On Top Again

Darius Soriano —  June 18, 2010

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Oh how sweet it is.

The Lakers successfully defended their NBA championship by beating the Celtics 83-79 in an ugly struggle that was also a beautifully triumphant game 7 of the NBA Finals.  And now for the second time in two seasons, the Lakers are the kings of the court, are at the top of the NBA mountain, and have been crowned the champions of the league.  It really does not get any better than this.

But for most of this deciding game, it did not look like it was meant to be.  Physically beat down by an imposing Boston defense, the Lakers struggled to put the ball in the basket on offense and couldn’t stop the Celtics from doing it to them when on defense.  Boston – as they have all Finals – pushed, grabbed, hustled, and fought for every inch of real estate on the hardwood and played at a level befitting of champion.  They imposed their will on the Lakers and forced missed shots and mistakes that hushed the Staples Center crowd and had fans of the defending champs more than just bit concerned.

Early on, Boston just seemed to be the better team that had more control over what needed to be done to win.  They were patient on offense by going to Rasheed Wallace in the post for some nice turn around jumpers and attacking the basket in transition. And on the other end, they played their typical brand of stifling defense by cutting off driving lanes, contesting jumpers, and choking off the ball movement that was so successful for the Lakers only two nights earlier.

And the player that struggled the most in the face of the Celtic defense was Kobe Bryant.  Seemingly forgetting the off the ball work that was so important to his strong game 6, Kobe too frequently attacked off the dribble in isolation against a defense that was tilted completely in his direction.  He consistently dribbled into poor positions on the court and then fired low percentage jumpers that would struggle to go in on his best of nights, but had no chance on this night where his shot was clearly off.  Even his good looks at the basket weren’t dropping as Kobe had what was almost an over-sense of urgency to his game.  Every shot seemed rushed or out of rhythm and his entire demeanor reflected a player that was maybe too into the the game and wanted the win too much.  Qualities that are surely admirable, but also ones that rarely lead to positive actions on the court.

But it wasn’t only Kobe that was shooting poorly.  His 1st lieutenant Pau Gasol was also having a poor shooting night.  Hell bent on attacking the basket as often as possible, Pau just couldn’t seem to get his shots off against the inside length of KG and Rasheed.  It seemed like every other one of his shot attempts was blocked as his forays into the paint for lay ups and jump hooks were all strongly contested by the C’s big men.  And he had just as little success with his mid range jumper as Gasol didn’t connect on a shot outside the paint the entire evening.

But, where the Lakers fell short in knocking down shots they came up big in recovering their misses.  In fact, it was the Lakers ability to gobble up offensive rebounds that even kept this game close.  Because while the C’s were holding the Lakers to sub 30% shooting for most of the evening, they could not secure the defensive rebounds that would have turned this game into a blow out.  Instead, they allowed the Lakers to grab offensive rebounds on missed shot after missed shot and secure the extra possessions that kept the Lakers within striking distance.  On the evening the Lakers grabbed an astounding 23 offensive rebounds (compared to 32 defensive rebounds for Boston) and just beat down Boston on the boards the entire night.  In the end, the Lakers won the rebounding battle 53-40 and considering how important that stat was in this series this was a major factor in determining the winner of the game.  In the wake of this loss, Boston will surely be kicking themselves for not cleaning their defensive glass better.

Boston will also be kicking themselves because of the performance that they allowed from Ron Artest.  Normally, if both Kobe and Pau are having inefficient shooting nights the other team is sure to win the game.  But tonight, Ron wouldn’t allow it.  Tonight, Ron played like the former all-star that was once considered one of the best two way players in the league.  Because not only did Ron play his usual top notch defense on Paul Pierce, but he also brought his offense with him to game 7.  Every which way the ball could be scored, Ron did it.  On one play he got a steal (one of his 5 on the night, by the way) dribbled behind his back and took the ball the distance for a lay up.  On another play, he pinned Pierce under the hoop, grabbed an offensive rebound, and scored on a put back.  In the 4th quarter (when the Lakers were in the middle of making their push and trying to get over the Mt. Everest sized hump of the C’s 3-5 point lead) Ron made a strong cut off of a Gasol post up, received the pass, drew contact, and then finished the lay up with the foul.  But of all his big buckets – and there were several considering how much his scoring kept the Lakers in the game – no shot was bigger than the one that Artest hit with a minute left in the game and the Lakers nursing a 3 point lead.  On the play, Kobe (after drawing a trap at the top of the key) hit Ron with a pass that allowed Artest to step into a three pointer and bury the shot to put the Lakers back up by 6.  On a night where Ron did so many things right that he was easily the player of the game, this shot may have been his biggest contribution.

