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Fortunately, it's not a Best of One...

Sad_faceThose inhabitants of the Laker Nation with a natural inclination for worry will not sleep well after the Lakers hit the famous parquet floor in Boston with a thud, dropping Game 1 of the NBA Finals to the Celtics, 98-88.  It was a night with few highlights for the purple and gold.  They ran out to a very early four-point lead, and used a 16-6 run at the end of the second quarter to take a five-point lead into the half.  Unfortunately, the rest of the night clearly belonged to the home team, which otherwise tended to dictate the flow of the game.  Boston was able to erase L.A.'s lead only 45 seconds into the third quarter, engaged the Lakers in a dog fight, then slowly took control of the game.  The iconic moment of the night?  Paul Pierce put the Celtics ahead for good with two huge three-pointers after a dramatic return to the court less than two minutes after being rolled off the floor in a wheelchair because of a knee injury.  Call it a Willis Reed moment for the Gen X folk. 

On the other hand, optimists will look at Thursday's loss and believe that the Lakers probably won't get another 9-26 shooting night from Kobe, only six boards from Lamar Odom, or 15 points combined between Vlad Radmanovic, Sasha Vujacic and Jordan Farmar. The Lakers didn't look all that good in Game 1, but still were in the game until the final four minutes or so.  A little more execution down the stretch, and they might have stolen a game they didn't deserve. 

Click below for the breakdown.

The Good:

  • Derek Fisher: He was as close to a consistent influence as the Lakers had over the course of the game.  Nearly 41 minutes of run, 4-9 from the floor for 15 points, plus six assists.  He was particularly effective in the second quarter, when he scored 11 points and helped keep the Lakers close, then pull ahead before the half.  He had some issues with Sam Cassell in that quarter, but while Sam-I-Am couldn't keep me out of the paint at this point in his career, he can still get hot offensively and drill some turnaround J's on just about anyone.  Overall, Fish was one of the few Lakers who managed to find his way to the basket and stay aggressive.

The Bad: Wow.  Lots to choose from.

  • Sasha Vujacic: Overall, he had a tough night.  2-7 from the floor, four personals and some undisciplined play offensively.  On the other end, he had a tough time keeping up with Allen, who ran him pretty ragged over the course of the game.  If you had asked me before the game what player might be a little too amped up for his first Finals game, I would have thought long and hard about Sasha. 
  • Offensive Discipline: Too often the Lakers became content to be a jumpshooting team, and spent long stretches of time outside the paint.  The patience and ball movement characteristic of the team weren't there for nearly enough of the game, and practically disappeared in the second half.  "We had 14 assists in the first half and seven in the second.  That was the difference.  We did a lot of things off the dribble we didn't do in the first half," Phil Jackson said.  Still, PJ didn't seem to think they, whether Kobe or the rest of the gang, were taking a lot of bad shots.  "Our guys had good looks.  A lot of in-and-out shots for us tonight," Jackson said of the team.  Similar reaction to Kobe.  "I think he thought he was shooting the ball pretty well, they just didn't stay in.  A lot of them rattled out.  I said to him, check it out, he had some guys open in other parts of the offense, but he said he had some good looks.  You live on that.  That's going to happen." To some extent I think he's protecting his guys.  The shot selection wasn't all that good, and the patience wasn't there.  Some of that can be chalked up to the Celtics, who are a very strong defensive team, but some of it goes to the Lakers as well. 
  • Rebounding: Rebounding, rebounding, rebounding.  So bad it should be mentioned at least that many times.  The final margin was 46-33 Boston, including 10 offensive boards for the Celtics that helped explain their 98 points despite 42% shooting.  The extra chances often put the Celtics on the line, where they were 28-35, and led to an eight-point advantage in second-chance points that seemed a lot bigger.  A lack of attention led to what was likely the dagger score for Boston, a ferocious dunk put back off a James Posey three with 92 seconds to go.  Gasol, in the same ZIP code but a decidedly different neighborhood, never put a body on him.  A six-point deficit became eight, and that was the end of that.

The Occasionally Good, but Not Nearly Good Enough:

  • Defense: In the halfcourt, it wasn't bad.  As I mentioned, L.A. held Boston to 42% shooting, and limited them to under 25 points in three of four quarters.  But because the rebounding (did I mention the rebounding) was so awful, it's hard to give them high marks.  Moreover, the Lakers struggled to defend without fouling, part of the reason the Celtics were able to make some hay at the stripe. Too many ticky-tack fouls, or ill-timed shooting fouls (a Vlad hack on Pierce for a three+1 and an awkward Allen jumper late in the shot clock where Sasha bailed him out with a pop to the arm come to mind).  The groundwork is there, but if the Lakers are going to come back strong on Sunday, they'll need to shore up those weak spots. 
  • L.A.'s Big Three: It wasn't an MVP performance from Kobe by any stretch.  He forced jumpers, forced passes and forced plays (explaining the four TOs).  It's not that he was awful - Kobe also made some excellent decisions with the ball, was able to set up his teammates, and hit some big shots - but he clearly wasn't sharp, and wasn't able to find any sort of flow in the game save the last six minutes of the second quarter, when the whole team was on fire, going from five down to five up into halftime.  There are nights where he is able to exert influence on a game in all sorts of ways, controlling the flow.  Tonight, he couldn't do it, and seemed to get stuck trying to figure out how.  Lamar Odom had some nice moments and was 6-11 from the floor, but like Kobe, they were quiet points, and his 2-5 showing from the line took some of the fun away from the numbers, too.  LO wasn't dominant on the boards, didn't distribute, and overall couldn't make an impression on the game in the way we've seen over the second half of the season.  So inconsistent was his play that PJ had him on the bench for critical minutes in the fourth.
    Pau Gasol was also 6-11 and had four assists, generally coming from his work at the top of the post, but was also limited in his effect on the glass, and had a ton of trouble with KG on the other end (in fairness, Garnett can play a little).  His performance tonight reminded me of some of his lesser efforts against San Antonio. 

If you want to pit Big Three vs. Big Three, Boston's was the clear winner.  65 points to 53 for L.A.'s trio.  Rebounds- 25 vs. 17.  Big moments?  Too many vs. way too few. 

Audio to come ASAP.

BK

 
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It's been widely reported that Lamar Odom is the X factor in the series. If true, the Lakers may be in trouble.

Physically, and perhaps mentally, Odom doesn’t seem up to the task. Early in the 1st quarter after Boston had scored, Odom tried to get past Perkins who had just reversed direction, but Perkins wouldn't budge. Odom submissively tapped Perkins on his rear, then went around him. But the moment perfectly captured Boston's message to the Lakers: "you don't scare us." Sure enough, Odom played weak the rest of the game. At least today, X equaled zero.

To be fair, as several posters have mentioned, Luke Walton, whom often plays recklessly, didn’t have a productive night, but at least he brings a Kurt Rambis-like energy sorely missing. Moreover, Walton is a role player, so the team’s loss can’t rightfully be laid at his feet. And yes, as with Odom, Pao Gasol lacks strength. But since his acquisition, Gasol’s finesse and effective style of play has been routinely characterized as “the” missing ingredient in the otherwise hapless and Shaqless Lakers' squad of the past few seasons; the catalyst to Kobe’s resurrected image. Yet Kobe reverted today to pre-MVP form by allowing Ray Allen to draw him into a peeing contest, forgetting that one always loses such a contest to a skunk.

