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Lakers admire Pau Gasol's consistency during postseason run

It had served as a routine end-of-the-year type question that doesn't usually spark much of a reaction. Lakers Coach Phil Jackson in the final week of the regular season had been asked who he deemed the team's MVP, and he gave his two cents without hesitation. It wasn't the answer most would expect to hear.

"I would have to say the last part of the season would have to be Pau [ Gasol]," Jackson said. " Kobe [ Bryant] for the first 50 games, but really the last 30 I think Pau played very well for us."

This really didn't serve as any knock on Bryant, though it's usually expected he's the team's top man no matter what the scenario. But with Bryant nursing assorted numerous injuries, ranging from his right index finger, left ankle and right knee, Jackson pointed to Gasol as the man filling the void while Bryant recovered from his injuries. Case in point, he scored at least 20 points in five of the last six regular season games.

Bryant's progress on the injury front has coincided with his team-leading 27.1 points this postseason, including a recent stretch where he's scored at least 30 points in six of the past seven games. But Gasol has been there with him, posting a second-best 21 points per clip. And his impact has been felt in many areas. Though shooting only four of 11 in Game 6 of the Lakers' first-round matchup against Oklahoma City, he still managed to contribute with 18 rebounds, three assists, two blocks and, of course, the game-winning putback that ultimately clinched the series. And since that series ended, Gasol has scored at least 20 points in five of the past six games.

Gasol, Jackson and Bryant value his presence beyond what he contributes to the box score. Gasol's credited his extra emphasis on lifting weights and actually addressed reporters Saturday after getting in a little work in that department, an area he thought lacked in his first season in 2008 with the Lakers. Jackson loves how Gasol's crisp passing ensures flow within the triangle offense. And Bryant's been glad to lean on him while Andrew Bynum's recovering from a lateral meniscus tear in his right knee.

--Mark Medina

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

 
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*
OUTDO THE CELTICS TONIGHT, DESTROY THE SUNS - BANDWAGON
*
(01) MAMBA24 - OWNER - Amything the celts can do we can do better!
(02)HOBBITMAGE - DRIVER - It's time to break the Suns. Spine 'em! RIP THEIR HEARTS OUT TODAY!
(03) JON K. - RIDING SHOTGUN - What do we play for Rings
(04) #4
(05 FATTY
(06) JUSTANOTHERMAMBAFAN - SECURITY
(08) LAKER LARRY - SECURITY2 - Here's a good game of guessing! Imagine I'm holding up my hand with all 5 digits fully extended. If I fold 2 on the left and 2 on the right, can you see the destiny of your C's?
(09) LAKESHOWINPHX - REFEREE - i look for kobe and company to SILENCE THE CROWD by playing even better. they look so focused and are CLICKING ON ALL CYLINDERS! FEELING IT!
(10) I BLEED PURPLE AND GOLD - If Boston sweeps, the Lakers must sweep phoenix as well, we must answere the call.
(11) YELLOWFEVER - SLAP COACH - right now if i can SLAP anybody square in the face.. my first pick is paula.. then ray ray then KG in that order...

what a perfect topic for my morning coffee

-----------------------------------------

"Pau Gasol has emerged, not only as the NBA’s reigning master of basic basketball, but as the best center on the planet."

Fox Sports' Charley Rosen
---------------------------------------------------

NBA’s reigning master of basic basketball??????????

maybe charlie should watch some basics with Kobe?

center? maybe

because POWER forward it is more difficult. need also the POWER

No POWER? only SOFT

looks like soon Gasol will have the REAL opportunity to pass the class and get his bachelor degree against the Celtics.
it is his only choice left after failing the EXAM in 2008, June

or will Rosen send him regardless of the result the Honoris Causa diploma?

Man....it must suck being a Celtics fan and hearing all this rightly-given praise for Gasol.

One thing, ouchhhy: it ain't 2008 anymore. He ain't the same Gasol.

If you think he is, then you aren't very bright, kid.

Kobe - 50 games
Gasol - 30 games

so the 2 games left go to Fisher or Luke? :-)

it's funny how Gassy chocked 3 games in like 8 days?

Clev - Toronto - Memphis. but i guess that was during the 50 Kobe stretch so will just throw them out the window. or like in many sports, will just clean the 3 lowest scores and the 3 highest ones so we can forget the really bad ones

Mark Medina

r u sure that PJ did not refer to Gasol like giving 30 good interviews? and speeches? indeed, i will vote him as the Most Valuable one in those categories.

Agree with Wes.

Farmar is massively under-rated by the Lakers organization and the Lakers fans.

Who should guard Rondo?

SHOULD?

SHOULD????

Should be Farmar. But, this won't happen. We'll see what happens in the coming games and coming months (Mitch may not let him just walk.... unless he gets big money, Mitch might just sign him)...

And also agree with those that say give minutes to MBenga rather than Kwame. MBenga is superior is almost every way to Kwame - he can actually make a shot if needed, the guy plays tough defense, can sometimes catch a pass (more than you can say about Kwame) - and hey, the guy is a hard worker (again more than you can say about Kwame)

ouchhhhhhhh- no that award goes to Fisher remember?

