Preview and Chat: The Boston Celtics

Darius Soriano —  February 9, 2012

Records: Lakers 14-11 (7th in West), Celtics 14-10 (7th in East)
Offensive ratings: Lakers 103.9 (14th in NBA), Celtics 102.3 (19th in NBA)
Defensive ratings: Lakers 101.5 (11th in NBA), Celtics 97.5 (2nd in NBA)
Projected Starting Lineups: Lakers: Derek Fisher, Kobe Bryant, Metta World Peace, Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum
Celtics: Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Jermaine O’Neal
Injuries: Lakers: Steve Blake (game time decision); Celtics: Marquis Daniels (questionable), Keyon Dooling (out)

The Lakers Coming in: The road woes have continued as Lakers are coming off two losses in games that were completely winnable. Whether or not that inspires confidence due to the fact that the team can compete and put themselves in position to win or reinforces the holes in the roster remains to be seen (though I think most fans have made up their minds). However the result of those games affects the team though, the Lakers have had some days off and time to reflect on what needs to be done and put in some practice time to shore up some of their issues. Kobe called Mike Brown “chippy” after Wednesday’s session so we can only hope that some needed practice time with an emphasis on defense and offensive execution does this group some good.

What may also do the team some good is the potential return of Steve Blake. The Lakers’ PG is finally recovered from his chest/rib injury and has been cleared to practice, making him a game time decision for tonight. We’ll see if Blake actually gets some run tonight or if he waits until tomorrow (vs. the Knicks) or Sunday (vs. the Raptors) but the prospect of getting him back in the lineup should be a net positive for a team that can use the depth while offering another late game option at the lead guard spot.

We’ll have to see how Blake’s return affects the rotations, however. Since Blake has been out, Andrew Goudelock has proven to be an offensive spark off the bench and continuing to find him minutes where he can handle the ball and attack off the dribble should be a priority. That said, I’d rather have an issue of needing to find time for a capable player than how to limit the minutes of one that can’t perform well.

The Celtics Coming in: After a slow start to the season, the Celtics have found their stride by winning 5 in a row and 9 of their last 10 contests. They’re back to defending at an elite level (2nd in defensive efficiency) and have found a rotation that works by going 8 deep with Avery Bradley, Mickael Pietrus, and Brandon Bass doing the heavy lifting for their second unit.

What’s also helped is the Paul Pierce playing like Paul Pierce again. Early in the year, the Celtic captain struggled with an injured heel missing the team’s first 3 games. When he returned, he was slow and looked like father time had rapidly caught up with him. As the season’s progressed though, Pierce has found his game and in the last 4 games has averaged 21, 7, and 7 while shooting nearly 37% from long range. When you combine Pierce’s production with the aforementioned elite level D, it’s no wonder the C’s are back to looking like a team that can do some damage in the playoffs.

Celtics Blogs: Jeff runs one of the great (and OG) sites in Celtic Blog and the guys at Celtics Hub do a tremendous job of covering this team. Check out both sites.

Keys to game: While motivation hasn’t been an issue for the Lakers this season, it really won’t be an issue tonight. These teams flat out don’t like each other whether talking the rivalry between the franchises in general or the history these teams have had since 2008. There may be bigger games on the schedule from a standings perspective, but there’s not one that means more on a personal level to a lot of the guys suiting up tonight.

To win the game though, the Lakers must clean up some of the issues that have dogged them in recent contests. That means keeping up a consistent attack offensively and sticking to what works over the course of the game. Tonight that means attacking the paint and making an aged Boston front line deal with Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol on the majority of the possessions. While Jermaine O’Neal and KG are historically strong defenders, they’ll still have their hands full with the Lakers starting duo and they must be forced to protect the paint. This is especially true for Bynum working on O’Neal. Drew needs to establish the post early, not just because he has an advantage but to see what the C’s strategy will be when defending him. Will they double team or play him straight up? The answer to that question will then influence how the Lakers can attack the rest of the Celtic D the rest of the night.

The Lakers, of course, can’t ignore Kobe though. The Lakers still need to work their screen sets and try to get Kobe the ball in areas of the floor where he can do damage. The Celtics have traditionally played Kobe straight up with an eye at helping quickly whenever he gets near the paint and if that continues tonight, I expect Kobe to work the mid-range with his jumper and try to find the creases in the defense by curling into the paint. These actions can also serve as a great set up for Kobe’s teammates because when Kobe curls into open space, the defense is sure to react which can then give the other Lakers (especially the screeners) the opportunity to make clean catches and go to work against a recovering defense. With this in mind, I hope to see Kobe and Bynum working on the same side of the floor so that when ‘Drew sets a screen he can then step in, seal his man, and look for a quick pass from Pau at the high post.