If the Lakers are going to win this series, Kobe has to play like a leader again. He can start by telling Odom to play strong, to not back down from anyone, and that the Celtics don’t scare his Lakers either. Ultimately, whether or not Odom is the X factor in this series, when all is said and done, it’s Kobe’s legacy at stake in this series, not Odom’s. So let’s see if Kobe has truly transformed himself from one of the NBA’s superstars, to NBA MVP and possibly one of the greatest.

We just saw Paul Pierce deliver one of the greatest single game turnarounds in NBA Finals history. Let us count ourselves lucky to have borne witness to true greatness on basketball's biggest stage.

It was breathtaking to see how he single-handedly gave his team the will and power to claim victory, all with a gutsy return from an injury that would have sent kobe to the emergency room.

Paul Pierce's performance will go down as a classic ala Ali beating Foreman, and the US Olympic hockey team beating the russians for the gold.

Might want to get Paul Pierce on Team USA for Beijing!

I'm still puzzle by the insertion of Bill Walton in the third quarter(For LO). He didn't contributed anything to the team and allowed KG to take Off RB on a few occasion. Jordan were outplayed by the the 38 years old, Caseel. How pathetic was that? He was real tentative in game 1.

We lost the game tonight for two reasons: Poor 4th quarter shooting PCT and out-rebounded by the C (Thanks to LO & Luke). We had a chance to stretch the lead when Pierce and Perkins were out but we didn't take advantage of those opportunity. PJ Brown came in and excited the crowd with his plays and the rest was history...

this is the first time this postseason that the lakers will be battling from behind in the series. I'm curious to see which lakers team will show up on sunday. Camaraderie is fine when things are going good, like having dinner after wrapping up a series. But the true test is how does this laker team handle adversity, the next two days will be crucial.

Too many hack fouls the Celtics got non calls and ticky tack touch fouls the Lakers got called for.

John Q Betts really showed up.

What really happened in locker room with Pierce and Ainge.

PP -How did I do?

Ainge-Acadamy Award performance. (snicker) better than a flop.

PP - What now boss? (Wink Wink).

Ainge- Do your best Willis Reed impersonation and game in the bag! Ha Ha. Go on now get out there and wait for ovation from crowd.

PP- Gotcha!

PJ Brown planted lamar odumb into the ground and then added water.

Be glad laker fans that Eddie House and Glen Davis and Tony Allen didn't play - lakers could have lost by 10 more pts east.

How about the KG dunks, especially the poster on Ga-Shawl! Now that was a heroic performance from the Big Ticket!

Ray Allen had a monster all around game. Rondo made Fisher look like an old fella with a terrific performance.

Paul Pierce, though, is the new Michael Jordan!

It's been widely reported that Lamar Odom is the X factor in the series. If true, the Lakers may be in trouble.

Physically, and perhaps mentally, Odom doesn’t seem up to the task. Early in the 1st quarter after Boston had scored, Odom tried to get past Perkins who had just reversed direction, but Perkins wouldn't budge. Odom submissively tapped Perkins on his rear, then went around him. But the moment perfectly captured Boston's message to the Lakers: "you don't scare us." Sure enough, Odom played weak the rest of the game. At least today, X equaled zero.

Posted by: UnderTheBlueSky | June 05, 2008 at 11:17 PM

I saw that too and wondered what was he doing. He should have bulled over Perkins and make it evident that Perkins was causing delay of game by blocking Odom from getting to inbound the ball.

Let me make my predictions...

I predict the Lakers to.............................................................WIN!

That's right I said it!
RIDE 'TIL I DIE!

Let's get back to Boston and ride these fools at their own barbecue...

Sasha, Pau, Vladimir, Lamar - all of these guys' limitations came shining through tonite.

The reason? Celtics D shuts kobee down so effectively that those jump shooters have always got hands in their mugs. So it forces them to do something they don't like to do - drive to the hole and play D.

Advantage: Celtics

PJ Brown planted lamar odumb into the ground and then added water.

Be glad laker fans that Eddie House and Glen Davis and Tony Allen didn't play - lakers could have lost by 10 more pts east.

How about the KG dunks, especially the poster on Ga-Shawl! Now that was a heroic performance from the Big Ticket!

Ray Allen had a monster all around game. Rondo made Fisher look like an old fella with a terrific performance.

Paul Pierce, though, is the new Michael Jordan!


Lets give our young guys this one and hope they will learn.
I am king of concerned about the fact that we lost 3 straight to Boston. At least we have beaten all of our previous opponents before , but Boston is still undefeated by us.

Gee, Butler, you need to watch more basketball games.

Looking forward to Sunday's adjustments by lakers.

We payed poorly but were still in it until the end.


Go Lakers!

Is this the Celtic blog?

Sonnybelfast

If Paul Pierce and Ray Allen play like they did tonight throughout the series, we are in serious trouble.
Kobe just cannot check his ego at the door.
He's got to be THE MAN

Kobe needs to realize that this series is like the
WILT, ELGIN, WEST, Laker team of the late 60's that faced Boston in the finals only the team roles are now reversed.
It's the Celtics who have the Big Three and it's up to the Lakers to play team ball (like the Celtics did) to win it.

The Sky Is Falling
The Sky Is Falling
The Sky Is Falling

Agree with the analysis.
The Lakers can win a series even while being outrebounded. Jazz outrebounded Lakers in 4 of 6 games, sometimes horribly, it was even in one game and Lakers outrebounded Utah in only one game.
But the Lakers beat Utah from the foul line.

Even though Lakers were outrebounded in Boston they still had essentially the same number of FG attempts and conversions but they got beat from the FT line as Boston went to the line 35 times versus Lakers 28.

Perhaps bec. Celtics made a reputation in the regular season for their defense, refs will have a tendency to allow them more leeway before calling a foul. Perhaps it was the home court of the Celts w/c tend to get favorable calls from the refs. Perhaps it was the bets.
Or maybe bec. Celts have better fundamental defense so they need to foul less than Lakers.

Since the Lakers have the reputation of having the better offense, they really need to beat the Celts field goal percentage by about 5 percent every game to win the series even if they have slightly less possessions by being outrebounded.So that means executing better what got them to the Finals in the first place. That is by playing the triangle - ball movement, inside-outside passing, P & Rs, letting Kobe read the defense and make the right decisions on when to facilitate and when to shoot, open 3 pt attempts.

The Lakers did this in the first half then stopped doing it in the 2nd half. And it wasn't because of adjustments that Celts made in defense. What happened was Celts especially Pierce started making improbable shots and Lakers especially Kobe lost patience with the triangle trying to counter too fast.

I will argue that Lakers beat themselves in Game 1. Celts deserve the props for some of their big game shot making but Lakers still had to beat themselves for Celts to win. This is not going to happen all series long.

Speaking of Paul Pierce, he's saying on the Boston blogs that's he might be doubtful on Sunday. He learned fast from PJ. lol!

Well, if there is a sprain and played it while hurting, that would put you in a lot of pain the next day, isn't it? But to say that he will not play on Game Two, that's a stretch! Perkins never came back, how severe is the injury? If both of them can walk then, they can play on Sunday.

This is not a dominant Celtic team. Allen thinks he did a good job on Kobe, but lots of Kobe's shot were good looks, but rattled out. The Lakers shot poorly,but were still in the game at the end. We only need one on the road. We will take game 2.

Every team can deliver a clunker, even in the Playoffs. Well, the Lakers delivered a big clunker on Thursday night in Boston. The Celtics showed the most poise, the most energy, the most focus, and came out like winning the NBA Championship was a done deal.