PistonsFan (hope u like Kwame Brown)

your cylinders r really not firing. get a tune up.

***
BACK TO BACK PAYBACK our DATE WITH DESTINY– BANDWAGON
***
X, X, X, X, X, X, X, X, X, X, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, HIT IT LAKER TOM! PARADE TIME!!! RINGS!!
***
When Dark threatens to Extinguish Light, Lakers and Celtics Collide. When Good and Evil can't coexist for another second, Lakers / Celtics Collide. When Love is threatened by Hate, Lakers / Celtics Collide
The path is clear. It's time to get Ugly, turn up the tough. Pain? what Pain? Injuries? Cut me.
No Fear, the Suns shall Illuminate our path, aid in our preparation for the battle ahead.
The Good, the Light, the Love, will Prevail... Rise Up! GO Lakers! @ VMAN
***
(01) TIM-4-SHOW – OWNER - One thing is clear, like it or not... Back2Back Payback - Kobe would like to thank all those fans in Boston that chanted MVP while Paula and Doc were purposely throwing games in a desperate attempt to salvage a dead franchise. Lakers get the last word. Last meeting of the 1980s, Lakers win on Boston home floor. Last meeting of the 2000s (2000-2020), Lakers win on Boston home floor in stunning game 5. As a token of appreciation, you will get to cheer for him in person as he's handed the Bill Russel finals MVP trophy after game 5 at center court.
(02) VMAN – DRIVER - When dark threatens to extinguish light, Lakers and Celtics collide. When good and evil can't coexist for another second, Lakers / Celtics collide. When love is threatened by hate, Lakers / Celtics collide@ VMAN
(03) JEANETTE – DRIVER - agree with most regarding Odom. He is in it for the redemption against the Suns and Celts on the next round. This year is the year that the Lakers will redefine greatness. THE TIME IS NOW!!! It is just the beginning of greater things to come.
(04) # 4
(05) ZAIRA AMATERASU – DIRECTOR FINALS WIN # 3 - This year is shaping up to be the Revenge Year. So let's keep having the Suns, then let's have the Celtics (very likely at this point) to complete the full circle.
(06) EDWIN GUECO – JUDGE - Once they get to the Finals, it is our time for redemption. This will be a back to back redemption against a Forbidden State and against Tormenting Leprechauns.
(07) JUSTANOTHERMAMBAFAN - DEF need a seat on the bandwagon!! I'll stand if I have to. Hell - I'll strap myself to the roof it there's no more room!!!
(08) MAMBA24 – Revenge a wise person says is a dish best served cold. Our hearts are cold and dispassionate as we sweep away the garbage and clear a path for our Victory parade
(09) EAST COAST JESSE - Looks like it's gonna be a Lakers/Celtics final people. I can't wait!!!!!!!
(10) LAKERLASS - find me a little spot on that bandwagon. I know the Suns are going to throw every thing they can at us so we must be ready to go in for the kill. Posted
(11) PSYCHEDLAKERGIRL - Make sure those PHX fans understand DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS!! (12) CORNER J - I wouldn't even watch the next series...it'll be the first 7-game series ever stopped after 3 on a mercy rule).
(13) RDLEE - With the Kobe face, the broom is ready
(14) BRONXLAKERFAN - RIDING SHOTGUN - If you've got the broom, I've got the dustpan!
(15) KEIFO - - DIRECTOR WIN #4 WCF - Put me on the bandwagon- I've got my dustbuster!!
(16) FATTY – DIRECTOR WIN #2 FINALS - That's all you will hear from me on that. In the mean time, I will be looking for my broom. Let's see, where did I put that thing. I just had it out last week.
(17) KOBESBAD - Please put me on the bandwagon...Kobe is a very baaaaaaad man!
(18)DAVE M. - RECYCLING DIRECTOR - bandwagon me please. Those little dust bunnies need to be swept up and tossed in the garbage.
(19)TEAMN – SECURITY- Kobe Bryant is one bad mofo -- that turnaround j in the second half was unbelievable, I don't even think he had time to see the basket it was so quick!Incredible game by just about
(20) FEARLESS - From your mouth to all our hearts. As you say, so say we all. Let the Green Blood spill! We would have any, but we thirst for only one: Boston. This, ladies and gentlemen, is the coming of the real Clash of the Titans.
(21) J24(LADY-JEM24) – On to the next beat down
(22) MR.NANO - I also think we can win in 4, IF they continue focused. Let's just crush 'em.
(23) RICK FRIEDMAN – DIRECTOR PARADE CELEBRATION TITLE # 16 - You have a DATE WITH DESTINY– BANDWAGON and haven't saved me a seat? Surely, this must be an oversight, and not a slight.
(24) HALOSANT - Can I hitch a ride on the BANDWAGON

and because we r in the CARS department, i found on screen and roll this link to cars driven by NBA players:

http://www.hoopsvibe.com/gallery/gossip/nba-players-cars/82372-greg-oden-and-his-car#joomimg

looks like Shaq was famous enough to have an altered Lamborghini, but Socks could not get a Ferrari altered for him. not elite enough!

