Fast Break Thoughts – Game 7 Edition

Darius Soriano —  June 16, 2010

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Lots of topics to discuss going into tomorrow’s game 7, so why not cover a few in some fast break thoughts? 

* If you haven’t seen it already, check out the video below that Kevin Arnovitz put together for TrueHoop.  This is just fantastic video detail of how the Lakers defense (and some questionable decisions from the Celtics) led to the Lakers best defensive efficiency output of the season.  Great help and recovery, contested shots, and a true understanding of what the C’s were trying to do offensively with the appropriate defensive counter then put into action.  If the Lakers are to actually claim the championship on Thursday, they must understand that this same caliber of defense will be needed even if the results are exactly the same.  Because the C’s will watch this film and look for the holes in the Lakers rotations and what can be done in game 7 to out scheme what the Lakers have done here.  But if the Lakers play with as much energy and awareness, they’ll be fine.  So, bottle this up and bring to game 7, Lakers.

*Speaking of defense, the Lakers found a way to do a number on Rajon Rondo last night.  For the second time in three games, the Lakers found a way to force Rondo into a 5-15 night with limited effectiveness in the half court.  Over at NBA Playbook, Sebastian Pruiti has a great post up about what the Lakers did to Rondoand what counters the C’s can employ to avoid this outcome again that is a must read.  And make no mistake, the C’s are going to counter to try and get Rondo going.  An ineffectiveRondo greatly diminishes the Celtics’ offensive capabilities and makes it so Kobe can play the roamer role that he relishes in the half court.  A big story line of game 7 will be if Rondo can find a way to bust out and make the Lakers defensive strategy against him fail  Whether it’s through more cuts, quicker decisions, or just plain attacking more Rondo will have to change things up.  Because if he has another substandard night it will be an uphill climb for the C’s on Thursday.

*Another key for Thursday will be the relative health of both team’s starting Centers.  There are not yet any additional updates beyond what was discussed yesterday – Bynum will try to play after receiving treatment today(to what effectiveness is anyone’s guess) and we’re still awaiting news on the results of the MRI on Perkins’ knee “sprain”.  After the game, Perkins also said that he’d try to give it a go but there aren’t too many that think it will actually happen.  When we get more information, we’ll update this post.  However, regardless of the effectiveness of both bigs (lets say both play and both are limited to less than 15 minutes) I believe that Perkins’ injury is a major blow to the Celtics.  Perkins is that extra defender that does a good job on Gasol and he’s one of their best rebounders.  Plus, this puts ‘Sheedin a position where he must be active for long minutes (conditioning isn’t his strong suit) while also staying out of foul trouble (something that might be difficult considering he’s had at least 3 fouls in 5 of the six games while never playing more than 22 minutes – a game he tallied 5 fouls).  I’m not counting ‘Sheed out, but I will say that if it’s a limited Bynum + Pau/LO vs. a limited (or out entirely) Perkins + KG/’Sheed/Davis, I like the Lakers front line more even though they’re the more shallow group.  Maybe that’s a homer’s approach, but that’s how I see it.  (On a side note, I feel bad for Perkins.  I hate to see injuries rob players of their chance to play, especially in games as big as these.  We saw this from a Lakers perspective with Bynum in 2008, so I can sympathise with what the C’s fans are going through and I wish Perkins nothing but the best.  He’s a great competitor, always plays hard, and never really gets enough credit for how much he does for the Celtics.)  UPDATE: Perkins has officially been ruled out by Doc Rivers.  Like I said earlier, I think this really hurts their team and puts the onus on their remaining big men to rebound and defend the paint for longer minutes than they’re accustomed to.  That said, ‘Sheed and Big Baby are tough competitors, so I’m sure they’ll be ready, but it will be tough.

*I know these stats from the past have little impact on the game being played on the floor, but game 7 will end multiple streaks on one side or the other.  From a “pro” Lakers side, we all know of Phil’s undefeated record when winning game 1 (which the Lakers did) and there’s also the undefeated record of game 3 winners in a tied series of a 2-3-2 format in the Finals (which the Lakers also won).  However from a “pro” Celtics side, the C’s have never lost an NBA Finals when leading 3-2 and they’ve also never lost a game 7 to the Lakers (4-0 all time).  So, take that history.  You’re going down tomorrow. (Hopefully it’s those Celtic streaks that are thrown in the gutter.)

*On a personal level, I can’t wait for this game.  I’ve lived through this rivalry from the early 80’s on to today and there’s no other team I’d rather the Lakers beat than the Celtics.  The ’85 and ’87 championships were two of the sweetest I’ve experienced as a fan and being able to potentially add 2010 to that list would be fantastic.  I mean, when FB&G asked commenters to talk about their favorite memories from the Lakers/Celtics rivalry, I wrote about my utter dislike of them:

I’ve loved all the triumphant moments, for sure. The baby hook, 1985, Magic’s off-balance/one legged/leaning left bank shot that won a game, etc, etc. But, and this may sound strange, the memories/moments that I love the most are the ones that keep me hating the Celtics…Every time I think of the McHale clothesline, every replay of Don Nelson hitting that high bouncing jumper off the back heel, every Celtic fan whining about how 1986 isn’t the same because of the Lakers “choke job” against Houston (when Sampson hit that totally lucky volleyball set looking jumper), every excuse about how in 1987 McHale had a broken foot and everyone was injured so that title is less than worthy, every mention of how we wouldn’t have won in 2008 even with Bynum/Ariza, all the lunacy about how in 2009 they would have won with a healthy KG, how they still have the lead with 17, all the BS about leprechauns and the ghost of Red, all the back and forth I have with my friends who follow that repugnant team….man, just writing that got me ready for the season to start. I really, really don’t like them and every memory that reinforces that is a good one. Those memories just fuel me to dislike them more and root against them harder and savor every victory over them like it’s the only thing that ever mattered.

