From Dexter Fishmore, Silver Screen and Roll: Yeah, honey child. That’s how you play an elimination game. Faced with a win-or-go-golfing scenario for the first time in over a year, the Los Angeles Lakers came up with a defensive performance for the ages. They harassed the Celtics for 48 glorious minutes with length, hustle and a rediscovered ferocity that had gone missing in Boston. The result was an 89 to 67 bludgeoning that evens the NBA Finals at three victories a piece. Game Seven, for all the tacos, is Thursday night.
From Kurt Helin, Pro Basketball Talk: Boston did not lose this game at the 5:30 mark of the first quarter. When Kendrick Perkins went down the Lakers were already up 6 points, L.A. had been dominating the boards, they were shooting better, they were playing with energy and getting to the 50/50 balls. But that moment may have cost them Game 7. The 5:30 mark Perkins went up for a rebound, fighting for it with Lakers center Andrew Bynum — a guy already playing through a knee injury that will require surgery — and Kobe Bryant. Perkins seemed to land awkwardly and injure his knee.
From Matt Moore, Pro Basketball Talk: Something about home cooking. Does the bench body good. There’s been a high level of complexity to the results of the NBA finals thus far. Everything from the Lakers’ ball movement to the Celtics rebounding have influenced the outcome. But a consistent factor in deciding these games has been the output of the respective benches. And in Game 6, along with their starting counterparts, the Lakers’ bench finally showed up.
From Eddie Maisonet, Ed The Sports Fan: There’s no doubt about it, Phil Jackson is the greatest coach who our generation has ever seen. You can debate what type of talent (be it Michael & Scottie and Kobe & Shaq/Gasol) he’s had around him and what difference that would make, but the man has won 10 championships in 19 seasons and is on the brink of #11. He’s set the bar so high that it almost seems egregious that Doc Rivers has found a way to match wits with the Zen Master. (Doc is 7-5 in the finals against Phil).
From Kelly Dwyer, Ball Don’t Lie: The Los Angeles Lakers rode a furious early rally to traipse all over an ill-prepared Boston Celtics squad in Tuesday’s Game 6, tying the NBA Finals at three games apiece and forcing a deciding seventh game on Thursday night. Kobe Bryant finished with 26 points and Pau Gasol nearly notched a triple-double with 17 points, 13 rebounds and nine assists as the Lakers outscored Boston by 10 points in the first quarter, and another 10 in the second. After stifling an attempt at a Boston rally in the third, the game quickly moved into extended garbage time, even as both teams’ starters worked deep into the fourth.
From Sam Amick, NBA Fanhouse: The Lakers’ house party was in full effect on Tuesday night. Home — otherwise known as Staples Center — was where the big band was, a booming bunch of trumpets and trombones in the third deck that bellowed the Mills Brothers’ “I Ain’t Got Nobody” as the celebration of a Game 6 Finals win grew below. Home was where Kimsha Artest was, the wife of resident fall guy Ron Artest, who so confidently claimed that “we’re walking out of here on Thursday with (a championship)” while cavorting with Derek Fisher’s wife, Candace.
From Mike Trudell, Basket Blog: The Purple and Gold were omnipresent throughout a championship-like performance that produced Tuesday’s 89-67 Game 6 blowout victory over Boston to force a Finals Game 7 that will decide which of the previous two Larry O’Brien trophy winners will become the 2010 champs. L.A.’s stars were brilliant, led by Kobe Bryant’s 26-point, 11-rebound, 4-steal effort and Pau Gasol’s 17-point, 13-rebound, 9-assist near triple-double. The bench was outstanding, dominating Boston’s by scoring 24 points before the C’s pine unit had registered a single point, and the team defense was suffocating all night.
