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Caught in the Web: Reactions to Lakers' 111-103 Game 6 victory over Phoenix Suns

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Game stories

-- The Times' Mike Bresnahan looks ahead to the Lakers' Finals matchup with Boston.

-- The Riverside Press Enterprise's Matt Calkins highlights Kobe Bryant's clutch play in the fourth quarter of the Lakers' 111-103 Game 6 West Finals victory over the Phoenix Suns.

-- The Arizona Republic's Paul Coro gives a big-picture assessment of how the Suns performed this season.

-- The Orange County Register's Kevin Ding measures the Lakers' excitement level in playing Boston.

-- The Daily News' Elliott Teaford tells of an interesting encounter last year between Lakers Coach Phil Jackson and Boston forward Paul Pierce.

Notebooks

-- The Daily News' Teaford reports that Phoenix Coach Alvin Gentry means no disrespect toward Ron Artest.  They Suns were only ignoring Artest to devote more time to Bryant.

-- The Riverside Press Enterprise's Calkins tells Sasha Vujacic's side of the story on that flagrant foul against Goran Dragic: "I don't do stupid things like that," but Vujacic sure didn't like the alleged trash talk about his family.

-- The Orange County Register's Ding tries to make sense of this whole Sasha Vujacic-Goran Dragic feud.

Sidebars

-- The Times' Bresnahan says Artest has hit his stride.

-- The Times' Broderick Turner highlights Pau Gasol's disappearing act.

-- NBA.com's Art Garcia highlights Phoenix's roller-coaster ride in the playoffs.

-- ESPN Los Angeles' Arash Markazi explains why Artest finally feels like a Laker.

-- NBA.com's John Schuhmann looks at the Lakers-Celtics rivalry.

-- As indicated by Chris Tomassons' reporting with NBA Fanhouse, it seemed like there was no innocent parties with the Vujacic-Dragic scuffle.

-- The Arizona Republic's Bob Young details the uncertainty regarding Amare Stoudemire's future.

Columns

-- The Times' Bill Plaschke predicts the Lakers will take the series in seven games.

-- The Times' T.J. Simers expresses amusement over Artest's unpredictability.

-- The Times' Mark Heisler highlights the adversities the Lakers and Celtics overcame to get to the Finals.

-- ESPN.com's J.A. Adande spotlights Bryant's quest for a fifth championship.

-- The Arizona Republic's Dan Bickley evaluates the Suns' season.

-- The Arizona Republic's Paola Boivin looks ahead to the Suns' future.

-- The Daily News' Vincent Bonsignore notices the Lakers already putting their game face on for Boston.

-- Fox Sports' Greg Boeck wonders if Artest could complement Bryant the way Scottie Pippen complemented Michael Jordan.

-- The Orange County Register's Ding describe Bryant as a "killer."

-- NBA.com's Scott Howard-Cooper assesses the importance of Andrew Bynum in the NBA Finals.

-- Yahoo! Sports' Johnny Ludden details how Bryant is fueled by the Lakers' 2008 Finals loss to Boston.

-- NBA.com's Chris Mannix credits Bryant's killer instinct. Sports Illustrated's Ian Thomsen also ranks Bryant as the league's best player.

-- The Orange County Register's Jeff Miller remains astonished at how Artest became the calming influence in the Lakers' Game 6 victory, including talking sense to reserve guard Sasha Vujacic.

-- ESPN Los Angeles' Dave McMenamin argues the Lakers need to play tougher against Boston than they did in the 2008 Finals.

-- The Riverside Press Enterprise's Gregg Patton remains unsure if the Lakers will beat the Celtics in the NBA Finals.

Blogs

-- Ball Don't Lie's Trey Kerby talks about Steve Nash's soothsaying abilities.

-- ESPN Los Angeles' Andy Kamenetzky details how Bryant took over the game in the final moments.

-- ESPN Boston previews the Finals matchup.

-- Forum Blue and Gold's Darius focuses on how the Lakers closed out Game 6.

-- NBA.com's Sekou Smith documents the Lakers' late-game rally.

-- Silver Screen and Roll's C.A. Clark remained impressed with Phoenix's defense against the Lakers.

-- Valley of the Sun's Seth Pollack credits the Suns' resiliency.

Tweet of the Day: "Easily my favorite question of the Kobe presser is someone asking how he plans to prepare for Games 3 & 4 in Boston. Game 1 is on Thursday." -- ArashMarkazi (ESPN Los Angeles' Arash Markazi)

Reader Comment of the Day: "The great thing about the Lakers is there is always someone to step it up to go along with Kobes great play. Shut down Gasol/Odom and Ron comes through big and they get timely shots from the bench. Ron has a bad shooting night and Fish picks it up. Other nights Odom fills the gaps. And when you think all might be lost, Gasol puts back a Kobe miss and wins a game and a series (OKC). But when it gets rough, there is Kobe. Masterful focus and concentration." -- Art-FL Lakers Fan

-- Mark Medina

Follow the L.A. Times Lakers blog on Twitter. E-mail the Lakers blog at mgmedin@gmail.com

Photo: Kobe Bryant salutes fans at U.S. Airways Center in Phoenix after the Lakers' Game 6 win on May 29, 2010, to earn a spot in the NBA Finals. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times

 
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12 down, 4 to go.
No mercy!

Amit- re rondo- I I don’t want to give the impression that it isn’t possible for Rondo to be a good player. My criticism of him would be that he has not proved that he can perform consistently at a high level for a sustained number of games, that he is overrated by Boston fans and the media, and that he is also drastically overrated by anyone who says that he is a player who is near the level of Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce. He has great passing ability and enough size and speed to play ok defense, and sometimes he even does, but he is not a great shooter or offensive threat. I think the best defense to play on him is to guard his passing lanes and force him to shoot the ball.
It is possible that Rondo will explode during the finals and really raise his level of play to what we say flashes of in the previous rounds. If he does, I will respect him more. But until he does, I will continue to argue that Rondo is not a superstar, he is probably the third or fourth best player on the Celtics depending on how healthy Ray Allen is. He is definitely one of the top ten point guards in the league right now, but I would be reluctant to place him in the category of Paul, Rose, Nash or Deron Williams until he shows us more.