Like I said, I’ll always love those epic moments where being a fan is rewarded with it’s best reward – the vanquishing of a true rival. But those moments would mean nothing without the hate. So, the memories I love the most are the ones that keep those feelings alive. Keep ‘em coming Celtics fans, you make us thrashing you that much sweeter.

So, all I’m asking for is one more sweet moment.  Game 7 is tomorrow and I’m not thinking of anything else besides a Lakers win.

Darius Soriano

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84 responses to Fast Break Thoughts – Game 7 Edition

  1. For Warren.

    (somebody explain that to me later?)

    Bye.

  2. The Dude Abides June 16, 2010 at 1:41 pm

    Not sure if it was reported here yet, but Perkins has a torn MCL and a torn PCL. That sucks. He’s out for Game 7.

  3. The video shown was truly looking at night and day with the defense.

    I loved it. Always keeping one step ahead with the defensive rotation.

    We’ll need that and more because the Celtics will not lay down like that(although that would save the heart attack like drama the Lakers induce).

    Here’s to a championship effort by the Lakers on Game 7.

    The trophy and parade are yours for the taking Lakers! :)

    Bye.

  4. 2: Dude, yes….NBATV from Perkins and from Doc said that.

    He’s done for the series.

    I don’t like it because it just brings on excuses from the Celtic fans and would prefer them at full strength.

    Although I doubt the Celtic fans had much pity for the Lakers’ injury woes in 2008.

    Bye.

  5. I feel so bad for Perkins… He’s been a true warrior for the Celtics all season defending the likes of Shaq and Dwight Howard and he doesn’t get an opportunity to play in a Game 7 in the Finals – pretty much every player’s dream. Only antidote is for the Celtics to win it for their big man!

  6. I think some of the comments that say forget about the last game are a little off base. I agree completely to throw out the win, it means nothing now. But the part I’d like to continue on is the effort/energy of the entire unit. In that regard, I hope this is just quarter 5 of Game 6. I think, in particular, that is an important carry-over for RonRon, the Machine (yes, he’s earned it again), Jordan, and Shannon. The home-cooking has served it up right. Do it just like we did before.

    The only one who needs to drop Game 6 entirely was Fish. Poor guy, couldn’t get any rhythm. I guess he had to have a down game after being the man all playoffs long. Let’s just hope that it was a one game break, not a change in trend. I can believe that because I truly think that if he wasn’t hampered by fouls he would have continued being the Fisher King. Expect that for Game 7. He will take big shots, and he will make them.

    As I said in the preview of Game 6, I think that was the biggest hurdle. Taking nothing away from tomorrow, I really thought the C’s had a better chance at 6 than they do 7. And to help my theory, they will be -1 starter. I know they will come out as best they can, but if we bring our game, let’s get excited.

    (Funny note – there were an average of about 100 more posts per link during our losses than our wins. Too much whining? Savor the good with the bad. It’s about to get sweeter.)

  7. Perkins and Rondo are the two Celtics I would actually like if they played for another team. So I am bummed for Perkins.

    As has been pointed out, this frees up Gasol as the five in those minutes when Bynum can’t go and Lakers have a real advantage in those minutes Bynum can give them.

    But that won’t be enough in this game. Lakers will have to play their best game of this series to win – obviously, with defense and boards, but also with players other than Kobe and Pau stepping up on offense.

    To me, that is the real question, which team shows up – the one that is desperate, or the one that thinks it can rely on talent to win.

  8. Today cannot fly by fast enough.

  9. I think the biggest issue with Rondo is that he has “come down to earth” somewhat. Even prior to last night, he hasn’t had the same impact he had in previous rounds. In the earlier playoff series he was playing better than he had during the regular season – I suspect he’s probably not quite that good yet. Also, with his free throw shooting and the amount he handles the ball, Hack-A-Rondo seems like it would be very effective. (I know that a PJ typically doesn’t like to do that, but I suspect he is keeping it in his back pocket just in case.)

    Go at their bigs when the Lakers have the ball!! I don’t think Garnett is capable of a quality 40+ minute game, Davis has a limited offensive game, I don’t think you can extrapolate his 15-20 minute production over 35-40 minutes, Wallace has back issues, pretty much sticks to the 3 pt line, and hasn’t been real good there, and Wallace and Davis tend to pick up fouls. So keep taking it into the paint!!

  10. Sorry about Perkins, the man plays straight-up defense, no flopping or flailing.

    Sheed should be entertaining. He’s got the “complete look of disbelief” thing down, best used the more blatant the foul. And I love to see him debating with refs, he’s an NBA on-court lawyer.

  11. Am I only the one who’s actually MORE nervous about Game 7 now that I know the Celtics don’t have Perkins?

    The Celtics will be able to use that as extra motivation on Thursday.

    The Lakers better not come out flat, expecting to beat a Celtics team without Perkins, because the Celtics are going to come out throwing haymakers in the first quarter.

    That’s what scares me.

  12. The nicest thing I can say about Perkins is I don’t hate him. I can’t say that for many Celtics. Hopefully the Lakers can take advantage while not being lulled into a false sense of security.

  13. Anyone want to guess the odds ‘Sheed DOES get a T this game?

    How hard have he (and the refs) been holding back trying not to get the suspension?

