NBA Finals: Game 6 Preview and Chat

Darius Soriano —  June 15, 2010

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I think we all have a sense of nervousness tonight.  There’s just an anxiousness in the air.  Realistically, there are 20 (or more, even) different scenarios that can play out that determine who wins this game.  Running through some of them in my mind has been exhausting as I’ve been thinking of plays and counters and everything else…it’s been like 20 games of chess going on in my mind at the same time. 

But in the end, this is what it’s all about.  With the season on the line, the Lakers have the talent and they have the coaching.  They’re playing a top notch opponent that is seeking to reclaim the title that the Lakers currently own.  As a fan, these are the moments that I live for and I wouldn’t want it any other way than what we’ve got tonight: a home game for the Lakers to decide if their season stays alive.

Typically at this site we try to give you some X’s and O’s (and we still will a bit later), but I hope that through all the nervousness and anxiousness you find a way to enjoy tonight.  I understand it will be a lot easier with a strong Lakers performance that leads to a win and that fateful 7th game, but we’re now 100+ games into the season and through all the ups and downs they have their shot.  I know many fans ask for the title every year, but that’s unrealistic.  I think all we can really ask for is a chance.  Tonight the Lakers have it and I think it’s going to inspire them to play some very good basketball.

And good basketball for the Lakers starts on defense.  The Lakers need to play the stifling brand of defense that their opponent has been employing on them.  Game 5 was as good of an offensive game as the Celtics could have played as a group (individually they may have better efforts, but not as a group) and if the Lakers want to ensure there is not a repeat performance, they must step up their effort on that side of the ball and work harder.  Every rotation must be precise and every shot must be contested.  Every Laker should be looking to help and recover so as to not give up even a single open look.  Screens must be fought through and ball handlers must be pressured.  I wouldn’t mind seeing some traps, deflections, and some turnovers being forced either.  And as usual, defensive possessions don’t end with out rebounds.  Secure the ball and push it back the other way.

Offensively, we’ve discussed the Lakers switching up their attack in a way that they can find easier shots for themselves.  And I think there’s merit in trying some different things to try and accomplish that task.  But, whether it’s more P&R or better execution and commitment to the Triangle, the Lakers need to do every thing full speed but with a keen eye on executing every nuance of their attack.  If the Lakers go to a more P&R heavy attack, I’d like to see more weak side flashing that is synced up with the ball handler’s initial attempt to turn the corner.  And if the P&R is relied upon, I want to see the ball handler attack off the action and force the C’s big man to defend in space (something we have not seen since game 1). If the Lakers rely on a more Triangle heavy attack, then they need to explore more options within their sets and go more to the actions that are initiated at the elbow with Gasol and Kobe and then work hard off the ball to occupy Celtic defenders. By operating from the elbow (and with the weak side spacing in tact), Kobe and Pau can play some isolation ball and then more easily pick out teammates when the help arrives. But, in whatever attack the Lakers employ, Kobe and Pau’s brilliance will need to be on display. The Lakers will need their stars tonight.

And overall, the Lakers just need to play as hard and as smart as possible for the full 48 minutes.  Everything must be left on the floor.   Whether it’s securing that loose ball, taking that charge, or sprinting hard to fill a lane on offense or to get back on defense, the Lakers must do the little things tonight.  In essence, they need to make their own luck.  Every 50/50 ball must be theirs because they’ve willed themselves to it.  Every bounce that they need to go their way should break their way because they’ve fought to put themselves in position to get it.  Boston is the opponent that will try to make this moment be theirs, but the Lakers must take it for themselves.  The Lakers backs are against the wall and they’ve got to fight like it is. There’s no other way tonight.

Lastly, we all understand that the Lakers are on the brink of elimination; that the season can end tonight.  But, I’m not even thinking of that right now.  I’m 100% focussed on the win and the task at hand.  We’ll have plenty of time after the season is over to focus on the year as a whole and what was or was not accomplished.  But now is not that time.  To quote my favorite Laker ever, right now is winning time.  Go get it, Lakers. Game on.

Darius Soriano

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265 responses to NBA Finals: Game 6 Preview and Chat

  1. Should be an epic contest. I’m looking for Rondo to come out super-aggressive and help the Celtics close this one out and win Finals MVP! I think the Celtics win this if they can counter the Lakers in the first quarter when the Lakers will obviously come out amped up. The later the game gets and the closer the score remains, the more tense the Lakers are going to be knowing this is an elimination game…

  2. For Warren and Charlie!

  3. I think the saying goes “Offense sells tickets. Defense wins championships.” Let’s get it done!

  4. Great post Darius. I’m literally shaking with anticipation for 6pm PST.

    I know it’s been said way too many times already, but I can’t help it. The thing that I WISH the Lakers would focus on is rebounding. Period. Everything else will work out when that happens. It’s no coincidence that the team that has won the rebolunding battle has won the game, every game (and often based on hustle plays that come from rebounds especially when it’s close):

    Game 1: Lakers 42 rebounds, Celtics 31 rebounds – Lakers win
    Game 2: Lakers 39 rebounds, Celtics 44 reounds – Celtics win
    Game 3: Lakers 43 rebounds, Celtics 35 rebounds – Lakers win
    Game 4: Lakers 34 rebounds, Celtics 41 rebounds – Celtics win
    Game 5: Lakers 34 rebounds, Celtics 35 rebounds – Celtics win

    I would scream if I could (lost my voice after game 5).

  5. Who was the idiot who jinxed us by asking about a parade when the series was up 2-1? Ban for life.

    Game 5 was close at the end only because Kobe went off – just like he went off in Game 3 of 2008. We can’t reasonably expect that kind of performance again. So our other players will have to play much better, not marginally better. Sending Kobe into a thicket of defenders clearly does not work, if you’re looking for sustained success. That’s why I highly endorse the recommendation over at the Land O’Lakers blog that we start moving Kobe more off the ball, to both free him up and distract the Celtics defense to free up some othe rplayers.

    It’s time to start moving Kobe off-the-ball on the weakside, and let Pau go to work in the post on the opposite side. Pau and Lamar’s 2-man game can be effective, I believe, if Kobe is on the weakside constantly moving (NOT standing and watching) and drawing attention.

    Fisher will need to shoot better. We need at least 1 floor-spacer to beat this team. For some reason, I also have a weird feeling that Farmar or Sasha will come up (relatively) big today.

  6. Also, whatever happens tonight – no sniping and arguing tonight. We go into battle tonight united as a fanbase. We’re the few people that understand each other’s fanaticism about the Lakers, so let’s hold together tonight.

  7. Amazing is.. BELIEF June 15, 2010 at 1:48 pm

    They can do it you guys,
    i know they can.
    GOD BLESS L.A
    GO LAKERS!

    ps to the author of this article: THERE IS NO WAY IN THE WORLD I WILL ENJOY THIS GAME, ITS ALL NERVES TONIGHT.. ALL NERVES…

  8. Sorry to say it… I just don’t see the NBA letting this series end in 6 games… expect to see a lot of early touch fouls on the Celtics as to not let them out physical/hack the Lakers all game long like the last couple games.