But, Ron wasn’t alone in playing well.  Sure, I mentioned that Kobe and Pau didn’t shoot well, but they did other things superbly – especially the work they did on the glass.  Those two combined for 34 of the Lakers’ 53 rebounds (19 for Gasol, 15 for Kobe), with Pau collecting 9 offensive boards in the game.  Lamar Odom didn’t have a memorable stat line (7 points, 7 rebounds) but his effort in the 4th quarter made a real difference.  He pushed the ball, attacked the offensive glass, and had two huge put backs that ignited his team and the crowd.  And then there was Fish.  I don’t think it would be a Lakers Finals without a big shot from Derek Fisher.  With the Lakers desperately trying to get over the (aforementioned Mt. Everest sized) hump, it was Fisher that nailed a huge three pointer to tie the game at 64 with a shade over six minutes left in the game.  It was that bucket that got the Lakers going in the fourth quarter and created the momentum that carried them home.  And I haven’t even mentioned the gutty performance from Bynum, the solid minutes from Shannon and Farmar (who gave goose eggs in the scoring department, but played well when called on) or the two free throws that Sasha hit to ice the game in the closing seconds.

And really, that’s the take away from this game.  The Lakers won this title as a team.  On a night when the ball just didn’t want to go in the hoop, the Lakers played fantastic team basketball on defense and did all the little things that a championship team does to win the game.  When things looked as bad as they possibly could (down 13 in the 3rd period), the Lakers stuck together and battled back with the poise and perseverance befitting of a title winner.  When Kobe and Pau couldn’t make a shot, Ron did.  When a big bucket was needed, Fish stepped up.  When the Lakers needed that extra push, it was the fresh legs of Farmar, Shannon, and Sasha that provided that kick.  Everyone played their role; everyone played together to pull out the win.

So, here we are.  The goal for every team is to win the last game of the season and tonight the Lakers did just that.  After 105 games, they are the repeat champions of the NBA.  Let that sink in for a moment.  All through this season we followed this team through the ups and downs.  Through the game winners and the tough losses.  And as hard as it was at times, we tried to enjoy the journey knowing that getting to this point was indeed possible.  And now that it’s done and our faith has been rewarded, nothing could feel better.  Today we celebrate.  The Lakers are on top again.  Say it with me: your Los Angeles Lakers, the 2010 NBA Champions.  Yes indeed.

Darius Soriano

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64 responses to On Top Again

  1. oftentimes we forget, a champion’s defense is his championship’s defense…

    the lakers showed they are capable of doing that and all that it entails to do that.

    GO LAKERS! giddy about the offseason too…

  2. Thanks Darius you wrapped it up perfectly.

  3. Nicely written Darius…

    We are the champions!!

  4. We are on top!

  5. Kudos to the FANS at Staples Center at well. They really kept the energy going in the 3rd and 4th quarters when the Lakers were down. Laker fans get a lot of criticism for being fair weather fans, but tonight the fans really were loud the entire game even when we sensed the game was slipping away.

  6. Seemed like a good crowd.

    Phew. Quite an end to a hell of a year. Fitting really…

  7. i am so proud of sasha for hitting those two ft´s. imagine coming into the game at such a crucial point and the game on the line. he buried them without hesitation… the machine is back!

    what ron did to pierce tonight will probably go down as the best and most important game of his career. he did everything for us tonight, and showed just how much more we´ve gained with him on our team.

    bynum proved to be a true laker this postseason and showed everyone that he is a team-first guy that wants to do everything for purple and gold. i believe that he will finally stay healthy next year and for many years to come and that we shouldnt even consider giving him up. he always had the body, talent, upside, but he has shown something that every great laker needs: heart. he will stay with us.

    when we were down 10+ i knew we would turn this ship around. there is simply nothing that this team cant do, and tonight they proved it once again.