From Kevin Ding, Orange County Register: Let me tell you about one of Kobe Bryant’s philosophies. It doesn’t apply to the run-of-the-mill NBA game; it’s only about the playoffs. Then again, everything is all about the playoffs anyway – as regular-season slackers L.A. and Boston are reiterating this spring. As simple as the idea is, once you get it, you’ll better understand Bryant, Bryant’s team and this current Lakers-Celtics epic. If you’re a Lakers fan, you might even be able to make peace with the fact that the Shaq-Kobe-Malone-Payton Lakers lost the 2004 NBA Finals to that clearly less talented Detroit team. In a seven-game series, the better team wins. Always.
From Mike Bresnahan, Los Angeles Times: The Larry O’Brien trophy was in the building, as was Boston Celtics legend Bill Russell, along with boxes and boxes of T-shirts and hats designating the Celtics as the 2010 NBA champions. None of them became part of the postgame program. The Lakers made sure of it, clearly and convincingly, thumping the Celtics, 89-67, and forcing a Game 7, in case it wasn’t clear by the time Russell headed for the exit with three minutes left Tuesday at Staples Center.
From Mark Heisler, Los Angeles Times: Anyone know where the Lakers can get 10,000 balloons? Oh, not yet? Quick studies that they are, the Lakers not only learned the lesson of their debacle in Game 7 of the 1969 NBA Finals but of Sunday’s Game 5 when they ran for cover in the storm in Boston. Back home Tuesday, and not a second too soon, it was the Lakers who stormed back and the Celtics who ran for cover in an 89-67 blowout that tied the Finals, 3-3, forcing Thursday’s Game 7.
From Vincent Bonsingore, Los Angeles Daily News: This is how it should be. It’s what the NBA needs, what the fans deserve. Game 7 of the NBA Finals, the Lakers against the Boston Celtics. Does anything more really need to be said? “This is definitely a treat for the NBA,” Boston’s Ray Allen said. “Just knowing we are going to a Game 7, that these are the Finals and it’s the Lakers-Celtics.” It is sports at its best, the pinnacle of competition on the professional level. This is the Yankees and Dodgers going to a seventh game of the World Series, Sandy Koufax on the hill for the Dodgers and Whitey Ford dealing for the Yankees.
From J.A. Adande, ESPN.com: This time, there was an embellishment to Phil Jackson’s traditional victory countdown to the championship. After the Lakers’ 89-67 victory over the Celtics to force the NBA Finals to Game 7, Jackson added an artistic flourish on the dry-erase board in the Lakers’ locker room, scribbling “1 to” followed by a drawing of a ring. This must have had an added meaning for Ron Artest. He’s the only person in the Lakers’ locker room without a championship ring. He’s the only empty-handed player among the top seven players on both Finals teams, for that matter. So perhaps Jackson felt the need to illustrate for Artest’s sake. After all, “We tried to simplify some things for him tonight,” Jackson said.
From Dave McMenamin, ESPN Los Angeles: It was six minutes into Game 6 of the NBA Finals before the Lakers, the championship-caliber Lakers that is, showed up. After taking the lead when Kobe Bryant hit back-to-back buckets midway through the first quarter, Lakers clamped down and the seesaw stopped, leaving the Celtics dangling up in the air, at the mercy of the hustle-and-go Lake Show. And it was about time. It began with a Ron Artest block on Rajon Rondo at the rim, for what seemed like the first time all series. Then came a flurry of activity, plays that transformed a group that had seemingly lost its way into a unit that understood its mission.
From Chris Sheridan, ESPN.com: The official word on Kendrick Perkins came from Doc Rivers, who said “it doesn’t look great” for the Celtics to have their starting center available for Game 7. The unofficial word came from a well-placed Celtics mole, someone in the know who was a heckuva lot more definitive: “He’s done.” On a night when Bill Russell walked out in disgust early in the fourth quarter, unable to watch his old team take such a brutal beating, another important big man in green was a goner much, much earlier.
From Adrian Wojnarowski, Yahoo! Sports: hese NBA Finals promised to be direct descendents of the most memorable in basketball history, the remaking and recasting of Chamberlain and Russell, Magic and Bird. History guaranteed an epic, but the present has delivered a choppy series long on blowouts and short on drama. There have been magnificent performances, genius talent, but ultimately this is a series searching to frame itself for the ages. These are a Finals desperate for a Game 7, and maybe now Kobe and Gasol, Pierce and Garnett, will transform a snarling, unkempt series into an epic.
