe in its resolve, and take what lessons they can from tonight and move on. The Lakers are doing a decent job attacking the basket, and getting the free throws, but need to convert those points. Now, they can stand to do an even better job attacking the basket, and that will take the coaching staff and the players to figure it out.

    Also, i agree with Cdog, the Lakers gave Perkins waaaaayyy to much credit on his jumper. As well as the the fact that they are not taking advantage of the Celtic’s defense. But, there are still two chances to win, and it the team is capable of winning both granted it takes one game at a time and play with even more effort and poise.


  52. Unfortunately, the trend is going the wrong direction. We dominated G1, choked in G2, had to get bailed out by Derek Fisher (!) in G3 and got outhustled in G4. Tonight we just got outplayed. Boston is showing a mental toughness and patience that we are simply lacking. That and they are getting rebounds. Can somebody on the Lakers get a rebound, please?

    I’m so disappointed and frustrated. I’m not hopeful for G6, but maybe being back home will get us going.


  53. The bynum comments are unwarranted , there was nothing for him to rebound defensively with the 66% shooting for most of the time he was out there, Pau really need to step up , The Refs are incredible because that one missed call with the Allens airball changed the game just like pierce’s charge that went the other way n the 4th last game, Celtics didnt shoot any free throws because we dont foul them like they do to us , and yes the celtics got away with a ton of fouls because everyone was complaining about the flow of the game and now they get to play dirty for the rest of the series, we need to take it consistently to the whole and get either perkins of sheed ejected next game


  54. The Lakers had their first home loss at home in game 2, so I expect them to make a come back at home to win game 6. Game 7 will be up for grabs!


  55. At least there’s only one game layoff between 5 and 6. Not gonna help Bynum but maybe Pierce and KG will lose their legs a little.

    Truth be told I just hope the Lakers come out with spirit, honor and intensity and play the game the right way in game 6. If they lose, they lose, but lose with your holster empty. Many times in Kobe’s career when the Lakers have been eliminated have been embarrassing performances and I can’t stomach that again. I can handle being beaten fairly by the better team, or even losing out in a hardfought way to a less talented team, but if they go out like they did in 2008, 2006, 2004 or 2003 it will be disheartening. I’m honestly very fearful of that.


  56. If you look at the root of things, it comes down to this:

    1. Kobe is unstoppable

    2. The rest of the Lakers are not only stopable, but you can actually make them disappear like role players.

    Substitute Kobe for LeBron, and you get the Cleveland Cavaliers.


  57. Another interesting factor of this series – it demonstrates how the 2-3-2 setup really favors the road team. The Lakers have faced game 5 in tied series three times this year. Twice on their home court because they had homecourt advantage, and won. Once on the road because the NBA inexplicably switches things around, and lost.

    Now, if the Lakers just took care of business as the Celtics did in 08 it wouldn’t be an issue, but this isn’t really a Laker-Celtic point, I just think it’s an inane way to run a series. MLB doesn’t do it.


  58. As far as the game recap I can sum it up quickly. The Lakers got outscored in the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Quarters because their defense was not ready to play with the intensity it needed to disrupt passing lanes and contest shots or rotations. In the 4th Quarter, the Lakers made a mini-run, but could not sustain it due to multiple mental lapses, even though the Boston O gone flat. This wasn’t like game 4 where we clearly ran out of gas – the was Game 2, just on the road, where the Lakers tried to force the issue against a Celtics D that couldn’t buy a bucket unless it came off a steal, and thus went for the steal on every play, and succesfully got them. Thats the recap in a nutshell – we got mostly outplayed and had a chance to win. But that’s not a good enough solace to me – the Lakers needed to play to win that game, and aside from the Kobe outburst in the 3rd quarter that kept the game from becoming a blowout (on shots that were just impossible I might add), they played to have a chance. Not the right attitude on the road.
    Now game 6 they hafta play to win, cuz there is no other way.