  14. @Taylor:

    I think it’d be kind of funny if Wallace, in all his relief from not worrying about losing a game via suspension for a technical, got two Ts and sat out anyway.

    I actually do kind of (sports)hate Perkins. He’s a hacker, just like the rest of the celtics. In a sense, though, it’s not them – it’s what Tibbs turned them into and what the NBA allows them to get away with as they’re an “aggressive” defensive team. Rondo is the only player on that whole lineup who I don’t (sports)hate – and I love him. Great player.

  15. could anybody explain the key parts of hollingers article on how the celtics benefit from perkins injury? i have no espn insider but i am very interessted in his take on the situation coming into game 7.

  16. Their is blood in the water and the sharks are circling. I hate that Perkins had to suffer a season ending injury at this stage of the playoffs having gotten this far. I salute your toughness and all around dislike for your opponent as if they had been talking about your mom before the game.

    The loss of Perkins is huge in the Boston camp, mainly because of his size. The confidence LA will have going to the rim without running into Mr. Bigs(Perkins) at 275 pounds compared to a slim Garnett(220) or Wallace(240) standing in the way. This entire series the team that has owned the paint whether defensively or offensively has come out on top.

    Both teams will play their hardest on Thursday with the chip on the line, but with the greatest player currently in the NBA on the court wearing a purple and gold jersey. It didnt matter who was going to suit up for Boston, this was his legacy at stake not LO’s, Ron’s or Pau’s. #24 wasnt going to be denied a chance to be mentioned amongst the games greatest of all time be this close and not grab hold and choke the last breathe out of any naysayers mouth.

  17. 9:

    If things get out of control and Rondo’s at the forefront, I love the hack-a-Rondo strategy. All’s fair in a winner-take-all Game 7 and if you’re going to run with a FT-impaired PG, you deserve to have this weakness exploited. On top of this, Rondo appears to really get bothered by rough play…

    Hacking Rondo would severely disrupt the C’s offensively and defensively (I could imagine Doc pulling him to counter) and likely set up some extra possessions with our now-enhanced Big Man advantage on the glass (that is, if Rondo doesn’t start magically making FTs).

    Only as a last resort though… 16! 16! 16!

  18. wow I still can’t get over how everything worked or last night it’s so rare for us to be during on all cylinders, but boy is it a site to behold. It just goes to show that when we play well there’s little the opponent can do.as long as we match the intensity levels we can best anyone, add in some bench scoring and a few threes and its a blowout.

    I was really nervous before last game but feeling very confident going in to 7. However that’s not am approach that

  19. Darius, it is a win win situation for you. Either a Laker victory, or more grist for your mill. My seven year old daughter and five year old son (who cajoled my wife into putting Laker flags on her minivan this morning) are really experiencing the playoffs for the first time this year. Boy will they have a sweet bad memory to draw on if we fall tomorrow (I generally don’t go to the “we” card, but this time it’s personal).

    The injury to KP is unfortunate, but Bynum has missed more time in this series than KP will miss in game seven. And of course there is 2008. MJ doesn’ have to answer for big game james’ hammy pull, so Kobe doesn’t have to answer for this.

    Can we get the Laker uniforms changed to the rich dark blue that they appear to be when playing under fluorescent lights? I think it would be much nicer and, of course, we can still call it “forum blue.”

  20. Dirty Sanchez,

    You are on the money. It is all on Kobe
    (like it always is) He wins this and he is really on his way to G.O.A.T I just do not see Kobe losing this game. Just like in Bejing when he took over and beat Spain with the whole world watching, same thing on Thursday.

  21. Losing Perkins throws a new variable into the mix, and Boston will come out playing differently as a result. They won’t have a huge heavy presence in the paint, who plays aggressively and with a vengeance,… their rebounding will suffer, as well as their low post defense.

    That said, losing Perkins doesn’t mean they’re losing the ability to play hard and win, to underestimate them would be dangerous, and to not adjust to their adjustments will be deadly.

    I’m not exactly feeling bad for either the Celtics or Perkins personally for the injury. I don’t like him, I have no sympathy and it does benefit the Lakers that he’s gone. That doesn’t mean I’m happy he tore his knee ligaments. I’m sure my feelings for Kevin Garnett are widely known around here by now, but I wouldn’t wish an injury on him either. It’s always a shame when a player goes down with a season-ending injury, whoever he is. I’m not going to waste my energy crying for a Celtic though. ;)

  22. 15:

    I was curious about the Hollinger article myself, but imagine it goes something like this: “When I add my meaningless, imaginary PER numbers together, a line-up that features a more offense-minded (and therefore stat-friendly) Sheed in place of Perkins, the C’s PER is better without Perkins (nevermind the small sample size of Sheed’s 2010 numbers, and the myriad of other fallacious assumptions upon which PER is founded).”

    On second thought, I’m glad I don’t have Insider to coax me into wasting away 5 minutes of valuable life on Hollinger PER articles…

  23. @15

    Hollinger basically said that Perk is an offensive liability, and that without him the greenshirts should have a much better offensive outing. He pointed out that they might play small ball more (with Mr Wheelchair at the 4) which will allow T.Allen to get more burn and defend Kobe (apparently he is holding Kobe to a pretty miserable 22.6% shooting) He thinks that the trio of Garnett/Wallace/Davis can play the same quality minutes that Andrew/Pau/Lamar play.