From Bryan Chu, NBA.com: Rajon Rondo was cut on the chin compliments of a Ron Artest elbow. Kendrick Perkins had to be helped off the court thanks to a Pau Gasol and Kobe Bryant sandwich. Paul Pierce wound up on his back time and time again in large part because of the Lakers’ swarming defense. It was that type of game for the Celtics. It was that type of intensity the Lakers showed from start to finish. In what was a must-win to keep their hopes of a repeat alive, the Lakers answered emphatically, blowing out the Celtics, 89-67, in Game 6 of the NBA Finals Tuesday at Staples Center.
Awesome game! One Mo’!
Love this team, love this effort, love the fight.
Leave no doubt.
It’s interesting that if Perkins can’t play at all, the whole “our starting 5 has never lost a series” mantra Doc has been touting stays in tact. It’s an excuse I’d be surprised to hear the Cs use, though. In an NBA finals game 7, it’s not about anything other than which team wants to be champions and plays accordingly. Period.
lil' pau says
Spain today a victim of a tremendous upset in the World Cup. Maybe a good reminder to Pau that nothing is guaranteed…
I hope Phil makes them watch the 2008 last quarter and celebration over and over again….
I hope Phil makes them watch the 2008 last quarter and celebration over and over again….
From the other thread:
G3, Eastern semis: CLE 124, BOS 89
G5, Eastern finals: ORL 113, BOS 92
G1, Finals: LAKERS 102, BOS 89
We all know what happened in the games immediately following these. Point differential has some value, but I think in this situation, the Lakers’ margin in G6 menas very little.
BTW, Glen Davis was quoted as saying, “We deserve it more than them” due to Boston’s ups-and-downs, etc.
A nice little Welcome to L.A. from Randy Newman, Magic, et al: http://bit.ly/bwtIoK
good suggestion robinred. the lakers should not need any motivation at all, but the replay should help keep the flame burning! I would like to think the short turnaround would hurt the older celtics if the game is close for 4 quarters. Maybe mental more than physical fatigue, but those guys will probably gut it out. If there’s no perkins, rasheed will have a lot more minutes. He missed some easy ones Tuesday. I wonder how he’ll play game 7. His post up play and shooting can be a big plus for the celtics. I liked the strategy of kobe shooting early. It definitely helped open up the floor for spacing. Sunday night I had nightmares that we lost the series. Slept much better last night!
Gr8 Scott says
I don’t believe Dick Bavetta has called a game all series. You can almost guarantee that he will be refereeing game 7. I don’t know if this is good or bad, but I would be very surprised if he doesn’t call this one and keep it close.
And as for our game plan in game 7, it’s simple – we have to outwork them. Rebounds, loose balls, effort plays, moving the ball.
Let’s go Lakers!
Meh to Big Baby. Talking about what you “deserve” is lame.
With Perkins, Lakers will beat Celtics in game 7. People forgot Garnett and Pierce did not played well in LA. The only Boston can hope that is Allen and Rondo, but Lakers will be ready for this time. Without Perkins, Lakers will attack more inside.
I really like Perkins as a player and as a person. He does the dirty work for his team and he does it with relish and gusto. It takes a special person to not only accept this less-than-glamorous role, but to do it with enthusiasm. Forget about basketball, this is the kind of person you need in any society.
That being said, what would his absence mean in game 7?
1. Perkins did a great job of pushing Gasol out of his comfort zone, out of the paint and into the perimeter. I think floor spacing and balance for the Lakers will be optimized.
2. IMHO, Perkins best attribute is his motor. He does an excellent job of running the floor, putting pressure on transition defense on the one hand, and anchoring the C’s transition defense on the other.
3. I am not too worried about Big Baby. The Lakers neutralized him by switching on screen-rolls featuring Baby as the pick-setter.