  9. The Celtics have champagne and Celtics championship gear ready per Frank Hamblen… I hope they won’t get a chance to open those bottles tonight nor Thursday and they’ll have to get rid of the shirts and hats. If the Lakers collectively have any pride left they WILL NOT let them celebrate on our floor tonight.

    This is our house and this is our chance. I have no idea how to keep awake until 3 AM, but I sure as hell can’t sleep so I’ll have to do something to keep myself occupied.

    GO LAKERS!

  10. Dear (deity of basketball):

    What have your humble Lakers done to displease you? We don’t drool on the court, leave on wheelchairs for a minor stinger, yell “mother f’ers” every 5 seconds, grab and hold like it’s a WWE match, call ourselves Donkey and Shrek, etc.

    We try to honor you by playing an aesthetically pleasing game of basketball and have the premiere artist known as Black Mamba pirouetting past defenders, hitting impossible shots, and defying gravity. We showed Ron Artest, your then-disgraced creation, how to play the “right” way, and to stop himself from running into the stands. We have Pau, who listens to opera and dissects his opponents on the court with the precision of a doctor. We have Lamar, who at one point, was the second coming of Magic, and still has all unlimited and untapped potential. We have Mr. Fisher, the consummate team leader and ageless warrior, teaching the young guns of the league how to play this game. We have Shannon Brown, who with every dunk grazes the hem of your heavenly basketball shorts. We have the gutsy Bynum, who grimaces and fights through the pain and realizes that without struggle, there is no progress.

    Sure, we flop, and sometimes play without passion. But this team was made in the image of what beautiful basketball should be. The fans may clamor for the adulterated thuggery, braggadacio, and boorishness of Celtics “basketball,” replete with profanity and rough-housing, but we aspire for a purer brand of ball. So, we humbly beseech you to side with the right team tonight, and guide the Lakers to wins in the remaining two games. May we vanquish the Mean Green tonight and Thursday night and restore order in the basketball universe. Amen.

  11. DJ-F.L.A.S.H. June 15, 2010 at 1:59 pm

    Remember when Bill Russell found out that the Lakers owner had the balloons and confetti ready to fall from the rafters before Game 7 of the ’69 finals, him and his team used that as motivation and crushed the Lakers for his final championship? Well, David Stern’s got the Celtics 2010 champions t-shirts all printed and Rajon Rondo’s 2010 Finals MVP award freshly minted, boys, what do you say we crash that party?

    Lakers forever.

  12. WIN!

  13. Good point about taking it all in. This will be the last time I just “enjoy” being here until after this is over. It’s tense, its nerve-racking, but damn is it exciting. We’re in the finals.

    But now that is not enough. I want more. I hope the team NEEDS more. I want to see the Pau from the picture tonight.

    We are backed into a corner. This is it. This is what elimination feels like.

    I honestly believe this will be the more difficult of the two games. I LOVE our chances should we make it here. I think this is it. This is where the C’s try to pull out all stops. And this is where we stop them. I want to cross off all of those damn numbers on my mirror. The two has been glaring at me every morning.

    Go Lake Show.

  14. Doc Rivers brought his starters back early in the 4th quarter of Game 5. It made sense: he’d rather have his team up 3-2 than risk returning to LA down 2-3.

    Is there any reason Doc won’t lean heavily on his veterans again? He’d rather have his team close out the series tonight, rather than risk G7.

    You can only give an old horse so much of the whip, though. They might have some trouble keeping up with the Lakers in G6.

  15. I wanna wake up tomorrow morning smiling, and go to work friday morning in bliss.

  16. Some adjustments I’m hoping to see tonight:

    1) When Rondo has the ball in the half court, get up on him to shrink the space he’s been enjoying to survey the floor and make uncontested passes.

    2) If he beats his man off the dribble and gets into the paint, KNOCK HIM TO THE GROUND and force him to hold his own cryptonite at the foul line. He doubts his free throw abilities, and he plays with diminished bravado when he sees himself clanking from the line. Conversely, when he’s allowed to finish at the rim, he is doing what he enjoys most and plays with more swagger.

  17. Those rebounding stats are huge. Kurt mentioned on his CBS that the Lakers need to force TOs etc… That does seem a nice bonus which usually occurs when the offense is running and the guys are feeling good about themselves. The rebounds though, are the biggest factor. If the Lakers are getting the rebounds it’s because of two things. They are successfully crashing the boards on the O end- and that leads to put backs, and they are getting stops on the other end coupled with securing the rebound.

    This is all about focus now. Does LO block out Rondo and keep him from elevating for a putback after a huge stop? Do the Lakers get into their offense early, move with precision and dribble with purpose? Does Gasol make plays from start to finish and stand up to Sheed and KG? Does at least one guy off the bench lend his spark to the game (Farmar and/or Sasha would be huge)? Does Kobe finish with 7 or more assists, rather then finding open men who can’t finish? Speaking of open men who aren’t finishing, Artest rhymes with contest and Ron needs to contest Pierce’s ownership of the elbow. Fight for that space and the rest of the bigs need to fight and win the 5 feet around the basket.

    One last thing. I am so glad game 6, and the hopefully necessary game 7 are during the week. It means we get more diehards at the games. Bring the energy Staples. The Lakers will need every bit of energy they can get.

  18. Funky Chicken June 15, 2010 at 2:26 pm

    Darius, I think you have made an excellent point about taking a deep breath and trying to actually enjoy the moment, notwithstanding the anxiety.

    When you think about all of the great players who have played this game, only a select few have had the fortune of being a multiple title winner. Even so, the winningest player of recent time (not counting Horry…) is probably Michael Jordan, and for all of his greatness he only got a chance to play for a title 6 times. Think about all the sweat and effort that went into his career, only to have but six shots at a title. This opportunity is something to be savored.

    Of course, it is the rarity of this experience that makes us want the Lakers to play HARD now that they are here, so let’s hope the role players and Pau have their game face on today. I firmly believe that if our players go hard they will win, and probably win comfortably. Now is not the time to get comfortable with a lead. If we get a lead, build on it. If we are ahead at halftime, pour it on in the third. And most importantly, finish strong. No “moral victories” for the Celtics tonight. I want to see a game that isn’t even close, which sends a message deep into the Celtic locker room that is unmistakable. THIS TIME IS DIFFERENT.

  19. If the importance of tonight’s game can’t inspire the Lakers to come out and play as the champions they are, nothing can.

    No drinking games. No jokes. Nothing but focus, focus, focus. This is it. Now or never. Live or die.

    GO LAKERS!!

  20. I can’t believe Celtic Nation got the first post on our preview. No complementarty first post for Warren is bad joojoo. Maybe a warren sighting tonight can make up for it. Come on Warren throw a “Go Lakers!” post up for good luck.