  8. Darius,

    Kurt always wanted us to enjoy the journey, and you’ve been a very good guide this year–not that a screenwriter could have scripted a better ending.

    The machine got fixed in the nick of time; the worst pg in basketball made another crucial three so he could wear a championship ring on his thumb; Ron kept his 08 shower promise; Pau relearned how to make free throws by the fourth quarter–and Kobe remembered that he was part of a great team (a concept I’m sure that Labron hasn’t even considered yet).

    It turned out that it was Perkins, not Pierce that needed the wheelchair–but he never came back from the locker room. Sheed brought back the horrors of the Detroit humiliation to Staples–but with a far different ending. Kevin Garnett may have finally realized his mistake for snubbing the Lakers–even as Kobe fully realized Pau Gasol was both better and younger.

    Where this journey leads is still unknown–but the story will continue–and I’m absolutely certain that you will be there with a blogger’s chalkboard to tell us all about it!

    For now, let’s share Ron Ron’s joy.

  9. Our defense in the 4th quarter was so so good. It was the type of defense that I wish I could go back and watch in slow motion, just to be able to point out all the amazing little things that went on. That unit of Fisher, Kobe, Artest, Odom, and Gasol completely and utterly shut down the Celtic attack.

    When the Celtics ran a PNR at the top of the key, Gasol hedged out hard while Artest tried to recover. When the Celtics made the pass to the pick man, Odom came over and helped immediately, not conceding the open jumper. Kobe would then help off Rondo to cut off the pass to the 2nd Celtic big, giving Gasol time to recover to Odom’s man. All the while Fisher would stick tight to Ray Allen, not giving the C’s the outlet they needed for the open shot.

    At a time when our offense just wasn’t getting it done, our Lakers, the team that was once the finesse, offensive team that needed to outscore the opponent to win games, showed the world championship level lock down defense. If anyone needs to teach their kids how to play great individual and team defense, watch the Lakers in that 4th quarter. It was truly something to behold.

  10. How sweet it is!!!! The greatest team in the world!!! That’s the last we will see of the green monster for some time. Wow !!! Let’s do it again, and again, and again, and again !!!

  11. Rare poster here. Thank you, Lakers! Thanks, everyone here at fb&g!

    Kobe’s much maligned in the media on his offense on this clinching game. I agree to some degree. But wow! That defense of his was just pure hustle!

    That dunk by KG when Pau helped on Kobe & LO near the center three-pt area would’ve been prevented if Pau hadn’t helped out. I thought Kobe & LO got that play covered well. But you gotta love Pau’s intention there, though it’s water under the bridge now.

    What a year! Least we forget: it was only a couple of weeks back when Ron’s putback won for the Lakers a game in the Phoenix series. Then there’s Fish’s game 3 heroics in this very series. WOW! Awesome year to be a Laker fan!

    God bless us all!

  12. Much credit to the BOS Celtics who played inspiring D for 42 minutes of the game.

    The Lakers Defense won it for them. This was the best swarming, trapping, in-your-face, help D that I have seen the Lakers play since 2000-03, and maybe better than that.

    It was incredible to see.

    Let’s go get another.

  13. Congrats, LA!
    Here’s hoping we meet up in the playoffs again next year. I loved our series. It helped us grow a lot as a team. Cheers from OKC!
    GO THUNDER!!

  14. Zephid, even during the middle of the game, we were marveling at the defense. In the fourth quarter I thought the team only had 1.5 bad defensive stands. The KG layup where Pau and LO miscommunicated and both rotated to cover the arc was the only true lapse.

    The other semi-lapse was Ray’s last three of the night in the corner. Great D was played for most of that possesion and when the pass swung to the corner, there was just a bit of hesitation in recognizing the play and the rotation didn’t quite get there in time especially with the pick being set.

    But other than that, Lakers played perfect D when they needed it. Just an amazing gritty performance.