4. Wallace, I am worried about. He can keep them in the game with 3pt shooting and good post defense on Gasol.
If he misses long jumpers, though, that will jumpstart our transition game. To neutralize Wallace’s strengths, the Lakers must track down long rebounds, push the ball, and bolster their offensive efficiency with transition baskets.
#8/Gr8Scott: there was a nypost article earlier in the series about how Dicky B wasn’t going to officiate any Finals games. Something about how the league is freezing him out because of his age
Gr8 Scott –
We won’t see Bavetta in Game 7. He was not assigned to The Finals for the second straight year. Also, Steve Javie and Mark Wunderlich missed The Finals due to injuries.
Here’s the Post article chibi mentioned – http://offthedribble.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/06/06/end-may-be-near-for-bavetta/
It’s the Finals. If the Lakers win without Perkins playing, the Celtics aren’t going to hang their hat on “well our starting 5 is still undefeated.” It’s more like the kind of thing that would come up next season if the Celtics make another run.
Kobe sizes up competition, and has done the same for boston : http://stacktv.stack.com/video.aspx?videoID=1646070621_133
farmar dunk last night!!? wow… laker fans will get bench hyped up again as well
lakers wil win
Wallace and Lamar, as I said in the other thread, will be two players to watch closely in G7.
I know it’s the toughest thing to do but the Lakers need to erase Game 6 from their memories and approach Game 7 just as they approached Game 6. Forget about everything that happened in Game 6, I assure you Boston will be a whole new team (even w/o Perkins).
If we come out with the same aggressiveness and ferocity, we’ll give ourselves a chance to win Game 7, not win the game for sure but have a chance to win it. Why? Because Boston is a scary team. I know what they’re fully capable of. We need to match our intensity with equally intelligent play and not lose our poise when it gets tight. I’m looking at you Kobe and Pau to make the right decisions and not force things.
Agree 100% Naveen.
@robinred and needle
Glen Davis says they “deserve”it more? Are we sure he didn’t use the word “entitled”?
That’s BS. Wins go to the ones who earn them. “Deserve” has nothing to do with it.
Check out my Lakers Anthem. Set to the Game’s “Dope Boys”
What a ride!
Defense + Intensity + Execution = Banner no. 17
The only way Boston beats us tomorrow is by out-hustling us on defense, loose balls, and rebounds. The Lakers’ level of intensity and focus is purely under their control and there’s no excuse not to bring it in Game 7 and take a shower in champagne. No excuses.
Davis looks like he ought to be sitting on the couch eating pizza, but he’s out there playing in the Finals, saying crazy things in post-game press conferences. I kind of like him for that. Therefore, I deserve half his salary.
“we deserve it more.”
I wonder how Drew feels about that.
Funky Chicken says
I really feel for Perkins. I hate the Celtics more than any other team, as any good Laker fan should, but to see a kid go down like that in this situation just sucks. Of course, the way it happened speaks volumes about last night’s game. Perkins was all alone under the basket with no teammates to be found, while two Lakers (our best player, and our most injured player) both made plays for the ball and sandwiched Perkins, forcing him to land awkwardly. This the kind of effort we’ll need tomorrow night.
I hope that the Lakers really go at Rasheed. He’s a good defender, but he’s the only guy who can match the Laker front line. Oh, and he’s super old and battling a back injury. Add to that the fact that he has been forced to bottle up his emotions (as best he can) to avoid that 7th technical foul, and I think we could see a volatile night from Rasheed if things don’t go his way. He complains on EVERY foul call. If we punish him, frustrate him, and tire him out, I don’t see his 3 point shooting being very effective in the 2nd half.
We have yet to play back to back games with the urgency and desperation that tomorrow night requires. There is reason to expect tomorrow to be different given the stakes and the fact that between Kobe and Derek, I think our vets will impress upon everyone else the need to sell out on every play. If this game were being played in Boston I would be very pessimistic, but given the stakes, the location, and the loss of Perkins, there is no reason the Lakers should not win this game. To lose a game 7 at home under these conditions would be almost as much a letdown of the infamous 131-92 debacle last year.