Defensively, the plan to slow the Celtics is the same as it’s been since this group was formed back in 2008. Some of the pieces may be different but the primary actions will be the same. Rondo will push the ball in the open court to try and get the defense to retreat so he can hit trailing shooters in rhythm to take unconsted jumpers. In the half court, the C’s will run Ray Allen off a myriad of picks to free him up on the wing to take his silky jumper – especially from behind the arc (a shot he’s hitting 50% of the time, by the way). If Allen is covered, Pierce will be sitting weak side looking for a catch either at the high post or behind the arc where he can go to work and get off his jumper from his pet spot of the elbow or the shoulder of the three point line.

To defend all these actions the Lakers must first get back on defense and mark shooters in the open court. In the half court, we’ll see if Mike Brown stays with Phil Jackson’s strategy of putting Kobe on Rondo to discourage him from penetrating while also disrupting passing angles. This year Rondo is a more confident jump shooter and will take that open look more often, but it’s still the sound strategy. Slowing Pierce, meanwhile, will come down to an engaged Metta World Peace. If MWP can bring the same type of intensity he brought to the Clippers game he should be up to the challenge of denying Pierce his spots on the floor and playing a physical brand of D that keeps him off balance. If MWP isn’t up to that standard, it may end being a long night considering how well Pierce has been going of late.

The other key tonight is the bench play. The C’s have added Pietrus and Bass and both have been solid contributors for them by knocking down open jumpers. Bass is key to the P&R game the C’s like to run and Pietrus is very good at finding open space behind the arc (especially in the corners) to get off clean looks. The Laker reserves must be aware of these two and mark them consistently because they will hurt you if given the open shot. Also key will be Avery Bradley’s ability to pressure the ball and whether or not Goudelock is up to the task of facing a defender that will hound you. Goudelock must show poise tonight while also not getting tentative. His biggest asset has been his willingness to attack the paint in the P&R and he mustn’t lose that tonight in the face of extreme ball pressure.

In the end, this is a game that matters a lot. Not just because it’s a rivalry game, but because it can get the Lakers back on track and give them a chance to still have a winning road trip. A loss tonight puts them at 1-3 on the Grammy trip and would hurt them psychologically and in the standings. It’s time to get a win.

Where you can watch: 5:00pm start time on TNT. Also listen at ESPN Radio 710AM.

Darius Soriano

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162 responses to Preview and Chat: The Boston Celtics

  1. Still for Warren.

  2. Re: Athletisism

    Athletisism isn’t just running forwards and jumping high. In fact… Those are probably the least important qualities when making up athlisism. The most important qualities are lateral quickness, body control, and hand eye coordination. If I asked who is more athletic right now Kobe or Shannon Brown right now every basketball fan would say Brown and every scout would say Kobe. Shannon can run faster and jump higher. But every other athletic quality Kobe is head and shoulders above Shannon. The reason I predicted Brown would disappoint (choke) in the dunk contest is because I said he didn’t have the body control necessary to compete with the NBA’s best athletes. The reason Brown couldn’t drive by guys in games is because he could dribble (hand eye coordination) and he couldn’t literally get around guys (lateral movement). Thats also the reason he wasn’t a good defender. Fans think guys like Deandre Jordan are great athletes where scouts know guys like Tim Duncan and Andrew Bynum are superior athletes. Deandre can run and jump but Duncan/Bynum have the body control, lateral movement and hand/eye coordination to play defense and dominate on offense. And for course they weren’t slouches when it came to running and jumping either.

  3. Lakers are tied for 1st in the league in opp. field goal percentage and 4th in the league in points allowed. They are also one of the better rebounding teams. How is it that they are 11th in defensive efficiency rating?

  4. Joe)
    Hollingers deducts 5.7 points he says for teams that play Derek Fisher

  5. Either the role players get hot from the 3 or they lose.

    My expectations are just dropping every game. Kobe knows the lakers can’t compete for a championship or with the better teams in the league unless they play a perfect game. So let’s hope its a near perfect game.

  6. Rover had an insightful take on a previous thread. I had a few comments on that post.

    I think the FO agrees that Pau’s value has an expiration date. That is why they tried to deal him this past offseason.

    I also think that the Lakers are not positioned to win either the DH or DWill sweepstakes. I believe they want to play on the same team. Or to put it another way, neither of them wants to be on a capped out Laker team playing along side the last two years of Kobe’s contract. They want to go into a situation that has more than a two year window associated with it. Playing together will likely give them that opportunity.

    You hit it the nail on the head: absent a miracle move by Mitch, the Lakers may need to ride this out and focus on the 2014 -15 season. Kobe will at a minimun make us entertaining and the Buss’s will have a star to market around. A serviceable PG and a decent SF would give us a puncher’s chance. But I think we all realize that our chances either make the Playoffs and go far in them is iffy. At the extreme, if any of the Big 3 sustain an injury – we don’t have the salary cap flexibility or the asset base to recover. If that were to occur we could be looking at a couple of seasons in the lottery.