  21. #21. Jeremy,
    I thought that was funny too. I almost edited his comment to say “and this one’s for Warren”. Hahahaha. Instead, his mojo has now gone against his team. He’s unaware of his mistake, though. It’s actually quite similar to a friend of mine that’s a C’s fan that told me before game 3 that he “wasn’t even concerned about game 3. Boston’s going to win by double digits tonight. I’m worried about game 4.” Okay. Celebratory posts about Rondo on our game chat. Bad mojo for them, Jeremy.

  22. Simple. Jackson made a severe tactical blunder in game 4 by playing pau and kobe the whole second half. We were beating this team and they looked ragged. The celts bring out fresh legs and not only take advantage of a more tired team, but give their starters the edge in game 5 in terms of stamina. So that move not not only lost game 4, but also game 5. The series should be over. In any case, I am optimistic, not because we have any sort of momentum at this point, but because we are the best team, and I think the best team will win the series this time.

  23. darius i think celtic nation knew exactly what he was doing..

  24. 22, darius, you have a friend who’s a celtics fan? how many eyes does he have and is it true they walk on two legs just like us?

  25. Bring it and leave it all on the court tonight. Good things happen when we hustle hard and work together.

    Game 6 is all that matters. We win tonight and the dream stays alive.

    Rebound, protect the ball, be aggressive with our play and never back down.

    Go Lakers!!

  26. Bring out the VUVUZUELAS Laker fans and make some noise!!!

  27. I’ve been a worthless quivering blob all day. My wife’s going out with the girls because she can’t be within 10 miles of me while I watch the game tonight.

    It’s time to face the facts: if you can’t win 2 of 3 at home and get beat three times in a row IN THE FINALS, you don’t deserve to be the champs anyway.

    That said, it’s time for the Lakers to BE champions!

    (And for the sake of my mental health, please let it be a Lakers blow-out tonight!)

  28. Also, leave the vuvuzelas at home. Not only is it bad kharma, there’s no way they’re making it past the door (check the fine print of your ticket stub).

  29. Greetings from Europe,it is midnight here,i rarely post but i don’t know,i just needed to say something right now,to be a part of larger Laker community because i am soooo nervous.Go Lakers,save the day/night/morning!

  30. i cant wait for the moment when Pau goes up for a slam in the closing minutes and says,” you’ve been gasolved!”

    or when Pau takes perkins off the dribble and says, ” I’m Pau how you like me Nau!!”

  31. I should have taken the whole week off work for all i’m getting done. basically have, actually.

  32. no i hate those vuvulzuelas they are so annoying

  33. #22 Darius- Thanks for putting the perspective on where the mojo powers lye.

    BTW: Someone get LO some sweet tarts and give him one every time he pulls down a rebound or goes hard at the basket without getting a charge!

  34. The betting lines I’ve seen have the Lakers favored by six and a half points. Most of the games have been close, so it’s not hard to see a few more bounces going the Lakers’ way, especially at home. That should be enough.

    Still, it would be nice to see an unlikely hero making a difference for the Lakers tonight. Sasha making everyone forget Ray Allen, Shannon dunking from outer space, Artest hitting a jump shot (*sigh*) . . .

    Also, I hope there’s still time before a critical game to stop and make fun of soccer, and the “excitement” of another 1-1 tie. Go, . . . um, . . . Kiwis.

  35. Go Lakers. Defense and rebounding is where it starts. Play hard, hustle and show some fire throughout the game.

    Looking forward to a great game 6.

  36. from the philippines, surrounded by green bandwagoneers who have not much understanding of basketball only of laker envy, LET’S GO LAKERS!

    clap, clap, clap, clap, clap

    LET’S GO LAKERS!

    shame on those who won’t represent tonight there in staples. REPRESENT PURPLE AND GOLD!

    and need i preempt? STOP! It’s Kobe time!

    STOP! It’s LAKER TIME!

  37. At Sparky,

    Even my dog goes upstairs when the Lakers are on! He can’t stand it!

    All said, this game puts the pressure on any Lakers not named Kobe. If they play hard, aggressive, and relentless as a team, they will win.

  38. Everything is on the line for the Queensbridge brothers. Will they show up to play?

  39. Sorry guys, there is no way I can envision the Celtics winning on the Staples Center floor. Tell Phil to put me in the game. I would use all six of my fouls very well! No way the green slimes win tonight.

    The only game the exists right now is tonights game.

    THE LAKERS ARE TAKING THIS ONE!!!!

  40. Love this blog, i just discovered it a while back. It gives me reason to believe. Damn right it’s winnin’ time. As Jack would say “take their hearts”

  41. What a rollercoaster ride this season has been, no telling what the Lakers will do. I have no real feel for this team even after 100 games or so.

  42. #41. Thanks for joining us Tim. We’re glad to have you. The Lakers need all the support they can get tonight!

  43. I really believe the Lakers have what it takes to get this win tonight, whether by 1 or 21 (the latter OBVIOUSLY being much less likely).

    After that, I’ll take my chances with Kobe Bryant in a game 7 on his home floor.

    LET’S GO LAKERS!!

  44. Not gonna lie: The Lakers have been playing confused, unsure, and borderline scared the last two games. Same thing happened last year. Only Kobe and Fisher have the resolve to not let a series affect them, and I partially blame Jackson. At some point, a coach DOES need to get emotional and invoke a sense of fire in his more susceptible players. Inject some invincibility into their heads. We haven’t played confident in what seems like weeks.

    We’re home in LA now, so that should take care of the comfort part. Now I want to see some fire. Some arrogance. Some, “There’s no way you guys are going to beat us the next two games” swagger. Some all-out, Lakers basketball.

    Most importantly, HOW we win this Game 6 will depict the winner of Game 7. If we destroy Boston by 15, or 20+ points, the momentum shifts to our side and we take the championship at home. But if we squeak out a win by 1-6 points, that gives the C’s the knowledge they can win Game 7. And they will. The fact that this series has to go to seven games is the Laker’s fault, not Boston’s credit.

    And if we actually – somehow – lose this game, then this Laker team is a bigger disappointment than the Kobe/Shaq/Payton/Malone team that lost.

    Bad officiating and awful calls haven’t helped, but the refs aren’t the ones shooting 33%. Time to man up, Gasol. Time to keep that 2008 promise, Ron. And time to wake up Odom.

    History is at your doorstep and it wants to knock you the f**k out.

    Do something about it.

  45. I just hope the team plays hard enough to not have any regerts, win, lose or draw

  46. re: Mathew

    If the game is at 3AM for you, its at 4 for me and I’m in Israel. Are you somewhere in Eastern Europe, like Poland or Czech or Croatia or something? Just curious…

  47. 46

    That’s the way I see it. If Boston is better, then they’re better, but force them to earn it.