Aww.....did I hurt oucchyyy's widdle feewings?

I only told you the truth, pal. It's your issue if you can't see how stupid you appear.

The Best Team – The Best Owner - The Best Coach – The Best Player – The Best Blog
SUN MAY 23, 2010 - LAKERS vs. SUNS – GAME 3 - BACK 2 BACK PAYBACK!
X, X, X, X, X, X, X, X, X, X, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, HIT IT LAKER TOM! PARADE TIME!!! RINGS!!
*
GOOD MORNING TO: Mark Medina (Blog God)..Zaira-Amaterasu(Blog Poetess & Goddess)
FAITH(1st Lady of the Blog & Sec. of Defense) LakerGurl(There can be but One)
Sir Charles(Soul of LakerNation) LakerTom(Writer Supreme) LakerLass
JustAnotherMambaFan(Head of Mamba Clan) Jon K(Blog Secret Agent Supreme)
Fatty(Blog Social Satirist) Edwin Gueco(Blog Parliamentarian) Phred(Blog Love GURU)
SegeBoy aka Taliq (Blogs SHERIFF) - utzworld THE BANNER HOLDER (Blog Chaplain)
EastCoastJessie(Eastern Correspondent) The Moderator(Laker Scribe & Motivator)
Mini Banner Holder & Holderette, SBPimp & SBPimp Twins.,OutLAW & Baby OutLaw
*
The MORNING CRUE’ (Rocky, Dave M., RIck Friedman, #4, JohnnyV, JohnnyP,
EdwinGueco, HugoBoss, YellowFever, EastCoastJessie, Troy, LakerLass, Jeanette
Floyd, KB-Blitz, WesJoeNixon, Benjamin, Oucchh, Exhelodrvr, Vman, GinDC, Laili k.
FearLess, 2Phatt, TSphere, Tom-Daniels, JustaLakerFan, Keifo, Mark G. ChickNStu,
JamieSweet, J24(LadyGem24), PFunk36, LakerTruth, CapsGoogles, Caliphilosopher, DJ,
HobbitMage, LakersRydeOrDie, CyberCosmix, Nemia-Faletogo, Art-FL-LakerFan, Troy B.
KobeFan in Cupertino, LongTimeLakerFan, CornerJ, DJ855, Issang, Taino, Moderator,
DC-Mamba, Otis, Pang, SamLL, NBA4Ever, AztroNut, Thirty2, JayJay, Scott, McLyne
*
Welcome: Laker Swinn, VT, GameFaceOn, AnotherMark, Scotty-P, Adriano Mariano
Paul Lam, Kobestar, 20-Foot-LayUp, LakerGeorge, : WintonDupree, Leon Kootz,
*
When Dark threatens to extinguish Light, Lakers and Celtics collide. When Good and Evil can't coexist for another second, Lakers / Celtics collide. When Love is threatened by Hate, Lakers / Celtics collide
The path is clear. It's time to get ugly, turn up the tough. Pain? what pain? Injuries? Cut me.
No Fear, the Suns shall illuminate our path, aid in our preparation for the battle ahead.
The Good, the Light, the Love, will Prevail... Rise Up! GO Lakers! @ VMAN
*
In my mind's eye, both the Lakers and Celtics are rushing towards each other in the fashion that they have in years past. Matching each other, blow-for-blow, against all-comers until the time to meet together arrives. They are looking squarely in the others direction while they simultaneously brush aside any with the misguided notion that they are also contenders. It is the same as how Bruce Lee will casually vanquish all of the Big Boss' henchmen on his way to the real dance. It is all about Boston. It has always been about Boston. Boston is the only franchise that has earned our respect...and our derision. @ FEARLESS
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eyAiHpjviJQ
*
We Got This & We Want More! Nothing but another title will suffice.@ JustAnotherMambaFan
*
No matter what universe or alternate reality I’m in I AM A LAKER FAN!! @ LAKER LASS
*
Laker Land: where all that is possible and even a lot of what is impossible happens on a daily basis.
History repeats to the same patterns, but evolving from them to a more perfected reality, round after round. So we are the same: just better than last time. And we are getting better with every step more we take within the future. @ : ZAIRA AMATERASU
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To get through the hardest journey we need take only one step at a time, but we must keep on stepping” basketball is a journey, teams learn about their weaknesses and strengths as they play along all 82 games. so let's enjoy this journey with our team. onto the next win :) @ J24 aka (LADYJEM24)
*
Wherever there is injustice...you will find us, Wherever there is 4th quarter suffering...we'll be there, Wherever the No-mo-Bynum banditos beckon to break up the brotherhood of Laker Nation...you will find... THE LAKER AMIGOS!!!@ CORNERJ
*
The target on our backs may be getting bigger but the bullet holes we leave after games are
leaving massive exit wounds...@ THIRTY2
*
***
Kobe can win THROUGH his team mates. He can win WITH his team mates. He can win DEFERRING to his team mates. He can win IN SPITE OF his team mates. He can win INSTEAD of his team mates. He can even win BY HIMSELF (just ask Dallas & Toronto). Champions are forged in the 4th quarter. Franchises are defined in the 4th quarter. Dynasties are cemented in the 4th quarter. Sit back & watch PJ, Kobe & Fish orchestrate this symphony we call Lakers basketball to another parade down Figueroa Blvd.@ FEARLESS
*
I say TONIGHT!!! KOBE BRYANT will have one of the GREATEST SINGULAR GAMES in the history of the game. In the history of the known universe. Many refer to 'THE SWITCH' as though it is tangible, physical object in someones control. The truth is that THE SWITCH is one that can only be ACTIVATED by the SPIRIT, and by METAPHYSICAL FORCES. In the case of Kobe Bryant, the switch is the PLAYOFFS and the BACK AGAINST THE WALL, ELIMINATION GAME. From there, the chattering of the masses shuts off, the instruction of SPIRITUAL MASTERS & SENSEI can be more easily understood, and the HEART OF A LION can be revealed in it's truest form. What the team needs more than coaching, more than new players, more than just a simple win streak is a chance. It needs a MOMENT. It needs a SWORD wielded from a rock that only ONE MAN can retrieve to be struck at the right time. It needs a GAME. It needs a thriller. In it's DARKEST HOUR . It needs a MOMENT. I say, it needs a thriller. I SAY IT NEEDS KOBE BRYANT. The Moderator Universal Love Corp. @ The Moderator | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uGOB7bjaq-w&feature=related Kobe immortality
*
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qqBQeRmuZQI
*
Lakers Today, Lakers Tomorrow, Lakers Forever!! What Do We Play For, More Rings!! @ JON K
http://tinyurl.com/ylc9dvd http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-rTqkjWUqdo
*
ROLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL CALLLLLLLLLLLL!!!
*
Faith, LakerTom, #4, Keifo, Charles, EdwinGueco, Fatty, Jon-K, SegeBoy, ThaShow, TP, BD
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(You-Ever-NOTICE…> Holding The Line Against CHAOS)
*
THE LAKERS PLEDGE, WHO ARE WE? ALL TOGETHER !!
We’re the World Champion LA Lakers , we’ve won 15 Rings
10 of the 50 Greatest players played under our wings
We’ve had 3 Lakers Dynasties and now are starting on 4
That’s 2 better than any NBA team ever had before
The best Winning Percentage in History, can’t ask for more
You want Hall of Fame Coaches, Check it, we’ve had four
We got the Finals MVP, By the name of Name Kobe Bryant
He scored more points than an entire team without even trying
He scored 81 points in a game & could have scored more
But Rings not number of points is what he plays for.
We got The Logo Jerry West & First Great center George Mikan
The Legendary Elgin Baylor & Magic Johnson the Icon.
We’ve had all great centers like Shaq, Wilt & of course Kareem
Super guards Worthy, Goodrich & Silk played on the Laker team
Karl Malone & Gary Payton, A glove & Mailman we just leased
A 10 time Title Winning Coach who mastered Zen in the East
Chick Hearn the Legend, Broadcasted our Lakers Games
Now he’s Broadcasting from Heaven & is in the Hall of Fame
We got Sports Winningest & Best Owner, Kudos Dr. Jerry Buss
We play for Rings & Rings only , which is why teams fear us.
That’s just a summary of our Resume, we don’t talk we Do.
We’re The Freaking Champion Lakers, Who the Hell are You