    All I ask is that we draft well, don’t take on any un-necessary contracts and have a plan on which 2014 – 15 free agents to target.

    This could be a painful 2+ years.

  7. 3) Offensive rebounds and second chance points. That’s been our achilles heel all year along with bench production.

  8. Glad to hear Blake’s returning – this game, next game, whenever. As soon as he rises up to let it fly, somebody’ll take a shot at his rib cage – just how it is. Welcome back in advance!

  9. Aaron,
    Great points on athleticism, and absolutely right.

    On topic, I am hoping and praying for Vintage Artest going up against Pierce tonight. That’ll be something to watch.

  10. #3. Joe,
    Because defensive effiency is a stat based off 100 possessions and the Lakers play at one of the slower paces in the league. So, the fact that they limit possessions keeps total points down. This was true of the Brandon Roy era Blazer teams as well. They played at a slow pace and that kept total points against low. But in terms of defensive efficiency, they were actually only middle of the pack.

  11. Although this does not support my D12 or bust position (which I already said was flawed), Our Big 3 vs C’s Big 3 goes to us, however 4+5 go to them by a wide margin, and 6-12 is a topic that I think many on here have covered. How did we get here? : )

  12. Mimsy,
    Thanks you very much

  13. Got my eyes on MWP tonight to see if he’s really gotten his Defensive Swag back. He did a decent job on Gallo, but he was playing on the 2nd end of a back 2 back (along with the fact that, because of the Snowstorm, the Nuggets landed extremely late in Denver. Therefore, his legs were far from fresh). Iguadala is being used differently by Philly this year, in such a way that he’s not being relied upon to score as much as in previous seasons. As such, I can’t use him as a baromator. Whereas The Truth, as stated in the preview, has his game and conditioning rounding into shape. Obviously there is no love lost between the two, so this match-up will be very intriguing.

    This game has way more relevance to us and I definitely see us pulling this one out. If so, looking at our upcoming schedule, there’s a good chance that we can go on a lil’ winning streak, which will allow us to get some type of cohesion as a unit.

  14. As for tonight’s game… I wouldn’t worry about Artest. As always he will be wry effective on Pierce. I would be worried as always about Fisher being able to play and defense at all on Allen. Can he chase him around screens and even if he does he isn’t tall enough to get a hand in Ray’s face.

  15. Marc is an all star and Pau is not…I think those critics of that trade back in 2008 may have red faces right now

  16. Why don’t any of us talk about George Mikan? Very few of us even mention Elgin, and usually mention West only in his GM capacity. So why is it that Boston fans are always referring to their 50′s-60′s history. Oh yea, because that is all they have when it comes down to it.

  17. Yea, I get they play at a slow pace which would keep the point total down, but they are still tied for first in opponent field goal percentage…it must be the offensive rebounding as someone pointed out.

  18. I want to see how Gasol reacts to KG’s tough defense. Will Pau drift to the perimeter or challenge Garnett in the paint?

  19. 15)
    Marc should not have made the team. He made it because he takes a lot of shots even though he shoots a bad percentage. I would rather have Deandre Jordan than Marc Gasol. Jordan can at least play defense.

  20. Garnett and Duncan were correctly left off the ASG roster, so this means KB goes by Duncan and ties Garnett for most selections amongst actives. He is tied for 4th overall with 2 of the 3 in front of him being Lakers.

  21. I have to admit I was guessing based on the eye test Marc Gasol shoots a bad percentage for a Center… And indeed I guessed correctly. He is a seven foot Center shooting less than 50 percent from the field and can’t play defense. This is one of the worst All Star selections of all time. I mean it’s almost a joke.

  22. I don’t understand why Fisher was not selected as an all-star. Sure, he doesn’t get a lot of points, but he’s such a competitor.

    (I’m joking in case you haven’t noticed)

  23. God that was a foul on KG on that loose ball. He pulled and held MWP. No call.

  24. Offenses run better when you have a point guard that can push the pace and get an easy basket once in a while.

  25. Brown gets it right? With Fisher on the floor and no GLock we can’t score. It’s only been two weeks straight since GLock started playing back up PG this has happened.

    And what is Brown thinking????? I understand playing two PGs when those PGs are CP3 and Mo Williams. But Derek Fisher and Steve Blake????? Is Brown intentionally putting bad lineups on the floor? He is asking Mitch I guess to make a trade by playing these guys.

  26. Watching two teams that are going nowhere in the playoffs this year.

    Also, what is up with the Fisher and Blake line up? That makes absolutely no sense.