  24. one thing about game 6 that nobody has mentioned yet is that once we built that huge lead, we did not give it up! you all know we give up our big leads. but that lead, its highest at 25, never dropped below 17. i think this speaks volumes to our lakers determination and will. i think by not even budging a tad, it shows that the lakers know how important this is right now. and i have a feeling they come out with the same attitude in game 7. we will build a lead, and we will sustain it.

    i think the most important thing with the perkins injury is how and when we decide to use bynum. i have a feeling they start sheed and bring baby off the bench. i think we start bynum, play him about 6 minutes then bring in odom, and when we bring bynum back, at about the time they being baby in, is when we force feed him, and really crash the boards offensively.

    i think with perkins out, we need to crash the o-boards at every opportunity, especially with bynum on the floor. we should get a lot of second chance points, and we need to take advantage of that.

    one other thing, with no perkins, our guys need to drive to the basket !!! he is their shot blocker. he clogs the lane, without him, especially with baby in, we need to drive to the cup, and crash the o boards.

  25. I think that they will start Bynum and let him play as long as he is reasonably effective. I suspect that his knee will stiffen up if he gets a long break/at halftime.

  26. Mtd-

    Hollinger has a few points, namely that with Bynum limited, the need for Perkins skill set is greatly reduced, “In other words, [Perkins] brings a lot of things to the table that are of little to no value in this series…Boston appears to have little need for a counter to the impressive size of the Lakers behemoth. And if Perkins, a liability on offense, isn’t needed at the defensive end, he produces a negative net worth.”

    He also advocates for the Cs to go small, “Pierce would move up to the 4 and admittedly have his hands full with Odom, but it might be worth it given the blanket Tony Allen has thrown on Bryant thus far”

    The other point, which he didn’t emphasize, but which JVG has repeatedly made, is that the Cs are better offensively without Perkins on the floor.

    I personally don’t agree with this analysis. I think that Perkins has clearly been the best defender against Gasol in the playoffs, and for that alone, he is extremely valuable to the Cs. The one thing that I would say about this is that it would seem that this makes it more likely that this will be higher scoring game than has been typical in this series, because the Cs defense will suffer and they will have no Rondo-Perkins-T.Allen offensive possessions, which should help their scoring.

    I am also one of those who has been really happy with the way that we’ve contained Rondo. I can only assume that he will come out more aggressive tomorrow, and probably have a better game, but as long as we contest the drives and lay off on the jump shots, I can live with whatever happens…

  27. Seems like losing Perkins may help them on offense but it’s got to hurt them on defense. Just echo-ing the attack attack attack mantra.

  28. We must finish our mission. Game 7. We win this and Kobe and Co. have done what no other Laker team has ever done – beat the Cs in a game 7.

    Staples needs to bring the noise like nobody’s business!!

  29. All I gotta say is that Staples Center crowd better be into it tomorrow night. I want it loud and rowdy in there. I want it to elevate our players, especially our bench players and to demoralize the Celtics. Those of you lucky enough to go better bring your A game, or the loss is on you too!

  30. Hopefully the rest of the team isn’t indulging in some very premature ‘happy thoughts’ like Drew is.

    ‘Asked if he was offering a “guarantee,” Bynum smiled playfully, but nonetheless went out on a limb. “We’re guaranteed to win.”‘

    http://sports.espn.go.com/los-angeles/nba/news/story?id=5294446

  31. YES! Let’s bring the noise!

    I don’t know if any of you read Silverscreen and Roll before the last game, but one of their writers specifically called out the crowd and asked for a Twitter/blog campaign to spread the word and demand noise. I say we do that again. Spread the word, bring the noise.

    NOISE!

  32. Perkins’ being out worries me quite a bit. Over a series, they would miss him. For one night, they might be better off without him. It depends on how many 3s Wallace makes. Last night it was 0. If it is 3 or 4 tomorrow…

    OTOH, it will hurt Boston on the glass, as it did last night.

    I am old enough to remember 84, 85 and 87. 85 and 87 both went 6, and the Lakers won G6 by reasonable margins. I was not around in 1969. But given how the players act now (all of them–watch a tape of a 70s game and you will how sedate it is relative to today), how much the internet magnifies everything, and all the extra stuff, 08, Kobe, Bill Simmons, a million things–tomorrow night will, IMO, be the most emotional night in the history of the Lakers franchise.

    I am very glad the game is in LA.

  33. Hollinger’s piece says nothing about PER and makes some good–and scary–points. It says was what I have been thinking all day: With Andrew hurting, and one game to leave it all on the table, Boston may well be better off tomorrow night without Perkins.

    What it does is put more onus on Andrew to score, in however many minutes he can give the team.

  34. Defense has gotten the Celtics this far, to switch priorities to the offensive side of the ball in game 7 on the road in the NBA finals is a steep hill to climb.

    Perkins although a liabilty in the scoring department, who does Mr. Hollinger think set all those picks and back screens to set Pierce and Allen free for easy looks. Having to go around Perk is a little different than going around KG or Sheed. It has been said time and time again, its the little things that win basketball games. If that was a calculated stat in the league, then Perkins would be on the 1st team.

  35. >”We’re guaranteed to win.” – Bynum.

    FML. Way to go Bynum We’re screwed.

  36. I feel like our need for a full strength Bynum has often been so he can bang with Perkins. Not having Perkins sorta forces the Celtics to play closer to our game, and I’d think that that’s a good thing for us.

    Also: Come on Bynum! No bad karma! No bad karma! We don’t do that here! The Celtics are too good. They’re a complete team and losing one player does not make them pushovers. No bad karma!

  37. screwed? thats just bynum being confident. and i LOVE it. confidence, aggressiveness. perfect.