Again, I think it’s quite possible that he will have more than one 20pt 10-12 assist game in the finals, but it will not be the key to the Celtics winning.

No Mercy.

Back2Back Payback!

YEAH!!

Always fun to see over rated Nash get pwned, especially by Mr Bean.

And speaking of Mr Bean (RCOTD Submission...)

A few weeks ago I pondered if we would see more of the former Kobe or more of the struggling Kobe. Three weeks later and Kobe has most definitely answered it. Not only is he himself again, but he's currently putting together one of the most impressive playoff runs in the history of basketball. Should he pull this off in the next round, what you have just witnessed has been nothing short of spectacular.

And by the way - why is Steve Nash crying??

I mean, he can't steal everything from Kobe. He already has two of his MVPs, what more could he possibly expect?

Agaisnt Boston, Benga needs to be prepared to play and hold his own. Gasol cannot play 40 minutes or more and be effective against the physical front line.
He just plays too many minutes because we do not have enough depth.
Powell and Mbenga should give us only 10 productive minutes per game so that Gasol can play about 36 minutes. Otherwise we are doomed. He will get tired at the end of games as was seen in the Phoenix series.

Mike T - Your comments were incredibly inappropriate and therefore I deleted them

MM

Mbenga on Perkins would be AWESOME

If they want to get rough, put in the black belt that defied death

LOLOLOLOL

This is going to be epic great. I truly believe you're witnessing the crowning achievement of Kobe and the Lakers.

That is, until next year.

sorry, FCM, everybody else, I really thought that that would get filtered and not go through, and only FCM would read it. Again, I apologize.

FCM- thanks.

that was a kobe performance for the vault. Close out game, closeout shots. No chance was Kobe going to lose this game.

Not happy about the implications of Pau's disappearing act for the next series, but I will say this, the Suns series prepares us very well defensively for the Celtics. The Suns are better perimeter shooters, had a better inside threat (Amare) and have a PG that creates, penetrates and scores. All of this created problems for the Lakers, but I don't see the Celtics being able to match the Suns in these critical aspects.

As we all know, the real question is whether the Celtics' defense will be stiff enough to hold us back. I'm think it won't be, but our bigs will need to come out angry and determined -- our shooters hitting shots. and Kobe -- well we know Kobe is going to show up!
Go Lakers!~

Tim-4-Show

>>> And by the way - why is Steve Nash crying?? I mean, he can't steal everything from Kobe. He already has two of his MVPs, what more could he possibly expect?

My nomination for next RCOTD. Outstanding!