PistonsFan

i'm not getting into a pissing contest but,

i have no feelings for Pau Gasol. whatever he brings to the table and helps the Lakers i'm happy. whatever he will NOT BRING it CAN be a problem.

so, he still has to pass the exam. he STILL failed in 2008.

"It's your issue if you can't see how stupid you appear."

that is your perception (appear). in that case, it is really your issue.

NBA Finals start June 1st....provided BOTH conference finals end in 5 games or less.

some months ago i said that i really trust Kobe and his Queens boys.

beating the C's will also become a hatred East Coast affair.

I will add Bynum to the equation. maybe he can pitch in from Jersey.

does any other city likes Boston?

After a rough night...Laker fans need a laugh!

As reported by ESPN Magazine {Adam Morrison tells the story} :

"At our hotel in Milwaukee last year, I went to eat with Shannon Brown, Luke Walton, Josh Powell, Jordan Farmar and Kobe. It was a modest breakfast, maybe a $110 tab total. But Kobe added a $300 tip and charged it to Sasha Vujacic`s room. Sasha wasn`t too happy about getting a $400 charge for a breakfast he wasn`t at."

mamba24

i hate friends. :-)
i prefer enemies. you know where they stand.

how can U be so SOFT and cheesy in the morning?
it's game day baby.
did U put the Game Face On yet?
or you will act Like orlando?

if the lakers play at the beat of that tune, they will come back 2-2 to LA.

besides playing against the Suns, hope Kobe will add some mustard for Barkley.

