Preview & Chat: The Boston Celtics

Darius Soriano —  March 11, 2012

Records: Lakers 24-16 (4th in West), Celtics 21-18 (7th in East)
Offensive ratings: Lakers 103.9 (14th in NBA), Celtics 100.3 (25th in NBA)
Defensive ratings: Lakers 101.4 (10th in NBA), Celtics 99.0 (3rd in NBA)
Projected Starting Lineups: Lakers: Derek Fisher, Kobe Bryant, Metta World Peace, Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum
Celtics: Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, Brandon Bass, Kevin Garnett
Injuries: Lakers: none; Celtics: Jermaine O’Neal (out), Chris Wilcox (out), Mickael Pietrus (questionable)

The Lakers Coming in: It seems every season there’s always an element of drama surrounding the Lakers and this year is no different. After the loss to Detroit, there were media reports of distrust of the offense being run and a hinting that the players would prefer to go back to what’s familiar (in other words, the triangle). After the loss to Washington, there were reports of the head coach retracting criticism towards certain players’ shot selection after a film review showed that those shots weren’t so bad after all. Now, after the win against Minnesota, a fresh report has the team meeting to talk about what they should and shouldn’t be saying to the press and to keep issues in house.

To all of this I say, welcome to the circus that is always a part of the Laker story. Like most fans, I’d prefer this stuff not be out there at all but the fact that it is doesn’t concern me as much as what the team is going to do when actually on the court. They need to execute better and they’re at the point in the season where there are no longer too many questions (if any) about what’s expected of them on the court. The schemes should no longer be new and that means it’s time to do what’s asked and run the sets the best they can. This team has already proven that when the y buy in and play the way the coaches want, they’re capable of being a very good team. When they don’t, they can lose to anyone and with those types of losses comes discord. It was the same under Phil Jackson.

At this point, the Lakers simply need to take whatever they’re feeling – anger, frustration, etc – and channel it on the court to playing better basketball.

The Celtics Coming in: The C’s have won 6 of 7 and are starting to find a bit of a better groove on offense. They’re coming off a 22 point thrashing of the Blazers where they put up 104 points, their 4th time in 6 games (all wins) that they’d scored over the century mark. Surpassing this threshold may not seem like a big deal but for a team that still plays stifling defense, it certainly matters. That uptick in offense is that extra boost that affords them an extra cushion that’s sorely needed, allowing them to avoid grinding out every game and relying only on getting stops as the key to a win.

Like the Lakers, though, despite the recent wins this Celtics team is one that’s in transition. Danny Ainge is openly taking calls on his best players with nearly every key member of their core seemingly available. Rumors of Ray Allen, Rondo, and even Pierce being shopped have all been floated to the media and while no deal is likely, it speaks to their falling out of elite status that a trade of any of those guys is even being discussed.

Celtics Blogs: Celtics Blog and Celtics Hub are two excellent sites that do a tremendous job covering this team.

Keys to game: I could go on and on about what it takes to win this game but I’m not going to. These teams are very familiar with each other and while there are certain things that should be watched closely today – Boston’s lack of big man depth, the Lakers’ rotations, the pace of the game, how the Lakers’ guards deal with the pressure created by the C’s 2nd unit- I instead focus on the fact that there won’t be too many more of these games between these two teams. In fact, this may be the last one.

As mentioned earlier, Danny Ainge may blow up the C’s within the next week. Mitch Kupchak may take a similar approach with the Lakers. And if that happens, on either side, it will be the end of the remade rivalry that started in the 2007-08 season when the C’s acquired KG and Ray Allen and the Lakers traded for Pau Gasol. In the four seasons from that one to this, these teams have played in the Finals twice and faced off a total of 22 times (including the game this season). Each team claimed a championship at the expense of the other and each time they’ve faced off, regular season or playoffs, there’s been a feeling of importance surrounding the games. Bad blood has resulted with an intensity and electricity taking over the building whenever it’s Lakers vs. Celtics.

That will all be over soon. Even if no trades happen by the March 15th deadline this seaon, the Celtics likely won’t have Allen and Garnett next year as their contracts expire and the C’s are likely to go in a new direction. And while we don’t know what will happen with Gasol (or Bynum for that matter) the Lakers may also look quite different by the start of next season. So, enjoy this game for what it is: the last time these two teams with these two cores will face off in a game. That, in and of itself, gives this game some meaning. Add in both sides jockeying for playoff positioning in what’s becoming a tight race for both franchises to make one more post season run and this game matters for practical reasons too.