  48. Also, as my high school coach once told me: 30% of the game is talent, 70% is hustle and heart. We all know the lakers have the talent, but maybe with the exception of Kobe, Drew, Fish, and Sasha, they have not shown enough hustle, not enough sheer will power. You can just see it, and for anyone attending the games in Boston and LA, you can probably really feel it and see it much more closely – the energy and willpower difference between Lakers and Celts. I want to stay positive, and just as Darious said, it goes back to the basics. If they go all out, full-force, 110% and leave everything on the court, they’ll probably win. They’re chi must be greater, their force must be more powerful, and like he said, THEY must consciously and unconsciously choose to forge this new chapter our storied and glorious history, regardless of getting calls, a ray allen record shooting explosion, a Rondo triple double, whether Kobe scores 5 points or 50, whatever. You all know what Im saying. And if not, well…I don’t want think about if not……Today was my birthday, and i really hope they give me present of a victory, there’s so much other crap in my life right now…maybe thats why I’ve been following them ore than usual, but I digress…Just win guys. Just do it and make we Laker faithful proud once more

  49. 46 Kwame A.- Draw? You’ve been watching too much world cup my friend. It’s not the low scoring that erks me about the game but the fact that you can go home with no winner!? That’s not a competitive sport if you ask me. I’ll be honest, I don’t know much about the game but at what point can you have a sudden death penalty kick-off? Now if all tied games in soccer ended that way, I’d like it a lot more.

    (Can’t say it enough) Let’s Go Lakers!

  50. Are my posts going thru?

  51. LET’S GO LAKERS!!!

    I believe they will win. If they don’t, then they don’t deserve it. The Lakers must bring it tonight with defense, rebounding and energy. If the Lakers can’t score 100, fine. They just need to keep the Leps from scoring too. Get the rebounds and trigger our fast break and get some easy points and play with heart.

    I’m so excited and nervous!

    LET’S GO LAKERS!!!

  52. Okay, let’s fast forward through time to tip-off. Let’s get this over with. Let’s go all out, let’s kill ourselves if we have to. Let’s get this done.

    Let’s go.

  53. Not to sound like a complete homer – but the Lakers should win this. I still think the Lakers are the superior team, by quite a bit actually. Granted, they haven’t played their best lately, but if you ask me the teams compare as follows:

    Fish-Rondo: Advantage Celts. Fish has been great, but Rondo is still better.

    Kobe-Ray: Advantage Lakers, nuff said.

    Ron-Pierce: Advantage Celts, at least offensively.

    Pau-KG: Advantage Lakers; although KG has been great. (I expect 25-12 from Pau tonight.)

    Drew-Perk: Advantage Lakers. I’ve been really impressed with Drew this series, and his minutes are going to be key again.

    Bench-bench: Advantage Lakers. Ok, this is where I venture into murky waters – but I definitely think that the Lakers have the more talented bench. Now is the time to let it show.

    Phil-Doc: 10-1 Lakers.

    Summary: Logic dictates that the Lakers will prevail;)

  54. DEFENSE. That’s all that matters 2night. Every shot has to be Contested. Every Driving Lane MUST be closed. No EASY LAYUPS for Rondo, nor Perkins. All DEFLECTIONS must end up in our hands. Can’t allow OFFENSIVE REBOUNDS. EVERYONE must get ON THE FLOOR for LOOSE BALLS. There’s NO MARGIN FOR ERROR.

    They were the 1st Team to Win Back to Back games in this SERIES. We’ll be the Last Team to Win Back To Back Games. And Like the saying goes: It’s The One Who Laughs Last, That Laughs Best.

    Heart …. Focus …. Hustle …. Passion

    Game 6 …. Lets Get It

  55. There is no spoon.

    We must draw the line here. This far, NO FURTHER!

    WIN.

  56. Christina Aquilera is definitely better looking than the Boston Pops I must say.

  57. As has been the case for the past 3 games, whoever wants it more will win this game. If the Lakers lose, it’ll be because they wanted it less than the Celtics. We have the talent and the ability to win this game. It’s the will that’s questionable at this point.

  58. Hm this has me worried: NBA League Pass Broadband is showing some sitcom – is that really what is on ABC right now?

  59. There is a depressing lack of noise… though perhaps I should withhold judgment until they introduce the Lakers?

    EDIT:
    Okay, a bit better, but still not noisy enough.

  60. Never mind my last comment (which is stuck in moderation); NBALP seems to be back on track now.

  61. let’s hope we have more than Kobe suited up tonight.

  62. @KB24ever: I’m from Slovenia. 3 AM start. :)

    Please, win. I am nervous as hell. Slept for 3 hours and am now shaking. I feel like a kid… and I’m 25. =)

    GO LAKERS!

  63. What else needs to be said?

    DO IT.

    Go Lakers.

  64. Laker Forum and Blue: 2006 Heat didn’t make it to the finals to defend their title, the 2007 Spurs didn’t, 2008 Celtics didn’t either!

    The Lakers have made it all the way back to the finals to defend their championship! That speaks volumes to the type of team they are; they are here at the finals because they weathered injuries and adversity all season long! And they will persevere tonight, also!

    If you don’t know, now you know: its not easy to win Back-2-Back championships!

    Lakers leave it on the floor tonight!

    Get after It!

  65. LET”S GO LAKERS! This is why you play for Home court. I hope Kobe gets some help, because I don’t think I could handle Boston winning.

  66. Anyone else hearing a distortion in the audio?

    And don’t stare at the ball, Bynum. Grab it, damn it.

  67. Kobe is after it!

  68. I dont know if I have ever heard Staples this loud, it makes me very proud

  69. Allen is hot today.

    He did leave his touch here, it seems.

  70. That is terrible defense by Derek, why after 6 games would anyone pressure Rondo instead of giving the man a jump shot

  71. I really, really don’t like the fact that Kobe has been the primary handler basically going one-on-one to score or create.

    I really think we should be setting up off-ball plays for Kobe to conserve his energy.

  72. 1. I take back my complaints about hte crowd. They are rocking the house.

    2. Perkins is done. Did you see how his knee bent?!?!

  73. Active Defense: Check
    Ball movement on offense: Check
    Pau and Andrew active: Check
    Crowd into it: Check

  74. I love the fact that we’re doubling hard on Pierce when he goes across the floor, cutting off the release pass. We’ve gotten 2 easy scores from containing that play.

    Interesting move putting in Shannon ahead of Sasha. I think Phil thinks Shannon plays better at home.

  75. Mimsy I dont know if I like that Perkins is hurt because as far as I’m concerned Rasheed is a bigger matchup issue for the Lakers, and he plays great defense on Pau (even better than KG)

  76. love the energy tonight! No more Brown though. Bring Sasha in!

  77. @Lakers8884
    I don’t like it, I want to beat them at full strength. Then again, as long as they brought the wheelchair, he’ll be back on the court in just a minute or so.

  78. Don’t fall for Perkins being hurt! That’s part of Boston’s defensive tactic to act like someone is hurt and then bring them back on the court to energize his team!