Gasol has been a monster in the Playoffs.

Red, I'll bite, how did Laker fans have a rough night?

Mark G,

You got a glimpse of what your month of June will look like!

Suns "Lucky" Uniforms:

Game 1: Purple Road Uniform--Lost By 21

Game 2: Orange Road Uniform--Lost By 12

Game 3 Prediction: White Home Uniform--Lose By 10 (Vegas Sports Book Has Them +3, But That Same Sports Book had Utah at +3 too)

Game 4 Prediction: No Uniforms Left So Suns Play Naked--Lose By 1 (Reason: Lakers Too Busy Laughing Their Arsses Off to Out Score Them By Double Figures)

GO LAKERS! ONE, TWO, THREE, DOMINATE!!!!

Red,

lol, nice one, but I'm just happy you guys won't have any excuses this year!

LARRY!,

You never answered my question about BBQing leprechauns.

What's the best way? Are they too old and stringy? Too bitter?

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

If we do meet Boston in the finals, this version of the Lakers / Celtics rivalry still has a long way to go when you compare it to the 80s version. Here's how how the titles were won in that decade:


Lakers over 76ers 79-80
Boston / Houston 81
Lakers / 76ers 82
76ers / Lakers 83
Boston / Lakers 84
Lakers / Boston 85
Boston / Houston 86
Lakers / Boston 87
Lakers / Detroit 88


I think that's right. That's a lot of Lakers and a lot of Boston fghting it out for the grand prize in that decade. This year will be like 1985 when the teams in the finals were champions 2 out of the previous 3 years, with Boston having the psychological advantage because they got their ring against the LA. In 1985 we won the rematch against the Celtics, and we won it in Boston which made itall the more special.


I think that the key for this rivalry to be one the fans can enjoy forever on espn cassic, is for each team to win a title against the other. Do that and you have good TV forever.


Wes

This is why I can't take Magic's critics too seriously:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a6DTj8y9uUI

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y3MX4BCYpjk&feature=related

Magic owned Larry Legend.

ouchhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh...

With Gasol in the team the Laker has played two finals -wining one of them- and this year will play third final consecutive.

I think Philip Jakson and Kobe Bryant opinion's about Gasol's work and efficiency are the best answer.
--------------------------------------
Fox Sports' Charley Rosen said:

"Pau Gasol has emerged, not only as the NBA’s reigning master of basic basketball, but as the best center on the planet."

---------------

wesjoe

What's amazing is how the stiff the competition was back then for the Lakers in the finals. All of the teams that the Lakers beat in the finals would win or already had won championships: Celts, Sixers, Pistons.

This final, assuming things go right of course, is kind of throwback to that period. Let's face it, all the teams Lakers have beaten in the finals lately have been stiffs. This year is different, it should be a real treat.

DFish

unbiased like jeff regarding stan? or only unbiased against the Lakers, but it's OK to be biased FOR other teams.

u need a tune up too. join the Pistons. also get an oil change. your IQ will function even at higher capacity than already is.

and singing the same tune your spark plugs got rusted. use some sand paper.

indeed it will be maJic!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

no anger management counseling in Utah? or u r living under the rocks?

Much like the 80's this years Celtics have played against tougher teams in the playoffs than the Lakers have or did. This year the Celtics have played the Cavs and Magic i.e. the two best records in the league; the lakers have played some kids in OKC and a couple of height challenged teams. This is similar to Bird and his crew having to battle it out against the sixers and Pistons, while the Lakers were playing against Doug Moe's no D Nugget and Spurs teams.

during the post game show MaJJJJJJJJic had a Freudian slip:

"the Celtics are ready to defend their Championship"

looks like any Lakers championship that he was not part on did not count.

he was Riley's boy who coined the three-peat but MaJJJJJJJJJic chocked.

and PJ did it with Chicago. remember, they beat MaJJJJJJJic.

even Obama remembered that. now that was a MaJJJJJJJJJJJJic moment at the white house. embarrassed by the President in front of the Nation.

i'm sure he felt MaJJJJJJJJJic when Kobe had 13 assists that equaled the Lakers MaJJJJJJJJic from 1996.

ohhhhhh, and it was a MaJJJJJJJJJic three-peat: PJ and the Lakers. no MaJJJJJJJic part of that.

MaJJJJJJJJJic missed a lot of MaJJJJJJJJJJic.

his best friends r Isiah Thomas and Snaq. what a MaJJJJJJJJic TRIANGLE.

this Fish is stinky. throw it in the garbage.

Mark G,

Are you suggesting we used the same pathetic excuse last year...that the Lakers used in 1989?

I personally think the argument of "We shouldn't look past the Suns" is hooey. The fact that FANS are salivating at the prospect of yet another Lakers-Celtics Finals has no bearing whatsoever on the game. As long as the Lakers PLAYERS (*ahem* Bynum *ahem*) aren't looking past the Suns, they'll be fine.