The Lakers came out tentative, and even though the first half was competitive, it fell short of the quality effort we've seen from this team until Game 1 of the Finals. In the second half, the wheels fell off.

The Lakers need to get their mojo back on Sunday and most of all need to get on the same page. After the game, the coach said they lost the game on the boards.
But Lamar Odom, who didn't come out playing aggressively, said after the game, "It wasn’t like we got pounded inside." Ronny Turiaf said, "I don’t think the rebounding made the difference tonight. Excuse me: Boston had 12 second-chance points to only four for Los Angeles. Pat Riley once said, “No rebounds, no rings.” Riley is right. Odom and Turiaf are wrong.

Worse, the Celtics did something I thought I'd never see. They shut down Kobe Bryant. Kobe waved it off, calling it a bad shooting night. No. I think the Celtics played excellent defense on Kobe.

But some of the game thread comments were moronic. Phil wasn't outcoached. His players failed to execute consistently. Luke Walton only played six minutes, so he didn't cost us the game, despite what the haters say But the Bench Mob pretty much did curl up into a ball and crumble. As for all the demands to see Ariza, you might notice that PJ tightened the rotation even further. Don't get your hopes up.

The Lakers must view Game 2 on Sunday as a must-win. It is. The Celtics are for real, and they know it. Someone on the Lakers staff needs to Windex all the hotel bathroom mirrors, so the team can take an honest, unfiltered look at themselves. Only D-Fish and Pau exceeded expectations in Game 1. In Game 2, everyone needs to exceed expectations and even this series. This is our team. This is our year. Go Lakers!

Repost
I'm not really going to go into details, but I am not really concerned yet... We played better than I thought. We missed a lot of shots and gave up too many rebounds. We will adjust but I only question the timing of substitutions. I also question the use or lack there of bodies; like Ariza , Mbenga, and even Minm. Thats all I got at this time.

Simple recipe for a victory on Sunday. Kobe makes his shots and Ariza gets Luke's minutes. I thought Kobe played like crap and they were still in the game. No worries it's all good in LakerLand. Even if they don't win on Sunday something tells me the Lakers are capable of winning all 3 in LA and only needing 1 in Boston to end this Magical Season.

Lakers in 6

BD

Lakers had about a million shots go into the basket, then pop back out.

If half of those would've gone down, the Lakers would've won by 10 points.

Does anyone else have a nagging feeling that Pierce was sandbagging just a little on that injury? Phil alluded to it during post game questioning by the press.

At least Garnett was predictable. His first quarter was indeed very agressive, then he finished off the game just like I had predicted. Being timid and hoisting up fallaways and various other jumpers.

Garnett missed 10 of his last 11 shots. The only one he made was a put back on an offensive rebound. Garnett won't be a problem this series as long as you beat up on him a little early in the game.

Green Bastards............come on Phil, make the right adjustments. You had a great first half game plan. Those pick/rolls by Kobe and Gasol just shredded the Celtics, and I can;t believe Doc adjusted on the fly enough to take that option COMPLETELY off the table the second half of the game, especially with 2 opposing players supposedly suffering from a sprained knee and a sprained ankle, thus limiting those 2 players' mobility.

Aloha

Its pretty simple, we have to learn to win a game in Boston, because we will take care of our home court. We didnt win in Utah until the 3rd try and in San Antonio until the 2nd try, so we will see on Sunday, how much we learned from this game. I remember after the Spurs pushed us around in game 3 we came out and pushed back. I expect the same Sunday.

MH

The key to this series is how well the Lakers execute the triangle for most of the 48 minutes.
Lakers are supposed to have better offense and s/d have a higher field goal percentage. That's why most analysts favored the Lakers.
Kobe needs to shoot a higher FG % than the Celtics team.

One good indicator of how well the Lakers triangle offense is working is to watch the offensive game of Derek Fisher. If Fish is having a good offensive game that means the triangle is working. Fish is not a good one-on-one offensive player, he can not create his own shots and he needs the triangle to work to get his points. If Fish and Sasha are doing good on their 3 PT shooting percentage that means they are getting the open looks that ball movement s/d create.

If Lakers perimeter game is working that opens up the floor and allows Kobe and Gasol to work the P & Rs, and for Kobe and Odom to drive and penetrate. The Celts are packing it in the lane w/c also gives them good defensive rebounding position. Perimeter shooting from Vlad, Fish, Sasha and Kobe are essential to get better spacing and to get some offensive rebounds.


i will have my hair cut if the lakers fail to win the championship.

s this the Celtic blog?

Sonnybelfast

Posted by: sonnybelfast

No, this is the queens blog. Geez what a bafoon!!!

Most telling moment wasn't Pierce's 3s but Gasol standing agog at Garnett's slam in the closing moments. Lakers got slaughtered on the boards. The can still win in such games, but only when Kobe goes over the top. The Celtics are one tough defensive team.

Unfortunate game to say the least.

The Lakers started out so well, then just didn't seem prepared to play.

The bench and Gasol wilted. It was despicable.

I do think officials called a lot of ticky-tacky crap in favor of the Celts.

I don't know who showed up today to play, but it wasn't the Laker team I've grown to really enjoy and respect during these playoffs.

Ray Allen, Pierce, and KG played well, but otherwise I was unimpressed with Boston's play. Their defense was strong, but not insurmountable.

It's extremely important that we do a better job of moving the ball inside to big men. I don't care if they foul Gasol 50 times and he loses his mind. It absolutely must happen to keep the Celtic defense honest and open up the floor for better looks from our outside shooters.

I got the sense late in the game that the Lakers didn't feel that they could win this game (last four minutes). I really hated to see that and I'll be pissed if I see it again.

I guess I'm one of the optimists. Sure, I'm disappointed about the loss, but I don't think the Lakers played all that bad. Yes, just about everyone was a bit OFF of their game, but no one was truly OUT of the game (note that Sasha was the only one who actually made the Bad category).

If each of the players takes a good look at the game tape from last night to see where they each went wrong, just some minor tweaks to each of their games (a bit more than minor in Sasha's case) could turn Sunday into a blow-out.

I'd rather be an optimist and be wrong, than to be a pessimist and be right...

Good morning Laker Nation...I have no voice today but I have to say that was a hell of a game last night.

First and foremost let me say that this is only game 1 and you really have to like most of what you saw. The game was close the entire time and Odom, Luke and Vlad were stinking up the place so it can only get better.

I'm calling out Lamar Odom and Luke Walton for playing the dumbest games in the playoffs so far. Odom was not agressive and Luke made several dumb turnovers in the game. These guys have to step up bigtime...and they will, and Kobe won't be shooting like that in 2 games consecutively.

We have an opportunity to split these games on Sunday and go home for 3 straight home games and I like our chances.

Keep the faith!!! Lakers in 5!!!!

We were not blown out. Celts played as well as they can. We did not show up. Stay calm. Breath deep. We take #2. I stay firm in the '5' camp.
Goooooo Lakers.

Did anyone notice how nervous Doc Rivers looked at his post game presser? He couldn't stop touching and picking his face. A bad shooting night, Kobe in particular, compounded by the horrendous officiating, he knew his squad got away with one... and about Paul Pierce and his fake injury, I think Truth had to go to the toilet and drop a BUTLER. I mean, talk about attention whore, left court on a wheelchair? Pierce isn't the truth he's the Faker - no pity for him, he will never be like Mike. Shoot, he doesn't even come close to Kobe at that. Who cares for him? His rookie cards aren't worth crap and he's nothing but a wannabe gangster.