So, enjoy this game. Back in the early NBA this rivalry was the one that mattered most. In the 1980′s it became true again. And including this year, the same can be said for the past 5 seasons. With a new CBA and the rising of young teams like the Thunder, Bulls, and Heat, who knows when both teams will be at or near the top at the same time again? Who knows when the ingredients to renew the rivalry will come together? So, for old times sake, let’s watch these two teams get it on. I expect that same electric environment and hard fought contest to ensue. And I’ll be enjoying every second of it.

Where you can watch: 12:30PM start time on ABC. Also listen live on ESPN Radio 710AM.

Darius Soriano

Posts

145 responses to Preview & Chat: The Boston Celtics

  1. As the LeBron fan on this site…

    In 2011-12, under 1:30 to play, down 1 to 3 points, in 4th or overtime, shot to tie or take the lead: 
     
    Lebron: 3-5(60%) 
    Wade: 2-4(50%) 
    Rose: 3-7(43%) 
    Melo: 4-10(40%) 
    Durant: 5-16(31%) 
    Kobe: 2-9(22%)

  2. Warren Wee Lim March 11, 2012 at 8:20 am

    GO LAKERS!

  3. Darius: Great write-up. Love the blend of the history with the looming future. 87, 88, + 10 are among my best ever Laker memories, while 84 (how did we lose) and 08 are among the worst. I do see you are summarily discounting the possibility of a 2012 match up in the Finals : ) I agree and we evidently also agree there is a limit to the “hopefully we will get hot in the playoffs” school of thought : )

  4. Warren! :)
    Go Lakers!

    Please beat the C’s…

  5. WE’RE GOING AT THEY HEAD

    -AB

  6. On paper, no reason why we shouldn’t win this game.

    The front court is just WAY too much for the Celtics as proven the last game.

    Only thing is that the Lakers are so unpredictable this year that anything is possible with them.

    Bye.

  7. Ray Allen and Rondo must be stopped. Rondo is playing out of his mind posting historic numbers. Allen is shooting 47% from 3. Have to make sure those two guys don’t get going.

  8. Excellent preview Darius. Had me reminiscing about those Great 80′s Wars against the Celtics.

    1. KAJ, Magic n Worthy vs Bird, Parrish n McHale.
    2. ‘Chick’ Hearn – ‘Johnny’ Most
    3. The Forum – The Boston Garden

    I mean, the list goes on n on and you gotta love it.

    As for today’s game, all I’ll say is: Bynum & Gasol SHOULD have their way against KG & Bass. Hopefully, they’re given the opportunity … Also looking forward to MWP putting the handcuffs on Paul Pierce and locking him up once again.

  9. Here is arch rival for decades, now both teams with old and grey stars teamed up with up and coming youth who are still searching for chemistry with the oldies. If Lakers played the way they did in Minny, it will be “L” game in our home court. Undoubtedly, our Lakers are always motivated, awakened, energized when they face this bunch of leprechauns at the sight of those shamrock colors. The colors are the symbol of Bob Cousy, Bill Russell, John Havlicek, Kevin Mchale, Jojo White and Inglewood turn-coat, Paul Pierce in pestering the Lakers time and time again. This is the game that oldtimers have been waiting for. Lakers could lose a series of games from nobodies but never, never fold up against the Celtics in our own homecourt. A meaningless game you would say, nonetheless never underestimate a leprechaun who has sinister motives as they bring back unpleasant memories of the infamous Nelson lucky bounce that stunned the people of Los Angeles and all Laker fans around the world in 1969.

    http://www.nba.com/video/channels/nba_tv/2010/06/15/20100615_bos_lal_gm7_1969.nba/

    It was only in the eighties when that spell was broken as we are known then as the laid-back Lakers. Kareem was so animated as he raised his forefinger ponting upward and everybody was yelling and us too in front of our TV sets: “We’re No. 1″.(Warning: This is 4 1/2 minutes video.)

    http://www.nba.com/video/channels/nba_tv/2011/09/22/1985_hardwood_lal_bos_finals_gm6_recap.nba/index.html

  10. I’m taking my 3 year old to the game today and could use some advice trying to find an acceptable moral line. Would it be inappropriate to teach her the ‘Boston S*cks’ chant? Would this be a good day to introduce her to the laconic effectiveness of the middle finger? I assume throwing one of her harder dolls at Pierce is certainly out of the question, but how to parent effectively under such difficult circumstances?