  79. WOW KOBE

  80. Why is Ron refusing to pass it into the post? It’s been like five-six time already for both Pau and Drew..

  81. Guess Gasol is awake tonight.

  82. Mimsy, as far as I am concerned it’s fair game because Bynum isn’t at full strength.

    Jeff Van Gundy is so right on about the Media not giving Kobe credit for being as great as he is FINALLY someone says it

  83. Guess GAsol can’t be hitted everytime in this building….

  84. REFUSE 2 LOSE. Let’s get this, guys.

  85. I don’t like Shanon and Ron Ron dribbling around into traffic and panicking leading to a bad turnovers.

  86. Ron Artest is doing his job. He’s hitting shots and defending the crap out of Paul Pierce. If we get this for 40 minutes from Artest, we will win this game.

    Everyone looks more aggressive here at the start. Looks like no one wants the season to end. We’ve missed a couple opportunities to really balloon this lead, but we’re getting stops now, which is a welcome sight.

  87. @Lakers8884
    Fair point. Also, Perkins is their best low-post defender.

  88. Hope everything is alright with Perkins. Want to beat them when they’re @ full strength. Don’t want any excuses.

  89. Odom vs. Big Baby – Round 2. Don’t disappoint.

  90. They’re putting their energizer bunnies in. Let’s stop them cold…

    Outrebounding them, and outshooting them by 20%, up 10. Not bad.

  91. Lamar Odom is really tentative out there. Not a good sign.

  92. LAKERS!!!!

    I’m almost as impressed by the crowd as I am by Ron’s shooting and Kobe in general.

    Let’s go Lakers! Let’s go Lakers! :D

  93. Does Lamar know that he’s in to play power forward, not small forward? =p

  94. I having a funner time this game…

  95. Well, Perk going down means that he won’t be suspended for game 7.

    Now if we can coax a T from Sheed…

  96. 93, Please, no bad karma! Come on now, we’re ahead why put something like that in the air?

  97. I’ve only been to one Laker game before at Staples (due to living in Kentucky) but has anyone who regularly attends including playoff games ever seen the crowd this intense?

  98. Great team defense so far (although let Ray get free on a few screens).

    Nice effort on the boards.

    Kobe being Kobe.

    Less dribbling, more passing from Ron please.

  99. Sheed does play better defense on Pau than Perkins, but he’s nowhere near the rebounder and he’s just not quite as physical a player as Perkins. Also, if he’s not hitting his 3, he’s worthless on offense. I think Pau can figure out Sheed, but there’s nothing he can do about Perkins. This is a big advantage for us. It’s also 6 less hard fouls for the Celts to throw our way.

  100. Good 1st quarter by the Lakers. They were very active, good job on the boards and defense. Both Kobe and Gasol off to very good start

  101. Lakers look good so far, they need to extend this and put a foot on the Celtics throat now.

  102. Does anyone else hit mute whenever there’s a Celtic huddle or Doc Rivers is being interviewed? I don’t even want to hear his voice.

  103. Sasha is tall – I almost had him confused with Pau there for a second.

  104. Why didn’t LO attack that?!

  105. Odom just caught a ball in the lane and looked to pass first. He’s gotta start attacking the basket. I like his defensive energy and his rebounding so far, but it’s like he’s a zombie on offense.

  106. That’s what I want to see, LO!

    Tee up that guy with the bald spot!

    Will Perkins or Wallace ever get another technical in the Finals? It’s a joke.

  107. As long as we don’t get up by 24 and relax, I’m good with what’s happening!!

  108. Wow, Kobe’s shooting % just dropped big time ;)

  109. I’m sorry, but I have to ask: Where was this in the first five games? Where?!?!?

  110. Jordan Farmar has been diving for balls this whole series and that has been the most impressive aspect of his game in these playoffs for me

  111. Are we having fun yet?

  112. EXCELLENT hustle play by Farmar there.

    VERY nice Jordan!

  113. 05-06 Kobe would’ve dunked that.

    I think if Kobe’s knee was 100% he would’ve dunked that even now.

  114. Also, I REALLY like Sasha’s defense on Allen. He’s in Allen’s grill the whole time. As long as he doesn’t commit dumb fouls he plays the best defense on Allen of anyone.

  115. sT: Not yet – when we’re up by 30, I’ll be able to enjoy this;)

  116. Ah, the lineup i was hoping to see.

    Small ball :)

    .. or not, gamecast is just weird. who do we have out there?

  117. YES

    Where has this been since game 1?????

  118. Blowout, blowout, BLOWOUT!

    Sorry – just had to get it out of my system;)

  119. Why do the announcers keep saying that there will be a game 7-seven-VII-?

    The Lakers must not have a letdown!

    Continue to Get After It!

  120. Harold seriously Boston cannot handle small quick lineups, teams like the Suns and Hawks killed them this year I dont know why it hasn’t been tried more often

  121. Looks like the Lakers need a swift kick to their collective balls before they decide to man-up. We’re playing with energy, like we want this game more than the C’s. We need this kind of energy for 66 more minutes

  122. The celtics rotations are totally shot – can they really sustain playing KG at center? Sheed already has 3 fouls. This completely changes the dynamic of the game

  123. A 20+ lead going into the fourth would be a sweet thing… Rest the legs on Kobe and Bynum and give the deep bench some burn…

    Got to hope for the best.

  124. @harold
    Right now, we have Kobe, Pau, Lamar, Jordan, and Sasha. And we’re kicking ass :)

    In 2008 the Celtics came back from being down 24 points to win the game. They went on to win the series. This is not over. We will not celebrate yet.

  125. I wish Lamar would not settle for that 3 point shot

  126. Sasha with the TREY.

  127. THEY CAME TO PLAY TODAY.

  128. Seriously what does anyone else need to see from Sasha to give this guy some more PT. He plays incredible D on Ray Allen and he has been shooting well any chance he has been given, way to stay ready.

  129. like that timeout by Phil – reminding us to lay on the pressure, b/c this Celtic team is *not* giving up in the 2nd quarter.

  130. Sometimes I’m more worried when the Lakers are up 20+ than when they are up nine.

    The Lakers CANNOT let up.

    Any updates on Perkins? NVM, thank you, Doris Burke!

    Powell sighting.

  131. Love the stare-down that Farmar just threw KG! Good energy on offense and lovin the fast break, but we have to keep playing d

  132. Wow. Building a lead with Kobe on the bench. It does not get better than that, period.

  133. Sasha is looking good for his third straight game!

    Props to Sasha, and he’s staying in Allen’s face!

    I Like It, Sasha, continue!

  134. Sasha’s been great all play-offs. (Not counting his little mental lapse ie, but I’ll give him a mulligan on that one since it was a national feud;))

  135. Sasha has been great. Jordan looks like a totally different player at home.

    Kobe got a nice rest and Phil calls a great TO.

    I love it.

  136. Powell didn’t exactly look confident there..

  137. With this lead, I want Bynum on the bench resting. No need to bring the big guy in unless the lead is cut down to 10.

    Oh, and why is Powell in. Wouldn’t Walton make more sense?

  138. I hope that the Lakers do not forget Game 4 of the 2008 series.

    It is not over until it is over.

