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Lakers' 2008 Finals loss to Boston rekindles bitter memories

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The Lakers had largely stayed silent on their obvious desire to play the Boston Celtics in the NBA Finals, despite the excitement built apparently everywhere else. Lakers guard Kobe Bryant said, "I have zero reaction to that," when a reporter relayed to him that fans at Staples Center chanted "We Want Boston" as early as when the Lakers held a 1-0 lead over Phoenix in the Western Conference finals. Bryant's teammates shrugged off the scenario, reiterating over and over that the only colors they're thinking about are purple and orange as they played the Phoenix Suns in the conference finals. The only exception belonged to Lakers center Andrew Bynum, who acknowledged during the Suns series on two separate occasions his high excitement level for the likelihood the Lakers would square off with the Celtics in the Finals.

The Lakers no longer have to play the diplomatic route anymore. In what will be the 12th Finals featuring the teams, the Lakers and Celtics matchup beginning Thursday will rekindle stories over the rivalry's history, including here at the L.A. Times Lakers blog where I plan to feature each day one of the Celtics-Lakers Finals matchups. That begins tonight where I'm highlighting the Lakers' most recent Finals loss to Boston in 2008, an outcome that remains fresh on the Lakers' minds.

The Lakers' makeup have changed since that loss. Bynum will actually play this series, with the torn cartilage in his right knee not enough to sideline him like the dislocated left knee cap did in the 2008 Finals. The team's defensive toughness improved, particularly with the off-season addition of Ron Artest worth $33 million over five years. And the team has a more consistent and aggressive post presence with Gasol and Odom, though Odom has been more prone to off nights than Gasol.

I plan to capture each series in chronological order, but since motivation from the 2008 Finals will have the most impact, I'll start there first. I detail after the jump why the Lakers fell apart two years ago in six games, an outcome that will surely serve as a teachable moment as the Lakers aim for a second consecutive championship and redeem themselves against Boston.

Game 1: Lakers' 98-88 loss

Raise your hand if you've heard this already. Boston played physical. The Lakers played soft. While the characterization has since taken on a life of its own, the Lakers' 98-88 Game 1 loss to Boston provided plenty of examples on how both teams lived up to their respective reputations.

The Celtics out-rebounded the Lakers, 46-33, held them to 41.6% shooting and limited the Lakers to 15 fourth-quarter points. In a storyline that has mixed interpretations among Celtics and Lakers fans, Boston forward Paul Pierce returned midway through the third quarter a few minutes after being carried off the court in front of a concerned Boston crowd because of an injured knee to lead a Celtics run.

Meanwhile, nobody on the Lakers showed up. That included Kobe Bryant scoring 24 points on a dreadful nine-of-26 clip, capping his worst shooting performance since going nine of 26 from the field in the first game of the Lakers' first-round matchup with Denver. Lakers forward Pau Gasol became outmuscled, mustering only one second-half rebound. And Lakers forward Lamar Odom proved equally ineffective, finishing with 14 points and six rebounds.

"We don't like to be out-rebounded like we were tonight," Gasol told reporters. "There were a lot of loose balls that we didn't get. That's a big difference. We started shooting a lot of jumpers. Hopefully next time out, we won't be as anxious and we'll be more focused and sharper."

Game 2: Lakers' 108-102 loss

The Lakers managed to cut a 24-point deficit to two in the final eight minutes, but the effort proved to happen a little too late. Beyond bounce-back performances from Bryant (30 points, eight assists) and Gasol (17 points, 10 rebounds), the Lakers provided little to feel good about, most notably knowing only three teams have managed to overcome 2-0 deficits to win the NBA Finals. Jackson described Odom to reporters as "confused." Lakers guard Derek Fisher collected nearly as many fouls (five) as points (nine) and the team had only 20 assists for the 41 field goals.

And that was just on the offensive end. Pierce proved to both fan bases he's a dangerous force in the Finals, scoring 28 points. Boston's offense remained sufficient, with 31 assists contributing to 36 baskets. And to the chagrin of Lakers Coach Phil Jackson, Boston reserve forward Leon Powe had 21 points and went nine of 13 from the line in only 15 minutes of playing time.

"I'm more struck by the fact that Leon Powe gets more foul shots than our whole team does in 14 minutes of play," Jackson told reporters regarding the free-throw discrepancy between the Celtics (27 of 38) and Lakers (10 of 10) . "That's ridiculous. I've never seen a game like that in all these years I've coached in the Finals. Unbelievable."

Game 3: Lakers' 87-81 victory

This time the Lakers managed to overcome three quarters of uninspiring basketball. They outscored Boston, 27-19, in the fourth quarter. Bryant overcame his recent shooting struggles by making 12 of 20, making a 19-footer to give the Lakers an 85-78 cushion with 1:06 remaining in the game and converted on a leaner for an 87-81 lead with 38 seconds left. And Lakers reserve Sasha Vujacic lived up to his nickname as the "Machine" by scoring 20 points.