  38. @ 36 and 38: I hope that is the case.

  39. The C’s played the whole game without Perk Yesterday and were killed on the boards. If they want to get into a shootout with the Lakers, fine by me. That plays right into the Lakers hands. Lakers pound the glass again tomorrow and hoist another banner.
    And what else is Drew going to say?

  40. While it’s a tough break for Perkins, I’m not going to feel sorry for him or the Celtics. Unfortunately, this is part of the game, and the Lakers have had their share of this misfortune in the Finals:

    1983: James Worthy injured his knee in the last regular season game and missed the entire playoffs. Other players missing games in the Finals’ loss to the Sixers: Mitch Kupchak, Bob McAdoo, and Norm Nixon

    1984: Mitch Kupchak missed the 7 game Finals loss to Boston with his knee injury

    1989: Byron Scott tore his hamstring on the eve of game 1 of the Finals against Detroit, and Magic tore his hamstring in game 2. Lakers finished the series with a backcourt of David Rivers and Tony Campbell

    2004: Karl Malone reinjures his knee and misses the bulk of the Finals against Detroit.

    I think Boston will start Davis, who will try to use his low center of gravity and width to root Pau out of the post. I can also see Shelden coming in to bang Pau and use his 6 fouls. However, no adjustment can replicate the legs-sapping pounding Perkins has been able to put on Pau.

  41. I can’t believe people are worried about whether Bynum’s comments will ‘fire up’ the Celtics.

    Breaking news here: It’s Game 7 in the freakin’ NBA Finals!!!! For some reason I don’t think either team is lacking in motivation right now.

  42. The C’s will start Sheed. The key to that will be us going at him early in the game. If we attack Sheed early, we may be able to get him into foul trouble, since Sheed is so foul prone. If Sheed gets into early foul trouble, the Celtics will have to play the entire game with KG and Cry Baby Davis, and we may even get another Shelden Williams sighting. And the more Shelden Williams we see, the better.

    There are no more adjustments to be made. We all know what the Lakers need to do to win this game: Cut off the three point line, don’t turn the ball over, play aggressive defense, cut off the passing lanes, get the ball into the post on offense, and pound the shit out of the glass. We get those things, we win the game.

  43. Bad Andrew! Bad!

    When Glen Davis and Paul Pierce do it it’s trashy and low, when one of ours does it, it’s okay? Let’s apply some consistency here people. If Andrew’s “just confident”, then so were our opponents when they declared early victory.

  44. I’m pretty sure the stat of the series is the rebounding W= the game W, right? Sorry but I’m not worried about Wallace getting more minutes. If anything, he may be one of those players that try to do too much in a game7. Perkins knows his role and he wouldn’t waiver from it because he knows he has much better scorers around him. I feel confident that the Lakers will play their brand of ball and won’t try to force the issue now that the C’s center is out of the line up. This will work in the Lakers’s favor unless Wallace or Big Baby strike gold in a do or die game where they have to step up. My bet is that this turn of events *won’t decide the game but it also *won’t benefit the C’s in any way (key to my comment). They lose their #1 rebounder to give “Big Slobbery Baby” and Wallace a shot at being unexpected heroes in a game 7… I don’t think any C’s fan in their right mind would like to take that opportunity. That would be like us saying that we wouldn’t mind losing Fish if it meant a better 3 point shooting threat would get his minutes (vucjacic). Starters are starters for a reason and I’m sure that the Celts are going to miss Perk dearly in about 24 hours from now.

  45. To claim the C’s are somehow better or more effective w/o Perkins is laughable.

    Guess we’ll all know for sure in barely more than 24 hours.

  46. You are all way too superstitious. If anyone thinks the Celtics need bulletin board material for tomorrow’s game, then you truly underestimate the magnitude of a game 7. The Celtics are going to be jacked for this game, and so should the Lakers. Anything said in the media for tomorrow’s game is just fluff and if any player needs it to motivate them, then they are grossly unprepared for tomorrow’s game.

  47. 22 (Mojo) – agreed the thought of Big Baby taking his shirt off in public is beyond digusting. It must not be allowed to happen!!

  48. For me, the Perkins injury is more unsettling on an emotional level. The C’s might step their game up even more (though how much more stepping up can you do for NBA Finals game 7 anyway?) since he’s out. I’m more afraid of that rather than on a match-up level.

    I guess it comes down to, who goes small better? Perkins is, as others have said, very important for their defense, rebounding, and even setting screens on offense. Am I overrating his importance on defense? Why have we said that 2008 would have been a completely different series if we had Bynum? Perkins isn’t their entire frontline but he’s a major part of it.

    When we go small, we’re still long. We should be able to bother their offense and gobble up rebounds.

    Just gotta make sure Rasheed doesn’t get going. Keep attacking! And don’t be overconfident, Andrew! It’s not about bulletin board material. Just karma.

  49. 22 (Mojo) – agreed the thought of Big Baby taking his shirt off in public is beyond digusting. It must not be allowed to happen!!

    Dear god. He’d probably drool too.

    Ooookay, I think I need to go have mental images of fit and attractive men with their shirts off doing manly things, to get that out of my head. Sorry everyone.

  50. its kinda crazy to think how in 08 we were without bynum the whole series and celtics fan tend to think that was no big deal for us.

    well, now, they can be without their big man for a crucial game, and they can see how it feels.

    domination time !!