  59. How am I going to sleep the next two days? By telling myself the Lakers will regroup to win game 6 after losing two in a row, and that the one and only Kobe Bryant will NOT lose a game 7 at home.


  60. 460: or maybe bos is a hell of a lot better than OKC or PHX.


  61. This sounds ridiculous, but the triangle seems stifling. Slow offense, no swinging the ball, having to struggle for every basket. Don’t think this is how Tex drew it up-or maybe Boston’s defense is that good. Either way, I’m sick.


  62. Am I missing something?

    We still have homecourt advantage, yes?

    Lakers in 7.

    Bring it on.


  63. Some numbers:

    Offensive rebound percentages.
    LA: 36 percent, this is very, very good
    Boston: 28 percent, pretty good also

    For perspective LA came in with a 30 percent in the playoffs (1st among all teams) and 26 percent in the regular season (10th). Boston was 23 percent in the post season (13th of 16).

    So LA was solid overall, though not timely on the boards.

    In paint: Boston-LA
    Game 1 30-48
    Game 2 36-26
    Game 3 50-38
    Game 4 54-34
    Game 5 46-32

    I’m sure some will see this as refs, some of the numbers are distorted by fouls/free throws, but in any case that is not good. Refs missed some calls, but none truly were egregious and a number were borderline anyway.

    Can’t rely on Kobe in the third like that unless you get someone, anyone, to step up in the fourth. I still feel LA is better in a lot of ways (purely in terms of talent/coaching ), now they’ve just got to play like it.


  64. That was just heartbreaking for me. I can’t remember a more pain (non-elimination) playoff loss in my lifetime, other than Game 4 of 2008. I don’t know why it hit me so hard.

    It just looked so much like 2008. Their defense is stifling, and I get exhausted watching how hard Kobehas to work for every bucket. But what made it look like 2008 was how we reverted defensively. We fronted with no weakside pressure, missed rotations, let guys walk past us to the hoop, and missed backdoor cuts. Kobe kept us afloat offensively, but we just could not get a stop to save our lives.

    What was worse – the few times we did get stops, every 50-50 ball would go the C’s way. We’d fumble the rebound out of bounds, or else give up the offensive board. It was so frustrating to watch.

    Pau has regressed as this series has gone on. The “soft” label is a substitute for real analysis. Bottom line – Pau’s facing a killer defense like the rest of the Lakers. Last game, Pau would wait too long to survey the floor and allowed the defense to reset. Tonight, I thought he attacked when he had the chance, but their players rotated phenomenally. The way Kobe overcame a great defense tonight, that’s what Pau will have to do in LA.

    Such a depressing night. I’m at a loss. This team’s defense is so good, and they’re manhandling us on the boards again (in critical moments – although early we were getting the offensive boards). With Pierce catching fire, it just feels like 2008 all over again. And with Pierce catching fire, I’m running out of ways to defend Artest. His hesitation in the offense is hurting us. But let’s not make him a scapegoat – very few Lakers could do anything against the C’s defense tonight. We’ll have to sharpen up on both ends of the floor if we want to win.


  65. !$%%@#^&($@*!!!!

    That is it. no more drinking games. Period.

    Yes, I just typed out “period”. I am extremely frustrated by the way our team played tonight. I’ll be back to comment tomorrow when I’m sober, and better able to be coherent.


  66. Can’t blame this one on the refs. They (finally) let both teams play out there. I’d be pleased if every game from here on out was officiated the same way. Boston just completely outplayed us. The only reason it was close was because Kobe caught fire and Boston got foul-happy at the end.

    All in all, just very depressing. Boston deserved to win tonight.


  67. I’ve now talked myself back into this series. The Lakers in 1988 and the Rockets in 1994 both lost games 4-5 on the road to go down 3-2, before proceeding to win games 6 and 7 for the title. It can be done, it has been done, and Chick willing, it will be done again.