But Jackson had plenty of reasons to describe the Lakers' Game 3 victory this way: "It was not a beautiful ballgame." Odom remained ineffective with more turnovers (five) and fouls (five) than points (four). Gasol provided little presence beyond a pair of put-backs in the final minute, contributing to his nine points and 12 rebounds. And the Lakers couldn't build a sizable lead, let alone a lead itself, despite poor shooting nights from Pierce (two of 14) and Kevin Garnett (six of 21) as well as a sprained left ankle to Boston guard Rajon Rondo.

Jackson knew who to point to for helping the Lakers avoid a 3-0 deficit and force them to try to become the first team in both Finals and playoff history to win out.

"It's the leadership of Kobe Bryant out there," Jackson told reporters. "He was aggressive right from the start. Obviously, they caught up and went by us, but we stayed aggressive out there and Kobe was very instrumental in that."

Game 4: Lakers' 97-91 loss

Beyond the Lakers' toughness (or lack thereof), they fed another stereotype regarding the organization in Game 4: maintaining leads. Despite leading by as many as 24 points and owning a 20-point third-quarter cushion, the Lakers allowed Boston to creep back into the game in numerous ways.

The Lakers were outscored 57-33 in the second half. The Celtics' reserves outscored the Lakers bench, 35-15. And Boston secured this advantage despite limited play from Rondo (sprained left ankle) and an injured Kendrick Perkins (strained left shoulder). But the reasons were not so important as to how embarrassing the outcome. The Lakers allowed the biggest comeback in Finals history since the Elias Sports Bureau kept official stats for the NBA starting in the 1970-71 season.

So how to bounce back from this? Bryant had an idea, and it didn't involve overnight stays at the gym.

Said Bryant to reporters: "A lot of wine, a lot of beer, a couple shots, maybe like 20 of them, digest it, get back to work."

Game 5: Lakers' 103-98 victory

Jackson entered the locker room at halftime and expressed happiness the Lakers only led by three points. "Thank God we don't have a [large] lead because we just don't know what to do with it," Jackson relayed to reporters rather facetiously. That's because the Lakers led by as many as 19 points in the second quarter, only to allow Boston to creep back in similar fashion in Game 4. This time, the Lakers secured a win despite struggling to hold onto a lead, including a 14-point fourth-quarter advantage.

But in one positive development, the Lakers' disappearing act from their post players finally came to an end. Both Odom and Gasol combined for a 14-of-20 effort and played with aggression, a quality that they sorely lacked during the Finals. but proved instrumental in the Lakers preventing Boston from celebrating its 17th championship at Staples Center.

Said Odom to reporters: "We didn't want to see champagne popping."

Game 6: Lakers' 131-92 loss

In the end, the Lakers saving face from a season-ending loss at home came at the expense of a wasted six-hour flight across three time zones. The Celtics' dominating Game 6 victory struck a nerve in Lakerland in every way imaginable.

The Celtics stayed ahead of the championship race (17-14), widened the discrepancy in Finals head-to-head matchups (9-2) and handed the Lakers the most lopsided loss in Finals history since Chicago's 42-point victory against Utah in 1998.

The images were far from pretty. Pierce danced on the Celtics bench during a timeout in the final minutes. The Boston crowd chanted "Where's Kobe?" -- a reference both to his sitting on the bench in the last moments and the fact Pierce won win the Finals MVP over Bryant, the regular-season MVP. And the "Hey, Hey, Hey, Goodbye" chant began with five minutes left in the game. Surely, these images remain fresh in the Lakers minds as they prepare for Boston again.

"Just upset more than anything," Bryant summed up his emotions to reporters. "But I'm proud of the way that we performed all year. I'm proud of my guys. At the same time, understand that second place just means you're the first loser."

-- Mark Medina

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

Photo: From left, Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Vladimir Radmanovic watch the final minutes of the Lakers' one-sided Game 6 loss to the Celtics from the bench. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times

 
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i haven't been on here for a while, but...i'm back!

i'm not that overly concerned about Rondo, because we all know that PJ can always throw Kobe at him. i can envision D-Fish starting against Rondo, then he can come out and PJ will bring in Brown or Farmar or Sasha and stick them on Allen, and switch Kobe onto Rondo.

i disagree with some of Ricky's predictions. and i think the key isn't Rondo, the key is actually Bynum. Bynum needs to win the match-up against Perkins. i think Bynum can do it. he may not be 100% but i'm sure the trainers are doing all they can to prepare him for the finals. and don't forget that we have LO, who will play a lot of minutes.

i somewhat disagree that Pierce will come out on top of Artest. i think this might be a tie, because Artest is going to make Pierce work really, really hard for his points. i'm positive that Ron will hold Pierce to under his usual scoring and shooting % (as he has done to everyone else he's had to guard this postseason).

i also predict that Perkins will get a technical and get that 1 game suspension. (hopefully it happens in game 2, so C's will lose him for a home game)

the key is not just to win game 1, but games 1 and 2. the Lakers must protect their home court, cuz who knows what'll happen in Boston. Danny Ainge might decide to turn off the AC or have a towel boy spike the Lakers' gatorade/water.