  15. @10 – thanks for the kind words.

    let’s be clear on something, though. I do NOT want to play you guys next year or ever again. :) But when Kobe and Phil retire, I’ll be looking forward to you guys picking up where we left off and repping the Western Conference in style. :)

  16. Tuesday 89-67
    Thursday 83-79

    Boston scored 146 points in the last two games of the series. I think that puts a real period on the question of whether the Lakers can play defense.

    It also puts a period on the Trevor Ariza era. It was in the OKC series and this one where Ron was really needed over Trevor and he certainly produced. I love Trevor and I thanked him for his contributions, but we needed Ron this year.

  17. Just finished the remaining leftover sips of champagne. What a win and what a season. They don’t always end like this, so enjoy!

    Can’t wait to see what the rings will look like. Back to Back – I like that!

  18. To #10, I have to agree with kehn. When you guys grow up as a team, not only to the point where all your starters will be allowed to legally buy beer, but get some playoff experience and a couple of years of games on their feet, your Thunder are going to be one scary team and we never want to face you in the playoffs again. For Pete’s sakes, you’re already scary!

    I said it in the game thread and I’ll say it again: I’m happy for Ron Artest. I’m a sucker for a good redemption story, and he has worked so hard to earn his place on the team and become a contributor. He played one of his best games this season, and we could never have won this without his hustling and refusal to give up in the first half, not to mention that death-blow three pointer late late in the 4th.

    The guy is probably borderline crazy, but he’s a great player and a relentless fighter, seems like he’s a genuinely nice guy, and he’s now become one of my favorite Lakers. It takes guts to step up and make all those shots in a game like this. :)

    And since I don’t think anyone has said it yet, I’ll re-post this quote that I posted last year. It seems fitting. :)

    I’ve paid my dues time after time
    I’ve done my sentence but committed no crime
    And bad mistakes? I’ve made a few
    I’ve had my share of sand kicked in my face, but I’ve come through!

    I’ve taken my bows and my curtain calls
    You brought me fame and fortune and everything that goes with it, and I thank you all
    But it’s been no bed of roses, no pleasure cruise
    I consider it a challenge before the whole human race and I’ll never lose

    And we are the champions, my friends.

  19. I just got goosebumps all over again reading your recap Darius.

    What an ugly/beautiful game. I haven’t stopped smiling yet!

  20. Seeing the Lakers D up and play D like that was one of the proudest moments I’ve experienced as a sports fan. To win back to back by fighting so hard, in the type of game that Boston wanted showed true character. I’m proud of my team.

    I just want to congratulate Darius, Phillip, everyone who comes to Forum Blue & Gold. Since I write a little now, I don’t get to comment as much as I used to, but I still read this blog as much as I always did. I feel like all of the commenters here and SSR were with me as the buzzer sounded and the Trophy was ours. Today’s a good day. Enjoy it.

  21. thanks to everyone at FB&G. going through all the ups and downs wouldnt have been the same without this site

    i woke up early this morning to pick up a newspaper….and i still cant believe it.

    lakers are back to back champs!!!

  22. how does this one rate????

    pretty damn special…as a 30 something…here’s how:
    (1) ’85 always be the best because we finally beat the celts…
    (2) ’10 because we avenged 08
    (3) ’87 tiebreaker between magic and bird
    (4) ’88 showtime ends with a bang
    (5) ’80 the magic begins

  23. KG: 38 minutes and 3 rebounds and looked completely gassed. Allen had as many baskets as fouls (3). Not good.

    In the postgame, Doc said the Celtics still were not allowed to defend their title because their third or fourth best bigman (Perkins) didn’t get his 13-14 minutes of floor time. (He did not mention Bynum’s series or the 2008 Lakers playing the entire series while missing 2 of 5 starters.)

  24. was anyone else baffled that wilbon said kobe was MAYBE top 20 all-time but definitely not top 10? yes he had a subpar shooting night but he found other ways to contribute and still averaged 28/8/4

  25. If anyone ever needed absolute proof that you win the NBA championship in this day and age with defense and rebounding last night was that proof.

    How else do you explain being able to win a game when your team shoots 30% and your two best players are 12-40 combined?

    Defense. Rebounding.

    The Lakers defense in that fourth quarter was darn near perfect, and the Lakers (the *Lakers*) dominated the glass!