  27. When is the last time Matt Barnes has made a 3? He just can’t shoot.

  28. we desperatly need open 3′s to go in

  29. Steve Kerr: “there’s not enough talent on the bench,” that’s the Laker season in 1 sentence.

  30. Aaron- From 2 posts ago- to one post ago- to this post. That was a great post about athleticism. It was filled with very good information and a great premise. The problem with this post is this. It wasn’t the original argument. You changed the argument!! Here was the original post which you took umbrage with.
    Speaking of Wilt, LBJ, Kareem, Magic. (I would add Shaq to this list along with Dr. J and Jordan- possibly the Mailman.)

    “Kobe was never a physical specimen.”

    “Everyone of them was/is a freak with unnatural combination of height, jumping ability or hands. While Kobe was no slouch in that department, he relied on his skills rather than pure physical domination to earn his accolades. And he worked his butt off to develop those skills.”

    Kobe is 6′ 6″ with smaller hands for his size.

    Everyone of those other players named was more of a physical specimen than Kobe. Kobe is incredible and I would probably place him in the top 10 or 15 greatest NBA athletes. (He’s a top 6 player overall.) Those other players mentioned were greater specimens, however.

  31. Is anyone else embarrassed like me when announcer says least productive bunch in the NBA?

    Or when Metta has missed 6 of last 7 free throws and is shooting 32%.

    Or when Murphy lugs down the court to miss shot after shot?

    We are sad.

  32. In case Brown couldn’t figure it out the first two months of the season GLock can’t play SG!!!!

  33. Why is Metta in the game?

    On the team?

    In the NBA?

    Please someone tell me!

  34. KenOak,
    Sorry… I think Kobe is a freak athlete. Like I said the only guys I would put ahead of him are Jordan and Lebron.

  35. I understand Aaron. You’re right. He is a freak, but you are wrong on how many are ahead of him. It’s fun watching you change the argument, however. You are one of the most entertaining posters on this blog. ;)

  36. Bynum can’t make a shot tonight. Good defense though. You can see why Dwight Howard gets shutdown every game by the Celtics.

  37. Why does it seem like this game is in slow motion? Oh, that’s right, we’re watching a bunch of old guys play.

  38. Ken,
    If you haven’t noticed those times when the Lakers don’t have the ball… You know half the game!!! He is the Lakers best perimter defender by far and again is shutting down Pierce. You need to understand that defense is half the game.

  39. Wow! MWP out of nowhere!

  40. And just as I write that to get Artest gets yet another steal and lay up

  41. Kobe is a shell of himself defensively. I love Kobe, but he didn’t even try to catch Ray Allen there.

  42. MVP is so bad is beggers belief

  43. Great play by Bynum! Huge!

  44. Aaron

    How can you play 3 on 5 on offense with Fisher and Metta?

    We are staying close because of big 3 and nothing else.

    Is that enough to win half your games?

  45. Only down 2. Big play by Bynum.

  46. The lakers would win a 3 on 3 tournament all day!

  47. Ken,
    Did I say Artest could shoot? But at least he plays very good defense on the other end where as Fisher hurts you on both ends of the floor. What I’m saying is that at least when Artest is on the floor he is helping you on one end of the floor. But of course when both Artest and Fisher are on the floor together it hurts your offense. But if you haven’t noticed as bad as Artest is shooting every team is leaving Fisher to double Bynum and Kobe. That’s because as they both are terrible shooters they at least are fearful of Artest putting the ball on the floor and getting to the basket. That’s how bad Fisher is. Teams are more afraid of even Artest going to the basket.

  48. Can anyone here rationally explain to me why Troy Murphy continues to get significant minutes while McRoberts rots on the bench? He doesn’t consistently make shots (I watched him miss three wide open jumpers in a row tonight) and is one of the worst defenders in the league. Does Mike Brown have a man crush on Murphy or is McRoberts just in his doghouse?

  49. Get up old man Kobe!

  50. Then he plays matador defense as Rondo goes by him.

  51. Our worst defender Fisher guarding their best shooter Allen.

    Brilliant!

    Nice coaching.

  52. Mojo,
    I don’t have any problems with Browns lineups besides the fast he should bench Fisher and start Blake with GLock backing him up. And I wouldn’t have a problem with him starting GLock and letting Morris back him up and let Darius run the second unit. He looks to be a solid lead guard. But give them a chance. Cause what we have isn’t working in a traditional offense. If a D League kid like Jeremy Lin can get singed and put in the starting lineup why can’t your top draft pick?

  53. Lakers are going to run out of gas as usual.

  54. The Lakers as usual, struggling mightily to get good quality shots.

  55. Apparently Fisher doesn’t know how to dribble anymore. wow

  56. Mike Brown apparently has no idea how to run an offense.

  57. Mojo, I have been wondering the same thing. Is McRoberts still hurt? He is not that good, but he is better than Murphy.