(didn't Danny Ainge throw a towel to distract a player during a game...damn those C's are dirty!)

and one last parting comment:
Let's Go Lakers! Bring that Championship home! (kobe puppet to Lebron puppet, "Hey Lebron, have you seen my 5 championship rings?")

Pau is Gary Cooper, man. Drew cant help nobody, last year or this year. He is a absolutly disaster. Lakes have only a legitimate big ready to play, only 1. Odom is not a big b/c he play at the perimeter all time with penetrations. Lakers have Pau, Bynum and DJ. Bynum cant play b/c injuries, again, an DJ cant play b/c he cant play. period.

Yellowfever & Tim-4-Show,

If we go for game one, then we may get him another time. Every two techs and a suspension. At least we would be in his head on the flagrant fouls as well, not wanting to get T'd up for an overly aggressive foul on the Lakes drive to the basket.

Now this is what these blogs are all about. We become the Lakers 'Think Tank' for the Finals.

Nate Robinson better not ball like he did a year ago when he was with the knicks and he scorched the Lakers at home. I hope we see the artest odom Kobe gasol fish line up in the game. Lakers in six!

These teams know what's comin'.

The matchups are what they are. Kobe's playin' at the highest level we've seen and he's got a look that says anyone in his way is going down.

Vlad was the softest part of the last series. Ron is a whole different animal.
Phoenix decided to stop Pau in the last 2 games and they slowed him down, but it was a losing strategy.

More than anyone else, PHIL is ready for this matchup. He wants it. He told Pierce he wanted them to get back. He won't lose a third final. Won't happen.

my guess? Lakers in 6

leonardbast78

O.K., bynum is a key matchup if Bynum can play, but, he cant, bro. BYNUM CANT PLAY B/C INJURIES. Pau will play vs. Perkins in offense and vs. Garnett in defense. The same vs. Wallace and Davis when the others still resting. Bynum cant guard noboby b/c he cant play. Simply like that.

I agree with this from cnnsi.com:


"X-Factor Lakers: Ron Artest. L.A. swapped out Trevor Ariza in favor of Artest in the offseason because Artest is a better defender against the league's larger, premier go-to scorers, such as Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James and, perhaps most of all, Boston's Paul Pierce. Pierce plays larger than his listed height of 6 -6 on offense, in part because he excels at drawing the foul through an assortment of up-fakes, dribble-push step-backs and lean-in jumpers. But Artest, who is also 6-6 but more muscular than Pierce, has superb judgment on when to leave his feet for a block attempt, and crowds his man so stolidly that step-backs are difficult and lean-ins don't budge him. Consequently, despite drawing the opponent's top scorer on a regular basis, Artest committed fewer fouls per game than any of the Lakers' starters this season. And he held Pierce below his scoring average both at Houston last season and with L.A. this year.


After his ill-chosen three-pointer in the final minute of Game 5 against Phoenix, Artest's poor shot selection has achieved greater notoriety. Opponents have learned to gamble on leaving him open so they can double-team and trap Kobe. And while Artest's accuracy has improved with each succeeding playoff series, expect the Celtics to bait him into jumpers. If he can choose prudence over pride on offense, and continue to clamp down on Pierce on defense, he'll be extremely valuable in this series.


Celtics: Kendrick Perkins. With the justified glorification of Rondo this postseason, Perkins has become the unsung hero among Boston's new Big Four. He is the best on-ball defender on a team that lives and dies by its defensive prowess. And his dominant, bruising style in the low-block catalyzed the Celtics victory in the 2008 Finals, making Gasol and Lamar Odom appear soft for their lack of response. Without '08 stalwarts, such as James Posey, P.J. Brown and Leon Powe, there is less gristle in the Celtics' beef this postseason. Meanwhile the Lakers have added Artest and 7-footer Andrew Bynum (who was hurt in '08), who may be limited with a torn meniscus but can nonetheless contribute. Gasol and Odom will be bent on debunking any perceptions about their softness. In other words, Perkins' nasty nature beneath the hoop will become more important than ever during this series, especially when L.A. goes smaller and Perk guards Gasol while Garnett is matched with Odom."


Where we had just Gasol to work on Perkins, now Perks gets to deal with a bigger boy in Bynum. Garnett now gets Gasol/Odom istead of the other way around, and Pierce gets Artest. Thats the big change. That and not having House to sit out there and kill our momentum with long 3s.


Cant wait.


Wes


Laker fan-

How Laker fan of you. Hoping for suspensions to win ... LOL!

I thought you were the deepest and most talented team in the NBA? Glad the ridiculous notion was put to rest!

I have no confidence in Gasol and Odom. Sorry , they will fold.

For being the 'toughest' team in the NBA, the Celtics sure have alot of injuries they're whining about.... AGAIN!

Since 1980 (30 years), the Lakers have won 9 Titles compared to 4 for the Celtics. Just a little info of dominance since the main expansion of the League.

Boy, the Celtic boys in this blog sure are scared if they're hoping that they're guys don't get suspended!