  139. 3ThreeIII – You read my mind.

  140. Fish needs to play smarter than that. 3 fouls already. Need to keep on eye on those. There’s plenty of game left here.

  141. If the Lakers play like they did in the first half there is no team on this earth that can beat them

  142. Holy f-ing s—.

    Where was this in the last five games? I know it’s not over yet, not by a long shot. We are playing the Celtics. But really, this is how champions play, this is a team willing to fight to the end and beyond. Where was this earlier in the series? Where?

    This is why Laker fans are neurotic.

  143. Outrebounding the Cs 30-13. Now THAT’S what I’m talking about.

    Great 1st half; Cs looked deflated after Perkins injury. Now go for the jugular in the 3rd!!

  144. The 30-13 rebound margin has to be one for the record books.

  145. Looks like the Lakers heard you, Jane.

    30-13 rebounding edge.

  146. Excellent first half. In the 2nd half the Lakers need to take the effort they gave in the 1st half and add to it, because the Celtics will not come out as lethargic in the 2nd half as they did in the 1st.

    Remember game 4 08. Act accordingly. Take care of business.

  147. @Everyone-who-says-rest-starters:

    We might be paranoid about 2008, but I’m not resting any starters until this is in the bag. NOT 20 cut down to 10. 20 cut down to 10 in an elimination game could be a nightmare in some contexts.

    and also @everyone: where was this effort in boston?! I’m totally mixed emotion elated that other guys are playing and dumbfounded that they werent earlier.

  148. Impressive 1st half by the Lakers, they are showing the fire and urgency needed to win. Great job rebounding

  149. #150, Boston?

  150. You know, when your team plays like this, when Lamar plays like this, you can’t blame the fans for abandoning ship one day and hopping on the bandwagon the next.

    Not to mention we have Kobe, the ultimate bipolarizer as our franchise star, Gasol who goes from Iron Will to Kleenex, Farmar who goes from hard-nosed to rock-headed, Fisher who goes from clutch to the worst starting PG in the league, and so on and so forth.

    The Lakers as a whole have tremendous “upside” and potential… let’s hope we click for another 72 minutes.

  151. As I stated Previously, our Defensive Intensity would be the key to walking away with a Victory 2night …. So Far, So Good …. Dominating the Boards & to the Naked Eye, it looks as if we’re Winning the 50/50 Battle …. Can’t Let Up. Start the 2nd half with the same amount of Passion & Aggressiveness as we started the game with …. Will not Allow a repeat Performance of game 4 in ’08 …. DEFENSE, DEFENSE, DEFENSE & MORE DEFENSE

  152. oof…I just saw that replay of Perkins’ knee injury…that looks BAD.

  153. This League Pass thing is funny – instead of getting the commercials you get the commentators prepping during the time-outs. Right now JVG is singing.

  154. Josh: Yeah it looked horrible. Had this been soccer, the home fans would have been ecstatic.

  155. Monster rebounding edge 30-13.
    Just a note: Can we play Odom-Bynum-Gasol for a bit? See if we can do something with that.

  156. Gotta think that Perkins being out is worth more than just the 7-odd rebounds he gets per game b/c he seems to occupy more than one of our bigs down low. That said, he’s not the reason Boston’s down *20*

  157. Would like to see more care with the ball, but at least the C’s are giving it up just as much.

    Surprised that we’re 83% from the FT line, and 44% or so from the 3… as Allen found his touch here, Boston seems to have left their defense at home. Short turnaround hurting them?

    Anyway, we gotta come out of the gate strong and put more distance so we can avenge our big loss.

  158. That looked dangerous for Kobe’s knee.

  159. Shanwow!

  160. Man….Shannon’s hops are so ridiculous.

  161. Shanon was so high that the dunk actually got a lot harder to make – insane.

  162. So Pierce trips Pau and Rondo shoves Kobe.

    No whistles on either, but that’s the type of “physical” play that Boston is known for.

    I am glad it’s being rewarded by a beatdown.

  163. I will not get overconfident. I will not get overconfident. I will not get overconfident.

  164. 9 points n 7 minutes. The offense has not been good this half

  165. I’d never celebrate a knee injury for a key opposing player just from dealing with the Bynum frustrations all these years in a row. I feel so bad for that guy. If he could stay healthy…he’s always right on the verge of all-star status and then something happens to one of his knees. I really hope next year can be his year—-I would never, ever, ever trade him for Bosh. The heart that he’s shown in this series is something Bosh can’t touch.

  166. Drew’s new brace doesn’t look good..

  167. SHANWOW!!!!!

  168. ShanWow x2!

  169. ShanWOW!!!

  170. I’m not liking the offense when Kobe goes to the post. It seems to stagnant. I’d rather have Kobe iso from the top or the wing or run the triangle.

  171. Why are we leaving Kevin Garnett wide open?

  172. OMG… Shannon’s head was above the rim. Damn…

  173. Celtics are getting a taste of what it feels like to lose your starting center

  174. LOL @ Odom

  175. Kobe, come on. beaten on the SECOND backdoor cut??

  176. For the billionth time make Rondo a jump shooter, he will not consistently hit a jumpshot

  177. Dammit play some D on Rondo!!!

  178. Now due to time zone differences, i’ll be going to lunch in 5 minutes.

    Last time i did that was game 4 or 5, and was not happy about it…

    worried sick, actually…

  179. The opening urgency is still there, though somewhat understandably lessened after us going up 20. That said, Celtics are missing some good looks that most of the time they will hit. So they could easily be down only 12.

  180. Also… when is a 20 pt lead save even with us? :)

  181. Lakers need to keep up the defense and increase the lead. Stay focused and keep hustling.

  182. The Celtics are leading the Lakers in one offensive category – blown dunks and layups. They may set a record in that category tonight.

    Combination of the Lakers playing great and the Celtics playing tight/awful.

  183. I think i’m going to forgive Sasha for his Slovenian civil war.

  184. Is it sad? I have NO sympathy for the Celtics injured players.

  185. LA bench 24, C bench 0

    Who would have thought it? THAT will get it done.

  186. We are dismantling the vaunted Celtic’s, I am having fun now!

  187. Pau working on the triple-double. Not the 25-12 that I predicted, but I’ll take it;)

  188. Seriously though the Lakers are playing perfect defense, if they keep forcing Rondo to shoot jumpers they will not score consistently enough to keep up with the Lakers scoring

  189. Dont count this team out. The C’s are warriors. We have to keep playing smart and avoid missing the easy baskets.

  190. Not a good sign when artest outscores pierce and sasha nearly matches Garnett or Allen

  191. 12 minutes! Twelve minutes! XII minutes!

    Get After It, Lakers!! Woo-Hoo!

  192. Did our bench even make the trip to Boston? Who were those guys dressed as Farmar, Brown and Odom? Bench is playing lights out. Ain’t done yet though. One more quarter and then game 7. Hopefully they can bring it for game 7 and leave it all on the floor.