  58. I do not envy MB, when he looks down the Lakers bench, he has Walton, Ebanks, McHops, Morris, Kapono and Murphy looking back at him. LOL!

  59. Pau gettin’ it in tonight. Question is, who’s gonna step up to assist him?

  60. Gasol came to play tonight I guess s ce he didn’t make the All Star team. It also helps he has guys guarding him half his size. But I know evertoyone will hate me for saying this but I love how he isn’t trying to be something he isn’t tonight. He isn’t trying to power his way to the basket against these smaller players. He is fighting for a spot on the floor hard and then fading away using his skill and length. Perfect playing offensively by Pau tonight.

  61. This team looks so much better with Blake running point…

  62. 4th quarter, up by 3 and our bench is coming in. Can somebody guess what’s about to happen?

  63. Lose lead, lose game. Same old story.

  64. Btw… If KG isn’t in the game and Gasol is at PF the ball must go into the high post to Pau

  65. Fish has been awful even for his standards. Does MB have the balls to bench him and play him exclusively at backup SG from here on?

  66. KG should not be able to play Bynum 1 on 1. Neither should the corpse of Jermaine O’Neal.

  67. as someone predicted, Darius? Goudelock struggling without handling the point

  68. Fisher should know he’s been awful, so maybe he should volunteer and bench himself.

  69. James,
    I think everyone predicted that :)

  70. Fisher is so bad he can’t even grab a rebound.

  71. You have to give it to loyalty. Amazing Fisher is in the game. I didn’t think Brown would play Fisher in crunch time. Oh well. We can win another night I guess.

    Bob,
    I saw that. The ball came right at Fisher and he couldn’t even attempt to catch it. Hand/Eye coordination isn’t his thing.

  72. If Kobe is guarding Rondo, then why don’t we just have Kobe, World Peace and Barnes out there at the same time. Why do we have to have Fisher out there?

  73. Watching this game blows my mind that Fisher has even played, the guy has contributed virtually nothing yet he still gets minutes.

    Aaron you cannot think Artest is that good defensively, if you do you don’t watch him play. He is a liability on both sides of the floor.

  74. Amazing how Peirce is unstoppable when Artest isn’t guarding him and can’t get off a shot when Artest is. Say what you want about his offense but his defense is just beautiful to watch.

  75. Fisher is out there because MB can’t coach.

  76. Blake is coming in for Fisher!!! We won this game just now. We are down two. Let’s see what happens from here on out.

  77. Fisher is 0-7 and let’s the lakers lose the lead…NICE!

  78. words cant describe how bad Fisher has been this game

  79. Fisher 0 for 7 howvsmart is Brown?

  80. Aaron, Pierce is just missing shots, your opinion of Artest is just warped to where you are off the deep end and are in denial about him. The guy was the weak link last year and this year he’s still one of the weak links. Moving him to the starting lineup was a mistake to say the least.

  81. It is the Kobe show from here on out.

  82. Btw… The fact that Blake is our closing PGnand I’m happy about it is just so terribly depressing. I need a scotch.

  83. Come on Fish, pull out that magic!

    @Aaron, defense on players like, Pierce, LeBron and Durant are the reason we keep MWP in the lineup. Barnes is not a clamp down defender, and Kobe will no longer expend his energy shutting these guys down. Maybe he’ll do it in a playoff game when MWP is in foul trouble, but that’ll be about the only time that Kobe will do that.

  84. why does bynum always take a bounce before putting up a shot? can someone enlighten me? it just seems like it allows the defense to close in on him.

  85. 2 straight possessions Kobe doesn’t touch the ball. Inexcuseable.

  86. Lakers are actually getting the stops, they just aren’t hitting that big shot.

  87. I agree with Aaron about MWP. He has played pretty damn good defense on PP. Pierce has only gone off when Barnes is guarding him.

  88. Time to get Ramon Sessions…our PG’s suck balls.

  89. How can you compete when your starting guard and forward scores 2 points?

  90. Pau has played amazing tonight, props to him.

  91. We can’t compete…that’s why we’re a .500 ball club.

  92. Overtime! Good defense Lakeshow!

  93. Like I said, why were people saying how much better we would be with Blake?? Give me a break lol

  94. It’s nice not having a defensive weak link with Fisher off the floor. Plus we actually scored five points down the stretch. That’s nice for a change. Of course all those points came from Bynum and Gasol but still.