One defensive point stood out from the Phoenix series (there were not many)

Phoenix shot 32.9 from the three line. That was way below where they were in the previous play off series.

A key thought was projected before the Suns/Lakers series. Could the Lakers, the best in the NBA at defending the three, contain the best three point shooting team? They did.

Even with Nash running the offense, the Suns had to settle for less quality three looks than they cared for. I see the Celtics actually struggling more to get good three attempts than the Suns.

To me, the biggest flopin NBA history was Paula leaving in a wheel chair and then coming back a few minutes later for the game of his life. I'll bet Willis blew his lunch on that courageous comeback, ha, ha, !

Stop it with the "bitter memories" thing already and find some better way to build drama. As Kobe said: the past doesn't matter, it's all about this Lakers team taking on this Celts team, regardless of how many of the players remained the same from the 2008 finals.
what I'm thinking is W, L,L, W,W,L,W. Depends on how the Celts match up. It may just as well go the other way too though.

Fisher on Rondo and ARtest on Pierce???? Mmmmmmmmmmm I think Lakers won only a matchup (Kobe vs. everyone), the rest will be Celtic: Pau vs. 4 bigs (no way), Artest vs Pierce (Pierce) Fisher vs Rondo (Rondo) and Odom vs. Garnett, sometimes, (Garnett)

Sorry for me predictions, but that is the real world. Celtics have more depth and better bench, too.

So every 2 techs = suspension once he gets the next tech?

Hmmm. I suppose that might change things, but it would take some drastic Kevin McHale type BS from PJ and the Lakers to make this matter.

Suppose there's a hard play in the 2nd quarter to close out the half and Perkins gets T'd up.

Now he goes MIA game 2. If this matters, and it probably would, it would be like handing the Lakers the trophy, it would just be a question of when.

But, that aside, now we have game three where we IDEALLY would want to instigate something, but more than just something, we'd want something x2. Having two tech inducing incidents could be massively counter-productive because it would become fairly obvious (hence, my McHale reference)

Otherwise, now you're spreading out 2 techs between games 3,4
and very little chance you'd have enough techs to get him suspended a third game (7) ... (assuming at this point that the Celtics could manage to push it that far given the massive disadvantage)

I feel like I'm rambling, my apologies... So, if you're going for MULTIPLE suspensions, I go for 2 techs in game 1 !!!

That way, he gets ejected for the remainder of game 1, misses game 2, and is halfway home to missing a second game (at home none the less) on his very next tech.

Or have I misinterpreted things?? (NBA rescinding a tech obv being possible here and thwarting the plan)

If you see Mbenga enter the game, I think you might just see something go down.... and actually, I think you'd see something go down vs. Andrew because it's likely Andrew wouldn't put up with rough-house and/or Andrew would do something like dunk on him and make him mad.

Needless to say, this is going to be VERY interesting.

I'm done for the day... have to go do some family stuff. Great chatting

Fatty, its interesting how similar these Celtics are to those Suns. Penetration by point, pass out for the 3 or a big shooting a wimpy midranger or fadeaway.

I mean, the biggest weapon KG or Rasheed wield now is a midrange jumper or a 3 pointer? LOL! Oh my how the mighty have fallen!

Since 1980 (30 years), the Lakers have won 9 Titles compared to 4 for the Celtics. Just a little info of dominance since the main expansion of the League.

Posted by: D(erek)J(eter) | May 31, 2010 at 10:20 AM

Since 1947 (63 years), the Lakers have won 15 Titles compared to 17 for the Celtics. Just a little info of dominance since the main inception of the League.

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Laker fan-

Please dont forget that this weekend marks the 25th anniversary of the Memorial Day Massacre!

Posted by: 131-92 | May 31, 2010 at 09:34 AM
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And how did that work out for the green weenies? Not so much!

My all-time favorte Laker win, and the first redemption tour. Who could forget Cap running down the court in the Gawhden, arms raised in triumph.

This year is redemption part 2.


1985 punking Boston in thier house! and celebrating!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mItTdhsRAbg&feature=related


Lot of comments here about how the big difference this year will be how the Lakers are so much improved on defense since 2008. The Lakers play great defense?

Really? Like when? Against OKC? UT? Phoenix?

Like the kind of defense that Vukovic played on Ray Allen in Game 4 when the C's were up two and the Lakers needed a stop in the final minute? Come on, now THAT was funny!

You guys want to hang your hat on that mental case Ron Artest playing in his first finals? Trick or treat?

You guys claim that you are tough? Please explain to me how it is, with the exception of Kobe and Gasol, nobody shows up for away games?

When the C's have won in these playoffs, against much tougher opponents than the Lakers, the story line is always that they got balanced scoring and played EXCELLENT TEAM DEFENSE.

True, this is probably the last roundup for the Celtic and they will slip into mediocrity. If the Lakers DON'T win this series, then there will be no debate as to which team, which basketball philosophy (team defense versus offense) is dominant in this era. The very best you guys can hope for is a draw, C's won in 2008, Lakers win in 2010. If you lose, the humiliation will never go away and it won't matter how many "off-year" titles you win.