*
*
CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR
You hoped you pleaded you asked for this, Well dear Celtics you got your wish
What was that chant? We want LA, Well old men Boston, you got your way
It’s one thing to ask, another to get, What you got for the Lakers, Aint worth Spit.
You got a star named Rondo yes he’s good, but this is the BIG TIME not the hood.
We are the Lakers you call us second best. Cause 17 Rings fly on the celtics Crest
Well Septics that is well and good, but there’s a new Sheriff in the neighborhood
15 Rings aint shabby at all, and that 16th will look so pretty in Staples hall.
But to show you what gentlemen are we, We’ll let you attend the 16th Ring Cermony
You aint got no excuses when you fall, You just met your better’s in Basketball
Tell Paula aint no shame in defeat, Put away that wheelchair and get on your feet
Tell the Green Bald Headed Lunatic to calm down, He aint got a chance to win the crown
Tell Doc we respect his class and grace, But he aint got a chance in this Finals Race
We got the Baddest Player in history, Scored more points than the Opponents you see
In one game he scored 81, coulda scored more but winning Rings is more fun
We got the Former Defensive Player of the year, One look at him and you’ll breakout in Fear
We got the MVP of International Play, Some say he’s soft until they see him play
We got Mr 0.4, that’s right Dfish, Don’t blink for a second or the ball he’ll swish
So I think Boston you might as well quit, Cause compared to the Lakers you aint got SPIT!!!!!
*
*
LAKERS vs. CELTICS - THE FINAL PAYBACK, ARMAGEDON HAS ARRIVED - BANDWAGON
*
(00) JON K. - OWNER – Mike T will you apologize when the Lakers destroy the Celtics? Bring on the Celtics!
(01) JUSTANOTHERMAMBAFAN - DRIVER
(02) FATTY - RIDING SHOTGUN - Roses are Red Violets are Blue Lakers to the Celtics
(03) ZairaAmaterasu - ENFORCER/BLOG GODDESS - To have BSPN keeping playing Lakers out is just a point in favour AND a point of honour. Those are the same fools predicting Crabs unbeatable and the glory of the Biggest Loser of all time. They simply are delusional and so out, out, OUT of reality ;) Just saying. 2010 it's revenge year. Such a sweet, tasty, awesome year for us ;) I can feel it, coming in the air of night... ;) It's the Make it or Break It moment and champions don't have to overthink that blissful push at stepping further. Champions come and at a sudden point, all that had to start working to take them (and the team) at the next level START to work. But it's not miracle. As someone smarted pointed out earlier, it's out from all the failures, mistakes, adjustements previously made also in rusty ways.
That trials create the best bet possible after. Fatty - Let the war begin. First on the blogs, then on the court. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zKmS_IGw_s4&feature=related
(04) #4
(05) ADRIAN PALOMAR - RIDING SHOTGUN2
(06) XYZ – SEARGENT AT ARMS - I watched the trophy presentation and the team looks like it's very focused and ready to go against the celts.......Phil said that they are looking forward to this series with great intensity........what a great line.......coop even chimed in, saying "Boston, u wanted us.....we're coming for u".......and if u saw magic's commentary on espn, u can see that the old competitive juice started flowing within him........as a die hard laker fan, I'm all lathered up and ready for this classic finals matchup......
(06) FEARLESS - SECURITY -
(07) OUTLAW - SECURITY 2 - To all my fellow Lakers fans: This is what we've been waiting for. Thursday, baby. It's gonna be fun. Go Lake Show!
(08) BABY OUTLAW - SECURITY IN TRAINING – You Heard Dad!
(09) WES JOE NIXON - MORALE OFFICER - Someone must have given this speech last night: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TYzt1ao81jU
(10) FAN OF THE MAMBA - Is it Thursday yet? Cause we ain't seen nothing yet!
(11) JOHNNYP – DIRECTOR OF WIN # 1 OF FINALS - WE AARE GOIN' TO THE FINALS!!! OUR DYNASTY IS CEMENTED. 3 out of 4 years !! HOW GOOD IS THAT??? WHOOOOPIE !!!
(12) VMAN – THE TERMINATOR - THe coming war is the reason Ron Artest is a Laker. His basketball career was aimed at this purpose. Pierce is about to visit Ron's park, where it's hard to breath and legs are heavy. Just 4 mo' blog bros.
(13) BRONXLAKERFAN – REFEREE - Art-FL Lakers Fan....Kudos, my friend. That adaptation of "Casey at the Bat" was clever and extremely well done. I'm printing it to save as a memento of the Laker's 2010 playoff run which will hopefully end with the C'ship. Thanks!
(14) Nemaia Faletogo - LAKERS IN 6
(15) LAKERFANIN OKC - DIRECTOR OF WIN #2 FINALS -
(16) RICK FRIEDMAN - Michael Jordan was the NBA's White Knight, whose glorious journey put the sport on the map. Kobe Bryant is its Dark Knight, who takes wonderment to its most breathtaking and leaves us gasping while moaning for more. Kobe Bryant. Laker. Greatest of All Time. Ever!
(17) YELLOW FEVER - COACH -
(18) Ruud van Nistelrooy - STATISTICIAN –
(19) Nemaia Faletogo – Lakers in 6 Nuff Said!
(20) CARLOS DEEP – Make room for me for the I BELIEVE IN THE ENTIRE LAKER TEAM - I BELIEVE THEY WILL DESTROY THE CELTICS AND SEND THEM BACK TO THEIR CAVES FOR ANOTHER TWO DECADES – BANDWAGON The Celtics may be good but LAKERS are the defending Champions and are ready to defend home court and their rightful place as reigning Champions. Bring it on! LAKERS in 6
(21) HUGO BOSS - We'll, we made it to the Finals and that's great. Time to celebrate with a bar-be-que in the summer day and a few bevarages of my choice.
(22) WALLACE - You know that I'm good for Jon K's bandwagon!!! It's payback time! I agree with Red that "enuf said" on the topics and let's focus on the game itself instead of spitting poison at one another. It's the NBA Finals in heaven. Good against Evil! Two best NBA franchises are at in the Finals once again. But this time, we will WIN!!! It won't be easy. The Celtics has a good coach in Doc Rivers and a great defensive guru in Thibodeau. We have the Zen Master and the best player in the NBA period, Kobe - The Black Mamba! It's a NBA version of "Clash of the Titians!" Lakers in 7!!! It will be a classic!!
(23) EJK - While sweeping Boston would be nice, I kinda want the Lakers to celebrate winning the championship at Staples. First, Boston fans take after KG, so they're generally a low-class, vile bunch whose capable of despicable things. Second, it's been 10 long years since we've won the championship at home...there's something special about winning it in front of your home crowd.
(24) ART-FL LAKER FAN - BLOG POET LAURETE
(25) SHE-KOBE - HELLO GUYS, REVENGE, REVENGE=LAKERS IN 6, Don't worry, our team will be CHAMPION this year period. Kobe knows best and he will motivate the rest of the team to keep their focus for that challenge against the Celtics.2010 is our destiny and nothing and nobody can take it from us.
(26) D(EREK) J(ETER) - If I am not too late for the Laker Bandwagon, put me on board! do think it's funny about all this sweep talk on either side. I think it will be 6 or 7. Of course I am with the Lakers. I thought Suns would lose to us in 7, but 6 was much nicer!
(27) INFAMOUS EL GUAPO – GRENADE TOSSER - Put me on the Armageddon Bandwagon!!! I don't need a seat I'll Be ridding on the roof Tossing Grenades, Manning the 50 Cal Machine Gun, The flame throwers and swinging El Guapo's Pair Machetes named "Death" an "Doom"!! And I'll be picking off every little green leprechaun zombie all the way to the Larry O'Brien!!!!
(28) TIM-4-SHOW - No Mercy. Back2Back Payback! YEAH!! A few weeks ago I pondered if we would see more of the former Kobe or more of the struggling Kobe. Three weeks later and Kobe has most definitely answered it. Not only is he himself again, but he's currently putting together one of the most impressive playoff runs in the history of basketball. Should he pull this off in the next round, what you have just witnessed has been nothing short of spectacular. Mbenga on Perkins would be AWESOME If they want to get rough, put in the black belt that defied death. LOLOLOLOLThis is going to be epic great. I truly believe you're witnessing the crowning achievement of Kobe and the Lakers. That is, until next year.
(29) RDLEE – MERCY DISPENSER - 12 down, 4 to go. No mercy!
(30) DWNTWN ATTY - As we all know, the real question is whether the Celtics' defense will be stiff enough to hold us back. I'm think it won't be, but our bigs will need to come out angry and determined -- our shooters hitting shots. and Kobe -- well we know Kobe is going to show up! that was a kobe performance for the vault. Close out game, closeout shots. No chance was Kobe going to lose this game.
(31)

