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Poll Question: Assessing fans' anticipation of a Lakers-Celtics Finals matchup

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While sitting at the press tables at Staples Center on Wednesday, I almost dozed off. I stopped entertaining myself with my repetitive tweets about how lucky Lamar Odom had been again in Game 2 of the Lakers' Western Conference finals matchup against Phoenix. I no longer laughed at Amare Stoudemire's bad luck and poor relationship with concepts such as aggressiveness, rotating on defense and acting like he cares. And I eventually became numb to Kobe Bryant's facilitating, Pau Gasol's inside presence and Ron Artest's surprisingly sharp shooting.

After a while, the Lakers cutting through Phoenix's defense as if the defending champs were a giant pair of scissors became so repetitive, it was as if I was counting sheep. Add the apathetic and lifeless Staples Center crowd that largely remained silent, asleep, disinterested or too occupied with tweeting about Stoudemire's awful defense, and nothing short of NyQuil could put me to sleep faster. But then the chants became louder and louder, as if it was my buzzing alarm clock. "We want Boston," the crowd chanted moments before the Lakers' 124-112 victory became official.

The Lakers' faithful echoed the same refrain moments before the team's 128-107 Game 1 victory Monday, and when a reporter informed Bryant about the chant, he said, "I have zero reaction to that." Well, here's my reaction to that: It can't come soon enough.

I have no rooting interest for any team. I just root for stories. And the stories that arise from a Lakers-Celtics Finals matchup, with the rivalry's history and the Lakers wanting to redeem their 2008 Finals loss, speak for themselves. Though I still expect the Suns to take at least one game in this series, it's already definitive that the Lakers' balance has overwhelmed Phoenix's ineffective defense. And though the Orlando Magic and the Celtics still have games to play, only 13 teams have overcome a 2-0 deficit after losing the first two home games of a seven-game series.

That leads to the poll question: How much do you want to just fast-forward to the NBA Finals, presumably between the Lakers and Celtics? Do you relish the journey in seeing the Lakers for once feasting on playoff opponents? Or would you rather just skip this whole process and get to the matchup nearly every fan at Staples Center chanted for as Games 1 and 2 came to a close?

-- Mark Medina

Follow the L.A. Times Lakers blog on Twitter: twitter.com/latmedina. E-mail the Lakers blog at [email protected]

Photo: Boston Celtics forward Paul Pierce shoots around Orlando Magic forward Marcin Gortat during the second half of Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals at Orlando's Amway Arena. The Celtics won, 92-88, Sunday. Then Boston also beat Orlando in Game 2 on Tuesday to take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series. Credit: Rhona Wise / European Pressphoto Agency

 
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Beating PX is like beating Faith's Zombie Horse. It's already dead, its just doesn't know it yet.

Enjoying it a game at a time.
There aren't many games left for us to enjoy this year.
We only get to see the Lakers win 6 more times.

But for practical purposes, I would like to see a Lakers sweep and a 6-7 game Celt-Magic series.

I'm not so sure that Orlando's as done as everyone thinks they are. Granted, they need to win 2 in Boston now and that has never proved to be an easy task, especially in the post season, but I still feel like there's some series left in both the Magic and the Suns.


But I sure wouldn't mind a couple more sweeps, another short break and then...

Art-FL Lakers Fan,

"But for practical purposes, I would like to see a Lakers sweep and a 6-7 game Celt-Magic series"

Dude, I'd much rather see the Lakers sweep the Celtics.

Seriously, imagine the joy of watching the look on Garnett and Paula Pierce's face as we stomp on them in Boston. That look of frustration and tantrum.

It doesn't get better than that.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.

GO LAKERS!!!!

Heres a pic of Mark Cuban kissing up to LeCrab.

http://nbcsports.msnbc.com/id/3032847/ns/sports-nba

Posted by: ChicNstu | May 21, 2010 at 08:28 AM

So it turns out that Eazy-E and his whole NWA posse (all one guy under various handles) is nothing more than a Celtic troll? (posting under the handle "The Truth")

I'm shocked I'll tell you.

It's one thing to troll, call the Lakers the F-word, disrupt the blog, or disagree and call someone an idiot for their beliefs. It's quite another thing to accuse a blog poster of murder and rape. Defamation is wrong - morally and legally.

If Jon K wanted to sue this guy, he could subpoena the IP address of this person and give Eric Wright a true world of hurt.

I suggest the troll stop immediately, or risk financial ruin or other legal entanglements.