MiloRimbaldi - Good call on the KG stat and analysis, I think he looked timid and could not hit from ten feet out towards the end; his game will never reach the next level because when it comes down to it, he cannot and will not take the shots that matter.

My favorite moment of the game - Fisher's oop to Kobe in the third. Unbelivable jaw dropping hang time there.

Nothing to worry about yet, I expect the same game plan but improvement on execution and tenacity on the boards by our guys come Sunday.

Good Morning, Laker-land!

I'm sure our team will rebound on Sunday! Alas, I won't be able to watch it - at some point during the 4th last night - I think it was when Garnett "saved" that over-and-back by jumping from four feet to the wrong side of the half court line - I seemed to have fired my shoe at the T.V. Who knew that when traveling at about 200 feet/second, a Rockport will shatter a Pioneer Pro-Vision Series? So, then, in an effort to save my marriage and stay out of anger management therapy, I am going cold turkey until WE TURN THIS AROUND AND TAKE THE LEAD!!!

Good luck to you, Citizens of Lakersville! My fondest farewell!

P.S. How sad, for that little 'Butler' character? To have nothing in his life to root FOR. He spends so much time over here, gloating and whining and trying to light fires. Seems like a lonely little person, that deep down just wishes that someone, anyone, could be his friend...

Well.....Boston's a pretty good team. Fortunately, the pressure is on them right now. If they lose their next game at home, you better believe that the local media will start getting their funeral dirges going.


We've got that under out belt - now let's take it as a learning experience and push for a win in game 2!

Disappointing loss. I thought the game turned when Vlad missed the open three at the end of the first half (would have been an 8 point lead), then basically got schooled by Pierce in the first three minutes of the 3rd quarter. I also thought the Lakers did not seize the moment when Pierce went out -- that was the time to run up a 5 to 8 point lead.

I think Pierce oversold the injury and the announcers bought into it. Willis Reed? I think not. If the Celtics needed all of that to win the first game, what do they do for an encore?

Finally, given how poorly the Lakers executed either the triangle or the pick and roll (which seemed to work for a while), I'm surprised the game was this close. I have faith things will turn around in Game 2.

Whose your Daddy?

How many more times do we have to kick your ass before you figure the obvious....WE OWN YOU!

You`re now 3-16 when held to under 100. You can`t even score 90 on us.

You`ll be going back to LA in an "0-2 Body Bag"!!!!!!!


Maybe a bit of a hangover effect from the Spurs series? Spurs were the champs and a major hurdle, Lakers had to be clutch to beat them, it is in them.
Things should return to a norm, which includes the Lakers hitting shots, not Boston winning a series. Sasha amped, but prefer that to shrinking. Basket got smaller for the Lakers. Lakers need what Celts would not like to see on their home court, which is some strong runs.

My nagging thought, is it scripted? Boston = older, KG currently titleless.

No interest in seeing the next pregame show and the invetible Willis Reed montage.

You know, I guess I'm the only one that sees this, but I'm not letting up on it, because it needs to be revealed.

Pau Gasol is worthless, and I'll explain why.

* Role. He is supposed to be a 20/10 player who fulfills the #2 role. Now this is very important, because it takes the I-need-to-score-to-carry-my-team mentality away from Kobe, and it puts the mentally fragile Lamar Odom in a more comfortable role as the #4 (after Fisher). But since Pau is not doing what he should be doing, Kobe is forced to having to play Kobe ball, and Lamar is back to hiding in his happy place. This blog, for whatever reason, fails to recognize this, and this will be our downfall

* Effort. Tivo the game. I promise you, you will find AT LEAST 4 different times where Gasol, at 7ft tall, literally stands flat footed, hands NOT in the ready position, and makes no effort to get the rebound. Now, if you're playing the 4/5 spot, your main goal is to rebound. Since Pau's shot isn't going in, he can at least rebound like a mad man. But he doesn't. We're getting killed on the boards and I blame that squarely on Gasol. And don't give me this "he doesn't have the build for that", BS. Garnet is every bit as skinny as Gasol, but he has heart, something Gasol doesn't have.

* The Triangle. When Pau loses confidence, he tries to be invisible out there. I remember when I was playing ball, I fell into this trap myself. I didn't want to be trashed because my shots weren't falling, so whenever I got the ball, I passed. Now, for a 17 year old, that's okay, but for a starting center for the LA Lakers, you have to come with more confidence than that. All Pau does when he's struggling is catch the ball and pass it. He doesn't even try to make a move, usually. If he does, it's abbreviated and without conviction. This allows the Celt bigmen to key in on rebound positions and clog the lane, frustrating Kobe, and we know that when Kobe gets frustrated, he starts shooting too much.

* Defense. Now, the only credit you can give Pau is average defense. He did a decent job, but not a great job, on D. Problem is, you're in the Finals. You can't survive on doing decent.

* Turnovers. Now, I don't know about Pau's personal life, and I'm not homophobic, nor am I saying that Pau is gay. I'm just saying that he's not the most masculine player out there, and what happens is that his limp wrists and weak hands don't secure the ball, so it's easy for the ball to either get stolen from him, or for him to just fumble it. In a way, dare I say it, he's similar to the infamous Kwame "Butterfingers" Brown.

* Offense. Not very much to say here. Pau tends to miss wide open shots, so his midrange game is ineffective. His left hand shot is horrible. He's abandoned his back to the basket moves, and he either gets his layups blocked, or he sissies the ball up and misses. Many times last night, I recognized opportunities from which he could have driven the ball hard to the hoop, thus drawing a foul on Garnett. But, he literally stopped short, seemingly afraid to hit Garnett, and limp wristed the ball up, missing it. Now, the coaching staff has already warned him about not doing this, but Pau hasn't changed his game.

* Attitude. Which brings me to attitude. Although Kobe will have his bad nights, and Lamar will hide at times, at least they have heart and will adjust their games. Pau does the same BS every night, night in night out. He hasn't become more aggressive, he's not holding the ball higher, he's still hesitant, he hasn't improved. Now you can trash Luke Walton all you want; but fact is, he's a bench player and not expected to do much. Pau is OUR NUMBER 2 GUY! He needs to improve and bring it, and since the Utah series, where he was exposed for being the bust that he is, he hasn't changes or improved his game.

* Trade. Which brings me to my conclusion. Some of you trash me because you say we wouldn't be here without Pau. But I say this, as Kobe says, WE ARE THE LA LAKERS, WE ONLY PLAY FOR CHAMPIONSHIPS. I don't give a damn what Pau does during the regular season; if you can't perform when it counts, you don't need to be on this Laker team. Pau has proven in his years at Memphis and now with the Lakers that he cannot perform in the playoffs. Ask yourselves, honestly, what has Pau truly contributed this playoff series that has been influential in the Lakers winning? We need impact players, not posers. Next year, we should have a starting line up of Fish, Kobe, Ariza, Lamar, and Bynum. That is a tough minded, physical line up wtih scorers. Where does Pau fit in there? Think about it.

Either he's a bench player, or lets take advantage of his trade value. I don't know who's on the Free Agent Market, but there must be a quality PF out there that we can trade Pau and Luke for. With that new PF, we'd have the perfect lineup.

Pau Gasol is a good man, but he's not the player the Lakers need, as we try to build the dynasty we all cherish.

Our shots just didn't fall last night.

That's it.

Hey, I woke up this morning and internal walls of my house had been smashed in with a sledgehammer and my television broke into a million tiny pieces. I wonder what happened. Huh.

GO LAKERS!

So the forces of Evil take game 1. Time to regroup, folks! The forces of Good shall overcome!!