    Because it was against the C’s (in a game 7 no less) this ranks near the top of the ten Lakers titles I’ve been fortunate enough to witness.

    Did I say witness? Well, almost. I was watching the game on DVR (I *hate* commercials) when my infant son dropped his bottle with 3:50 left in the game. As I leaned over I hit the Stop button on the DVR, causing the TV to display live, where I saw the Lakers celebrating in the locker room. As happy as I am today (and last night) I got ‘robbed’ of that pure joy you get when you *know* the championship is yours as the clock winds down. I missed that. :( (Of course, I probably also missed the heart attack that would have ensued as Artest was going up for that late game 3!)

    Congrats to the Lakers, and to everyone else here on FB&G. Getting to share in the title with all of your makes it even better. Thanks Darius, Phillip, everyone else, and to the one who started it all, Kurt.

  26. Congrats to the Lakers and their fans from Phoenix! An ugly game in many ways, but some EXCELLENT defense and some clutch performances by Ron and Pau and Fish. No more “soft” tag for Pau! And I feel especially happy for Ron with his first championship! Enjoy it Lakers, you definitely earned this one!

  27. Kobe is not a ”one day” king.He fought for it every minute of his life,it is not easy to topple down real kings.This fifth cookie goes out to all Mamba hater,be it Laker fans or any other teams’ or NBA media whatsoever.

  28. Andres Garcia June 18, 2010 at 8:32 am

    Great great win. It was an ugly game, but, the effort level by both sides was incredible. The Lakers’ effort on the glass was superb. It felt like an NCAA tournament final.

    I haven’t been this happy about a title since I was a little boy, maybe 1987 (I’m 32). I was at a packed bar in Ventura and we were chanting defense and cheering along with each play. The place exploded on Fisher’s and Ron ron’s huge 3s.

    Thanks for another great season FB&G. I don’t post much but I read almost every article. Nice closing paragraph to a great season Darius.

    I love the Lakers. Wow.

  29. @18, Yes, baffled. Simply because this is a time to ENJOY, not get into all that madness. What a run this year!

    However, since that’s what media does & a lot of haters (including MJ’s son) are saying Kobe doesn’t belong in the conversation, kudos to Hollinger & Adande for reminding the world that MJ wasn’t the perfect untouchable champion, either: “It was L.A.’s cavalry that rode to the rescue. That’s not a knock on Bryant. That’s just how it’s usually been done … far more frequently than most people care to remember. Take Jordan, for instance. He clinched his first title as a mostly-bystander watching a monstrous fourth quarter from John Paxson … and the second with five reserves leading a 16-point comeback against Portland in Game 6 … and the third watching Paxson nail the game-winner in Phoenix.” “And keep in mind that in Jordan’s final championship game he did miss 20 shots — but we think only of the one he made at the end.”

    This morning, I’m not thinking about Jordan, Magic, Lebron or anyone else other than this 2010 championship squad and how they toughed it out to get it done. YYEESS!

  30. “He passed me the ball… he never passes me the ball… he passed me the ball… Kobe passed me the ball. And I shot a 3… and Phil didn’t want me to shoot the 3… I heard him… cause he’s the zen master, so he can speak to you… and he don’t even need a microphone… you can hear him in your head… ‘Ron, don’t shoot, don’t shoot’… I said whatever.”

    Ron Artest, crazy like a fox.

  31. I am still trying to wrap my mind around how the Lakers won that game. Just amazing!

    But even more than that, I am amazed at closely this series mirrored a Hollywood script – particularly at the end. Pushed to the brink of elimination, the Lakers come out swinging in game six and prove how good they are. Everything finally seems to be going their way – home court, momentum, a key injury to the opposition. And then the bottom drops out. Game 7. Almost everything that can go wrong does. The hero can not deliver, his right hand man can’t either. It comes down to the goofy sidekick who has to step up – to exorcize his own demons. Even those two free throws by Sasha couldn’t have been more well scripted. And in the final scene all of them come together to get over the hump. A team that has been called skilled and artistic, has to win on sheer grit and force of will.

    Kudos to Phil for getting Ron to where he was and not giving up on him even when the fans were terrified of his offensive ineptitude. And for trusting Sasha with the game on the line. Sahsa!