^^still thinks its 2008, lol.

Tim-4-Show

I would gladly see your prediction come true and have the Lakes win on the Fauquet floor at the Gah-dun. I esp like your idea about PJ lighting up a cigar and blowing smoke in Russell's face, but why stop at PJ?

If the Lakes win it in Boston, I think the whole team should light up a Montecristo. That would be hilarious.

Tim-4-Show

Have a great day!

I feel we pick the right time for the first one. It could change as the series develops.

The second one? Let it play out. If the guy is stupid enough to get another one after his suspension, then we nail him again. Otherwise, we play on like nothing happened.

Fatty - Its the team that does the little things that will add up to big wins in the Finals.

#4

Pau didn't have a great Finals in 2008, but he bothered KG's shot quite a bit with his long arms.

I see the Celtics ONLY points in the paint coming from Rondo, either making a lay up, dishing to a Celtics big, or a transition hoop.

They can not create their own low post shots at a good percentage rate, and the Lakers will not need to double on the post, unless, they want to.

Hey guys we got a new post up

MM

Pay no attention to Ricky the Retard. The 2008 series has no bearing on this series. First Bynum is a much better match up for the Lakers vs Perkins than Pau was due to his length and bulk and his inside game will require Perkin's full attention. Drew doesn't need to score a lot just play D and board and Perkins is neutralized.
Pau VS KG is pretty even but KG is not the super star of old...he's just old. He'll suck it up and play well but he won't dominate. I expect Pau's numbers to exceed KG's.
Paul P VS Ron Ron should be fun. PP will get his but the Thriller will make him take more shots to do it (see Durant/J Rich). Really no comparison to 08 with Vlad on Paula. Is that goofy snowboardin' euro even still playing?
Then we have Fish VS Rondo. Rondo is good but not as good as D Will & Nash and they are watching on TV after playing Fish.
Kobe VS Allen is no contest. Allen can be streaky but he's no Kobe and Kobe is a much better defender.
6th Man Odom VS Wallace. Both tend to go up and down but face it Wallace is done as a prime time player.
Neither bench is impressive but the Lakers are going with an 8 man rotation and 7 & 8 are just adding fill in minutes. Maybe DJ will be the guy to hack a Perkins into a Technical?
Kobe + Home Court = Lakers in 6

Good summation Hawaii D, it makes real sense to me.

>>>>Please dont forget that this weekend marks the 25th anniversary of the Memorial Day Massacre!


Thanks for reminding me... the Lakers won the title that year. Good times

All that pain that never ever can be forgotten can and MUST be amended this year.

Boy... I feel flames eating my liver just rewatching excerpts of that humiliating series...I can barely imagine what it feels like for our guys.

But there it stays our best shot at victory.

In that pain and sense of biting shame no one forgot.

From tears blossom glory.

mamba,

Thanks for having my back with the Revenge on Boston bandwagon.

LTLF,

Great breakdown on Bynum's contribution to the team in the last series. I had also noticed that Bynum and Gasol had about equal production even though he was playing only half the minutes. I gotta hand it to him. He's finally manning up!

Plus, did anyone else notice that PJ is starting to trust him a little? When Pau has gotten into foul trouble, its been Bynum that has been summoned off the bench. Even in the fourth quarter.

Bynum has rewarded him for the faith by draining FT's all of a sudden. Even late in the game FT's.

PJ is working on a story arc here. This is all a part of his plan. I've told you guys that this would happen like this months ago. Phil Jackson is trying to grow Andrew up on-the-fly. It is dicey, but he may actually be able to pull this off, right before our eyes, in the Finals, no less.

If PJ pulls this off, it will solidify the Lakers' position as the newest Dynasty.

Mark my words!