THE KEYS TO THE SERIES
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Nothing could be finer than the Lakers and Celtics once again playing for the NBA championship, nothing more enthralling than seeing the most storied franchises in NBA history square off again in their reigning battle for the most NBA championships, with the Celtics currently leading 17 to 15.
~
For the Lakers, this is their shot at redemption for their 2008 Finals loss to the Celtics and chance to win their 2nd straight championship to shrink the Celtics’ championship lead to a single title. For the Celtics, this series is most likely the last shot for their aging Big 3 to win another championship.
~
This is the ultimate matchup that Lakers, Celtics, and basketball fans in general as well as the TV networks and national sports media have been praying for all year. It’s the rubber series between the last 2 NBA champions with overall NBA supremacy and franchise bragging rights on the line.
~
So without further adieu, here are my keys to the series and why I pick the Lakers to win in 6 games, taking the first 2 at home, 1 of 3 in Boston, and then closing out the Celtics in Game 6 in LA:
~
~
(1) WHICH MVP WILL SHOW UP? Simply stated, the 2010 NBA Championship will go the winner of the marquee matchup between 2009 Finals MVP Kobe Bryant and 2008 Finals MVP Paul Pierce. If Kobe continues what so far has been the best playoff performance in his illustrious career, the Lakers will likely prevail and win their 2nd straight championship. But if Pierce repeats his great performance from the 2008 Finals, then the Celtics will likely win their 2nd title in 3 years.
~
While Pierce clearly outplayed Kobe to win MVP in the 2008 Finals, the Celtics’ loss of James Posey, who did such a great defending against Kobe in the series, and the Lakers’ addition of Ron Artest, who has always been a strong physical defender on Paul Pierce, has changed the dynamics of the series. Look for Kobe to have a field day against the Celtics without Posey’s presence, forcing the Celtics to scramble and double and probably even have Pierce sacrifice some offense to try and guard Kobe.
~
On the flip side, look for Ron Artest to take Pierce out of his game and turn him into a volume scorer. Where Ariza did not have the toughness or physicality to slow down Pierce, Artest has proven before that he can clearly bother him defensively, reducing his shooting percentage and points per game. This series will vindicate Kobe Bryant’s greatness as a player and leader and elevate him even higher in the pantheon of super stars whose jerseys inhabit the upper reaches of Staples Center.
~
~
(2) WHICH PAU GASOL WILL SHOW UP? Bottom line, the Lakers will have an extremely difficult time winning this series if the Pau Gasol that shows up is the player we all suffered through last night, a player who played his worst game of the season in his team’s most important game yet in the season, a player who played so weakly and poorly that you could see Kobe Bryant deliberately avoid passing him the ball in the closing minutes of the fourth quarter in last night’s triumph over the Suns.
~
I have not yet read all the media reports of the game but anybody watching me watch the game must have thought that my mind had been taken over by ouchhhhhhhhh as I kept begging for Phil Jackson to put Andrew Bynum back in the game as the Spaniard played his usual matador defense and missed chippie after chippie at the rim. I’ve been a strong supporter of Pau Gasol and have actually called him the best power forward in the NBA on several occasions but his soft play is again a big concern.
~
Fortunately for the Lakers, this year they have Andrew Bynum to matchup against Kendrick Perkins, which means that Pau Gasol will be able to play power forward against KG, a better matchup for him. The Lakers need Pau to remember how KG punked him in the 2008 Finals and look for redemption and commit himself to turn around his recent soft play and display the toughness of the 2009 Finals. Otherwise, they’ll find themselves in a struggle like last night where Pau Gasol was “disappeared.”
~
~
(3) WHICH ANDREW BYNUM WILL SHOW UP? With Gasol playing soft, the Lakers need Andrew Bynum to suddenly become the dominant beast of we’ve seen tantalizing glimpses of so many times. Unfortunately, I think that will have to wait again until next year but we still need a strong, physical, and active presence from Drew to win, especially on the boards and protecting the paint and the rim. We need Drew to outplay Perkins and maybe to make up for Pau getting outplayed by Garnett. If we get the passive, hesitant, and indecisive Drew we have seen on occasion, then we’re in trouble.
~
It has become painfully apparent throughout the playoffs that the Lakers interior defense suffers greatly whenever Drew sits down. The shots he blocks, alters, and deters anchor the Lakers’ defense. While Drew needs to show a little better judgment and not challenge every single shot at least he does not run for cover like a scared prima donna afraid of picking up fouls like it seems Gasol does lately. Drew is going to be our enforcer because this is going to be an extremely physical series, much more than anything we have seen the last few years. It is going to be like the Lakers-Celtics of old.
~
Ironically, the main thing that the current knee injury has taken away from Drew is much of his terrific low post game. The Lakers need to take a close look at how the Magic got Dwight Howard easy baskets by setting up passes to the rim. That is how they have to take advantage of Drew rather than having him struggle to post up Perkins. Penetrate by pass or dribble and put the ball up by the rim. That is how even a hobbled Bynum can dominate the paint against Perkins and the Celtics.
~
~
(4) WHICH TEAM CONTROLS THE PAINT? Make no mistake, both the Lakers and Celtics will be looking to control the paint on both offense and defense, to get easy shots for themselves and prevent their opponents from doing the same. How the two teams score their points in the paint is by playing inside-out basketball. In the case of the Lakers, it’s the Triangle Offense and pounding the paint with their quintet of talented post up players that produces inside-out basketball. With the Celtics, it’s the dribble penetration by Rondo forcing doubles that generates their version of inside-out rhythm.
~
This means that the Lakers need to stop penetration from Rondo and the interior assists and open 3-point shot attempts that such penetration entails. For the Celtics, it means they need to be able to defend Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol one-one, like they did Dwight Howard in the Eastern Finals, so that they do not have to double and open up the Triangle’s lane for cutters and open 3-point shooters. Which team is able to control the paint will in the end have a huge advantage in this series.
~
Finally, the Lakers need to take advantage of their speed and quickness advantage over the Celtics and push the ball in transition to beat the Celtics half court defense. Fast break points also count as points in the paint and a big key to this series is going to be the team that can get out and run, especially on turnovers and long rebounds. For the Celtics, it’s about turning Rondo loose and having him attack the Lakers before their half-court defense is set. For the Lakers, it’s about running the older slower Celtics at every opportunity in order to cause fatigue to be an issue for them in the fourth quarter.
~
~
Once again, my prediction is the Lakers to win in 6 games, taking the first 2 at home, 1 of 3 in Boston, and then closing out the Celtics in Game 6 in LA. That’ll set the stage to win our 17th title in 2011.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
TOM

M2,

Twice I have recommended outstanding articles by Mike Wise of the Washington Post and twice you have failed to include them in your daily web links.