Trolling is not worth that.

And no, having a code did not stop this guy - only IP blocks would.

Hey jon K,

Not sure what you are talking about.
I said I would like to see a Lakers sweep and then see the Magic and Celts go 6-7 to wear them down.
Of course I would like to see the Lakers sweep in the Finals also.
I think you misinterpreted, but that's ok.
Its all good.

I think this blog needs some sort of virtual dit dat jao.

And my goodness, life sucks waiting around until Sunday - and even then I'm just waiting around to watch the finals.

It's like waiting for the inevitable

We must take it game at a time. There's no reason why we shouldn't sweep the Suns.

Once we get to the Celtics, I like how we match up with them. One thing concerns me though: Tempo

The Lakers pride themselves on being able to beat a team playing any style, which is cool. My concern is that most championship teams are able to impose a style of play on to their opponent.

Against the Celtics, the Lakers will be forced to play that grind it out style that the Celtics impose on to all of their opponents. I wonder how the Lakers will make the adjustment to that style after having to get used to the run and gun style of the Suns?

In the finals, there are no excuses. If we were to drop a game 1 at home for instance, while trying to readjust to the Celtics physical style of play, that could be the series.

Games 1 and 2 at home will be crucial for the Lakers to win in the Finals. If they can make the quick transition to the physical half court grind of the Celtics, that will be huge for us.

Go Lakers!


MM's comment:
"I have no rooting interest for any team. I just root for stories" adheres to the old journalistic book but, is a team fan blog tethered to old school journalistic maxims? One assumes having the Lakers in the finals is a plus for the LA Times Sports but there's an epic rooting interest in the Lakers / Celtics battle for basketball supremacy, and if one doesn't feel the surge of that beyond the cold, pro storyline, one is missing the story.

This series will be the difference between a good and not so good summer for the true Laker fan. This will be stunned silence on the blog or roars of joy all year long. This will only be EVERYTHING. GOOOO Lakers!

SEGEBOY... “I've always been a fan of Bynum but a harsh critic when he's declared the beast. Whilst he might not be a beast in the league yet, he's always shown flashes of great heart (ala when Shaq dunked on him a few years back and he went right down the floor and demanded for the ball). Right now that heart ain't a flash in the pan, he's standing tall for his team and declaring even if my knees fold up I ain't giving up. So this is to Bynum, you're our beast and you've always been a part of the equation. Your efforts are appreciated dawg.”
~
Well said, Segeboy. Drew’s impact goes beyond the stat sheet in how he changes the matchups and intimidates other teams from attacking the paint. Phil is smart to use him sparingly against the Suns. He will earn his pay when we meet the Celtics in the Finals just by keeping Perkins off of Gasol and giving hard fouls to penetrators. Props also for your hilarious comments about soccer. I admit to being a baseball, football, basketball kid who never understood the rest of the world’s passion for hockey on grass but at least you can see the damn ball.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
MM... Just wondered if you write your own headlines or your editor does. This thread should have been titled WE WANT BOSTON !!! That would have immediately alerted all of us as to what the article was about. Anyway, great job on the article. You may not be a Lakers fan but you do get what it is to be a Lakerholic.
~
Heard a fascinating piece of info driving to work listening to Colin Cowherd. Ironically, all 3 refs who covered the Lakers-Suns Game 2 – Joey Crawford, Ed Malloy , and Mike Callahan – attended the same Catholic high in Chicago as Tim Donaghy and two of his bookie friends. How about that for some Twilight Zone shivers.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
TOM

Rocky,

Agree about games 1-2, but not so concerned about the Lakers setting the pace, they can set the pace. They slowed down OKC and set the pace pretty well.
I'm kinda wondering if they should try and pick up the pace against the Celtics.
OKC and the Suns both gave the Celtics a hard time this year.
But a slower 1/2 court game shouldn't hurt the Lakers.

The basketball gods smile upon the Los Angeles Lakers MORE THAN ANY other team or franchise in the NBA.

Just two short years ago, as the Celtics were pushing around a less-than-full-strength Lakers team in the Finals, Ron Artest was at every game as a spectator. When the end came, Artest approached Kobe Bryant on his own and made a promise that IF he joined the Lakers, Kobe would never suffer such a loss at the hands of the miserable Green Septics again.

Ron Artest would not join the Purple & Gold last year, when they defeated the Magic for Title #15. He comes to the team THIS season. Just in time to help STRENGTHEN the Lakers with an infusion of physicality, toughness, and grit....as the Lakers gear up for war against the cocky and arrogant Green Punks from Beantown.