    Certainly can’t coach energy and aggression.

  193. Interesting subplot developing. Rondo’s free throw shooting is getting worse by the shot, and he doesn’t want to be on the line holding his own cryptonite.

    How can Boston feel comfortable knowing the ball can’t be in its point guard’s hands if it’s close down the stretch in game 7?

  194. Keep this up & we might get a Mbenga sighting.

  195. LAAAAKERSSSS!!!

    I am happy. We are playing like champions. We’re fighting. Our bench is killing them and our starters are walking all over them. Our crowd is better, and louder, than ever before this season.

    We are up by 24 to start the 4th. All we need to do now is hold the lead. And if possible, leave Kobe on the bench.

  196. could it be sasha is getting hot at just the right time? if he plays well in game 7 do we forgive his contract?

  197. @209 – if Sasha plays well in game 7, I’ll forgive him for stealing Sharapova from me.

  198. Big Spainard is present and accounted for!

  199. #206 – “How can Boston feel comfortable knowing the ball can’t be in its point guard’s hands if it’s close down the stretch in game 7?”

    Because Lakers will forget to foul him and hit Ray Allen instead of course!

  200. Time to rest the starters?

  201. Come on. Let’s finish this game right.

  202. Time to wake up!

  203. Okay, coach please get Farmar out of the game! That’s the second bad angled pas that he’s made!

  204. How the hell do they get away with those types of plays? It’s all night! I don’t get it…

  205. let’s sharpen up fellas. let’s not give them anything to build on for Thursday….

  206. Exactly. It’s not about the result at this point. It’s about setting the tone for Game 7.

  207. I’m all for sending a message and all…but I also like the idea of giving Kobe and Pau some rest.

  208. Agreed. It’s a bit too late to match the game 6 score in 2008, so let’s just give the bench some run and keep them fresh for game 7.

  209. Tony Allen so pissed at kobe right now. Free fouls next game?

  210. 17/13/9

    Is a huge line in a Final’ s Game 6.
    Well done Gasol.

  211. All we can ask is for is max effort, and tonight we got that.

    Hopefully Phil and get them up again for this type of effort, we will need it.

  212. LoL that was a pretty bad foul call on Tony Allen. Should have been a jump ball at worst and a no-call at best.

  213. 4get about getting Pau a Triple Double. Lets get him out the game & get him out the game NOW.

  214. Lakers got the job done and forced a game 7. Great job to all the Lakers tonight

  215. Great defense by our team tonight! Game 7 here we come.

  216. Great, drama-free game. I LOVE it.

  217. Tonight, I am proud of my team and I am proud to be a Lakers fan. This was a clinic. Now, we just need to do it a second time.

    Anyone got a status update on Perkins?

  218. One mo’.

  219. Wow knickers fish bashing? Are you kidding?

    That was a very satisfying game.

  220. Great energy all-around. just a complete game and showed the hustle, heart, energy and will that we’ve been wanting to see for the last week.

  221. hopefully, the defense, bench, and rebounding show up for game 7

    game 7 is gonna be a blood bath…im excited and nervous

  222. Fact or fiction though…. If it’s Sasha playing that kinda D on Ray Allen in game 2 instead of Farmar/Brown, we are drinking champagne right now. Agree or disagree?

  223. Hope Perkins isn’t injured too badly even though I can’t stand him. I gotta give it up to him because he actually had a serious knee injury and didn’t call out the wheelchair.

  224. Signature play for me was Farmar diving on the floor for the loose ball and shoveling it ahead to a teammate.

    Kobe sacrificing a layup and passing ahead to Shannon for his breakaway dunk is a close second.

    These plays underscored the unbridled effort and teamwork needed to force a game 7.

    1988 all over again.

  225. Can’t say that enough, Perkins actually had a knee injury and no wheelchair was necessary.

    Pierce is pathetic.

  226. #237. Radio did call the wheel chair. He had some help but also did some time in the chair. I was half-expecting him to pull a Paul Pierce 2008

  227. Good win, but that’s it. Moving on to Game 7.

    Trust me, no matter how much we beat Boston by, it will not affect their psych. Cleveland hit the Celtics with the worst home loss in Boston history, and what did Boston do? Give Cleveland its worst home loss history.

    I really want Kobe to win another Finals MVP, however, given Gasol’s stat-line tonight, it’d be hard to argue that Gasol isn’t a close runner-up if Lakers win.

    Looking forward to Game 7. Really glad that there is only one day in between games.

  228. Artest was huge tonight as well. I am so happy for him. Hoepfully he will just stay within himself and take the open shots when they are there.

  229. I’m not sure if this was an adjustment by Phil or just by the player’s activity, but the one play we completely took away was the Paul Pierce drive to the paint. When Pierce drove, Artest funneled him to Gasol who was waiting for him at the top of the key, forcing Pierce to go toward the corner instead of toward the rim. Then Gasol and Artest would form an aggressive double, cutting off the passing lanes to the paint and across the court. This left the only outlet pass to be back up the side, which was in turn cut off by Kobe, Fisher, and Farmar all on separate occasions, leading to easy baskets or free throws on the other end. Given that the Paul Pierce isolation is one of the Celtics key plays, taking it away really destroyed the effectiveness of their offense. Excellent team defense.

    On offense, we got so many good looks by simply running the triangle and running Kobe off the ball. We had Kobe coming off down-screens, cross-screens, and the occasional ball screen across the top of the key. Because of that, Ray Allen was unable to get inside Kobe’s jersey and really disrupt his flow. Since Allen lacks the foot speed to keep up with Bryant at his point of his career, Kobe just turned the corner and got into the lane for a myriad of finishes and quick passes.

    And props to both Shannon Brown and Sasha Vujacic, both who came in and defended Ray Allen excellently. When Fisher was getting called for fouls left and right and couldn’t be his aggressive defensive self, those two stepped up and really took away Ray’s game. Also a lot of credit should go to the bigs who did a good job of stepping out and helping when the guards needed it.

    And last but mostly definitely not least, Kobe Bryant was a leader in all facets of this game. Whether it was ripping down rebounds, getting steals, pushing the ball in the open court, getting his teammates wide open shots, or hitting his patented impossible jumpers, Kobe was everywhere and doing everything. Also, major props to Ron Artest, who showed up and completely did his job. He shut down Paul Pierce on the aforementioned isolations, and he also took his shots without hesitation, making 3-6 from three. I called for a better performance from Ron Artest, and he brought it with a vengeance.

    Great showing by all our guys. If we get 48 more minutes of that, we will be almost impossible to stop. All we asked for was a fight from our guys and showing us that they had the will to win. They definitely brought it tonight, and we can only hope they bring the same will on Thursday.

  230. TOOOOOOOOOO NICE!

  231. Something to note: the only two wire-to-wire dominating performances in this series have resulted in Laker victories.

  232. now the last thing that should happen next game is that we stay put, become complacent and get whooped to submission in game 7.

    but let me be bold for once and say: NOT GONNA HAPPEN.