    Minimally, I am permitted to point out that KG looks like a TRex, right? I mean, I am trying to encourage an interest in science… but what about cracks about Ray Allen’s mom?

    Better she learns these things from me than from the bad influences skulking around the preschool playground, right?

    Go Lakers!

  11. No matter what else is going on in the season, with trades etc. etc., then this is just about killing them Celtics. Nothing else.

    I hope the Lakers will fight like there was no tomorrow, no next week, no other games, just this black hole of importance.

  12. Sorry guys… As usual this is one of 66 games to me. I almost couldn’t care less about this ga,Ed outcome. I watch all of them because I love watching basketball.

    And those stats are a small sample size…. And I was just talking about this year. The clutch stats over the last six years has LeBron number one I believe also. Or was it Dirk one and LeBron two. I put out those stats to show not that LeBron is the most clutch player in the NBA but to show he isn’t the choke artist everyone wants him to be.

    It’s funny I can literally just put out stats and nothing else and I am a troll. That’s how much some people on this site hate LeBron. Pretty amazing. Now we can end this and go back to this life and death single Lakers game today.

  13. Do I need to start banning commenters? Do I need to stop allowing comments on posts altogether? If people don’t start observing the commenting guidelines, this is where I’m headed.

    I will delete comments with personal attacks. I will delete comments that speculate on trades. I will delete comments when people post multiple times in a row making variations of the same points. If this is what you come to this site to do, please go somewhere else. I won’t miss you and neither will the countless people that read the threads and the comments but don’t comment themselves.

    Thank you for your cooperation on this.

  14. Lil’ pau
    Tough call with the 3 year old. I feel for you.
    Compared to this, the eventual “birds & bees’
    talk is going to be a snap.

  15. With the time change and the early start, I expect a sluggish Lakers team. However, I am looking for a huge game from Bynum. He seems to be getting a good swagger to his game.

  16. Thank you Darius

  17. Aaron: I think you know this, but I enjoy the exchanges with you and have NEVER called you any names. I do hate LBJ though : )

  18. Darius,

    I think you should consider setting up an easily accessible Trade Thread that is visible on the sidebar at all times through the 19th or so, and maybe put up the link in each thread.

    Like it or not (and in your case it is “not”) roster construction and the deadline–not whether they beat Boston today–is the main issue facing the Lakers right now. That is clear from the way respected media members are talking about the game and the team. The Lakers are at a crossroads organizationally. Everyone knows this, including the guys on the team.

    It is cropping up on the game threads not because people are trying to be annoying, but rather because they care about the team.

  19. lil pau with the post of the year at #10.

    Also, Jon Barry’s going with an interesting facial hair choice today. Can’t tell if the barely-there goatee was purposeful or if he was late to the set and didn’t have time to finish shaving. Or it may be an attempt to distract viewers from his awful analysis, in which case it almost worked.

  20. #18. We’ve put up more pure speculation posts this season than any other season combined. I don’t feel the need to do more than I already have. If that disappoints people, so be it. No disrespect to those that want to discuss that stuff but they can do it other places unless we have a thread dedicated to it.

  21. You’d think we’d be spending more time trying to crush them inside considering we have Garnett on Bynum and Bass on Gasol. A little less Fisher-Bryant pick-and-roll, please.

    Some very careless passes right now, both on outlet passes and Kobe passing out of the double. Gotta take care of the ball.

    Stiemsma is a shot-blocker. Have to pump-fake him off his feet.

  22. Aaron @1, I am no fan of the Kobecentric isos at the end of games, so don’t read this as some kind of fan reaction. However, the stats you cite are kind of arbitrary. What if we change it to shots in the last five minutes, or with a five point differential, etc.

    I would propose that if you want to go with the purest form of clutch, you need to change the parameters and make it only last second shots to win or tie. Can you look that up and let me know what you find? My intuition tells me that LeBron’s total is going to be a number that rhymes with ‘hero,’ and there is a reason he passes up last shots. I also bet Kobe’s figure is going to be quite a bit higher. Let me know what you discover.

  23. A little late to the party, but great, the Lakers are up by three.

    Let’s go Lakers…

  24. More like 10. Celtics went 6-24 in the 1st q. Game 7 Kobe is sneering at them saying ‘U jelly?’

  25. sloppy quarter from bryant. Leaving a lot of points on the floor

  26. Been watching these teams for 25 years; this is the first time I remember that it seems like the Celtics don’t really want to play.