  51. People don’t worry about any “motivational” words from Bynum, Cry Baby, or anyone else. Its GAME SEVEN! Neither team will lack motivation. I am not worried about the emotional “push” they may get from Perkins being out either. There is the demon of a 39 point butt kicking the Lakers are ready to exorcise. Nothing can be more of a motivator than that.

    If the Lakers can rule the boards, limit their turnovers, and take the ball to the rack they will be hoisting another Larry O’Brien trophy tomorrow night.

  52. No false sense of security! We need to kill them over and over and over.

  53. Andres Garcia June 16, 2010 at 6:23 pm

    Lakers need to continue to: play with controlled aggression, contest all shots, hit the floor for loose balls, and attack the glass with ferocity.

    Kobe was fantastic yesterday, penetrating into the 10-15 ft range, picking his spots to score, while at the same time setting the table for his teammates. I hope that we will see more of the same tomorrow.

    Boston will not shoot 33% again, but, we need to continue to force them from their comfort zones and shoot the gap for steals when appropriate. Loved the analysis on defending the Pierce/Allen screen-roll that was up on the site. Again, end possessions by having all five guys block out and then attack the defensive glass.

    Also, while the Celts will likely improve from 33%, hopefully the Lakers will shoot the ball better as well. Without taking into account putbacks off offensive boards, we didn’t exactly light it up either.

    It’s times like these I really miss Chickie-babe. He would definitely put this game in the right historical context. It’s nervous time!

    I hope the crowd at Staples is on fire tomorrow night. The fellas will need them. Let’s get it!

  54. NO MERCY TOMORROW!

    The last time I’ve felt the revenge bone tingle in my body was when I watched this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iqo3ITLWKCk

    Hopefully it gets a full quiver tomorrow.

  55. I am excited and terrified. Rasheed starting adds a completely different wrinkle to the Boston offense in the 1st Quarter, and they are a team that feeds off of 1st quarter success. The biggest difference is with the lineup up Rondo, Allen, Pierce, Garnett, Rasheed, they have 3 floor spaces (one for our bigs) that have to be respected. When Rondo and Perkins are in the Celtics aren’t playing with the same offensive firepower, and its not exactly like Sheed hasn’t played Pau really well.
    Terrified, excited, emotional, sleepless. All of these things. Our boys better bring it tomorrow, and leave nothing up to chance or (god willing) officiating to determine an outcome of a championship. 4 games in a row (2-5), with 2 minutes remaining, the C’s got huge and incorrect calls to go in their favor that changed each game. We won game 3 through the miracle of Fisher, but we cannot leave anything to chance with a title on the line.
    And if the crowd isn’t nuts for all 48 minutes – on the officials for every missed call – and on the Celtics for every Princess flop, then I will be very very dissapointed.

  56. I think without Perkins we shouldn’t get too caught up trying to post. Instead get Kobe to drive and attack their bigs at the basket. Either they will be forced to foul or we will get points in the paint. Same thing if they go small and put pierce at the 4. It’ll be interesting to see sheed try to sustain a level of consistency for the first time this season with extended minutes. That or have big baby try to shore up the lane when Kobe drives to the basket.

    Also I lover the nickname big baby davis. Best nickname ever. What makes it especially delicious is that it’s so fitting yet he hates the name. Haha

  57. “When Glen Davis and Paul Pierce do it it’s trashy and low, when one of ours does it, it’s okay? “

    Depends how it’s said. Some guarantees are made as though the world owes the player his wish, or through bravado, others are just expressions of confidence. Drew’s seems to be the latter, and I’d have no problem with it, were I a Celtics supporter.

  58. I am starting the following rumor – Because of the magnitude of Game 7, the Lakers are wearing their Sunday whites.

  59. I just can not wait until tomorrow, my life is on hold (standing still) at the moment. All that I can think about is the World Champion Los Angeles Lakers taking out/down the Boston Celtics, and winning a back-to-back NBA Championships. Isn’t this just really cool mood to be in.

    “Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.” – Colin Powell

  60. @Tai Chi
    Good point. How something is said is as important as what is being said.

  61. they need to be bumping this in staples tomorrow

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CxJz2f3eAiM&feature=related

  62. Do they allow vuvuzela inside of Staples?

  63. The Dude Abides June 16, 2010 at 9:29 pm

    59. Agree with Don. Have Kobe drive to the rim. Without Perkins to clog the lane and contest, they’ll have to foul him to keep him from scoring. I don’t see KG getting more than 40 minutes, so their big rotation could get in foul trouble.

  64. Now what are the odds of Rasheed – Ron double T’s happening?

    Weren’t they Detroit / Indiana during the brawl? I have faith in Ron, but I won’t be surprised if Rasheed talks some looking for trouble.

    As for Perkins going down, I’m sorry, but i think Kobe’s broken finger is more a factor than Perkins’ availability. Seriously, he is a nice defensive presence, sets good screens and all, but I tend to agree with Hollinger in that what he brings over Sheed and Davis is not quite necessary against our 25% Bynum. Unless of course, his absence brings out 75% Bynum, now that’s something else.

    But I do think they’ll miss the chemistry they have with him, since that’s what defense is all about. And since both teams use good defense to generate good offense and vice versa, Perkins going out will be felt on the offensive end regardless of his numbers, and especially when they’re behind and need stops.

    But I don’t buy the ‘more motivated’ stuff, since you can’t be any more motivated on a game 7 in the finals. You just can’t.

    However, you CAN be over-motivated, and that’s something that could hurt them.

    All in all, I like our chances, and just like Kobe, I’m not grateful for the opportunity, i’ll be grateful for the win when it comes.