Does the LAT have some bizarre policy against acknowledging our two essential national newspapers, the Washington Post and New York Times? The last time the LAT won an award for sports journalism was 1996 (retired sports editor Bill Dwyre for "service to sports journalism"). That's a long time between drinks, as they say, and does little to recommend the current crop of LAT sports writers and columnists, some of whom are widely reviled on this blog.

Wise and Wilbon of WaPo and Howard Beck and Harvey Araton of the NY Times will be covering the NBA Finals, and I encourage you to put them on your radar.

it's a long ways until Thursday. and we just getten started.

This is not for the weak at heart.

mike t.

Don't get me wrong, because I think Nash and James are great players, but sure seems odd they aren't in the Finals in those two (?) MVP (?) years, but Kobe is! I realize it's about the regular season, but when you look at Kobe's season and how great he performed under a bunch 0f significant injuries (broken index finger on his shooting hand), that's the REAL MVP!! You know, playing in the Finals, not at home watching!

@LAKERTOM, Do I have to say it?...OUT FREAKIN STANDING SIR!!
MAMBA24

LT,

Yeah, you analysis is super!

Phred,

Don't even sweat the little man. Little Lieutenant has the mentality of a child. He insists on throwing tantrums, and he's always got to have the last word. And his last word is usually "LOL," which kind of sums up his personality disorder. Ignore the poetry-writing convict who claims to preach the Word. He's nothing and nobody and not worth your time.

Go Lake Show!

LakerTom,

One word: Beautiful.
Two words: Pure poetry.
Three words: You are the man.

Okay, that's four words. But you are.

Go Lake Show!

Michael C. Tenient,
don't you have Celtics' blog to post your thoughts there? STFU and get outta here, you low life. I would seriously consider changing your signature to mike tool.

I don't claim to be anything.

I am who I am and that's with no strings attached.

Boston in 5 or 6.

Put your "allegorical money" where your mouth is.

mike t.

Hi MM
I understand how much extra work it is,
but there's still a couple of extremely nasty Mike T comments still posted a few threads back.
If you choose to ban him entirely, not only would you hear a cheer from most on this blog, but you'd have phred's back --a win/win.

Only a few thoughts:
1- I've said it: Lakers in 6. Sorry stevie, i've told you.
2- We haven't won anything -real- yet.
3- Slovenian players are anoying even between them.
4- Lakers v/s C's, Lakers in 6 (although, they can win in 5).

Now: THE PAYBACK
GO LAKERS!!!

I was reading MMs links above. Thanks MM.

Dragic claims he wasn't talking to Sasha, which of course he was. I thought, reading lips, that he said "F--- you" and then bumped him from behind, just as Sasha threw up the elbows.


Then it occurred to me he may have been speaking Slovenian and I may have been wrong. He may have been saying, in Slovenian, "Sasha, my beautiful countryman, we must have dinner together after this basket contest."


All we need is a blogger who speaks Slovenian and read lips to solve the mystery.


Tom D.

Rick - I apologize. There's no policy other than my own negligence. I'm just not used to NY Times and Wash Post covering Lakers so I just forgot. I'll be sure to include them for now on. I agree that Beck and Wise provide good work.

Mike T is banned. That was way over the line

MM

Phred,

Stick around, the rest of us need you here. Mike T.'s only here until the Finals are over - a bandwagon hater.


Tom D.

I probably don't have any value at all to the blog whatsoever..
nevertheless, I do believe in taking a stand.
It's NOT "all good". There IS right and wrong.
So I'm joining phred. See you if/when Mike T is gone..

MM --thanks, and
yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay

Hey Everyone !!!

PHRED - Thanks for your response man :)

RICK_F,PHRED,MAMBA24,JON_K,DJ,ART,MARK_G,YELLO,JUSTA =>

I stumbled upon a video that shows Kobe playing poor defense on a few plays against the Suns. Watch it if/when you have time to spare and please let me know if he does that often.I do see these things during the games at times but am not observant enough to notice every time.What do you guys think is the reason for his bad defense/blown assignments/rotations ? Being winded from having to put in too much effort into carrying the team's offense ? He also seems to be blaming the other guys for his own mistakes in a few other videos.

It was kind of weird for me since we don't expect such things from Kobe. I wanted your thoughts because the guy who compiles these videos ,although presenting a decent breakdown of plays, probably dislikes Kobe and highlights his flaws way more than his great performances.Also wanted to avoid being blasted by "fans" who are sure to pounce on anyone who utters anything that can be construed by them as "hating on Kobe"