--FEARless

*
*
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 – CARETAKER OF DYNASTY 4 -Nice of the Celtics to show up. Shortened the interval down from 22 years this time, eh? Nothing's bitter when you're the reigning champs. Welcome challengers, lol.
(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 PAYBACKI hope our players came to the blog to sneak a peek. I hope our players have the 131-92 video in all their electronic devices, just to remember. I hope our players change their ringtones to "Beat LA!"
I hope our players changing room papered with that 2008 finals (like Farmar did with Morrison, but with real effects). I hope that a green 2008 champions watch our team practices from now on.
I hope they remember, because we remember. Now only the glory is enough!! We will prevail!!
For the championship: GO LAKERS!!!!!!
(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 - I'm absolutely hyped about the Lakers going to the NBA Finals for three straight years. Which brings me to my soapbox. How the hell is that not one of the major stories right now. Every media outlet since we clinched our game 6 victory is talking about the Celtics. The big three, Rondo, the Celtics Defense, but there's very little being reported about our third straight trip to the finals. If it was any other team that's all we'd be hearing. Well I'm here to shout it loud and shout it proud! The Lakers are going to the Finals for the 3rd straight year. That is an awesome accomplishment for any team. Injuries haven't stopped them, officiating hasn't stop them, team chemistry issues haven't stopped them, up and down play hasn't stopped them, and the Celtics won't stop them either!
(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) LAKERMIKE - 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!
(38) TOM DANIELS
(39) FAITH
(40) LAKERGURL(THE ONE AND ONLY)
(41) PSYCHED-LAKERGIRL
(42) EDWIN GUECO – JUDGE/JUROR/EXECUTIONER - If you want to be identified with the winner, come to the Los Angeles Lakers, home of the brave and beautiful people. We don't need to yell "beat Celtics" or "beat Boston", your team looks like a beaten Goliath as Big Baby stumbles and dazed in the extended games of the season.
(43) EASTCOASTJESSIE – TEAM LAWYER
(44) MAMBA24 – I RIDE WITH THE PRINCESS
(45) ICELAKER - I loved seeing the hate and intensity in Michael Cooper's eyes when he told Boston "You wanted us, here we come!" These Lakers are angry right about now. I really fear for the celtics come thursday. I know Pierce needed a wheelchair in '08. He's gonna need a stretcher once Ron Ron is done: "If you're not strong enough, you shouldn't be fighting with me. If you can't match my strength then why would you try to pick a fight and test me?" I'm hoping for Lakers in 5. I want them to celebrate on the Gah-den's floor.
(46) SEGEBOY- THE SHERIFF - Yo words can not describe how proud I am that we're returning to the finals for the 3rd year in a row. We started the 55 win bandwaggon when we were running with smush parker, we believed so hard in our team and they laughed in our faces. They gonna respect us yo cuz we ain't asking for it, we're here to work for it, to fight for it, to cement our place in history. I love this team yo. And shout out to our PGs for their play last game, y'all know we keep calling u d weakest link but nobody's happier when u prove us wrong. Fish u d man. Our time is freaking here and the next series is against our arch enemies, the green weanies from the east. In the words of 300 ... we're gonna take everything from them and give nothing back ... F the celtics and anyone who loves em.
(47) MAGIC PHIL - Well, let's ask somebody who really understand the game: - Kobe, who do you think is gonna win the championship? - We will So, I get the word of King Mamba. LAKERS IN 3!!!! I MEAN, LAKERS IN 4!!!
(48) LAKERS RULE(AMIT)
(49) PHRED
(50) JAC - The most arrogant, narcissistic franchise ever. They refuse to give ANYONE credit but themselves. Even when they lose, they act like they won. I don't understand how anyone can liek their franchise. All I want to do is own them and celebrate in front of them ON their home floor ( or ours). I'm disgusted by them. I don't understand how the media can go from saying they will be eliminated, to crowning them the champs. Lets face it, they are a bunch of babies whose prime is over. They will not be the 10 champs, and I hope they never get close to a championship again!
(51) KEIFO –
(52) ANOTHERBLACKMAMBA - I hate PAUL PIERCE PERIOD. Celtics basically bought the championship in 2008 with 3 franchise players in one team. Pierce Celtics sucked ass before KG and Ray Allen and now all of a sudden he is freaking a showboat. KG is another showboat. You know there is no way Celtics is gonna win the finals. Just look at Suns, how steve nash and raja bell and ...were showing off in 2006/7 when Kobe was playing with bunch of trolls. I wonder how far Steve Nash would have taken a team with Kwame Brown and Smush.
I wanna bitchslap Paul Pierce and KG. I just hate Paul Pierce or I should say Paula Pierce THE QUEEN of Celtics.
(53) WINTON DUPREE - What's better than the NBA2K10 championship? The real NBA 2010 championship, and not only will we get this one, we will pass the next one as well. We are living in great times Laker fans. Enjoy!
(54) JOE CORAD - I rather see the Lakers Hoist the Hearts of the celtic team than the trophy, lol. Actually i take it back, i want to see the Lakers hoisting the trophy while stomping on the hearts of the Celtics.
(55) LET’S GO L’S -To wrap this 2010 FINALS in a bow, here's the deal...as long as the Lakers PLAY HARD, INSPIRED basketball for 48 minutes each game on both ends of the floor, with a heavy dose of patient INTERIOR play (making their bigs MOVE and FOUL prone) and "consistent" perimeter defense (chasing guys like Allen, Wallace, Pierce OFF the three-point area via Fisher, Artest, Odom, and Kobe), they will hang their 16th NBA Championship banner. Most of all, win it ALL with a CHIP on their shoulder, injuries, adversity and all, for the debacle in 2008. The Lakers SURELY need no MOTIVATION! Also, their demeanor after winning the WC title in Phoenix spoke many volumes... Go get em' Lakers like you did in 2009...Back to Back! Laker pride through ALL and ANY ADVERSITY!
(56) Nop BKK 10122 - Dumb simulation...you will find out later...Lakers in 5... 3 NBA final in 3 years with 2 championship...hey Mr.Simulation...what is the prediction of 2011 NBA Final ??? uhhh...
(57) LEFRAUDS ELBOW - Thursday can't come soon enough. Revenge will be sweet.
(58) WILLIAM WALLACE - NBA 2K9 Simulation predicted that the Magic would win last year in 5 games so the fact that they predict the Celtics this year is probably a good thing for Laker fans.
(59) STEFAN MARTIN –
(60) BAJO - A couple of thoughts regarding mental toughness between the last series and this one: Celtics do not have Posey and House, who were really tough off the bench in that series, which is a loss. Lakers have Artest as starter in place of Radmanovic, which is an uptick. Lakers have home court advantage. So I am thinking that if mental toughness was an advantage for Boston last time, it is not so this time
(61) 2PHATT - This series will not be a cakewalk, all hands on deck CANDY MAN, THRILLER and the BEAST BYNUM (no more excuses). All I want to see is @zz and elbows, FOCUS, DEFENSE and more DEFENSE, the evil one's will try to intimidate and PUNK us with their physical play. Repeat after me" WE WILL NOT BE MOVED, FORCE WITH FORCE". The X FACTORS, the bench needs to bring it every game on the defensive side with some timely offense. PREDICTION- LAKERS IN 7 (P.S. I hope the parade routs the same, I had great seats.) Gooooo LAKERS
(62) LAKEERSRYDEORDIE - If we beyotch slap them on the boards -- we will bust their ass! Believe that. Lakers all the way baybee --- otherwise DIE!
(63) LEONARDBAST78 - Let's Go Lakers! Bring that Championship home! (kobe puppet to Lebron puppet, "Hey Lebron, have you seen my 5 championship rings?")
(64) LAKERTRUHT - Kobe: True Warrior, why do you help me? (pause for uncomfortable silence, as both characters gaze at each other) Ron (finally whispers): Because of the way you are looking at me now. Kobe: You have bled with TMac and Yao, NOW BLEED WITH ME! CHAAAAARGE, KILL THE CELTS!