    The Lakers look a little better.

    Maybe the Celtics will pick it up.

  27. Bynum does not get the foul calls that the second best center in the league should get. He gets raked/grabbed on his arms so often, but never seems to get the calls.

    Darius- Love your site and I applaud you for everything that you do. Having said that- if I add to what I just wrote about Bynum that anyone who disagrees with me has “no understanding of basketball and they have no clue what they are talking about,” will you allow it or delete it?

  28. Also, I know Blake isn’t perfect, but honestly why is he not starting over Fish?

  29. Blake is playing pretty well so far.

  30. is it just me or does bynum alternate having great touch around the basket with having terrible touch?

    He recently threw a fastball against the backboard.

  31. Lakers are capable of such great ball movement and at the same time, committing ridiculous turnovers. Would it be too much to ask for the former without the latter? That would be fun to see.

    edit: and it looks like I was off on my sluggish Lakers prediction.

  32. Like Kobe with the towel wave after Bynum hits the fallaway.

  33. Would it be too much to ask for the former without the latter?

    Personnel.

  34. Blake and Goudelock play very well with Bynum. When they’re in the game, they look for Bynum much more than our first unit, and they space the floor better so Bynum can go to work. Our first unit is scoring too, but with harder shots – midrange J from Fish and difficult post-ups from Kobe. The offense seemed much smoother and more fun to watch with Blake pushing the tempo and then pulling out and using Bynum on most half-court sets.

  35. Let’s keep this double digit lead into halftime

  36. Ray allen gets away with a lot of extra little crap that he does on defense. Grabbing, slapping, and holding. He’s almost as adept at that as Bruce Bowen was.

  37. Listen to what Doc is saying. He should be talking to Kobe. Double digit lead leaves when Kobe goes in jack mode.

  38. As noted–this game has shown why absent a deal, Blake should start. The Lakers have too many possessions that break down with no creator.

  39. Snoopy2006-
    If we replace Pau in the starting line-up with Murphy it would accomplish some of the same things. Of course, they were doing a lot of that against Boston’s second team too.

  40. As Snoopy wrote:
    Blake and Goudelock play very well with Bynum. When they’re in the game, they look for Bynum much more than our first unit, and they space the floor better so Bynum can go to work.

    That is why Blake does not have to start, he has a great role with the second unit. Damn this run makes me a little nervous

  41. Nothing like icing your own player (65% FT) after he makes the first free throw. Good job MB!

  42. Lakers not good enough to coast after gaining a lead. when will they figure that out?

  43. Stupid turnovers and rushed shots are killing us. Like that three by Blake with only one or two our guys in the offense…

  44. Well Stated by Jeff Van Gundy n regards to players going to the media complaining about Coach Brown … I’m pretty sure we’re all holding our breath concerning Drew.

  45. Sure, Kobe made that shot…but the level of difficulty is so, so high. No one can sustain that. Sigh. This team is frustrating to watch sometimes. When Blake was pushing the tempo and the game was so fast-paced, I was giddy like a little kid watching them play. It was so pure and fun.

    I’m really, really hoping Bynum just had 1 too many Gatorades before the game and couldn’t hold it any longer. Nerve-wracking anytime you see him heading back to the training room.

  46. I really mike brown would find more ways to get kobe the ball.

    Lakers 11 TOs, 11 assists
    Celtics 5 TOs, 15 assists

  47. And our defense intensity has dropped. I hope we’ll be active again starting the 3rd qtr.

  48. Double digit lead leaves when Kobe goes in jack mode.

    ____

    Nope. Your bias is in the way again. Kobe’s looks have been around the hoop; he isn’t converting enough but he isn’t forcing long shots. He has taken 11 shots. Bynum has taken 7 and Gasol 8.

    What happened was that Boston started making a few shots, and Fisher can’t do anything. Blake, as he does about once every five games, played like a legit PG, broke down the defense some, handled the ball, got a couple of steals, and we saw what happened.

    Bynum was still getting the ball some when Fisher and Kobe were in there, but he wasn’t getting it in the right sequences or at the right time–because the Lakers are playing without a point guard.

  49. I hate watching us play when we have a big lead

  50. 12 Lakers turnovers leading to 13 Celtics points a problem for LA in the first half. Somewhat concerned about Bynum walking gingerly at the end of the half.