    Let’s go Lakers! clap clap clap clap clap!

    How was the crowd?

  233. J-M

    Gasol played well tonight, but Kobe’s stat line is easily as impressive as Gasol’s and he has been much much more consistent than Pau. No question that Kobe is the MVP. It’s not even close honestly.

  234. Kobe has been the best player in these finals, hands down! No one else has come close!

  235. Queensbridge!

  236. Here’s an acknowledgment of our home CROWD! They were fantastic! Easily the loudest crowd at the Staples Center this year!

  237. As far as I’m concerned, even if the Celtics had won tonight, the clear series MVP is Kobe Bryant.

  238. Frankly Pau and Kobe are both more deserving of the MVP than any Celtic.

    But i would still give it to someone on the winning team.

  239. @chearn
    Could not agree more. The crowd was outstanding!

    Now we need them to do it again for Game 7.

  240. Anyone know if Bynum has nothing left in his legs or if Phil was just resting him for Game 7?

  241. Kehn–

    from Kevinding’s twitter:

    “Phil concerned about swelling in back of Bynum’s leg. Said Drew told him he couldn’t run. ”

    going to have some gimpy big men going in game 7 it looks like. Of course we’ve dealt with that all playoffs — same old, same old.

  242. Good hustle and energy tonight from the beginning from the whole team. I believed LA would give this type of effort at home and they didnt disappoint. Now on to Thursday with the same intensity and hustle. Big Ups to LO, Ron, and Pau for redeem themselves on home turf.

  243. Wow. Rondo on the elbow artest “hit him” with:

    “Was definitely a foul, one of those fouls they didn’t call.”

    … you have GOT to be kidding me Rondo.

  244. oh rondo. come on!! artest was just standing there and rondo flew into his elbow!!

  245. paul pierce trying to trip gasol on that breakaway deserves to be looked at and called a flagrant. just another reason for us all to absolutely despise mr. wheelchair, paul pierce.

  246. I sure that there will be chirping about the refs I guess if you are a Boston fan, but really they were completely out played in every facet.

    I mean come on.

  247. Loved Rondo’s big chin Band Aid

  248. Phil said it best on the dry erase board after the game:

    http://tinyurl.com/26k22jy

    Nothing more needs to be said.

  249. Going back to comment #1 on this thread, I guess “Celtics Nation” was slightly off in his forecast.

  250. The Finals MVP will never be given to the losing team again. So with that, I respectfully ask that we table any Finals MVP talk for now. In my book it is up there with the guy asking about when the parade would be held. There is still another game to be won. And Perkins or not, Boston will come with FIRE on Thursday. This thing is NOT over!

    If the Lakers can give the same hustle and determination on Thursday they will be hanging another banner. It’s that simple. At this point all adjustments have made and countered. It is now about which team wants it more. I really believe that team is the Lakers.

  251. Lot of Fake Boston Fans out there after this one…..already playing the “we’ve got 17 you’ve got 15″ card. Shocked to see them so flustered.

    I’ve decided to take Kobe’s approach. Lakers didn’t win anything tonight. It was great to see them play so beautifully, but I had a sense of calm for whatever reason all day. I thought they’d show up. Kobe, IMO clinches Finals MVP tonight. No beantowner has been there every night the way he has. If Boston wins, I think he still takes it.

    as for the game: the Lakers were all over the boards, and frankly, it begins and ends there. I’ve said it numerous times, Boston will NOT make enough first shots to win. The Lakers crashed the boards (I thought Bynum, btw, was fantastic in limited time tonight) and the home court bench bump made what was going to be a victory into a blow-out.

    I encourage all Laker fans to settle down and start focusing now. Good win, but we’re here to win 2 this week. the media will over emphasize EVERYTHING tomorrow. that’s their job. Laker fans, ACT LIKE YOU’VE BEEN THERE. It was just business tonight and as for Thursday night, and I’ll just leave it at this….

    Kobe Bean Bryant, with more on the line than anybody else in this Finals….in a Game 7 at home?

    I’ll take it.

  252. One game for the championship… and we have Kobe Bryant and HCA… I like our chances. For everyone who has been saying all playoffs long that the regular season doesn’t matter… tell that to the Lakers and Celtics going into game 7 in Los Angeles.

  253. 15 down 1 to go for the championship and the repeat

  254. PP showing true colors with dirty play.

  255. Good win. But we have to play better next game. Allowed to many open shots, I am not satisfied until Princess Pierce walks off the court crying. All of the suddent the enforcer Celtics got soft again – that tends to happen when they are down, jump shots stop falling, and screaming seems superfluous.
    Do not be satisfied Laker fans, no celebration till we win game 7.

  256. I agree with Cdog. The C’s missed a LOT of bunnies at the rim. You can’t expect that to happen again.

    They will leave it all out there so we have to be ready for that.

    Shannon, Sasha, Jordan all have to play well again.

    Lamar needs to be even better.

    We shall prevail, but only if we give max effort. It has to be….

  257. Neil,

    We know, Jerry West in 1969. The point is that was the one and only time it has ever happened. And while there is no written rule against it the league doesn’t give it to the losing team anymore.

    So before us Laker fans can debate who would be Finals MVP (Kobe or Pau) the Lakers have to actually win game seven first. I just think we should hold off on that debate. Because if Rondo goes for 30-11-15 in a Celtic victory on Thursday all Lakers Finals MVP talk becomes moot.

  258. So beautiful. The energy! The gang rebounding! The dives on the floor! The standing fans in Staples! After a game like that, how can I not talk like Dick Vitale?!

    Just one more. As J-M said above, these Celtics historically come back with a vengeance after these games. We’ll need to come out with the same energy – but not just random energy, energy focused in the proper areas.

    Even with the energy, they’ll punch us. We’ll need to show the resilience I know we’re capable of. When Pierce shoved Pau to the ground, Pau lay on the ground and you could tell he was getting ready to complain to the refs. Instead, he slapped the floor, ran back, got in Pierce’s face, and forced the turnover (that lead to Shannon’s first dunk). Yes, it could have been a silly foul, but I liked the attitude and resilience that play showed.

  259. Small thing, but I think Phil won the psychological battle at the end by baiting Rivers into playing his starters too long. Yes, Rivers wanted to “get some rhythm”, but you don’t do that against an L.A. team that has pummeled you all night. And I would much rather have Kobe and Gasol play a few extra minutes than the aging big 3 (particularly when they have only one day off).

    This is a detail that likely won’t matter, but it might. Jackson knows that, and Rivers ought to know better.

  260. Game 7. Against Boston. In LA.

    Never took this Lakers/Hollywood connection seriously before now…

  261. Thank God there is a game 7 to be played.

    Thank God again when the Lakers *WIN* game 7 against the Celtics.

    Thank God forever that out of all the teams in the NBA I got to be a Lakers fan.

    Bye.

  262. For those that missed Shannon’s RIDICULOUS dunks…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8HwuWQWeYus