    Kudos to Ron for never quitting. For failing and getting back up. For bringing his junkyard dog to the team, but keeping his emotions in check.

    Kudos to the bench, Luke, Shannon, Jordan and Sasha, for giving enough, barely.

    Kudos to Lamar – he is who he is –but he has been asked to step in for the injured Bynum for the last three years. And the Lakers have played for a championship all three years. Say what you want about his inconsistency – but he has been vital.

    Kudos to Andrew – we’ve seen him grow up in front of our eyes. We can all question whether he will ever be healthy for a season – but no one can question his heart. Wow. Words fail.

    Kudos to Fisher – take a look at the list of point guards he faced in the playoffs. Sure, he didn’t guard them all the time – he was often outplayed – but he came up big…time and time again. He was the rock the team needed to anchor itself.

    Kudos to Pau for putting up with Kobe, for calling for the ball more, for manning up and playing ugly, for his amazing skill and willingness to do what was needed, to be great, but not have to have the spotlight.

    Kudos to Kobe – he played hurt when others would have shut it down (you don’t think Kobe makes his teammates better – take a look at Andrew hobbling up and down the court). He turned out human after all – Game 7 and his gas tank on empty, the moment finally getting the best of him – but icing free throws at the end – grabbing rebounds because even when his shot deserted him, his will to win did not. For passing to Ron…finally. Letting someone else be the hero of the moment.

    Finally – Kudos to Darius, Phillip and other contributors at FB&G and to the those contributing to the board. This board has made the past three seasons so much more enjoyable for me.

  32. mikeinchitown June 18, 2010 at 9:09 am

    1. if doc leaves, is letting thibs get away the biggest mistake of all? everytime we played the celts, i am amazed at their stout defense. this maybe as big a downgrade – how are they going to replace both doc AND thibs?

    2. i love all the neat tie-offs in this game:
    – we will watch the celtics ride off into the sunset for a long time. there is no way ray allen should come back for that team after this finals showing. they are clearly too old and why is no one talking about the fact that their front court cannot rebound (esp. KG); when rondo is close to being your top rebounder, it says as much about rondo’s talent/hustle than it does for the frontline.
    – sheed’s talking retirement (though he was never really a celtic). lakers owe him one after detroit
    – kobe’s legacy (although i am pertubed about him trash-talking to shaq- you don’t get to #4 w/o him pal), pau “who you callin’ soft”, bynum’s grit, artest proving his worth, PJ is coming back (no way he leaves a three-peat on the table), DFish comes back on the bench, sorry jordan/shannon- you got rings now and will look to get paid elsewhere

  33. I think Kobe vs. Shaq is all playful now.

  34. There are reasons we won Game 7

    1. Artest kept us in the game in the first half. He was the only Laker that wasn’t afraid of the moment. He was the only Laker that was ready to fight. I can’t say enough about Ron Artest. Who would have thought he would be the only Laker to step up for game 7? Darius is right… he just did everything. Loose balls, defense, shooting, rebounding, and most importantly… he was ready to compete where other Lakers were not

    2. Pau Gasol turned into Artest in the 4th quarter. Every ball was his and every time we needed a play Gasol was there

    3. Derek Fisher again had the shot of the night. That three pointer to tie the game up in the 4th let the crowd and the Laker players exhale.

    4. Kobe choked… the pressure got to him and he choked. But he kept fighting and fighting, His defense was superb and his rebounding was relentless. After he forced shot at after shot against Celtic double teams the first 3 and a 1/2 quarters Kobe led the Lakers to victory by turning down shots to hit open teammates or let Gasol play in the post. On a night where Kobe was hurting the team with his selfishness for most of the night,,, it was his selflessness at the end that won the game.

  35. The true giants who dominated the game were Russell and Chamberlain, not MJ and Kobe.

    Why, oh why is it so important that we have any definitive statement about which player is #1? It is an impossible argument. Even best of your era is a really difficult discussion. For example:
    Russell vs Wilt — Russell changed the game, but Wilt changed the rules.
    Oscar vs West — Oscar was one of the best pure PGs, but Jerry was a demon both on offense and defense.