For all of Perkins’ rough-housing, etc., you have to feel for him. As an NBA fan, you always want to see the best play the best and have a healthy roster. Imagine if Bynum was 100% healthy and not a partial shell of himself? But, as Lakers fans are well aware, injuries are a part of the game and the bench is there to mitigate such losses.
(FYI, my “prayer” to the basketball god seems to work, it’s no substitute for Warren, but we’re 2-0 so far in the Finals!, re-printed here!)
What have your humble Lakers done to displease you? We don’t drool on the court, leave on wheelchairs for a minor stinger, yell “mother f’ers” every 5 seconds, grab and hold like it’s a WWE match, call ourselves Donkey and Shrek, etc.
We try to honor you by playing an aesthetically pleasing game of basketball and have the premiere artist known as Black Mamba pirouetting past defenders, hitting impossible shots, and defying gravity. We showed Ron Artest, your then-disgraced creation, how to play the “right” way, and to stop himself from running into the stands. We have Pau, who listens to opera and dissects his opponents on the court with the precision of a doctor. We have Lamar, who at one point, was the second coming of Magic, and still has all unlimited and untapped potential. We have Mr. Fisher, the consummate team leader and ageless warrior, teaching the young guns of the league how to play this game. We have Shannon Brown, who with every dunk grazes the hem of your heavenly basketball shorts. We have the gutsy Bynum, who grimaces and fights through the pain and realizes that without struggle, there is no progress.
Sure, we flop, and sometimes play without passion. But this team was made in the image of what beautiful basketball should be. The fans may clamor for the adulterated thuggery, braggadacio, and boorishness of Celtics “basketball,” replete with profanity and rough-housing, but we aspire for a purer brand of ball. So, we humbly beseech you to side with the right team tonight, and guide the Lakers to wins in the remaining two games. May we vanquish the Mean Green tonight and Thursday night and restore order in the basketball universe. Amen.
Totally agree with you about going straight at Sheed on offense, much like we did after Perkins left the game. Sheed, in his old age, has become a foul machine–as much due to his age as referees’ dislike for him. Hey, if it’s a 50-50 call on a foul involving Sheed, and I’m the ref that’s had him in my ear all night, I’m blowing the whistle.
If he, or Garnett, get into early foul trouble, green blood will be spilt in the paint. Getting into the paint is devastating to the Celtics. It blows-up their defensive scheme (as it did much of last night and Game 1) and kills their transition game. Now that we’ve found adequate answers for minimizing damage from Pierce and R.Allen in their half-court sets, the Celtics offense is completely dependent on Rondo-fueled transition O and heavily-contested Garnett iso’s.
Attack. Attack! ATTACK the paint!
Perkins done for Game 7. Sucks for them.
Does anyone know what Jordan Farmar said to Garnett after dunking over him? He is facing away from the camera and it looked like just a stare-down, but I see mention of him “trash-talking Garnett after the dunk” here and there and now I’m curious. Anyone? 🙂
the only thing that concerns me about game 7 is how we smoked em in game 6. Sure Boston has bounced back in the playoffs vs. Cavs and Magic after getting blown out. DIFFERENCE is that those games were in Boston, Not tomorrow.
Bottom Line. I’d rather play game 7 at home rather than on the road.
Any chance we can get Celtics Nation to grab the first post again?
Also, they were played with Perkins in the paint. Next game, he won’t be there.
That said, I don’t think we should open the champagne just yet. The Celtics wouldn’t be in Game 7 in the Finals if they weren’t a very good team as well. I think that if our Lakers play like they did last night, they’ll win. The question is, will they play like they did last night?
A new post is up. Some fast break thoughts on Game 7.
Igor Avidon says
I don’t feel bad for Perkins. The guy admitted to trying to get away with murder on opposing players with his picks. Read: dirty plays from a dirty player. If you don’t play with honor and dignity, you don’t deserve sympathy when something goes awry for you.
Perkins only gets away with what the refs let him. The Celtics stare down the refs every game, and usually the refs blink first.