WHERE IS TREVOR ARIZA?
WHERE IS CHRIS MIHM?

THE LAKERS WERE OUTREBOUNDED. JUST LIKE THE UTAH SERIES

Good morning LAL friends:

Rick F. - good points. I am going to replay the game tonight (can't get enough torture). Some of PJ's subs were really interesting to me - he played Ronny with Pau and we haven't seen that. He was being conservative by keeping the starters PT high. But he was also making substitutions we haven't seen to gauge the C's reaction.

If Luke and Rad play poor defense or LO & Pau get too many fouls collectively - he might sacrifice them to just put big bodies out there to defend. I think we might see Ariza if only to come in to raise defensive energy (late 2nd/3rd Q) and because we need his length. I don't believe PJ wanted to show all his cards in G1.

My bigger worry is offensively. Our team has always said we can get our offense from anywhere but that wasn't the case last night. It looked like we had good shots and I felt a LOT of them rimmed out. But I didn't see a lot of "gimmes" from LO and Pau. And that's where we have been successful - in the paint - they shut us down there. Fish was our savior who I said would be our X-factor. I hope it continues for as long as this thing lasts.

Overall, I am not downtrodden - I really feel like we could have stolen that game and we wouldn't have deserved it. As PJ said it was a tale of 2 halves. I really liked what I saw in the 1st half and if that can be extended for 48 minutes - we will have another banner.

GO LAKERS!!!

But I also felt we were really tentative - I felt Pau and LO were holding back a little on both sides because they didn't get a grasp on how the game was going to be called by the refs. And when the refs don't make the calls, the stronger defensive team is going to win. Thankfully, that will change with each game but LO and Pau have to adjust a lot quicker to that

Paul Pierce was full of drama. It was the greatest staged
injury in the NBA Play-offs!!
I had the game recorded and went back to the play many times, I could not see anything that could have tweaked anything that seriously. As soon as I saw his return to the game running, I knew something was up!!

Pretty simple answer: the Celtics were the better team last night. This loss was NOT the result of the officiating. Pierce's injury cost the Lakers some momentum, and they never seemed to get it back.

Morning y’all.

Some thoughts on the game:
- First off, PP isn’t the second coming of Willis Reed, not even close, so enough of that talk. That won’t happen in game 2, the crowd won’t get that geeked up and he won’t hit those miraculous shots again. He’ll feel the effects of that “injury” in the next game.
- KG disappeared after the first half and will probably do so again, so we need to try and contain him early.
- Cassell won’t be that hot again-count on it.
- Fish is going to eat up Rondo, this kid doesn’t scare me at all.
- The refs, while not as bad as in the western series, made some questionable calls, most notably the “backcourt violation” and legit block, both involving Pau.
- The Cs lucked out on some cheap fouls at the very end of several possessions that resulted in freebies.
- I guess we won’t be seeing much of TA in this series, apparently another week isn’t enough to get him into game shape.
- We need to drive to the hole and get some early fouls on their bigs, not just rely on the jumpshooting. Get KG and/or Perkins in foul trouble and they’re dead.
- Box out! No way PJ Brown should be grabbing offensive rebounds.
- The commentators on tv suck. Comparing PP to Ali? Stupid...
- Our D wasn’t that bad for the most part, it’s the free throws that we gave up that killed us.
- Vlad Rad. Love the guy but he’s spacin’. There was a possession where he got stuck guarding Rondo and as soon as Rondo got the ball and made the motion to shoot Rad started running to the other end of the floor, he didn’t even bother to gat a hand up in Rondo’s grill or go for the rebound. He needs to step up his D.
- I loved that Ronny hit some shots, but the rest of the bench could’ve followed suit.

Despite some crappy play, we were still in this until the end. Boston needed “heroics” from PP to overtake us while we played poorly and still had a chance. I still like our chances in 6 or 7.

-bozz-

BK,

I like your breakdown, but I still think you are a little to harsh. They were clearly 15 or so shots from the Lakers as a whole that rimmed out on the guys, of every variety. And, these were shots these same guys have been making all through this playoff run, except that one game in Utah when everything rimmed out, too.

Unless you are assuming that from this point forward the Lakers are going to barely miss their good looks, then you can't be overly critical. Plus, part of the reason for the lower number of assists, are those aforementioned missed shots. You gotta make the shot to get the assist, you know.

Heck, did you notice that when Fish sank those two consecutive jumpers to get the Lakers back in the game, BOTH of those jumpers rimmed *in*? Those two didn't want to go down, either.

The only dude who didn't have that problem with the rim was Vlad -- but he got himself in foul trouble, so we couldn't take advantage (his shots rarely even touch the rim, as you know).

We here in Laker Nation have always thought that Boston is using substandard rims for this very reason. Even Magic, Coop and Scott would have numerous shots rim out back in the day. I wouldn't put it past either Red (back in the day) or Ainge (now) to pull that crap.

If you win a game when you give your opponents wide-open looks that you already know they can drill 70-80% of the time, you can't be feeling too confident about your position. This Laker team responds very well to losses, as we all know.

Let's just see how things go tomorrow before we start calling those shot selections poor. That's all I'm saying.

--Fearless

F the Celtics!

Hawks and Cavs were way tougher than you guys!

Welcome to Eastern Conf. Basketball...where we actually play defense & rebound.

You`re not playing "soft" Western Conference teams anymore. This is Men vs. Boys!

Your worst nightmare arrives next Thursday...We`ll "party" in Staples with Title #17.


First, take the blog back.

Then take the series back Sunday.

NEXT!


Good morning Mamba24, Charles, JonK, MORNING CRUE & the rest of this fabulous LAKER NATION!!!!!

Well, last night I was so mad I wanted to spit, but my mind is clearer today & I know what it will take for the beloved Purple&Gold to win:

1. Of course, PJ's adjustments & Kobe making his bunnies.

2. Charles was sick - JonK needs to get him some liquid sea minerals & dit da jow PRONTO!

3. complex brotha was out of town. He needs to get back in that cave!

4. When I got in the car this morning, the voice of the late, great Bob Marley told me not to worry - that every little thing was going to be alright.

5. Chick can kick Red's @$$ every day of the week & twice on Sunday's, PLUS - I'm pretty sure there's no smoking in heaven.

SO - all in all things are looking up & Lakers will perform GREAT on Sunday & we will win this bad boy at home in front of all the adoring fans - as it should be.

One more thing - troll alert! Please - someone - AK/BK - for the love of God - close the screen door! Break out the troll-B-gone or something! It's getting smelly up in here - too many pitiful bean eaters on the loose.

4 to O'Brien.........

Lakers scoring totals against Celts this year :

Nov., 2007............94
Dec., 2007............91
Last Night.............88

See any disturbing trend taking place?

Game 2...............85
Game 3...............82
Game 4...............79

BTW - someone needs to put PudgyPaulPierce into a REAL cast.

BTW - someone needs to put PudgyPaulPierce into a REAL cast.

KOBE MUMBAYE!!!
KOBE MUMBAYE!!!
KOBE MUMBAYE!!!
KOBE MUMBAYE!!!
KOBE MUMBAYE!!!
KOBE MUMBAYE!!!
KOBE MUMBAYE!!!
KOBE MUMBAYE!!!

Last night did feel a bit like the "Revenge of the Sith" with Paul Pierce playing the role of a reconstructed Darth Vader.

I don't get it. I was in my lucky bar and my lucky barstool. What happened?

GO LAKERS!