    Hey, if I were starting a club I would take Magic first, because he would make the club better, faster, but MJ or Kareem were clearly better scorers.

    All this is just too much. We just watched a true icon; a man who can do anything on the court. That should be enough for both the lovers and the haters.

  36. Quick question – would anyone be interested in stopping by and chatting in about 45 minutes? I’m thinking of having a chat, but don’t know if anyone would actually show up.

  37. Sasha’s new nickname: Ice Machine.
    @36 I would, but I have to head to work.

  38. I’m game, Darius.

  39. mikeinchitown June 18, 2010 at 9:51 am

    i can’t do work today anyways.

  40. Saw this from the Elias Sports Bureau

    The Lakers became the first team in NBA history to win the championship after having trailed going into the fourth quarter of Game 7 of the Finals

    And it came at the expense of the Boston Celtics makes it even sweeter

  41. Have to admit I was with Kobe, hard to admit this was HUGE because it was against Boston. I think mostly out fear of losing to the Green again. Now, seems so much sweeter to win the title against the Celtics.

    Go Lakers. 2010 Champs.

  42. I re-watched the game late last night, and as I did so, one thing jumped out at me: With the 3 minutes left in the 3rd quarter, Kobe hit a short jumper to cut the deficit to 7. It was only his 5th made made field goal of the night. He would only make one field goal the rest of the game, and yet we still won.

    Never, in my wildest dreams, would I have thought that possible.

  43. Well, even if it’s only me, Zephid, and mikeinchitown we’re moving forward with the chat. Join us at 10:30 am PT to talk Lakers, NBA, and whatever else happens to pop up.

  44. So, so impressed by this team.

    I’m amazed that Rivers and Celtics fans are complaining about the officiating.

    The Celtics LITERALLY fouled on every possession…and BLATANTLY.

    In the first quarter, the refs didn’t call anything. Kobe was literally pulled down to the ground by Rasheed without a call, allowing the Celtics to bully the Lakers into submission.

    But here’s where I’m so impressed:

    The Lakers never stopped driving. They never stopped being aggressive. In 2008, the Lakers stopped attacking, because they weren’t getting any calls. But last night, they kept ATTACKING, fighting for every inch, until the fourth quarter when the officials finally HAD to start calling fouls.

    The Lakers didn’t shoot 16 free throws in the fourth quarter, because they got ball-out, perimeter touch fouls – they EARNED every one of those trips to the line by attacking the paint and getting smashed.

    Interestingly enough, it was the Celtics who just shot midrange jumpers (and threes) in the fourth quarter, which lead to fewer free throw attempts.

    The Lakers kept attacking.

    They EARNED it.

  45. Like I said…

    2 down 1 to go

    3peat !

  46. Darius, I’m in, but don’t know what to do — other than stay on-line here.

  47. Doc emphasized at the press conference that his “starting 5 from 08″ never lost a series. Well, our “starting 5″ from 10 never lost a series either. Also, don’t forget that in 08 Bynum was hurt and did not play and Ariza never fully got a chance to make an impact due to injuries either. Love Doc, but hate the comment.

    P.S. HOW I LOVED THE HATRED THAT WAS POURING OUT FROM BILL SIMMONS DURING HIS LIVE CHAT. THANK YOU ESPN FOR SENDING HIM TO THE GAME AND MAKING HIM SUFFER THROUGH THE LAKER CHAMPIONSHIP MOMENT.

    THERE IS A GOD. AND HE IS A LAKER FAN.

  48. @ laker4life

    you are being too conservative. we could reel off 5 with some tweaks no? core is intact for awhile.

    would jerry buss ever pay up for a tony parker? would the spurs ever let that happen? can we sign nate robinson? i’ve always been a big fan, thought we could benefit from his energy, 3pt shooting.

  49. Yes. I love the salty Boston fans/coach/whoever. Boston fouls on every possession. They should never complain when a foul is called.

    The continuous repeating of the “our starting 5 has never lost a series” mantra is ridiculous, but if they really need to keep saying that so they don’t cry themselves to sleep every night, then so be it.