Amit

*
LAKERS vs. CELTICS - THE FINAL PAYBACK, ARMAGEDON HAS ARRIVED - BANDWAGON
*
(00) JON K. - OWNER – Mike T will you apologize when the Lakers destroy the Celtics? Bring on the Celtics!
(01) JUSTANOTHERMAMBAFAN - DRIVER
(02) FATTY - RIDING SHOTGUN - Roses are Red Violets are Blue Lakers to the Celtics
(03) ZairaAmaterasu - ENFORCER/BLOG GODDESS - To have BSPN keeping playing Lakers out is just a point in favour AND a point of honour. Those are the same fools predicting Crabs unbeatable and the glory of the Biggest Loser of all time. They simply are delusional and so out, out, OUT of reality ;) Just saying. 2010 it's revenge year. Such a sweet, tasty, awesome year for us ;) I can feel it, coming in the air of night... ;) It's the Make it or Break It moment and champions don't have to overthink that blissful push at stepping further. Champions come and at a sudden point, all that had to start working to take them (and the team) at the next level START to work. But it's not miracle. As someone smarted pointed out earlier, it's out from all the failures, mistakes, adjustements previously made also in rusty ways. That trials create the best bet possible after. Fatty - Let the war begin. First on the blogs, then on the court. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zKmS_IGw_s4&feature=related
(04) #4
(05) MR.NANO – PATH FINDER - Only a few thoughts: 1- I've said it: Lakers in 6. Sorry stevie, i've told you.2- We haven't won anything -real- yet. 3- Slovenian players are anoying even between them.
4- Lakers v/s C's, Lakers in 6 (although, they can win in 5). Now: THE PAYBACK
(06) ADRIAN PALOMAR - RIDING SHOTGUN2
(07) XYZ – SEARGENT AT ARMS - I watched the trophy presentation and the team looks like it's very focused and ready to go against the celts.......Phil said that they are looking forward to this series with great intensity........what a great line.......coop even chimed in, saying "Boston, u wanted us.....we're coming for u".......and if u saw magic's commentary on espn, u can see that the old competitive juice started flowing within him........as a die hard laker fan, I'm all lathered up and ready for this classic finals matchup......
(08) FEARLESS - SECURITY -
(09) OUTLAW - SECURITY 2 - To all my fellow Lakers fans: This is what we've been waiting for. Thursday, baby. It's gonna be fun. Go Lake Show!
(10) BABY OUTLAW - SECURITY IN TRAINING – You Heard Dad!
(11) WES JOE NIXON - MORALE OFFICER - Someone must have given this speech last night: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TYzt1ao81jU
(12) FAN OF THE MAMBA - Is it Thursday yet? Cause we ain't seen nothing yet!
(13) JOHNNYP – DIRECTOR OF WIN # 1 OF FINALS - WE AARE GOIN' TO THE FINALS!!! OUR DYNASTY IS CEMENTED. 3 out of 4 years !! HOW GOOD IS THAT??? WHOOOOPIE !!!
(14) VMAN – THE TERMINATOR - THe coming war is the reason Ron Artest is a Laker. His basketball career was aimed at this purpose. Pierce is about to visit Ron's park, where it's hard to breath and legs are heavy. Just 4 mo' blog bros.
(15) BRONXLAKERFAN – REFEREE - Art-FL Lakers Fan....Kudos, my friend. That adaptation of "Casey at the Bat" was clever and extremely well done. I'm printing it to save as a memento of the Laker's 2010 playoff run which will hopefully end with the C'ship. Thanks!
(16) Nemaia Faletogo - LAKERS IN 6
(17) LAKERFANIN OKC - DIRECTOR OF WIN #2 FINALS -
(18) RICK FRIEDMAN - Michael Jordan was the NBA's White Knight, whose glorious journey put the sport on the map. Kobe Bryant is its Dark Knight, who takes wonderment to its most breathtaking and leaves us gasping while moaning for more. Kobe Bryant. Laker. Greatest of All Time. Ever!
(19) YELLOW FEVER - COACH -
(20) Ruud van Nistelrooy - STATISTICIAN –
(21) Nemaia Faletogo – Lakers in 6 Nuff Said!
(22) CARLOS DEEP – Make room for me. I BELIEVE THEY WILL DESTROY THE CELTICS AND SEND THEM BACK TO THEIR CAVES FOR ANOTHER TWO DECADES – BANDWAGON The Celtics may be good but LAKERS are the defending Champions and are ready to defend home court and their rightful place as reigning Champions. Bring it on! LAKERS in 6
(23) HUGO BOSS - We'll, we made it to the Finals and that's great. Time to celebrate with a bar-be-que in the summer day and a few bevarages of my choice.
(24) WALLACE - You know that I'm good for Jon K's bandwagon!!! It's payback time! I agree with Red that "enuf said" on the topics and let's focus on the game itself instead of spitting poison at one another. It's the NBA Finals in heaven. Good against Evil! Two best NBA franchises are at in the Finals once again. But this time, we will WIN!!! It won't be easy. The Celtics has a good coach in Doc Rivers & a great defensive guru in Thibodeau. We have the Zen Master & the best player in the NBA period, Kobe - The Black Mamba! It's a NBA version of "Clash of the Titians!" Lakers in 7!!! It will be a classic!!
(25) EJK - While sweeping Boston would be nice, I kinda want the Lakers to celebrate winning the championship at Staples. First, Boston fans take after KG, so they're generally a low-class, vile bunch whose capable of despicable things. Second, it's been 10 long years since we've won the championship at home...there's something special about winning it in front of your home crowd.
(26) ART-FL LAKER FAN - BLOG POET LAURETE
(27) SHE-KOBE - HELLO GUYS, REVENGE, REVENGE=LAKERS IN 6, Don't worry, our team will be CHAMPION this year period. Kobe knows best and he will motivate the rest of the team to keep their focus for that challenge against the Celtics.2010 is our destiny & nothing & nobody can take it from us.
(28) D(EREK) J(ETER) - If I am not too late for the Laker Bandwagon, put me on board! do think it's funny about all this sweep talk on either side. I think it will be 6 or 7. Of course I am with the Lakers. I thought Suns would lose to us in 7, but 6 was much nicer!
(29) INFAMOUS EL GUAPO – GRENADE TOSSER - Put me on the Armageddon Bandwagon!!! I don't need a seat I'll Be ridding on the roof Tossing Grenades, Manning the 50 Cal Machine Gun, The flame throwers and swinging El Guapo's Pair Machetes named "Death" an "Doom"!! And I'll be picking off every little green leprechaun zombie all the way to the Larry O'Brien!!!!
(30) TIM-4-SHOW - No Mercy. Back2Back Payback! YEAH!! A few weeks ago I pondered if we would see more of the former Kobe or more of the struggling Kobe. Three weeks later and Kobe has most definitely answered it. Not only is he himself again, but he's currently putting together one of the most impressive playoff runs in the history of basketball. Should he pull this off in the next round, what you have just witnessed has been nothing short of spectacular. Mbenga on Perkins would be AWESOME If they want to get rough, put in the black belt that defied death. LOLOLOLOLThis is going to be epic great. I truly believe you're witnessing the crowning achievement of Kobe and the Lakers.
(31) RDLEE – MERCY DISPENSER - 12 down, 4 to go. No mercy!
(32) DWNTWN ATTY - As we all know, the real question is whether the Celtics' defense will be stiff enough to hold us back. I'm think it won't be, but our bigs will need to come out angry and determined -- our shooters hitting shots. and Kobe -- well we know Kobe is going to show up! that was a kobe performance for the vault. Close out game, closeout shots. No chance was Kobe going to lose this game.
(33) New Mexico Laker lifer - Lighten up and enjoy the JOURNEY. Lakers in 6
(34) RON – I still remember clearly the pain and anguish of the 39 pt drubbing like yesterday and have always dreamed of the day when we would face Boston again. "If only" we had homecourt two years ago I was thinking...well we have it now....and now it's nervous time. The key is to contain Rondo and Pierce. For all those people who criticized getting Artest over Ariza, this is why we made the move! Pierce was able to dominate Orlando because no one could guard him--he won't have that luxury this time around. But the biggest key will be if Pau and Lamar show up big in this series. Bynum is the big question mark but his presence alone in the middle already helps the Lakers out tremendously. Kobe will have a much more difficult time against the Celtics' defense, but he will be clutch when it matters, you can bet on that. It is time to exorcise those demons once and for all and to rid ourselves of this lingering ghost once and for all. If the Lakers are to win back-to-back titles, who better to defeat than the Boston Celtics? We hate the Celtics with a passion and winning it all against Boston will be the sweetest thing since '85. 'Nuff said.
(35) ALLNET - Remember when, after the game 6 loss to the Celtics in the ’08 Finals, Artest got into the Lakers’ locker room and made his way over to the showering Kobe? Recall what Artest reportedly said? “I want to come help you. If I can, I’m gonna find a way to come to L.A. and help you win the title.” Well, Ron-Ron, your big chance is about to arrive. And against that same evil nemesis, the Celts. May your words – and the defense to back them – prove ever true!
(36) LAKERTOM - Once again, my prediction is the Lakers to win in 6 games, taking the first 2 at home, 1 of 3 in Boston, and then closing out the Celtics in Game 6 in LA. That’ll set the stage to win our 17th title in 2011.
(37) TOM DANIELS
(38) FAITH
(39) LAKERGURL(THE ONE AND ONLY)
(40) EDWIN GUECO