As the Lakers look to win their Sweet 16th NBA World Championship, how much sweeter would it be to claim victory, with the added incentive of stone-cold REVENGE for 2008?

Call it Basketball Karma. Poetic Justice. But, could this be simple coincidence? I think not.

P & G R

Any of you guys seen this Rondo character lately?

What are the odds that three NBA players playing in the same game are from the same high school?

Or how about this, what are the odds that three guys from the same high school would all wind up in the NBA (aside from St. Johns)?

More NBA players to choose from than refs, so greater the odds... right?

And yet, all these refs from one high school?

I mean, REFS. It's not like St John's where guys go so that they can make the NBA - no one goes to a catholic high school so that they can become an NBA ref.

It's always seemed odd to me is all.... how do they all wind up in the same spot if not for CONNECTIONS that help get them there. If they all have the same connections, is it unreasonable to think they have same/similar acquaintances? When you throw Donaghy in the mix, it doesn't sound very good.

Art-FL Laker Fan

I'm with you. Most people seem to think that the Suns haven't prepared the Lakers for future play. I think the up tempo that the Lakers are playing will disrupt the physicality of the Celtics.

Even the Celtic trolls know they cant run and gun.

LakerTom,

We need the beast to show up in Phoenix, just in case Gasol is not allowed to play because he speaks Spanish. They might ask his passport and visa to enter AZ. lol! So far, everything is ok, Barbosa is still playing but you never know the Maricopa cops, they could just drop Gasol at the last California town in Blythe cuz' it is too expensive to bring him back to Barcelona i.e. if they know where Barcelona is located? ( I'm sure someone will attack this post. haha just a j/k to keep everyone in check that we are still under one flag, one Republic, one nation, indivisible and believe in liberty and justice for all.)

Laker Tom - I usually write my headlines and then editors can tweak or reword them if need be. I had a headline like that because it's easier for Google to pick it up when the words Lakers and Celtics are in there

MM

Art-FL Laker Fan,

I agree that if we were able to play a run and gun style against the Celtics, that it would work to our advantage. I don't agree that we would just be able to do it if we wanted to though.

Running and gunning has never won a championship, and probably never will.

The way that the Celtics are playing right now, they would beat up OKC and the Suns with ease. And they would beat them using their grind it out style, not letting them get into their games with their strong defense, rebounding and low TO's.

The Lakers on the other hand, while easily beating the Thunder and Suns themselves, didn't impose a particular style of play onto those teams. The Lakers have played to the style of OKC and PHX, beating them at their own game.

I'm not saying the Celtics are going to beat the Lakers, I am saying that the Finals against the Celtics will present a huge challenge for our team and it's not going to be a cakewalk like the playoffs have been so far.

This series is going to be HUGE! Huge for the Lakers and all of the fans. We must win. We must stand up to the Celtics and beat them at their own game.

I got more to say but got to go.

Go Lakers!

Wouldn't be surprised if that poster truth and the whole entire nwa posse is dfish himself.

Writing style all the same and look at the way he just called jonk jonnyboy.. Same tone, context and always at the end of his posts... Who else calls him jonnyboy?

Isn't that why MM banned him? For posting under multiple handles.. MM just never told us which handles.

SEO - Search Engine Optimized....

Its the way of the internet.

EDWIN... “We need the beast to show up in Phoenix, just in case Gasol is not allowed to play because he speaks Spanish. They might ask his passport and visa to enter AZ. lol!” LMAO, Edwin. We’re all just ill-eagles.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
MM... Understood. Keep up the great job. LA Times Lakers Blog vs. Land O’Lakers is like Lakers vs. Suns.
“LAKERS FANS TO CELTICS FANS – WE WANT BOSTON”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
TOM

Even the Celtic trolls know they cant run and gun.


Posted by: ChicNstu | May 21, 2010 at 09:05 AM

Laker fan-

Your gonna play at our pace. Whether you like it or not. Besides you cant run and gun either.

Whos gonna run on your team ...

Gasol? Not. Bynum? Not. Fisher? Not. Dribble Dribble? Not. Kobe? Some.

Who will gun ... Gasol? Not. Bynum? Not. Fisher? Hope so. Dribble Dribble? Hope so. Kobe? Yes.