Yes, the Suns are perfectly capable of tying this series up at home, but hey--according to Plaschke logic, that would make the Lakers more likely to win a Championship, so it's all good!

However, I also wouldn't be surprised if more people tuned into the Finale of LOST than the game tonight. I also wouldn't be surprised if the entire Magic team showed up in the Finale as well.

Red,

I can't remember, was 89 our hamstring year?

SHOOTING FOR GREATNESS !!!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I may be in the minority on this but count me as one Lakers fan who is thrilled to see the Celtics playing great. I’ve said many times that greatness begets greatness. Playing against Larry Bird and the Celtics provided Magic Johnson and the 80’s Lakers the stage on which to achieve greatness and vice versa. Now Kobe Bryant and the Lakers and Rondo and the Celtics appear ready to revive and reprise the greatness of the most storied rivalry in sports as the 2008 and 2009 NBA champs continue on their crash course to collide in the 2010 NBA Finals.
~
I find it ironic how Boston’s beat down of Orlando has made many Lakers fans wary and even fearful of the vicious buzz saw the Celtics suddenly appear to have become. There is little doubt both teams are keeping one eye pealed on their longtime bitter rival even as they throttle their overmatched conference final opponents. Look for the Lakers to respond to Celtics thrashing of the Magic at home by dismantling the Suns on the road. It’s now the Lakers turn to make a statement in this media-fueled ultimate game of team one-upsmanship.
~
More than any other major sport, basketball is all about the matchups. That’s why Orlando’s 8-0 early playoff run was fool’s gold. It’s also why the Celtic’s merciless pounding of the Magic or the Lakers thrashing of the hapless Suns won’t translate into a momentum edge for either team. Instead, momentum will depend upon how Kobe plays on offense, whether any Celtic will be able to defend him like Posey did in the 2008 Finals, and whether Kobe can reprise his stopper role against Westbrook and the Thunder and shut down Rajon Rondo.
~
It will depend on whether the Lakers “trade” for Ron Artest to guard Paul Pierce proves to be a great move. It will depend on whether a hobbled Andrew Bynum can offset the physicality of Kendrick Perkins and whether a finesse Pau Gasol can play tough enough to neutralize a bullying Kevin Garnett. Will Derek Fisher still have enough gas to fight through those double screens to keep Ray Allen in check? And finally, will Lamar Odom and the Lakers bench be able to match the energy and effort of Rasheed Wallace and the Celtic’s bench? The answers to those questions will determine which team grabs the momentum and ultimately triumphs.
~
Offensively, look for the Lakers to play inside-out basketball by pounding the ball inside to Bynum and Gasol and isolating Kobe and Artest in the post to force the Celtics to double and open up the lanes for their cutters. The front court matchups should heavily favor the Lakers this time as both Bynum and Gasol have better inside post up games than Dwight Howard, not to mention that they are both also capable of making their free throws. Also look for the Lakers to push the ball aggressively in transition for easy scores before the Celtics setup their vaunted half court defense. with Drew and Pau sprinting to beat the older Celtics big men down the court. The younger, faster, and quicker Lakers offense should be able to dominate the slower, older, smaller Celtics.
~
Defensively, look for the Lakers to play the Celtics not much differently than the Suns in that they are going to force them to take non-paint 3’s by stopping penetration with Kobe shutting down Rondo, Artest locking down Pierce, and Bynum and Gasol closing down the lane and protecting the paint, while Fisher and Odom and the rest of the Lakers use their superior speed, quickness, athleticism, and length to chase Allen, Wallace, and the other Celtics long range shooters off the 3-point line. I expect Rondo’s “greatness” to be given the same dose of reality that Howard’s “greatness” just suffered. The Lakers will turn him into a jump and free throw shooter.
~
In the end, the Lakers should win the series easily for several reasons: They have the home court advantage, a Paul Pierce stopper in Ron Artest while the Celtics have lost their Kobe Bryant stopper in James Posey, and a 7-foot 285 pound Andrew Bynum to matchup against Kendrick Perkins to free Pau Gasol to play power forward against Kevin Garnett rather than center against Perkins. Bottom line, the 2010 Lakers are a much better and tougher team even with an injured Andrew Bynum than the 2008 Lakers who lost to the Celtics in the Finals while the 2010 Celtics are an older, less talented version of their 2008 title team. Lakers win in 5 games.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
TOM

Dear Abe,

i have a trolling issue. is it possible to get over it? please advise. i feel like is sucking all the life out of me. all this Lakers hatred has me on the edge of the cliff.

Abe Frohman

LT

Why would you think you're in the minority? Obviously you aren't the only person that wants to see a Real Final. It's not quite the 80s, but it's as close as we're going to get for a while.

Ouch,


That was a pretty dumb post about Magic. Wow.


Wes

Comparisons to this year's Pau Gasol with 2008's Pau Gasol are intrinsically flawed.