  51. but the level of difficulty is so, so high.

    __

    It was about a 12-footer. As long as Kobe is not shooting contested 25-footers, it is pretty much OK. The baseline fades over doubles aren’t optimal, but they are not that far away.

  52. And as noted, Boston has a lousy bench and a lot of the lead was built against them.

  53. I am hoping that the Bynum situation is nothing, however there mere fact that we are worried about it, shows one of the advantages of taking action pre-season. These Bynum scares used to happen every other game. We have been very lucky this year on that front.

  54. Mike Trudell- Lakers reporter tweet: Bynum has a bruised right knee, but is probable to return

  55. The offense is also _different_ when Kobe goes back in. All momentum awaits his receiving the ball at the top of the key, players wait . . . cuts are ignored, until he decides to get into gear with a drive, or a 1-on-3 sitch where he either makes it (“woah! what a shot, 1on3!”), misses, or makes the pass. The end-of-quarter sequences are a (slightly exaggerated) microcosm of this, when Everyone Knows that Kobe will take the shot (or at least initiate the play at his whim), and he sits there bouncing the ball, letting time go so late that _only_ he could shoot by the time the clock gets so short…

    Kobe is great – his fundamentals and also “hero-ball” are great, and of course this team goes nowhere without him. But I can’t say it’s always enjoyable to see him run the team offense, to force his 5-star FGAs…

  56. Kobe is fine but what got Lakers the lead they went away from.

    Mike Brown needs to find ways to get Kobe open. Not just dump it in the post.

  57. Jesus… Tell me is a bruised knee because it was a knee on knee collision. Pleas someone tell me that!!!

  58. AB thankfully looks pretty good.

  59. Lakers are playing lousy

  60. That big brace might be doing more harm than good. Whenever anyone hits that brace it hurts his knee.

  61. Spot on Don Ford. Hero mode, bad coaching, lack of focus.

  62. The offense is also _different_ when Kobe goes back in

    Kobe usually goes in with Fisher.

    The thing is that Fisher is basically an undersized backup 2. Blake is a below-average NBA point, but he is a point.

    And…it is now a Lakers/Celtics game after all.

  63. Notice how garnett goes towards Ron AFTER the ref grabs Ron
    #faketoughguy

  64. See…Fisher GOT TO THE RIM there. That happens about once a game. THAT is the problem more than “heroball.”

  65. I swear Ron only plays well when there is a national tv audience

  66. Pierce is 3-12. MWP doing a pretty good job again.

  67. Ron Artest with the steal and slam dunk. He is playing well today.

  68. The Lakers get something from the 1 and the 3…and look.

  69. I’ve never seen a professional basketball player be afraid of a professional basketball player the way Paul Peirce squirms near Ron Artest. I’ve never seen it before.

  70. Pau needs to do something, anything to make his opresence felt.

  71. Remember when I sad Gasol should never be able to score on LeBron? Well… He should be able to score on Bass in the post. You at least should e able to ether off good shots. Geez

  72. I know he has lost a step, but I love Ron Ron!

  73. I hope Bynum has more touches in the fourth and we see less of heroball.

  74. Kobe needs to stop blowing past players cuz he keeps getting ripped

  75. I actually was afraid MB would put Kobe in to start the 4th–the second unit played well with Kobe sitting–the ball moved crisply and the Laker lead ballooned–today is the third game in the last four where Kobe’s game has been a net neutral at best….the offense is just stopping when he’s in…Bynum is dominating when he is getting the ball, but Kobe is still in iso mode here in the fourth

  76. Kobe misses always seem to lead to transition baskets

  77. Murphy rebounds well but his defense sucks!!!!

  78. Kobe sitting–the ball moved crisply and the Laker lead ballooned

    One more time:
    Against Boston’s second unit.
    With Fisher on the bench as well.

    Watch the game, not Kobe.

  79. yea Kobe

  80. Also, Boston was 13/16 from the floor, in the 3rd, and Bass is eating up Pau on the spot-ups.

  81. surely a bit of McRoberts too slow down Bass and Garnett?

  82. Now that is a 3 he shouldn’t have shot.

    Couple of strange calls.

  83. never seen Pau so passive

  84. That lob from gasol is usually a dunk by bynum. Knee definitely bothering him :(

  85. has Pau played today ? I hadn’t noticed

  86. What a tip in by Bynum.

  87. Maybe Mitch told pau this is his last game as a laker

  88. Two good plays by Kobe.

    Yeah, Bynum’s knee hurts, but it seems to be a bruise.