  95. Watch this genius Brown put Fisher back in.

  96. The only way we can compete is if our 4-8 players have career games. and that’s not going to happen.

  97. Isn’t a team with a .500 record competing? If we win half our games…last time I checked we were 3 games over .500.

  98. Our PG’s are a combined 1-14. wowsers.

  99. I think we look Much better with Blake on the floor! The Celtics have been pretty hot over the last 5 games, or so.

  100. Who needs a damn PG…just put in Barnes…

  101. KB is just not human

  102. Black in his sleep is better then Fisher!

  103. Btw… I normally don’t get technical on here but the Celtics have been facing up and running their back to the basket to push Bynum away from the basket when the Lakers shoot. This is usually only done against players like a Shaq. When teams do this you need to send players to attack the offensive glass.

  104. I’ve dogged Pau in games past, so I have to give credit….he’s going after rebounds tonight

  105. Great game. It’s nice playing 5 on 5

  106. Pau needs to hit that open shot.

  107. 1-15 from downtown.

    and we’re still in the game?

    wow :)

  108. kobe is getting too tired at the end of games

  109. Maybe Kobe ISOS shouldn’t be run every time down the floor to end games when he isn’t being doubled? Have we not learned this yet? No?

  110. This could be the 2nd straight game Kobe has shot us out of the game.

  111. Kobe ice cold in OT. I felt he could have got all the way to the rim on the previous position instead of shooting that impossible fall away baseline jumper

  112. Amd even if the Celtics don’t have a Center on the floor you need to have Bynum in the game. He can guard any PF. He is a defensive monster out there. Please Mike Brown.

  113. Terrible Shot By Kobe. Could’ve Gotten Something Much Better. He Settled.

  114. yea!!!!!!!

  115. LAKERS WIN!!!

  116. Thanks Mike Brown for listening to me :)

  117. if we have won is in the players.terribly designed (or non designed at all) last plays.terrible coaching one more night.

    congrats to kobe,pau and bynum

  118. A classic defensive war!

  119. A win’s a win. And it was against the Lepers at their place. I’ll take it.

  120. Take the W any way we can get it.

    Game ball to Pau?

  121. I don’t care that this season is going no where. It never gets old beating the celts on their court.

  122. Hats off to Pau, that’s the guy everyone expects to see night in night out.

  123. Kobe has no conscious he almost lost Lakers the game.

  124. Gutsy win!! that was playoff basketball I love It especially against the Celtics!! It was great to see the mutual respect both teams had for each other!!! The Lakers should play with this type of Intensity every game I still feel like they are a championship team

  125. What a play by Pau! Good D Metta!

  126. Like I said earlier, tonight we’re getting this one. Now we come to my neck of the woods tomorrow night against a rested, but depleted Knicks team. Must Win. Can’t afford to lose the momentum by losing to an Amare and Melo-less Knicks after tonights victory. Definitely NO reason why we shouldn’t finish this Grammy Trip 4-2. NO WAY.

  127. If Gasol/Bynum can play consistently at this level and they bring in a PG that can play deffense and shoot the ball-Fish and Blake have combined for 2-14 FG-(calderon would be my pick) I say there is still hope to make it to the finals

    First night i feel a little excited in weeks

  128. Now it’ll be fun to guess how Kobe will react to seeing Shaq’s jersey at every home game ;)

  129. I can think of 4 PF’s that Bynum can’t guard, but none of them play for the Celtics.

  130. I still trust Kobe but the guy has to stop taking ill advised shots.

    Kuester NEEDS to draw plays for the bigs down the stretch this was almost the same as the philly game.

  131. 84, artest defends pierce better than anybody else because he’s strong enough to prevent him from getting to his “spot” i.e. top of the circle.

  132. YES! Gasol with his play-off face on! Bynum was a beast, again, Vintage Artest gave Pierce some serious trouble, Matt Barnes did his thing as always, and best of a… we won in OT in Boston.

    I enjoyed this. :)

  133. Kevin: U R supposed to be 1 of r optimists !! My boy was 11-24 for 27 + he played 44 mins. He is the sole focus of the defense when he gets the ball and he is our guy down the stretch. The last shot he made in regulation and the OT shot were both phenominal. This was a win over the C’s where KB was the leading scorer, almost 50% FG%, + leading us in dimes. Just cheer this !!!! I know u still have it in u !!!!! : )

  134. Just one game guys. We all knew the team would look better with fisher off the floor.

  135. Not sure how we won! I think Boston was 1 for 7 in OT.

    2 point between fish and Metta.

    How can Eubanks andvMcRoberts not be better the Metta and Murphy.

    I hope Brown can read box scores. Fisher 0 for 7 and Allen scored 16 on him and only one basket on Blake.

    How can even Brown ignore that?

    Lou might score 50 on him since he scored 28 on Williams.

  136. Aaron,

    Brown still almost lost us the game by not taking Fisher out until 3 minutes left in the 4th. Fish should have been yanked at least a few minutes earlier.