In 2008, he was BRAND NEW with the Lakers! I'd like to see some of these armchair quarterbacks get traded to a new team--and not just ANY team, but the LAKERS--in February, and four months later play in the NBA Finals--and not just against ANY team, but the CELTICS. Pau barely knew the Lakers system at that point!

In the 2+ years he's been with the Lakers, Pau has become a much more polished basketball player, better conditioned, thoroughly schooled in Phil's game play, and very aware of the Lakers' long tradition of winning. Really, there's no comparison.

Ouuch,

How is pointing out the teams the Celtics played in the 2010 playoffs just like in the 1980's were and are better than the competition the lakers faced or are facing "hating"?

SMILES, LIES, AND VIDEOTAPE
The Real Playoff,. Episode 5, Season 1
The Moderator

.....

What do Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard, and Lebron James have in common? Well, for starters, they haven't accomplished the ultimate mission and very purpose of the sport they play - winning a championship.

What else?

Well, they are all watching, or soon to be, on their television sets, the NBA Finals. Which will be a square off between the last two championship caliber ball clubs.

What more?

They have very large contracts, certainly they make a great sum of money for playing the game and participating in the sport. Outside of the contracts with their respective organizations, they have agreements with a bevy of companies who use their image to promote their brands. Routinely, these players are mentioned as three of the top five or seven players

Why is this substantial? Why is this relevant? Where is the connection?

Well, let's be curt about this. When a player receives the maximum dollar before they win the ultimate prize, or achieve the primary goal of the sport - they've settled. They, with the help of their big entourages, feel like royalty in their respective circles and can not possibly put in the work required to achieve greatness. Fans are routinely robbed of players reaching their apex because they essentially 'come' before their time.

Over and over.

Again and again.

Carmelo Anthony? Lebron James? Dwight Howard?

Which one of these players has kept with the NBA tradition of Hall of Fame players and worked in the off-season to truly upgrade and revamp their game? Lebron still has no post-game or reliable jump shot. Not even a sweet spot on the floor to go to in required situations. Carmelo? Aside from his mid-range stroke mixed with his football like forays into the hoop, he sprinkles in an occasional three-ball. Is that any different from the rookie version? Dwight Howard? After reaching the Finals and being exposed for his sever lack of post play, what did follow-up with? A 1-on-1 trashing from Kendrick Perkins where he was reduced to shooting running right handed hooks like a bad record stuck on repeat.

Unwatchable.

Unguardable?

Pause for laughter.

...

Is this what makes Kobe Bryant speical? The same quality that propelled the great Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, and Magic Johnson? What is this intangible quantity? What can it be sized up as?

Killer instinct.

"Experts" in the major media complex suggest that killer instinct is a quantity which can be gauged only during the forth quarter, with five, three, or two minutes left - depending on which side of the bed you wake up on. The theory when put into frame is laughable and patently absurd.

It starts hours before the ball is tipped, and the referee's blow their first whistle. It's days before the big game, and weeks before the pre-game interviews. It's months and years of hard work, dedication, and fire - ultimately, which creates the diamond.

Certainly, Kobe Bryant has it. For the 13 season's he has started as an NBA player, Kobe would have reached the NBA Finals seven times (counting current year). That is more than fifty percentage points plus of reaching the apex of the sport. If you don't measure "NBA's best player" by those numbers, but by regular season statistics and endorsement deals, than so be it.

As Dwight Howard smiles his way through a Eastern conference sweep, Lebron lies to himself as he indirectly blames his teammates and the entire city of Cleveland for his inability to reach the precipice. Moreover, Carmelo, high on marijuana smoke and MTV skits, is destined for the title of another millionaire-failure - spoken of in current times but never to be revered, never to be remembered. Big houses, big cars -- no heart.

The videotape doesn't lie.

...

Spell-check omitted,

The Moderator

SmartAssProducts.com

so let me understand this

he knew everything in the Western conference playoffs series but he forgot everything for the Final exam against the Celtics?

or

Pau has become a much more polished basketball player,
better conditioned,
thoroughly schooled in Phil's game play
very aware of the Lakers' long tradition of winning.

what has all of the above to do with banging and being GUTSIER?

from the moment he became a Laker, did he EVER, even in ONE game, carried the TEAM on his shoulders to victory?
did he ever imposed his will?
when Kobe had a bad or mediocre game, did he EVER come through as a second/first option?
besides speeches, ever being a leader for this team?

i know, all of the above are only TOUCHES and FACE-TS of his well rounded GAME-s. traits of a true LEADER.

i bet he knows the history of the Lakers because in his delusional brain his #16 is already hanging in the rafters.

sorry, we have bigger FISH to fry than Pau Gasol.

Dear Abe,

i have a trolling issue. is it possible to get over it? please advise. i feel like is sucking all the life out of me. all this Lakers hatred has me on the edge of the cliff.