Mike T

Before you go, that's exactly the kind of cynical attitude I'd expect from a Celtics fan.

LOL!

PHRED, NOAH, AZTRONUT, COME BACK WE NEED YOU!!
YOU CAN'T LEAVE NOW, WE ARE ABOUT TO MAKE HISTORY!
DON'T GET OFF JUST WHEN THE JOURNEY IS ALMOST OVER.
PLEASSSSSSE!
MAMBA24

OPEN LETTER TO MICHAEL C. TENIENTE . . .

In every profession there are examples of folks who posses great talent, keen insight, and superior skills ~ but never arrive at the level of completeness. They often win the debates and usually get in the last word. Their successes are frequent. The force of their opinions overwhelming.

Yet, as much as these folks succeed and win and prove their point, they never arrive at that level of completeness which they desperately seek. The gate to that level is not framed by the intimidating taunts of boasting giants trumpeting their feats.

The great ones who arrive at this gate, those who enter this Pantheon of Greatness, are always carried in by the masses who are inspired to recognize greatness. They are not bludgeoned. They are not forced. They are neither bullied nor intimidated. They are wooed by greatness.

Such is the case with our blog. Some express opinions and views that are more insightful and articulate than others. Some offer greater analysis than others. Some have a knack for predictions that come true. Some infuse spirit and enthusiasm that is contagious. BUT, greatness for any and all can never be self-proclaimed.

The masses bestow greatness on certain bloggers who rise above the fray. Bloggers who magically weave words into shared experiences with fellow bloggers, resulting in deeper and more passionate levels of fandom.

Those in the Pantheon of Greatness most often arrive there without even knowing it. Their pursuit is not the Pantheon, but rather the pathos of blogging. They beat not their chests. They promote not themselves.

Great art is difficult to define with tangible points of analysis ~ but we know it when we see it. So it is with blogger greatness. We know it when we see it ~ all true assessors well-aware that such greatness can never be viewed in the mirror. It is not to be claimed, but granted.

To the pushy few who clamor for greatness and use their superior skills to bully the masses, the Pantheon of Greatness is closed.

There is still hope for you, my friend. But your path is perilously close to forfeiting such hopes. Even at this very moment, we all know that you are considering a response to these words of mine. A response that will reveal which choice to which you are dedicated ~ potential greatness or self-promotion.

I am rooting for you! The Pantheon perhaps awaits you. But please accept and remember, you cannot grasp it, but rather it must embrace you.

Mike

Phred,


Never tie you presence here with Mike T's. Why do that? Just relax and avoid conversations. No reason to move out because the odd uncle is staying on the couch for two weeks. Just bide your time.


BTW, that was Kobe's greatest moment last night. It wasn;t a game winner, but it secured a return to the finals. That shot with 32 seconds left was Kobe's signature shot. And that game, oh my, Ron;s redemption game.


I believe that if Kobe can lead this Lakers team to a victory IN BOSTON, then he becomes the greatest Laker hero of all time. He may get there anyway, but I'm just saying that to clinch this title in the TD Garden or whatever it's called these days, would be his apotheosis, his complete transformation into the stuff of mythology. And I can feel the whole Laker organization coming together for this one. All the greats want this one against the Celtics.