    EDIT: and 463 obviously the Celtics are better than OKC or PHO. That goes without saying. My point was that this format penalizes the home team by putting what is often the critical game of the finals – game 5 – on the road. I have never liked it since they instituted it, even when it benefited teams that I root for (as in 1985 where the Lakers won critical game 5 at home before closing it out in Boston) and I don’t like it now.


  68. To be a fan of a sports team – any sports team – you have to be willing to take the down nights as well as enjoy the good nights. This is definitely a downer night, but it is not our last night. I know I have been ranting on this blog all night, but basically this comes down to how the Lakers play on their home court. Switch games 2 and 3 (which you really could do), and each team has held serve. I was not one to believe the Celtics would go down easy, and I know our guys aren’t losing at home without one hell of a fight.

    I can (and probably will) sulk about this loss (as well as game 4), until Tuesday nights game starts, but the Lakers absolutely cannot. They gotta come out pissed – the same way they were in game 1 – and hold their home court in game 6. The Celtics still have to beat us 1 more time, at our house, and that is no easy task. The fans better be ready to go bonkers – cuz if I was there I would, and the Lakers better be ready to hit shots and take blows.
    We are not down and out yet. We are in a tough series – one that we can win, and cannot give up. We aren’t down 0-3 or 1-3, or even 0-2, but 3-2. And the only way to make sure we get that game 7 is to win our game 6.

    I am as frustrated as many of you tonight, but this series and season are not over. We just have a big test on Tuesday that the Lakers need to pass.

    Our backs are officially against the wall – down in a series and facing a close out game – for the first time since 2008. Let’s show em what we have learned.


  69. I don’t see how you can blame the coach for defensive lapses, untimely turnovers, and missed FT’s. Once again we went into the 4th quarter with a good chance to win, only to blow it in the 1st few minutes because we a.) turned the ball over and b.) couldn’t get stops. It sucks because Fisher and Kobe are killing themselves every minute of every game in order to win, and it doesn’t seem like anyone else is killing themselves like that. Pau didn’t start going hard until about 6 minutes left in the 4th. Lamar didn’t start showing signs of life until about the same time. Artest was in a funk the whole game, and outside of 2 nice threes in the 2nd quarter, he was non-existent on offense and defense.

    Credit our guys because they made it competitive in the last 5-6 minutes of the game, but we need that type of effort for all 48. Maybe our guys relaxed after winning Game 3, maybe not, but they need to come with the same energy and desperation that they had in that game. Since Game 3, I haven’t seen all 5 guys on the floor giving it everything they have at the same time. They’ve all been great in flashed individually, but I’ve yet to see them play great as a team, except for maybe the 2nd quarter of Game 3.

    There are no more adjustments to be made. These teams know each other so well now that it’s all about who’s going to execute better, who’s going to play together as a team, and who simply wants it more. Tonight, the Celtics simply wanted it more than the Lakers, and it was obvious. I want to see these Lakers fight hard; I don’t want to see them crumble like they did in 2008. If they go down swinging, I can still enjoy the fact that the team fought. But if they go down meekly, then it’ll be like 2008 all over again.


  70. Well said Cdog.

    Let’s regroup and come out fighting!


  71. Cdog right on the money


  72. We’ve got HCA. The Celtics do not.

    Lakers in 7.


  73. Ron Artest another 2 for 9 game.

    Blows 2 freethows at biggest time in the game.

    Wrong spot on in-bounds when he was suppose to foul.

    Forgot to get back as the deep man on Rondo.

    Schooled by Pierce on defense.

    if you followed Ron’s career in chicago, Indiana, Sac and Houston you would see a pattern of times like this that in big games at big moments Ron bricks..

    Ariza 2009 shoots 52% from 3’s and 80% from freethrow line in finals.

    Enough said.


  74. Wondering why in a rough and tough game. DJ did not even suit up. Morrision did instead.

    Wonder why in a game we could not shoot other then Kobe, Shannon Brown played ZERO ZERO ZERO minutes.

    Wonder what Phil is thinking.