Abe Frohman

Posted by: ouchhhhhhhh | May 23, 2010 at 12:33 PM

Ouchhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

Jumppppppppppppppppppppppppppp!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

the Moderator

thanks for mentioning yesterday the Gregorian calendar. as reference or metaphor, the Celtics won most of their Championships based on the Justinian one. or pre NBA when Red was smoking cigars, while picking the players and the referees.

by the way, the post prior to the Gregorian one. right on target. and especially the perfect timing. like a Kobe buzzer-beater. :-)

These arguments today have the stink of schlitz malt liquor on them. Ouch, you need to take a nap and come back with better material. This has been your worse day by far around here. You're like this guy, except he's funny: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2qg6AkhIYVs


Wes

131-92

how about 1+3+1+9+2=16

Lakers #16. no, not Pau Gasol

the 16th Championship.

thanks for advertising it for the past 2 years.

Laker Tom

I enjoyed your analysis. I feel it is spot on.

That extra intangible the Lakers take into this series is the 'Remember the '08 Finals'

Rarely do the Lakers need any extra motivation, they are that good. But I feel strongly this will put them into a 'Killing Zone' with the Celtics dead in their sites.

Remember how the Utah fans motivated the Lakers players with their treatment of Fish? The Lakers punished the Jazz. I see the same with the Celtics.

They will spare nothing in the effort to win. They will become completely focused.

This will be a very physical series. Neither team will back down. Celtics will look to start fights when they see they can't beat the Lakers, like in prior series.

I have the Lakers in 6, but will not be surprised much with a Lakers sweep.

131-92

how about 1+3+1+9+2=16

Lakers #16. no, not Pau Gasol

the 16th Championship.

thanks for advertising it for the past 2 years.

Posted by: ouchhhhhhhh | May 23, 2010 at 01:15 PM

Ouchhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh---------------------

Very good!!! Im impressed but I forgot you only had 15!

Moderator,

Excellent spacing of paragraphs.


Laker Tom

Agree on all points and especially love the conclusion: Lakers over Celtics.

We know we've got to have Andrew to keep our rotation in tact and our advantage in the paint and I gotta believe, even hobbled, Perkins won't be able to stop him one on one. His jump hook and face up shot should be enough even if he's slower getting to the rim.

We all loved Trevor, but Ron Artest's playground toughness will prove to be worth every cent of his contract in the 4 inevitable wins. We're now the bullies on the block, with the 2 toughest wing defenders in the NBA, period.

I agree, it's great to have the Celtics in top form. Let the best team win. It's good for the fans, it's good for the game.

Do not fear the Celtics!!!! Yes they are destroying the Magic but I've seen and also believed you've seen it too that Magic's dilemma were brought about by many factors:
1. Jameer Nelson is not orchestrating the offense well, he dribbles a lot w/c allows the Celtics to set their defense. Many times Howard were open in the middle asking for the ball coz he's got good position but Nelson opted not to pass. They wasted too much clock on dribbling the ball instead of moving the ball to look for open shots or play the pick & roll. I think Reddick should play more than Nelson coz reddick has the tendency to dribble and penetrate the paint or pass the ball.
2. Their feet are glued in the 3pt. area. They cannot beat the Celtics by shooting from the outside. They need to move the ball and penetrate the paint.
3. Howard has limited skill set. He is no Gasol. Gasol has better skill set and he can shoot 15-20 ft w/c allow the Celtics defense to open the paint a little bit.
Many people are saying that what is happening with the Magic is the same fate the Lakers awaits. However, as I watched the games between Magic and Celtics I noticed a lot of difference between our team and the Magic. We are not as good as the Magic's in 3 pt department, however coz our team play the triangle we move the ball well and can penetrate the middle, also we have guys that can post not like in the Magic's case they have only one. We also play good defense w/c the Magic lacks. And this is the difference, Kobe plays the pick and roll w/c opens up a lot of opportunities for other guys to contribute. I do not fear the Celtics though they can destroy their opponents in the East....we can beat them..we will not be shaken....Go Lakers

Gasol is good, but doesn't have the killer instinct that Kobe has to put the team on his back to win every single game, Phil never liked Kobe, now he's giving the credit to Gasol, what happened with the 30 or more points that Kobe scored? You can see how difficult is for the team to win when Kobe is injured. Phil is creating a rivarly between Kobe and Gasol, that's not good.It would be unfare if the Lakers win the whole thing and Kobe doesn't receive the MPV thropy, nobody on the team would score 30 or 40 points if they would play injured, Kobe delivers every single way.

TEAM IS WHAT MATTERS ..

Lakers need to continue to get better and play as a TEAM. This is not the time to be arguing about who is better and who is the best. Just remember individual honors were dished out during the All star break and at the end of the regular season. Now is the time to play a complete TEAM ball, every one needs to bring their A effort, A game and A frame of mind and most importantly A team game. We should all be happy for all the players that receive accolades but it should not be a distraction nor should be the cause of factions amongst players and fans alike. All players from Kobe and all the way down to Benga are a unit and must function as a unit in order to beat the Celtics.

Great article written on my life, help, Thank you for your article, hope to become friends.

oh, Great articl! I will keep this post.

I like your style so much, I am your honest reader.


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