I think you are still stuck in the 80s. Who will lead your run and gun offense? Fisher? He cant finish at the rim or knock down threes. You dont have Magic leading the break who could finish or pass to a Worthy or Coop or Scott on the wings for a layup or transition 3.

You are not the "Showtime" Lakers. You are the "Triangle" Lakers. Give the ball to Kobe ... Wait for the double and have him hit the open guy and pray they make it. And if that doesnt work then Kobe goes 1 on 5.

At least we have Rondo to lead the break with Ray and Pierce to either finish or shoot the 3.

But if the tempo is too fast we can just McHale someone and slow thing down.

How they match the intensity of Phoenix on their homecourt will tell me alot about how they will play the Celtics or Magic in the finals.

If they match or exceed intensity, they will have indeed flipped the proverbial switch.

The reason why we still question the Lakers is, we don't really know if its necessary for us to flip a switch against Utah or Phoenix. We may have the dimmer on 50% but we're still winning.

131

Watch and learn grasshopper!

Hey Rocky,

I see your points, however, I think the Lakers did slow down OKC.
They have picked up the pace a bit against the Suns but I think they will try and slow it down more in Phoenix.
I wouldn't call what the Lakers played these last 2 games in LA a run and gun style of play and I'm not suggesting that against the Celtics, just suggesting they quicken the pace, more of an up tempo game, at times.
As ChicNStu suggested, try to disrupt their slow physical style of play.
Not an all out run/gun all the time, that's not really their style.
As for the Celtics beating OKC right now, maybe, maybe not.
I think that OKC team is for real and will be something to be reckoned with.

But if the tempo is too fast we can just McHale someone and slow thing down. - 131

~~what is the meaning of McHale someone and slow thing down? That's clothes-lining isn't it? Can the Celtics win a game without being rugged, holding, cheating, elbowing opponents? That's the only way the leprechaun's will win? Through paula's drama or kenrick's brawl. lmao!

yellowfever,

If we can play guess the troll I agree with you. As soon as I saw that post regarding Jon K in the last thread I thought it was DFish for the same reasons you mentioned.
Whomever it is though, needs to go, he is way over the line.

"...if the tempo is too fast we can just McHale someone and slow thing down."

Beautiful.

Do we need any more proof as to WHY we need to BEAT DOWN those arrogant punks? Crawl back under your rock you slimy green moron.

IF you want to talk Championships in the 1980's, the Los Angeles Lakers BEAT the Septics 2-1, and it should have been 3-0 as EVERYONE knows. Yeah, that first meeting, your pathetic thugs could NOT beat the Lakers on the court so they resorted to dirty plays to steal the title.

Care to dispute that? Is that your lame description of "McHale someone?"

Things WILL be different this time around you idiot. The Lakers have learned their lesson well from 2008. They will NOT be pushed around...ESPECIALLY with Ron Artest here to back up Kobe and the boys!

P & G R

@Edwin.. Never understood myself why football is called soccer and football as in american football or NFL is called football? The only time u use ur foot is to kick field goals anyways. makes no sense.. But its never supposed to I guess. Lol..

@Lakertom.. Crazy stuff on donaghy.. So stern and his crooked cronies are all connected.. Figures.. And I guess stern didn't know that either when he hired them and ran background checks right?.. Hmmm.. There's prob so much more dirt there we can find its not even funny.. NBA is too big now.. too much riding and people makin money so truth will never come out...

But if the tempo is too fast we can just McHale someone and slow thing down.
Posted by: 131-92 | May 21, 2010 at 09:34 AM
============

I think you meant that as a joke 131, but it is sort of a sick one.
And this is the new NBA compared to then, a move like that now would certainly result in a suspension, maybe for more than one game. Physical BB is fine, but intent to injure is a bit over the line don't you think.

Of any team in the league, the Lakers are more capable of being both opportunists on the break or settling back in to the triangle.

Individualizing fast break attributes to certain players is a fallacy and a misdirected analysis. Fact is, as a team, the Lakers are currently very effective at playing quickly when needed. Pau and Bynum are both excellent outlet passers. Fish and Kobe are excellent decision makers or threats. Ron has been more effective at deciding what to do when presented with the opportunity.

The proof is in the current series. When asked to play at an accelerated pace, where size doesn't play as much of a role as spacing, good passing, and speed, having 2 7 foot trailers or having a system that they fall back into everytime despite the pace, has led to scoring above 120. Granted, these aren't fast break points, but the point is, if you push the pace, the Lakers will be presented with more possessions, and be more effective at scoring in those opportunities.