  65. My memories of Boston-Lakers:

    1965: Elgin Baylorless Lakers lose in 5, and it wasn’t close. That the Lakers were able to win one game in that series was a minor miracle.

    1966: Lakers really had a shot that year, they even put a scare into Auerbach during the final seconds thanks to LeRoy Ellis stealing a couple of inbounds passes. But, he still got to light up that damn cigar.

    1968: Baliley Howell and Larry Siegfried take the place of Tommy Heinsohn and K.C. Jones, and they still beat the Lakers.

    1969: This was the year, except somebody forgot to tell Russell he was too old.

    1984: Lakers up by 2 with 6 or 8 seconds left in game 2, after winning game 1, and Worthy throws the ball away. Celtics win in overtime in this game, and game 4, thus effectively putting the Lakers on the defensive for the rest of the series. Game 4 was the turning point after K.C. put Dennis Johnson on Magic. After game 7, some drunken Boston fan tried to steal Kareem’s goggles and got a fist in the chops for his troubles. It was a tough night, but that put a smile on my face.

    1985: ON THE PARQUE FLOOR! Ha! Ha!

    1987: ON THE FLOOR OF THE FABULOUS FORUM!!

    2008: Total embarrassment in game 6.

    2010: ?

    If those 2008 images of Garnett, Pierce, and Allen, dancing, prancing, preening, and chest thumping don’t put a fire under the Lakers for this game, then nothing will.

    I have two huge concerns:

    1. Losing Perkins gives them the emotional edge; “It’s us against the odds, fellas,” “Let’s win this for the Gipper,” type stuff. To see it used to high dramatic effect, just look back to game 7 1970 finals when Willis Reed limped on the court for about 2 minutes. That’s all the Knicks needed to wipe the floor with the Lakers for the rest of the game.

    2. Whenever a team blows out another team two things happen:
    a) The other team laces up their shoes for the next game and comes out with fire in their eyes.
    b) The winning team comes out just a little less prepared, and winds up losing.

    Case in point, the Boston Massacre of the 1985 Lakers in game 1. All I heard was how old Kareem was, how the Lakers couldn’t handle the Celtics defense, and how the Celtics were just tougher. Then came game 2, and goodbye Celtic toughness.

    I really don’t know what a coach can do or say to prevent that from happening. But, if any coach can do it it’s Phil Jackson.

    This game 7 will be a close, back and forth, nail biter to the end. The team that wants it more will win. These two teams are too close in talent and experience to be blown out this next game.

    If the Lakers want it, then they have to be ready to get tough and physical, or it will be another missed opportunity to put the Celtics in their place.

    My prediction: Lakers 97 – Celtics 96

    Yeah, it will be that close either way.

  66. I hate the white uniforms. They’re an abomination, the second-worst thing the Lakers have ever done (behind signing Rodman). If I ruled the Lakers universe, they’d be in the furnace forever.

  67. I second that.

    Never liked the white jersey.

    Why did the NBA force an alternate jersey on the Lakers.

    *sigh*

    Bye.

  68. im worried and excited for tomorrow. i played some basketball tonight for some good luck and i think i’ll play again in the morning for some extra luck

    anyways, with perkins out, im worried about sheed or davis really stepping it up. hopefully, we can stop both and get the celtics bigs in foul trouble

  69. I really feel bad for Kendrick Perkins. Even as a Laker fan, you hate to see a competitor not be able to compete in such a historic game. I really feel for the guy.

  70. The white jerseys are sexy. Let’s not be old and crabby. A little flavor, without giving up our great franchise tradition. Now the Jazz in green jerseys – that’s atrocious.

    One thing I haven’t noticed people talk about – what if Sheed/Davis get in foul trouble, and Doc really does go to a smaller lineup? Remember, the Posey/Allen/Pierce/Rondo 1-4 lineup killed us in 08. How do we handle Pierce at the 4, with both Allens in the game?

    Darius, Phillip – what do you guys think? Would Doc pull such a drastic move for a Game 7? If so, how do we attack that?

    I just don’t think Lamar has the post moves to consistently punish Pierce, and he absolutely can’t guard Pierce. We’d have to keep Odom on Tony Allen (non-threat, puts Odom in great help position) and Artest on Pierce.

    This is why Drew’s health is so key. If he and Gasol are in the game, no way Doc can use this card.

    If I wasn’t so concerned about rebounding, I wouldn’t mind us going small (plus Phil rarely matches up with opposing coaches, and when he does, it’s usually a bad sign). However if Odom checks out again (one big subplot – are we really expecting great back-to-back games from Odom) and Sasha is on, I wouldn’t mind trying Kobe at the 3 and Artest at the 4. Maybe. But only if Sasha is really on.

    Fisher has to play well. Last game his foul trouble was a blessing, as our 3-guard combo off the bench was amazing. But Fish likely won’t get in foul trouble again, which means he’s eating someone’s minutes. That means he has to produce. Has to.

  71. Game 7 will be a game for the Lakers to win rather than the Celtics. Firstly, Lakers are playing at home. Secondly, Celtics are playing without their starting Center. Lastly, Lakers have all the momentum going to game 7.
    I just hope that the team that played in game 6 shows up and build the same big lead against the “C’s” Otherwise Celtic fans would be bragging that even on our home court without their starting Center they defeated the Lakers.

  72. By the way if Rasheed gets his 7th Technical on game7 what would be the consequences? would he be thrown out automatically or will the suspension be carried over the next season?