Kobe needs to pass to Vlad about 4-5 more time a game, he needs to get him involved. He was wide open so many times but no one was looking for him. Also the refs really shafted Vlad on 3 phantom calls, 2 flops by Pierce of screens and one wiff on Perkins. Everytime Pierce runs off screens he runs in to his own man and doubles over backwards like he gets hit, this is a flop off his own guy, maybe Vlad should run underneath the screen and let Pierce step back for a shot, it's better he stays on the floor because he was the only one that had success against Pierce plus he had a couple of steaks and assists, the offense works better with him on the floor.

Anyone know Philly J's record when losing game 1?

I really hope that guys like Butler (who is desperate to cheer for any team because his, sucks sooo much) and all the other Celtics fans will have the guts to be a man and post after 6 games. It was game 1 after a long rest, our Lakers is always kind of rusty after a long rest. I'm not panicking even if we lost game 2, all we need is 1 game in Boston: LAKERS IN 6,.

Mamba from the east coast

Jon K - it wasn't your fault man. I'm putting this one squarely at the the feet of Charles and complex brotha - see my post above.....LOL!

I figured to split in Boston.
Hard to beat them in the first game.
We were down by 5 with less than 2 minutes.
Kobe had an off game.

Lakers win game 2.

Go Lakers!
Go Kobe!

Troy: I think you are being a bit harsh. We probably would have been the 8 seed swept out by the NOH in the first round if we didn't have Pau. The Lakers knew what they were getting in Pau - an all-star POWER FORWARD.

He was only our insurance policy at Center if AB didn't come back. And lo and behold - AB didn't come back. While I think mgmt. felt we were a good team - I really doubt they felt we would be competing in the finals this year. They were certainly planning on down the road. The team cohesion and Pau fitting into the triangle has been seemless - he only needs a little more grit.

Lastly, he is a much more intellectual mind than we really know. He is not outgoing but he is very competitive. As any of the Spanish media that covered him in the FIBA world championship - he is a tough competitor. Now he is here in the US and on this big stage - I don't think he will let us down. I really don't.

I am chalking this up to a bad overall night. I knew it was going to be a tough road when D-Fish missed his first two FT's. That is an anomaly. And Sunday - I expect channeled and focused anger that one game got away to be the motto - because we could have won that game!

Jon K. and Karanyr - very funny demo stories...... you had me cracking up.

GO LAKERS!!!

Good morning Laker fam! Do not dispair. Boston might be able to play that well again during the series. But I'm willing to bet the farm that we won't play that bad again.

Nobody panic, tighten the seatbelt on whatever bandwagon Mamba has you on. It'll all be okay my brothers and sisters.

My favorite post of the morning:
and about Paul Pierce and his fake injury, I think Truth had to go to the toilet and drop a BUTLER.
Eevee, you made me spit my coffee all over my keyboard!!!!!! LOL!!!!!!!!


I AM NOT SURE WHY TREVOR ARIZA NOT PLAYED IN GAME 1. MAY BE PHIL HAS SOME PLANS FOR HIM FOR GAME 2. WE HAVE TO USE THIS GUY. HE CAN STOP ALLEN IF NOT PIERCE

Lakers Suck

"Paul Pierce, though, is the new Michael Jordan!"

No he is Paul... why do you morons have to compare every one with Jordan.

Word I just got is that knee is in real bad shape and he might be done for the season.

Have a nice butthead

Oh No! The sky is falling!

Calm down everyone. Boston won a game they *HAD* to win. This Boston win only ensured the fact that this will be a real competitive series. So what, the Lakers don't coast through the finals and it goes 7 games. Let's admit, we're a bit spoiled with the Laker success this season and let's put things in perspective!

They played great, the Lakers had an off night, and still, it was quite the ball game until 4 mins left to go.

One thing that does worry me is the Gasol/KG matchup.
I see KG completely dominating this matchup. KG played great D on Gasol, and Kobe/Odom/Fisher will need to pick up the slack!!!

GO LAKERS!

=== CONGRATS FAKE LAKER FANS ===

Yea, you... You know it's you.

You are the guy/gal who says trade Pau Gasol. The guy that doesnt see we have the best record in the league since we got Pau.

You are the guy/gal who blames Kobe for everything. Kobe misses a shot, daaamn he's shooting us out the game! Kobe makes a shot, daaaaamn he's dominating.
He needs to pass more, no no, he needs to shoot more.

You are the guy/gal who blames PJ for rotations as if you've ever coached even a high school b-ball team. Why isnt Ariza playing? Why is Luke out there?! But when the reserves get us back in the game in the 4th, you give PJ no credit. You gave him no credit when we got to 3-1 over the suns with Luke & Smush starting and all you will do is blame.

Congrats Congrats Congrats.

Today is your freakin day!!!

But just so you know, I have been keeping names from the live blog game thread. I've been reading ALL the comments.

Troy says we cant win with Pau at C. Let me jot that down.

JustaLakerFan finest thinks PJ cant coach. Scribble Scribble Scribble.

When the Lakers win this chip, not only will it be sweet redemption, but I will be unleashing the full list of FAKE LAKER FANS who hate on their own team but will act as if it was all good when the parade starts.

You know who you are and you WILL be on the list.

Right again, ex. We were outhustled and outplayed. The encouraging thing is, we have a lot of room for improvement and every expectation to do so. And let's face it, I don't think Cassell is going to go off like that again.

BK: I also liked what you said about Pierce's injury being the the Willis Reed moment for Gen-Xers. Especially apropos because the Reed "moment" was real and brewed over several days, whereas the Pierce thing was superficial and, owing to today's attention spans, only lasted a couple of minutes.

A bad Finals defeat, but nowhere near the Memorial Day Massacre, and history tells us we eventually won that series against the Celts in 6.

Go Lakers!

ROLL CALL!

Ray Allen? Check.

Kevin "Bearer of Celtic historical power over lakers" Garnett?

Check.

Rajon Rondo? Check.

PAUL PIERCE? Double check!

It's ok Jon K., Mamba24, BlkMamba, Laker Tom, and others - you can now tell me I was right all along.

Didn't I say that pinning your hopes on lamar "jelly brains" odumb would prove to be in vain?

Didn't I say that Ga-Shawl is a softie who prefers the wrist-flick to banging?

The Celtics were without Kendrick Perkins tonight and the Celtics front line STILL dominated the hapless lakers.

Wow!

How about Sam Cassell?

He made Fisher look like a wuss, and dropped some key hoops to hold the laker fans under a wet blanket.

He nearly threw away the game for the Celtics, though, with some bonehead plays in the 2nd half.

But boy, he sure took delight in taking advantage of the spongy laker D at the guard position!

Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen - and they didn't even play Eddie House!

Wow!

Boy that game sucked! I think it came down to execution or the lack thereof. The Celtics are maybe a bit better than the Spurs and Jazz - maybe - so the Lakers need to execute properly and last night they did not execute at a high level for any sustained periods. It also didn't help that the shots just were not falling. There were quite a few shots, that literally were halfway down and then popped out. I doubt that will happen again.

Despite the Lakers poor play - a little had to do with the energy advantage the Celtics had - but I thought more of it was that the Lakers didn't seem to be into the game. Kobe couldn't get a shot to fall. I also think that the Lakers relaxed a bit when Pierce went down. I mean they made it look so dramatic, I think the Lakers let their guard down.

Not to go too Zen, but I see this loss as the kind of loss that can set this Lakers squad up to roll. They learned that they need to bring their A game to win, that they cannot let their guard down and that they must play through dubious officiating once again. The flip side is that if they allow this loss to get into their head it could spell parade time in Boston. I don't think PJ will let that happen, I think adjustments will be made and a good number of those shots that rattled out will start to drop. It will not be an easy series but the Lakers are not out yet by any stretch.