  50. RE refereeing: This is why I never liked to complain when it was the Lakers that were on the wrong end of the FT battle. To the aggressor go the calls. Burgundy’s right in that Boston was a jumpshooting team and besides Pierce’s drive that Pau blocked, KG’s post up on Pau’s front, and KG’s other inside dunk when the Lakers botched their switch on the high P&R, I don’t recall them going inside for too much in the 4th quarter. Meanwhile, the Lakers went to the basket with Kobe, Pau, and Artest. Not to mention because the C’s got a bit foul happy in the 4th, the Lakers got FT’s on plays like Pierce’s attempt to draw a charge at half court.

    The more assertive team will earn the whistle. In games where the Lakers win and lose the FT battle, the same rule applies. So, I don’t want to hear any talk about the refs from the C’s, just as I don’t like to hear it when it comes from the Lakers.

  51. I’m at work, so I probably won’t be chatting much, but I’ll come over and hang out. Occasionally I’ll jump in at random times and say completely irrelevant stuff. After all, it seems to work out for Ron artest. :)

  52. #46. Craig W.,
    When you go to the home page at 10:30, you’ll see the chat as the top post. Just click on the box and you’ll be in. Should be as simple as that. I hope, at least.

  53. Yup. Lakers drove, pump-faked, and generally got in position to get contact. Boston took jump shots. Our rotations were so quick, they could not get any penetration going. It was great to watch. Yeah there were some missed calls, but it was on both sides I felt. We were clearly the aggressors, and I’m glad that once the Lakers saw the refs were calling fouls, they kept forcing the issue.

  54. The Lakers are my First Love.
    The Celtics are my First Hate.
    To see the Lakers beat the Celtics in the way that they did is so satisfying on so many levels.
    I will lock this feeling in my brain
    So I can take it out and cherish it whenever I want to feel good.
    Forever.

    Lakers for Life!

  55. So the Clippers also accomplished their goal for the season? :D

    And props to the NBA Champs! They deserved it in every way.

  56. thanks darius for keeping me sane all year. thanks to all the great minds who shared their thoughts and ideas here. i learned a lot. i nearly fainted when this was over. what a great game. what a great team.

  57. The Celts didn’t miss Perkins, they missed Posey and Eddie House, two guys that could shoot in the 4th quarter. Thanks to Ron-Ron’s shrink, Lakes couldn’t do it without you!

  58. Mark Overt Skilbred June 18, 2010 at 11:49 am

    NBA STANDINGS FOR JUNE 17, 2010

    Well done, Lakers! Well done, Phil! Congratulations to Lakers fans everywhere on your 16th NBA Championship! As you enjoy your celebration and a much-deserved rest, take time to count your blessings and give yourselves a chance to heal from all of your many injuries. We look forward to another championship in 2011, and the only way that can happen is by having plenty of recovery time. Thanks for a great season, and we’ll see you again in the fall!

    Mark Overt Skilbred

  59. Thanks for the kind words about The Thunder. We promise to “do it the right way” and try represent The NBA as best as we can. I hope you cats have a great time partying it up. You deserve it. Cheers again from OKC. GO THUNDER!!

  60. another lakers fan giving love to OKC. I see so much of the Showtime-era Lakers in your team… with all respect to my beloved world champions, if I had to choose a team blind right now to root for, it would likely be OKC. Looking forward to seeing you in the next couple WCFs, hopefully with the old guys holding things down for a couple of years before durant and co inevitably and deservedly steal the mantle.

    But today, and the whole summer, is for celebrating the Lakers. I found myself laughing and pumping my fist all day, plus honking my horn and saluting every lakers flag and bryant jersey I came across….

  61. This one was for our fathers and grandfathers who suffered the heartbreaks in the 60s and 80s.

    And with Boston breaking up this summer, LeBron going to a rebuilding team, Orlando is our only competition in the east for the next couple years. Go Lakers, baby.

  62. Lebron isnt going anywhere. Cavs next year baby

  63. Lebron is probably staying in Cleveland…but I still don’t see the Cavs getting out of the east. If they had beat the Celtics, they still would have lost to Orlando.

  64. winferd smiley June 20, 2010 at 8:12 am

    Darius,
    You are an excellent writer. I wish I could be like you.