Ricky,

>>>>For Sure, Pau is the best NBA player lake President Obama have said.
>>> He is the difference, the point guard in the post.

If the Lakers had to win based on Pau's 3 assists to 2 turnovers per game as a point guard, they'd already be toast.

Kobe's 6 assists and 3 turnovers are more point guard like.

>>>No Pau, no ring. NO Kobe, no problem.

Yeah, but you only say that because of all those rings Pau won in Memphis. Wait? He didn't win any rings in Memphis?

Kobe has 4 rings, 3 of them with No Pau.

Get your facts straight, little Ricky.

>>>Pau is the Key. Pau will have the key matchups in this Finals, vs. Garnett
>>> and Perkins, Wallace and Davis, too.

You keep making that ludicrous claim, as if all four players were going to be on the floor playing against Pau at the same time. Why wouldn't Rondo and Pierce be guarding Pau as well, since they obviously need to quintuple team Pau and not play anybody else.

Get this into your head: Pau will have to play ONE PLAYER AT A TIME.

If it's Kendrick Perkins, then Pau has a wrestling match on his hands. But he did okay vs Dwight Howard last year, so I think he'll be fine.

If it's Kevin Garnett, he's playing at about 80% of the level he played at two years ago, but he's still a challenge for Pau. He's big enough, quick enough, and skilled enough to bother Pau's shot some of the time, and he can operate either on the post or shooting out to about 20 feet. Before Garnett's injury, I'd say Garnett was slightly better. But now, I'd give Pau the slight edge. KG has just a little bit less speed and a little bit less hops. Pau should prevail.

Also, Pau's prestige has increased in the league, so Garnett won't get away with punking him as much as he did in 2008. Two years ago, if Garnett put two hands in Pau's back and shoved him out of the way to get a rebound or to get position in the post, then it was just a "tough Celtic player" outplaying a "soft Laker". This season, with Pau being the current champion and having been to the finals 3 straight years, if Garnett shoves him in the back, then it will be a "slowed Kevin Garnett trying to gain unfair advantage on a superior player", so the refs will call the foul.

Fat Baby Davis and Sheed are no match for Pau. If he's matched up against either of them, he should absolutely own them. He's too tall for Fat and two fast for Sheed.

And Pau will have help. Lots and lots and lots of help.

You keep saying it's Pau vs the four big green monsters. Not only will Bynum give the Lakers 15 to 20 minutes of play, but Odom will give his traditional amazing/bonehead level play, and Ron Artest will put some hurt on their bigs occasionally as well.

>>>Kobe only vs. Allen, and sometimes Rondo.

What, Kobe only has to play against two players for the series? Lucky him. In the second Phoenix game, they constantly double teamed Kobe and he got 13 assists. In the last game, they sent two to defend Kobe every time and he shot the lights out.

If the Celtics dare to send Allen and Rondo after Kobe on D, then you can bet that Fish and Artest and Bynum and Pau will have a layup drill.

>>>Pau will win or loss this finals. Only Pau.

See now, you're really irritating me. Basketball is a TEAM sport. If you want Pau to be a solo hero, then convince him to take up tennis. Pau NEVER EVER won a SINGLE PLAYOFF GAME on his own.

NOT ONE.