    Short, physical 4s are a matchup issue for the Lakers–Millsap, Booker, Bass.

  89. Great pass by Kobe on that lob. Holy crap good concentration by Bynum to get it and where is the foul!?

  90. Bynum can’t buy a call n this game. Once again, Pau where are you? I respect Bass’ game, but no way he should b outplaying Pau.

  91. @RR

    I am watching the game–I am also one of the biggest Kobe defenders of all time.

    I also try to be honest about him–if you ignore his flaws, you won’t appreciate the great things he does in spite of them.

    You may disagree with me, but I’ve watched almost every minute of almost every game the last five years.

    There are times in every season where Kobe seems to go into full-on iso mode and the offense stagnates..the last week or so has featured that

  92. Let’s go, Lakers! Great game by MWP, offense and defense on Pierce.

    Bynum is getting there.

    Go ahead shot under a min. Kobe 3 for 23.

    Bynum possible game winner!

  93. We need a stop

  94. Wow – KB you are too much

  95. Bass finally missed–was open again, though.

    Boston lives by the jumper.

  96. Doc Rivers always draws up fantastic plays out of timeouts.

  97. Bad timeout by Mike Brown. Now they have to inbound the ball.

  98. Wow. MB has balls. He didn’t want a Kobe one on one possession so he called a TO. Kobe was not happy. But good for Mike.

  99. Loved that they had the confidence to run a play for Drew there instead of relying on Kobe.

  100. Lakers go to Bynum after the time out and he delivers a huge basket, Lakers by 3.

  101. Love that play there! Now…please just don’t let them hit a 3! I would love to see an intentional foul against Rondo here.

  102. I gotta say that was great defense.

  103. Great defense on that last Celtics possession by the Lakers. Lakers Win.

  104. LOL, Kobe Bean Bryant! He doesn’t want to win, ha, he only wants points, ha!

  105. Kobe was not happy.

    _____

    Were you in the huddle?

  106. Good win!

  107. Woot! Woot! Lakers win the 2012 NBA Old TImers League Championship!

  108. Excellent win. KB with 26 and 7 dimes; 3-6 from 3, Bynum 20 + 14

  109. Go at they head, Big Andrew!!!

  110. rr –

    FWIW, I agree with your points on Blake v. Fisher.

    Did Goudelock play at all in the second half?

    Always fun to get a win against these guys. Especially considering this could be the last time these teams meet with the current cores.

  111. That was fun.

    And in no point in that 4th did Kobe go into full iso mode.

    For those who think that happened today – you obviously dont know what full iso mode is.

    Nice game winner by Bynum. And good defense on that last possession.

  112. Saw this stat on the DDL. Bynum is 24/27 in the clutch. 20/21 at the rim

  113. Pau finally made his presence felt. Great challenge of the 3 by ‘Jesus Shuttlesworth.’

  114. Another classic. What a game

  115. VoR:

    Nicely done.

  116. Very happy with the game that we got from everyone except Pau. I thought he played timid today. Gave up a big offensive rebound on one possession to Bass. However, he stepped out on a big show on that final Boston possession to stop a Ray Allen 3. Good defense on that last play.

  117. We might have gotten away with a foul on Pierce’s three in the final seconds, but I’ll take this win! Probably the last Laker/Celtic game with this Celtic core.

  118. Always happy to see us beat those guys in green. Thank you, Ron Artest, for showing up.

  119. Bynum, perfect trust for him in the end, and he came through, when it counted the most.

  120. In that last timeout Kobe called the play for Bynum.

    Kobe has won 5 rings with varying degrees of difficulty, yet there’s still a lack of belief that Kobe wants rings, not scoring titles.

  121. Lakers survive a tough, physical game. Celtics were in full 2008 mode…clutching and grabbing on every play. Lakers played through it and gave as good as they got. MWP played great and the entire team dug down deep for the W.

  122. Lakers 4-0 against Boston and Dallas. Seniors’ League Champs!

  123. We could have gotten more from Pau on the low block, especially when Drew was up at the top of the key a few times. I don’t think there’s any way that Bass can stop Pau’s lefty hook. Anyway, I’ll take this win, especially when our flotsam played well. MWP sure loves playing against Pierce, doesn’t he? :D

  124. Pau really has a great history of stepping out to deny Ray on end-of-game 3′s. What’s that, his 3rd time?

  125. Bench outscored Celts 15-11. That could be the first in a while for that. The Big 3 need to stop the turnovers (13 total between them). And did I say KB played an incredible game? : )

  126. @rr & cdog

    Kobe did not go into iso mode, he went into hero mode (with the two 3s) and he and Drew pulled us out of the fire. I don’t like The Black Mamba or MWP, I love Kobe and Ron Ron.