Wes

I am rooting for you! The Pantheon perhaps awaits you. But please accept and remember, you cannot grasp it, but rather it must embrace you.Mike Posted by: LakerMike | May 30, 2010 at 03:17 PM
*
A MASTERPIECE!!!!!
*
MAMBA24

MAJOR DIFFERENCE BETWEEN '08 & '10 LAKERS GIVE-AWAYS...

The sting of the 2008 Finals, game 4 loss will never fade away completely. It is embedded in my Laker-loving tissue like a toxic poison, much the same way as are a couple of heartbreaking losses in the Garden during the 1984 Finals.

2008 Finals offered great hope when Lakers ALMOST came back from 20 point deficit in Game 2 at the TD Garden. Unfortunately, that hope was all the more crushing when the Lakers gave up a 20 point lead of their own in Game 4 at Staples, effectively ending the series (going down 3-1 rather than tying up the series).

That Game 4 "give-away" will forever hurt. But, it serves as a reference point for this years playoff edition. Since midseason, the Lakers have demonstrated a frustrating habit of giving up big leads. BUT, they did NOT LOSE those games. In contrast, the Celtics actually led the league in losing games in which they had held a double-digit lead.

Now, in the the just completed WCF, the Lakers withstood not one, but TWO furious comebacks in recent Games 5 & 6 against the offensive machine known as the Phoenix Suns. Again, giving back leads ~ BUT still winning. We saw that pattern in the 1st round against OKC as well.

This single point of maturity is in my opinion a VERY significant element in The Finals. It would seem to be a low-risk prediction to say that at least once a big lead will be lost in the end, with either Celtics or Lakers grabbing a great come-from-behind victory.

I like what I have seen. I am anxious for that series-determining comeback game to unfold!

Mike

Hey Lakerfans !

I forgot to post the link I was talking about in the last post. Here it is -

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P1iqLjTa3gM

Sorry about that.

Amit

Wesjoenixon -

Is Magic behind this Lakers team? This Kobe Bryant?

With every Celtic playoff win the green asterisk on the Lakers 2009 season gets larger and greener, larger and greener.........

TO MAMBA24 . . .

And you, my friend, are more on the cusp of the Pantheon than any of us here! The crowd already is reaching out to you, attempting to lift you on their shoulders and parade you up to the threshold.

Mike

You know its funny that Celtics fans are still having emotional issues with the Lakers winning through adversity in '09. And then the Celtics bowing out while giving up last year, on their home court, in the 4th quarter to Orlando.

Lakers were able to overcome adversity and injuries to win the Title.
Celtics wimped out, showed their true character, crawled into a hole and hid waiting for a sunnier day.

I can see why so many of the Celtics fans are having trouble mentally dealing with that.

LakerTom,


Thanks for the post. When you go from your excellent post to the trash that MikeT puts out...you can only say WOW.


BD

LakerMike -

I agree, its more than the x's and 0's that will decide this years Title. Its the intangibles like you mentioned.

Both teams are playing at a high level in their respective systems, very similar to those series in the 1980's.

NBA fans are in for treat. But Celtics and Lakers fans can only fully appreciate how significant these games and this series will be.

Confession!


D.Fish is making me look real bad. Please forgive me Lord.


BD

Green Asterisk, when the Lakers take the title this year, it'll be the 2008 Championship that'll have a huge purple & gold asterisk next to it.

As these Lakers make their way through the playoffs, the asterisk get bigger, purpler, and golder!

Did McHale ever get his ring for his hand in that title?

Amit,

Yikes, that's a touchy subject. It's one of the knocks that's been made about his defense and to be honest, I've made this criticism of him myself. The common critique is that he plays centerfield/cheats too much on D, and doesn't close out on 3 point shooters. In fairness, I don't think it's ever been big issue during the playoffs, certainly his play has been pretty near perfect in these playoffs. I do think it's a criticism that tends to be made more in the regular season. TBH, I don't see a point in arguing about it because it doesn't seem to be something that's easily subject to statistical analysis. You just have to watch the games and decide for yourself. I think someone like Hobbit would point out that Kobe has been voted umpteen times to the All Defensive Team, by coaches mind you not by fans. If the critique is valid, how does Kobe make so many All Defensive Teams? (Hobbit I'm sure would also make other/stronger arguments)

You didn't ask me about Rondo but I saw your post about him. I'd respectfully disagree with phred about Rondo. IMO he's key for the Celtics. I do think he makes the Celtics go, and tho he might not be their best player skill wise, I think he's their most important player. It's true that his J is suspect, but he finishes well around the basket, and he's an annoyingly good offensive rebounder. If I'm not mistaken, he led the league in steals. If he has been over-hyped, I don't think it's been by much. To me, one of the really interesting questions of this series is how will the Lakers deal with him. I think most people feel like Kobe will check him at least some of the time, but if you do that, who chases Ray Allen around all those screens?

celtic fans must be really scared if they have nothing better to do then come here and comment every second.

I wish people would stop saying Sasha hit that "what's his name Sun" with an elbow. I slowed down the incident and saw it from several angles. At no time did Sasha's elbow hit the Sun. The Sun's player put his chin on Sasha's arm and the only contact was with Sasha's bicep, not his elbow. Also, it was clearly a flop. As the Sun player is falling backwards, you can see him look at the to see if he's gonna get a call. And there was no pain on his face. He covered up his face and stayed on the floor for a minute, but he wasn't hurt. A total flop, al la Vlade.

What a great, great analysis that was LakerTom. Wow ;)

The SUNS coach needs to go! Notice how he loses critical games! The secondary team was whooping the hell out of LAkers, Kobe was ineffective and defense and pace was killing Lakers. he changes it and slows the game down. The game prior to that same BS. Let me be the coach and see if we don't win.

It seems like the "bench' team should be starting team. he does not know how to regulate the team based on the opposing team. If they are doing a great job, why on earth would you take them out? They came in and made up fro the huge 18 pt deficit nash and co. left. And he f****d it up! What a loser!


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