Go Lakers.

Peace,
Eagleboy

How about the KG dunks, especially the poster on Ga-Shawl! Now that was a heroic performance from the Big Ticket!

Pau, you got humiliated! best of all, they replayed it all night in slow-mo.

Is Butler a fan of some pathetic no-rings team who gets his thrills by annoying supporters of legendary franchises deep in the playoffs?

How sad.

The good news is he'll be harassing Boston bloggers after game 2.

Hey Butler - I thought you got flushed already? Man - you're quite the little crapper - keep bobbing up to the surface & fire off some more drivel. You're pitiful man - you can't even keep track of what team you're cheering for. You should really get back on your meds. I hear the looney bin calling for you.........

Robyn-
As soon as he WENT DOWN I knew something was up!! Willis was and is a flopper extrordinaire.

Good Morning Laker Fans!! Tough loss last night I know, but we're going to be alright. The Celts put on a show last night: from the GAWD-AWFUL T-Shirts to the "heroic comeback," they made some big plays and made the most of their home court advantage for game 1. They had to pull out ALL THE STOPS to win game 1 beacause had they lost, I don't think they could recover the series. We also helped by missing open jumpers and numerous free throws throughout the game, not to mention our poor defensive rebounding. The good thing is WE WILL MAKE OUR ADJUSTMENTS!! Guaranteed on PJs Legacy we will make an adjustment!! I agree with PsychedLakerGirl that PJ did not want to show all his cards.

Now as for the player known as "The Truth," Paul Tears, the Drama Queen...

I think Pierce oversold the injury and the announcers bought into it. Willis Reed? I think not. If the Celtics needed all of that to win the first game, what do they do for an encore?
Posted by: teamn | June 06, 2008 at 06:55 AM

I agree completely! He pulled the old Hulk Hogan move on us!! Great job!!! Now what? Willis Reed did "The Willis Reed" in GAME 7!!!! I guess you're going to have to just play basketball for the rest of the series. And don't buy into this bum knee rumor until he's officially a DNP for Sunday: Fall Pierce, the REAL Faker!!

Lakers will get up brush their shoulders off and proceed with game plan: Bring home the Championship. For those of you with a sense of history, remember 1985, HUGE LOSS in game 1, Lakers won in 6!! (It really could have been 5 if not for DJ's buzzer beater) so I still believe they can run the table...LAKERS IN 5!!!!

Paul Pierce showed kobee how to play in a Finals as a LEADER.

Paul Pierce took control of the series by lifting his team to greatness.

kobee reverted to his "old kobee" (aka the real kobee who's never going to change) during this game. He berated teammates, shot way more than he had a right to, and made some bonehead plays such as sending Paul Pierce to the foul line right after Pierce re-enters the game - on a cheap face shot no less!

kobee still needs to look at greats such as Paul Pierce and Steve GNASH to understand that LEADING a team is the path to greatness.

Back to school, mr. mvp!

Man, Paul Pierce made this game a total classic!

A 4-point play on sasha!

Two threes in a row over kobee!

A heroic return from a nasty knee injury!

He just added himself to the likes of Bird, McHale, Parish and Dennis Johnson.

Oh, I thought I'd share a little slice of Cleveland with Laker Nation today.

Last night I overheard the following statement from a Clevelander at the bar...

And I quote...

"Man, I don't know why everyone makes a big deal about Michael Jordan. LeBron James has accomplished everything he has and MORE... except for the championships."

GO LAKERS!

Great act by Paul Piece to fake a " serious " injury to become a hero , C'mon act like a MAN , not like a little baby girl to cry badly after bit by a mosquito

MAMBA = Migraines After Many Bryant Airballs

Good Morning Charles---Good Morning Everybody...

Well that didn't go so well did it?---but better than the ass whomping I sort of expected---like some have said, there is still a lot of hope because we played fairly bad and still had a chance to win etc....

To me the biggest factor in the loss was .....wait for it......MISSED FRICKING FREE THROWS! --for the love of all that's good and holy MAKE YOUR FREE THROWS LAKERS !!

and excessive fouling on the other end gave them a lot of free throws and they are a good free throw shooting team---both sides of the free throw issue needs to be addressed....

The other factors obviously, getting out rebounded (especially on the defensive end)---and we reverted to a jump shot shooting team with the shots unfortuanately going in and coming out all night---frickin' Leprechauns !!

EVERY time we ran the pick and roll we scored it seemed, and rather easily---WHY DON'T WE RUN THAT DOWN THEIR THROATS AND UP THEIR ASSES? WHY ? WHY? WHY?

And why for the love of Spam don't we run more screens for Kobe---the team just seems to rely on Kobe creating off the dribble (which he is fairly good at) but sometimes we need to send a series of screens to help him get to the rim---Indiana made that idiot Reggie Miller into an all star by constantly running screens until he was open for his jump shot etc---sort of the same could be done for Kobe with either an open jump shot or a slam dunk being the end result...

Lamar needs to show the hell up on Sunday---I thought Pau played pretty well, though a box out or two would have been helpfull...

MY PREDICTION: WHO EVER WINS ON SUNDAY WILL WIN THE SERIES. Game 2 is crucial to say the least...

AS ALWAYS, AS EVER, STILL YET ANOTHER GREAT DAY TO BE A LAKER FAN !!!

GO LAKERS !!!

People always seem to forget that defense matters more than offense in these situations.

So, as Dan Shaughnessy said, the pundits were "blinded by the light."

Didn't even start to read the posts this morning...

As I've been saying all along...

Get the boards and the free throws... we win the game!!

Butler,

Yep, Eddie House is the secret weapon the Celtics will pull out to rescue them if they get in trouble late in a game.

I give it to Paul Pierce and the gang. They played about as well as they possibly could and won the game. Hats off to them, the certainly deserved the victory.

I wouldn't get too jacked up about the win though. First it is only one game. Enough said. Second, the Lakers problems were not simply a result of the Celtics incredible defense. I saw a Lakers team that didn't execute well for extended periods. Some of it surely was the Celtics defense, but some of it was just plain bad basketball.

If, I were a Celtic fan I would have just a bit of doubt about my team. Sure they won the game, but they played at near their maximum capability and the Lakers certainly below their maximum efficeincy. Game 2 will be key. Can the Celtics keep it up? Will the Lakers come back with a vengeance? Either team can win this series. On paper the Celtics should romp over the Lakers, they have the Big 3, the stats and the record that are all better than what the Lakers posted this year. Everyone at the start of the year expected the Celtics to be in the Finals. No one expected the Lakers to be in the Finals. The Celtics have home court, and in game one the benefit of the officials favoring the Celtics. Still, the Lakers were in it until the end, despite playing so poorly. So enjoy the victory, but Boston would be wise to not have the parade just quite yet.

Peace,
Eagleboy

Given all the prognostication leading up to last night, it was nice for the guys to finally get on the court and see what they were actually facing.

Like I said in yesterday's chat - Boston is a very emotional team. Pierce's Willis Reed-type moment and Manu Ginobli-Game 3-type 3 pointers was proof of that. They had something to rally around and the Lakers couldn't muster enough energy to overcome that.

Boston's defense was surprisingly porous in the first half. They really do remind of San Antonio with one big exception, they foul a lot. Their front-line intimidated the Lakers away from driving to the basket, thus all the jump shots. The main player this affected was LO. He did manage to hit a couple of mid-range shots but that's not something you can count on. When he got the ball, you could literally see him decide not to drive with Perkins (or PJ Brown) and Garnett waiting for him inside.