  137. Dear Quest

    He should have been yanked when he left the locker room.

    Worst current guard in the NBA D-league and WNBA.

  138. Bynum has turned KG out, put him on a corner, and told him not to come home until he’s got some money for Daddy. Boston’s phony-ass tough guy just shrinks when he’s around No. 17. I love it.

    And congrats to Pau. Great game tonight.

  139. I’ll give Mike Brown credit for getting the Lakers to play better defense, but his offensive system, rotations, and game management leave a lot to be desired.

    Derek Fisher is beyond awful. What is the rationale for playing Fish in this game? He cannot guard the opposing PG, can’t stop Ray Allen, and cannot score or put even the slightest amount of pressure on opposing defenses. Goudelock was strong as a backup PG and is lost at the SG spot. McRoberts brings energy, but can’t get minutes, and Ebanks might as well be cut.

    This game was all about the big three, as they all seem to be, but I don’t see the coaching staff doing the team any favors. Oh, and for future reference Coach Brown, when Doc Rivers calls time out late in a close game, you can count on Boston running Ray Allen off two screens for a three pointer….

  140. Fisher, Metta and Murphy 4 point in 82 minutes.

    What genius signed this guys?

  141. Robert, I’m still with Kobe just said his shot selection has been poor late game lately. He passed to Pau who missed 2 wide open shots.

    Kobe seems real giddy lately a lot of chatter on the court. He’s playing his heart out he senses the end os near.

  142. I think Brown plays Murphy because Troy does stretch the floor. Keep in mind that he still has his games when he hits his shots (see his game log – http://espn.go.com/nba/player/gamelog/_/id/1013/troy-murphy). Whether he makes them or not, he is still considered a semi-threat and forces his man to guard him closely outside than McRoberts would. With Josh in the game, the other team would have an even easier time clogging up the paint.

    This game was not intense. There was not the same animosity that was there 2 years ago. As VoR mentioned, these are two old teams that realize they’re no longer the top dogs in the league. Kind of depressing. I really enjoyed having the green team be good enough to genuinely hate again. Who do I hate now?

  143. Guest,
    Yes… Agreed. But better late than never as they say

  144. Metta may be a liability in offense but an asset on defense especially on PP who has 7-18 on FGM and 1-5 3PT-A. Imagine if one of those attempts missed stats was not stopped by Artest-D, then Celtics wins. Credit him also on some steals and defense on Rondo or Allen as they rotate from the screens at last three minutes.

    Fisher and Troy were horrendous and pathetic to watch 0-7 for our valiant PG and 1-5 FGM and 0-3 on 3PT-A for our official bench gunner. Let’s give a free pass for Blake, tho’ he was really the better PG.

    Read on Hoopshype that Mitch K is attending the schedule ball practice of Gilbert Arenas, no commitment whatsoever. If Agent Zero can still zero-in some perimeter shooting, I say let’s get him for minimum, at least he minimized hypertension among Laker fans in wallowing the display of pathetic shooting from the bench, Fisher and Metta Pest.

  145. Gasol had a great game. He obviously came out after not making the All Star team with a point to prove. He actually showed tonight why he didn’t make it. Because everyone knows he can play like this with a guy like Bynum next to him everytnight. This is what Gasol can do every night. Those 14 boards are open playing next to Drew everytnight with the kind of seven foot athlete Gasol is.

    I wanna give Bynum some credit here. It was a Kobe like game for him. He didn’t have his A offensive game. He missed a lot of shots in the post. But he like Kobe decided to dominate the game in every other way. He was a monster on deafness and on the board for every second the game.

  146. Edwin

    Great Metta slowed Pierce. The average SF in the NBA scores 14 a game. Metta under 5.

    Average shots at 45%.
    Metta 32%

    He also is 1 for 7 in kast seven free throws.

    A average SF and we win by 10 points!

    He currently is the worst starter in shooting in tbe NBA. The worst. Great he held Pierce 3 point below his avarage. Maybe Lakers should sign him for 5 more years.

    How can anyone defend Metta and Fisher unless you just don’t get it.

  147. 123,

    Aaron – the first question of MB to his coaching staff during the last time out, what did Aaron post on FB&G? They read their I-phone and said: bench Fisher and unleash the monster Bynum….

  148. Ken,

    There are two ways to be effective in basketball – offense and defense. Metta was atrocious on offense which was absorbed by our big 3, at least he did his job on defense which is also important. So if you paid him 6M, at least you get something in return on the 50%. Compared to Luke, we get 0% in return.

    Lastly, most important we won IN BOSTON in front of thousand leprechauns. It is difficult to concentrate when these shamrock lepers are ganging on you.