Do you even comprehend that? It is only with the help of Odom and Bynum and Fisher and Artest and Farmar and Brown and Walton and Vujacic (stupid Slovenian jealousy aside) and MBenga and Powell and Morrison and Kobe that Pau has any chance of even getting to the finals, let alone winning a championship.

Any other claim is a demonstration of arrogance and ignorance.

>>>The Lakers history still in the hands of Pau, not Kobe.

4 championships is history. 1 championship makes you a role player.

>>>The Threat from Bostom will be Garnett, Perkins and Davis (Wallace maybe),

The biggest threat from Boston is Rondo, with Paul Pierce a close second. Garnett and Allen are tide for third. Every other Celtic is a much less serious threat than any of those guys.

>>>and like vs. Suns, Pau probably should guard too Rondo as Nash.

Every time Pau switched onto Nash, Nash scored. Every time. But at least that was Nash getting a rainbow jumper instead of Amare getting a lob for a dunk or Nash kicking out for a 3-pointer. So Pau's matador defense on Nash did actually help keep Phoenix's scoring down a little bit.

>>>Pau is the entire Lakers Team, is Phil on the floor, Kobe is only THE
>>> SCORER

Yeah, because Pau is the one who blocks shots! Wait. Kobe got 4 block in game 5.

And Pau is the only one who gets assists! Wait. Kobe got twice as many assists as Pau for the series.

And Nobody ever double teams Kobe. Wait. Phoenix CONSTANTLY double teamed Kobe.

And Kobe doesn't have to guard anyone. Wait. Kobe slowed down Westbrook in the Thunder series, helped on Deron Williams in the Utah series, and shut down Phoenix's leading scorer for the first two rounds of the playoffs.

You do know that Jason Richardson was outscoring Amare Stoudemire for the first two rounds of the playoffs. But then with Kobe guarding Richardson and Pau guarding Amare, Richardson got shut down from 22 points to 16 points, while Stoudemire increased his average from 20 points to 25 points.

Face it. Pau is a very good player. He's an All-Star and an NBA champion.

But Kobe is a legend. He is one of the top 10 players of all time, and he may finish in the top 3. Pau has absolutely no chance of attaining that level of greatness. None whatsoever.

So if you want to have your little basketball hall of fame in your spare room, where you rank Pau Gasol as the greatest basketball player of all time, and Kobe and Wilt and Jordan and Kareem and Magic aren't good enough to make it, then enjoy your little fantasy world. In the real world, everyone but you knows who the real best players are.

"East Coast",

>>>Lot of comments here about how the big difference this year will be how
>>> the Lakers are so much improved on defense since 2008. The Lakers
>>> play great defense?

Another Celtic troll who has no quality blog of his own so he comes to pollute the Laker blog. Welcome aboard.

>>>Really? Like when? Against OKC? UT? Phoenix?

Yep. The Lakers held all 3 of those teams below their season and playoff averages for shooting %s and points.

>>>Like the kind of defense that Vukovic played on Ray Allen in Game 4
>>>when the C's were up two and the Lakers needed a stop in the final
>>> minute? Come on, now THAT was funny!

Almost as funny as the C's defense on Sasha Vujacic when he scored 20 on you in a game 4 victory. Remember that stellar Celtic defense?

>>>You guys want to hang your hat on that mental case Ron Artest playing
>>>in his first finals? Trick or treat?

Yeah, just go on believing that. Trust in that. And don't let Paul Pierce talk to Kevin Durant (the league's leading scorer) and ask him how it feels to get shut-ass-down. Paul will learn that lesson on his own starting on Thursday.

>>>You guys claim that you are tough? Please explain to me how it is, with
>>> the exception of Kobe and Gasol, nobody shows up for away games?

Game 5 in Orlando in 2009 - Lakers 99, Orlando 86

Game 6 in Oklahoma City - Lakers 95, Oklahoma City 94

Game 4 in Utah - Lakers 111, Utah 96

Game 6 in Phoenix - Lakers 111, Utah 103

The Lakers do just fine on the road, thank you.

Anyway, like I said, welcome to the blog. Feel free to post and get your ignorance corrected here daily.

Since 1947 (63 years), the Lakers have won 15 Titles compared to 17 for the Celtics. Just a little info of dominance since the main inception of the League.

Posted by: 131-92 | May 31, 2010 at 10:24 AM

Laker fan-

Please dont forget that this weekend marks the 25th anniversary of the Memorial Day Massacre!

Posted by: 131-92 | May 31, 2010 at 09:34 AM

Were you born in 1947?

Also the Lakers won that series.
--

Everybody loves Lakers-Celtics battle for the NBA Finals. So much history, so much at stake. Big time players Kobe Bryant, Paul Pierce, Pau Gasol, Kevin Garnett, Derek Fisher ,R Rondo ,Odom ,Ray Allen, Ron Artest, Perkin a nd Davis, Andrew Bynum. Everybody wins watching great match up and great games. That's what rivalry does. Good for the basketball nation. Coaches Phil Jackson and Doc Rivers start to put on your thinking caps. Give us a good series.

Looking at those games I'm struck by the difference in the series -- they held a 24 point lead, and we didn't.

That simple.

 
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