Things WILL be different this time around you idiot. The Lakers have learned their lesson well from 2008. They will NOT be pushed around...ESPECIALLY with Ron Artest here to back up Kobe and the boys!

P & G R


Posted by: Purple & Gold Reign | May 21, 2010 at 09:46 AM

Mr Rain-

Be nice. Its not nice to call someone a moron or an idiot. Read Tim4show post earlier. If you want to talk basketball we can. If not, then dont, I dont care. Im sure there is nothing you can tell me that I dont already know or have forgotten.

Laker fan-

You want respect but you dont show any!

P.S. - I dont care if you respect me just dont expect any back!

Still superugly. SMH...

By my estimation, McHaling someone isn't as tough as Artesting someone.

Clothesline isn't as tough as taking on an entire stadium. I'm just sayin....

@ P & G R - Great post! It "karmically ironic" that after the embarassing loss to the Green Weenies in '08 due to the Lakers "being soft", then this year aquiring Ron Ron, here we are again on the verge of facing them again... No longer the "softees" and ready to do what your supposed to do with something that turns Gangrene - CUT IT OFF!!!

LET'S GO LAKERS!!!!!!

(AArrrggghh!!!! Whomever approved this Playoff schedule needs to be B!#%H SLAPPED!!!!!)

yellofever,

"The only time u use ur foot is to kick field goals anyways. makes no sense.. But its never supposed to I guess. Lol.."

~~Perhaps, they called NFL football because they use their feet too to run with the ball, does that make sense? I'd like to suggest another name, it should be called "touchdown". I notice everyone gets excited when they hear the word touchdown and then they raised two hands too, not two feet!!!. lol!

I think you meant that as a joke 131, but it is sort of a sick one.
And this is the new NBA compared to then, a move like that now would certainly result in a suspension, maybe for more than one game. Physical BB is fine, but intent to injure is a bit over the line don't you think.

Posted by: Art - FL Lakers Fan | May 21, 2010 at 09:54 AM

Art-

It was a joke. But some people get their panties-in-a-bunch.

Was that foul and different than the foul the Lakers put on Fernandez of Portland? Or I believe the one on Wallace of the Bobcats?

131,

"Kenrick's brawl? What brawl do you speak of?"

~~Being guarded by Kendrick is a brawl itself. Look at his face and his move that's not basketball, it is either judo or wrestling.

At this point I want to enjoy the remaining two games of this series. I hope we sweep the Suns so we can get rest, but I also realize we're 6 wins or 8 losses away from ending Laker basketball for 8 months. I just want to see a good, strong, one-sided win by the Lakers on Sunday.


I think Laker fans can taste destiny and want to savor every second of this dish. Someone on ESPN today was saying that the he believes the Celtics are too strong for the Lakers, and they'll be the ones standing in the end. I disagree. I think the Lakers are just strong enough to impose their finess game on these guys, and that's what matters. We don't want to have a fist fight just for the sake of having a fight, we want to be tough enough to let Gasol's skills and Kobe's skills shine thru.


I can't wait. But we'd better be ready from the second game one starts.


Wes

131,

"Kenrick's brawl? What brawl do you speak of?"

~~Being guarded by Kendrick is a brawl itself. Look at his face and his move that's not basketball, it is either judo or wrestling.

Posted by: Edwin Gueco | May 21, 2010 at 10:08 AM

Eddie-

Oh .. Ok. If you say so.

First off...wonderful to see that beautiful picture of President Pierce scoring his 3-point play, against Gortat, in the final minutes Tuesday night. Thanks for showing in rich detail a "determined warrior" at work!

The Finals will start 2 days earlier {June 1}...IF BOTH conference series wrap up in 5 games or less.

McHale/Rambis...Why the refs didn`t call an offensive foul on Rambis is still a mystery!

I don't think that playing "dirty" is the answer here for the Lake Show, BUT,
if Perkins, KG, Wallace (especially Wallace), Pierce (Oh yeah Pierce too) or Rondo were to, let's say, take an "inadvertant " elbow to the face, accidentally of course, I wouldn't complain.

hobbitmage:

You wrote:

jimjoyce & lakerfan,

"He's a very unselfish guy," Suns Coach Alvin Gentry said after Bryant's 13-assist effort in Game 2, the most by a Lakers player in a playoff game since Magic Johnson had 13 against in 1996 against Houston. "I mean, he really trusts his teammates now. … He finds open guys.