  73. i think the key to this game is NOT try to do anything special (like trying to get sheed or baby into foul-trouble) but play our game. if we start forcing the ball inside it might mess with our rythm, and we should be careful about messing with that.

    on thing to keep in mind though: we should try everything to position pau vs baby or kg. run screens for him if necessary, but try to avoid a matchup where sheed defends him.

    the thing is: sheed is a good defender against pau because he stays down and keeps a body on him while still having the lengh to contest. if pau would drive on him, he would have a lot more trouble, but pau doesnt like to do that.
    i´d like to see lamar against sheed (sheed cant leave him to help because odom has nice touch) and pau posting baby up. that would really make life hard for boston (same goes for pau vs. kg … kevin cant guard him without fouling).

    and one more thing: penetration!!!

    farmar and brown have to drive on every occasion to keep up constant pressure and make life easier for our bigs to get offensive rebounds. just get inside and draw some fouls or kick it back out

  74. Check out this link to see a knee drained, what comes out, before & after views…interesting given Bryant’s & Bynum’s playoffs:

    http://www.thedoctorstv.com/main/procedure_list/209

  75. Why would we wear the Sunday white jerseys? The only time other than Sundays that we wear them is a Christmas home game and the ultra-rare road game (we did it in Phoenix in 04 or 05 and I believe one game this year on the road, too). And the NBA didn’t “force” this. But I digress – we have a game freakin’ 7 on our hands.

    A win tonight and can further alter the landscape of the Lakers/Celtics rivalry. Before Magic, Kareem and co. won in ’85, no Lakers team had ever beaten the Cs in the Finals. They followed this up in ’87 to cement the fact that while we may not have as many titles, we are every bit their equal when it came to “winnin’ time.” What this did was remove the label that our beloved Lakers couldn’t win against the green meanies in the Finals. Kobe, Pau, Fisher and co. have the opportunity to up the ante. No Lakers team has ever beaten the Celtics in a game 7. Period. Also, the Celtics have never lost a Finals when they were up 3-2. I think it’s time to rewrite history and put a Laker stamp all over it.

    Tonight could be a win for the ages. Let’s get it done Lakers!!

  76. History will be altered by tonight’s game. If the Lakers win, it’ll be a referendum on Boston’s 2008 championship, because all the Lakers fans can say, “If we had Bynum that year…” If the Celtics win, it’ll be a referendum on LA’s 2009 championship, because all the Celtics fans can say, “If we had KG that year…” This is, for all intents and purposes, the rubber match. Whoever wins this one, not only takes the championship, but has a chance to alter their own history.

    The Sheed-Pierce or Sheed-Allen PNR are the plays to watch for. We can live with the KG-Pierce or KG-Allen PNR’s, because we generally force those shots to go to KG for open twos. But with Sheed, those open twos become open threes. Like I’ve said continuously, we can live with the open twos. It’s the open threes that we can’t give up, because our team just can’t make up the deficit. It’ll be on Gasol and Odom to hedge and recover quickly onto Sheed to cut off the three. How well the Lakers cover that play could be the deciding factor of this game.

    I don’t see the problem with forcing the ball inside. Only good things happen when we get the ball into the post. In Game 6, almost every possession began with the ball going into the post, be it Gasol, Bynum, or Kobe, and we got so many good things off those actions. When the Lakers go into the post, we get better shots, closer shots, which lead to shorter rebounds, which fuels our offensive rebounding, and prevents the Celtics from getting out into transition. Our shots need to come from close to the basket.

  77. 9.5 hours until history. hope the lakers slept better than I did!

  78. Good work, PEOPLE of L.A. The Continue the Predictions for Game 7 – bring yours and let’s ROCK: http://bit.ly/aMqwWP

  79. i look for a tight game with the lakers
    controlling the entire second half (a 6-9
    point lead thruout)…

    lakers will make big shots and free throws to ic e the game.

    ONE MORE THING…fisher is DUE!
    after taking all the bows following game 3, he’s disappeared. look for fish to rise again

  80. The Lakers just have to play their game; not need to force ‘Sheed to foul out or get tee’d up.

    Of course, it’s a bonus for our heroes that Perkins is not available, and I just expect them to execute their game plan. I wonder if they will try to pull a Willis Reed and have Perk make a cameo appearance?

    The C’s have plenty of heart, but the laws of Physics are working against them on this last game of the season.

  81. I’m looking at my clock, saying “Go go go!” This day can’t get by fast enough, but I know if I weren’t at work, I’d just be pacing around the house.

  82. @Zephid I’m wondering if switching bigs (i.e. if Pau gets screened, LO picks up Rasheed @ 3pt line, Pau rotates to KG down load) would be bad strategy. This is how we defend the roll man sometimes, and it’s almost easier and more predictable to get out to the ‘pop’ man instead of trying to get around the roll man to avoid being sealed. But it seems like doing this would mean a lot of ground to cover for LO, and the temporary passing lane available for KG since the floor is more spaced. Hence, there will be a lot of responsibility on our wings to sag off their man and make Sheed hesitate, yet still be able to recover.

    @Snoop I think you answered your own question with the Pierce @ 4 smallball lineup. The reason the 08 lineup killed us was Posey was able to spread the floor. But now TAllen would be easy for Lamar to defend because he could sag off and contest at the rim w/ length. While on the other end they can be relentlessly exploited by Kobe, Lamar attacking the rim off the dribble & everyone on the offensive boards.

  83. Kobe has a chance to do what MJ never had a chance to do… win a Finals game 7.

    Kobe does not forgive.
    Kobe does not forget.

  84. tonight’s refs – Joey Crawford, Danny Crawford and Scott Foster