  149. If MWP doesn’t play Pierce, then who? Barnes? He is foul prone, and does not read and react defensively. Walton? He probably doesn’t even have his uniform on under his warm-ups. Ebanks? He gets lost defensively. Kobe? Not anymore!

    If MWP does not play Pierce, he goes 4 points over his average and the Lakers lose.

    If only Pau would play like this every night…great game. Bynum has been consistently solid. Great defense MWP. Kobe was Kobe. Good win Lakers.

  150. @156

    sup Edwin. Nice to read your comments.

    Regarding comment 156, I think MB took way TOO LONG to put Bynum back in the game.

    MB is a constant concern that I have. This guy seems to be clueless.

    I’m really worried about the coaching staff, or at least, of MB.

    Cheers.

  151. Edwin

    Ok I will let it go. The guy is terrible and his game has gone down so much it must be more then age. He can’t shootvp a free-throw or a layup. Something else going on with this guy. You don’t go from lifetime 42% shooter and 70plus free thrower to 32% and 60%.

    Need to drug test of change his meds.

  152. Goodnight Magic Phil, we are all adjusting to MBrown’s coaching. PJ was able to hide the slowness of the old fogies with his triangle, however in Mbrown system, it exposes the snails.

    I think we can compete in the playoffs by tweaking the line up with two more additions 1 & 3. I offer a novena that Kapono/Murphy/Blake will wake up from their deep coma in the perimeter. They are our hopes in advancing farther during the playoffs.

  153. offense which was absorbed by our big 3,

    __

    MWP still has some value on D in some games, but the Lakers scored 88 points in 53 minutes and shot .396 from the floor, making 1 of 15 3s. Beating Boston is fun, particularly since the Lakers have won 4 straight there, the last three each by one point.

    But this game highlighted the Lakers’ many problems; it didn’t represent a step forward. Pau, Drew, and Kobe scored 68 points among them, and the team still couldn’t break 90 in an OT game.

    Everyone should enjoy it–I did. But it changes nothing in the big picture unless it moves Brown to bench Fisher.

  154. anti Dwyer Abbott February 10, 2012 at 12:09 am

    Please bench Fish,please..

  155. If fish is being bashed I want to tell everyone that he is a better player than many of you think he ever was. He had many challenges as a basketball player. But the man had one strength. He would never miss a wide open shot in clutch situations. Nobody was ever better than him at that. Not anyone. He was a five time champion. He was a champion. That’s who derek fisher has been for the Lakers since 1996. Thank you Derek

  156. Aaron he was a warrior. Ge will always be remembered. He should have retired last year. He is hurting this team now which is selfish.

    Guys like Harper, Kerr, Nixon, Shaw knew when to hang it up. Even Willy Mays played one year to many.

    Make Fisher a coach. Heck make him head coach.

    Every team plots against us knowing they can break down Fisher on defense. Then they double Kobe or Andrew knowing Fish can’t shoot. His attempts to go to the bucket are very sad.

    A old friend if mine when I was in the management business once sang “you have to know when to hold em and know when to fold em”.

    Time to fold em Sir Fisher!

  157. I just think now that his time in the NBA is looking shorter by the day… We celebrete him at games in LA. I think we should announce to the media when Fisher is set to make his last Lakers start and we let him know what he has meant to us these last 16 years. I think the organization owes us that. We all owe Fisher that.

  158. I would stick with Gasol. It’s not like 7 footers with his skill set grow on trees or something. When the guy is motivated, dude’s a handful. Although keeping his motor going sometimes requires serious butt kicking(I find myself wanting sometimes to apply several Zen Master-styled slaps when watching on TV…I mean, C’mon Pau!!!…for a guy of your talent??!!You should at least go 19-10-4 and a block every night..!).Anyways…only for DWill the Lakers should consider an offer.Rondo is great,but a motivated Gasol is better for the Purple n’ Gold as it’s constructed. Three finals a two trophies testify

  159. Ken,
    What I think I was trying to get across to you, everyone else, amd I guess to myself in the end was that this is a time to not complain about Fisher turnovers, silly trips to the basket, and needless double teams into the paint. This is the time to celebrate what Fish has meant to this city. I know I’ve been watching Fish play for the Lakers since I was a freshman in high school. Now I’m a 31 year old man with grey hair. Through that we’ve seen Fish make all the plays you know would be made if the player had the composure of a heart surgeon. Whenever a p,at needed to be made Fisher made it. He was a subpar NBA player when it came to almost every aspect of the game but you knew when it came down to it Fisher would make that play. Sometimes it was in the first half… In a big playoff game… But he made that play. You knew when that ball was swung to Fish that shot was going down. You just knew it. If there was a loose ball he was going to get it. He was a five time champion. This is a time as it appears he might be done playing for the Lakers relatively soon that we celebrate him instead of complain.