  127. Great energy Lakers-Celtics games are always intense. A win vs a 7 seed Celtics team still isn’t convincing of a top tier team.

    18-2 DOMINANT home team

  128. Lets enjoy this great win, but let’s not go into post Miami mode : ) By the way – the deadline is 3:00 PM Eastern on Thursday

  129. @ whoever is moderating right now:

    So I make a post pointing out that we can all disagree without being snotty or “know it all” about it, and my post gets moderated? Meanwhile the folks using the tired “clearly if you don’t agree with me you know nothing about basketball” themes remain in the discussion? Your choice, it’s your site, but I can go to ESPN for that.

  130. Kyle Lowry is hospitalized. I bet Morey is just hiding him so that we don’t ask him in a trade.

  131. There is some interesting moderation going on right now. It looks like condescending posts are allowed, but posts responding to the condescension will be edited.

    As a general comment, not directed at anyone in particular, speaking down to other posters and acting as if your basketball knowledge is supreme tends to rub people the wrong way. Shocking, I know.

  132. rr and others are right, Kobe played the right way today. He missed a bunch of shots around the rim, but those are shots he should take. He had 20 attempts while Bynum and Gasol had 26 (I think).

    Loved Brown calling that timeout. Loved Bynum getting reps at being the go to guy in crunch time.

    When this team moves the ball, they can be really good on offense, but I won’t read too much into it since they were playing former NBA legends.

    Also interesting to note that MWP showed up big and the team won just like last Sunday.

  133. Hillary Ocholla March 11, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    Season sweep over Boston…I’m so happy. Its a sad season, but I’m so happy right now.

  134. #133. Please tell me the comment number and I’ll delete the post. As I mentioned, I’m not going for all the bullshit I’ve seen in the comments lately. Not from new people, not from regulars. I’m deleting comments that are baiting in nature. So, with well over 100 posts in these threads I may miss one or two. After you reply, I’ll delete all this comment and your reply. Thanks.

  135. I always will enjoy a W, against the C’s.

  136. mindcrime,

    My post responding to yours (the Hater/Blind Love sequence) seems to have gotten zapped as well. It was a little confrontational, but also included a lot of content and specific points.

    In general, I am perfectly fine with criticism of Kobe and engage in some myself. But when I think the focus on him is excessive, I am going to call people on it–as Darius himself has done. Basketball is a team game, and the Lakers win and lose–as a team.

  137. Good win, now let me take advantage of this League Pass and view some of this Rockets – Cavs game. Considering the deadline is this Thursday, it’ll allow me to view a few individuals who might b Lakers by weeks end.

  138. Fair enough, Darius. But no profanity is also a site rule, as I recall.

  139. Another 40 minute game for Drew. I don’t know if that’s a good thing (showing stamina, durability) or a bad thing for the long haul. I guess we can find a gray area and say both.

  140. @ darius:

    I think you were in “mid moderation”of the exchange RR and I had when post 133 was made–my post was gone, and his (which is now gone) was still around–hence my ire. Per “RR’s” post above, most of the exchange RR and I had has since been blasted into the ether.

  141. Thanks for the good win. I hope everybody stays this week and just add one ball handler who could pass the ball to the big. If they can beat the Celtics, Heat and Mavs then they can beat anybody if they want to.

  142. Chearn,

    It’s not the lack of belief of Kobe wanting rings instead of scoring titles. I’m a big Kobe fan myself but knowing Kobe’s competitive nature, it’s not too far to believe he’s vying for that career total points.

  143. As “one of” the biggest KB fans on the site: Does he want the scoring record? – Yes. Does he want rings? – Yes. What he wants is to be the greatest ever, + both will help do that. I desperately want change for this team, and as a fan, I want the ring over the record. IMO, everyone “should” want significant change, but especially those who are less than enamoured with KB. Without change it will be a long 3 years if you do not relish in KB’s long fadeaways like I do : )

  144. What’s with all the hoopla about attacking one another? It’s the Internet let us speak to eachother like true fans…too much censorship can ruin a good conversation