Since the Lakers offense became predictable down the stretch - give it to Kobe and see if he can lead us back - Boston looked like Kobe-stoppers b/c they knew that's all they had to do.

My recipe for success in game 2? Aggression. A number of Boston players got into foul trouble without LA trying very hard. If they recognized that, perhaps it could've been used to their advantage. Also, LA is going to have to come out much like they did in game 4 against the Spurs and surpass Boston's energy and hustle. Vlad, Pau and LO need to crash the boards hard on every shot attempt on both sides of the floor and own the glass. They've shown they're capable of doing it and Game 2 would be the perfect time.

You have to take your hat off to Doc Rivers. He coached a brilliant game, outcoached Jackson and had his team so inspired that they came out in the 2nd half and utterly destroyed the lakers from the outset.

Impressive!

Phil Jackson has a thing or two to learn still. For instance, he must yet prove he can beat D'ANTONI in a playoff series.

The SUNS probably would have beaten Boston.

Wow, it's just like a day after a loss to Utah or San Antonio
where the trolls come out in force.

Hey Red's Bastard Kid and BUTLER. Welcome to the blog.
Maybe nobody has ever told you this, but in the NBA finals,
they play a seven game series. It's not single elimination,
like in the NCAA tournament.

Fact is that both Utah and San Antonio managed to win their
first home game against the Lakers as well. Utah even beat
the Lakers twice!!! And San Antonio held the Lakers to
less points and scored more.

And then Phil made adjustments... and the team made
adjustments... and Utah went down... and San Antonio
went down.

Enjoy this feeling of elation you're having. Come on in
and talk smack all you want. You deserve it. If there had
been a blog back in 2001, I'm sure Philadelphia fans would
have been here talking smack and saying how great
Allen Iverson and Philly's defense were as well. Enjoy
it while it lasts.

But don't mistake 1 game won for a championship.

I still say... Lakers in 6.

Allow me, to critique our performance as laker fans in this blog.

We often exceed our expectation in discussing the future by dreaming dynasty when we haven't tested the championship caliber of this team.

We are fast in shortchanging our players on their first loss in the Finals, talk of trades after the game, micro manage their performance as if there no more second chances.

We display impatience on our venting Laker fans who felt very bad of the loss so they laid the blame on the coach, the superstar, the other players that they perceived as weak. We have zero tolerance on fans who are just whining, venting as if they were mourning the loss of a loved one. Actually, no life was lost just opportunities of winning the first game.

We entertain posts of immature visitors/troll as if we have the power to remove them in this blog, however if you reply only on names that you know, you systematically weed out the irresponsible ones that populate our blog. Why don't you just ignore a crazy poster?

Lastly, criticize if you will but back up those criticisms with sound recommendations that can be implemented on Sunday or in future games. Example, If you say: trade a player, can we do that on Sunday? Fire a coach, can we do that on the first game playing on the road? Lose faith on the team, what will be the good effects or message are we coveying our players?

Thank goodness, our team is playing in the Finals, is that not a blessing? Yes, they lost the first game but still, they achieved a lot to reach this stage in comparison to their performance in the past. In a nutshell, let's temper our expectations and contribute more quality to our posts.

Paul Pierce is the new Michael Jordan, at least for one night.

That was a performance on par with the greatest Finals performances in NBA history.

Sometimes, it's not the stats that matter (are you paying attention, kobee?) - it's your heart.

And the Celtics showed more heart tonight, none more so than Paul Pierce, who honored the great Celtic teams of the past and Kevin McHale especially with his courageous performance.

Paul Pierce made an incredible comeback........
Escorted by his teammate then on the wheelchair....
THEN POOF!!!! pierce was running at the court like he was treated by danny ainge inspirational word...

PP grew in hollywood.... makes sense

The Drama

Korey,

>>>I will be unleashing the full list of FAKE LAKER FANS
>>>who hate on their own team but will act as if it was all
>>>good when the parade starts.

Big brutha Korey is watching you.

Hey All,

I would have to agree with most. We looked a bit rusty out there from the long break. With the home crowd behind them, the Celts only did what they are supposed to do. Win at home.

But they BARELY did that! If our shots would have dropped, pressure may have derailed this team. I feel good about our chances and I know we will prevail on Sunday.

Also, this Butler KID needs to watch more ball. I know that I should starve the TROLL, but man, this guy is terrible at his observations.

We all know that FLAWS are exposed over a 7 game series. 9 Rings will adjust. Kobe will not shoot that bad again.

janaya


That "performance" last night by Paul Pierce made me sick..It's actually typical Boston, believe it or not.. They took advantage of the situation to make it look worse and then they have him come out to fire up the crowd with the Rocky theme song? They carry him off the floor and then use a wheel chair? Give me a break! What a wimp!

Sure he got hurt..But it was obviously highly exaggerated to pump up the home crowd..Paul Pierce should be embarrassed for using a wheel chair and then playing 3 minutes later.


Fam,

It is a best out of 7 series! We still have that opportunity to make it happen. It is all on how the team and coaching staff responds. The Coaching Staff needs to show their Total Ring Experience and Comeback!

As far as this blog, it comes with both half sides. I honestly feel that we should just move on to the next game. We have a couple of days and await for a Dog Fight. Perkins is hurt and someone needs to go at Pierce

It's never easy.

Four the Hard Way.


Let me say that DEFENSE DOES not matter against the great triangle offense. The goal is to be a little above average defensively and really good offensively and you will win more titles than anyone..Just ask Phil Jackson.

Lakers lost this game no excuses, but there were many signs that the lakers are fine. First off, these 2 games in Boston are must wins for Celtics, they did what they were supposed to do. And perhaps the if it weren't for the wannabe willis reed moment by Pierce, Lakers could have easily stolen game 1. I've never seen a player get off the court like that and come back without a limp and put up numbers like Pierce. We all know how much home court plays in the NBA and all of sports in general. When you watch that game, you get a sense that Lakers have a plan, they're more methodical, while the Celtics are sporadic and play on emotions. Well, Pierce coming back was the boost they needed from an already crazy Boston crowd. For all of you fellow Laker fans that think the sky is falling down, just relax. From what I saw, there's no way Celitcs beat us in LA. We just need to be tougher down low and Kobe needs to make his shots. So many in and outs for Kobe, and inconsistent calls were just sick. Game was so physical for 3 quarters then the refs decided ticky tack fouls were necessary in the 4th mostly on the Lakers. Let them Boston fans celebrate like they already won the title. They still need to beat us 3 more times, and they know in their hearts, it's a huge mountain they know they can't climb. Playoffs are about adjusting. We took the first blow, but it's only the first blow, let Phil and the Lakers show them, Laker dominance is here now and for the next 5 to 6 years. GO LAKERSSSSSSS!

Jon k. -- it was a fluke go..go back to the chair for game 2 and have faith in it and it will deliver


same for our lake show...they need to keep the faith go back to what works and keep it up each possesion and we win.

it is the finals...it is hard...we can and we will step up.

Lakers baby!!!


Also, I wouldn't worry about KG. The guy misses like 10 shots in a row and then hits a couple dunks..BIG DEAL He can get around a lot of big guys in this league but we don't need to worry about him offensively. He floats to the outside because he's a wimp and doesn't like the ball in crunch time.

Sure he talks a lot of trash, but when it comes down to it, he is a good 3rd option.

 
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