Doesn't that just really churn your insides?

Response:

I enjoyed Kobe’s excellent performance and perhaps the only time when my stomach did not churn, hahahaha..

Since you asked let me oblige and tell you what really churns my stomach:

1. When I watch Kobe take on an opposing team single handedly and please don’t tell me because his team mates can’t play.
2. When he suffocates the team concept out of a team sport and his team mates.
3. When he is unable to manage his team as a team leader, corral his team mates into helping him with heavy lifting, sign of a poor management and leadership.
4. When he jacks up shots after shots, extremely difficult shots and don’t tell me mates can’t play.
5. Has this team won without Kobe? Have they beaten good teams without Kobe? Can his team mates play?
6. Why is it that Kobe only has won one MVP?
7. We all have Achilles heel and so does your favorite player and Hero. The topic of leadership has been discussed and questioned publicly amongst the NBA circle for almost over a decade now.

In conclusion, I am a fan of Lakers team and a fan of Kobe, he is indeed the best player, best closer but he has made tremendous progress in becoming a better team mate and a leader. One thing I can say without any doubts that Kobe is going to need his team mates more than ever to win against the Boston in the finals. No ifs ands butts. Wait maybe he can score his new career best in the finals 82, 83, 84 and 85 points.

Suffice it to say, both teams are very effective in the halfcourt. IMO, it will come down to who is making their shots, where the shots are shot from, and who is getting rebounds. Those will all dictate other facets of the game, ie, rebounding will present both opportunities to break or another opportunity to work the offense again, etc. The outside shots the Celtics rely on will mean long rebounds, while the Lakers tendency to work from postups can mean putbacks and followups.

But both teams aren't gimmicky. It'll be hard fought on both sides....

I don't think that playing "dirty" is the answer here for the Lake Show, BUT,
if Perkins, KG, Wallace (especially Wallace), Pierce (Oh yeah Pierce too) or Rondo were to, let's say, take an "inadvertant " elbow to the face, accidentally of course, I wouldn't complain.

Posted by: HalosAnt | May 21, 2010 at 10:12 AM

And neither would I. You didnt hear me crying when Howard cracked Pierce intentionally. Just get up ... shoot your free throws and take it out on Air France. Then win the game and go home up 2-0!

Not too fast WesJoe, in 06 Lakers were leading 3-1 and lost 3 straight. We should take one game at a time as Kobe said and improve in every game. If we win it all, that's the only way we can scare those no-fear leppreys. Right now, they are over confident of winning everything because they eliminated Cleveland and about to do it against Orlando. They kept reminding us of the '08 score, well in 08 Ray Allen, Sheed, Garnett, Finley, Pierce were younger, vibrant and hungry. In 2010, they have to play dirty just to move on. Therefore, after these series that should be the Laker preparation to practice with NFL teams, put Mbenga as the playing coach in sweeping kick and tackle. I'm afraid that will be our competition in June as 131 proudly elaborated.

Yesterdays ESPN's 'The Dime' conducted a poll on how many games the Suns could win.

The vast majority picked 1 or 2. But if you clicked on vote by state, our good friends from Arizona had the same results, 1 or 2. With only 1 or 2 fans in Arizona predicting the Suns will win 4 games.

I can only guess who that one lone fan was?

Even Suns fans can see the inevitable. The Lakers are decidedly winning this series and are headed back to the Finals again.

Fatty - Whos says, "Pack your bags, book your travel, reserve your room. The Lakers are headed back to the Finals."

LakerTom, Great twilight Zone, I've always said their may be 80% truth in Tim Donaghy book. Them bring on another championship.

"IF you want to talk Championships in the 1980's, the Los Angeles Lakers BEAT the Septics 2-1, and it should have been 3-0 as EVERYONE knows. Yeah, that first meeting, your pathetic thugs could NOT beat the Lakers on the court so they resorted to dirty plays to steal the title."

Laker fan-

Instead of blaming the '84 Finals loss on McHale or the refs or that you didnt have Bynum or that it was too hot in the Garden. Why dont you try putting the blame on "Big Game" James. If not for his terrible pass in game 2 you might have won the series.

Rambis/McHale....lol, everyone knows why McHale did that. Its cuz ML Carr called him out for being a wimp.

do you Celtic fans really want that storyline to play out the way it did in the 80s? The Lakers went on to win the next 3 of 4 titles.

Remember when KG pushed Pau? Ya, we can start there, LOL.

Point of my post was that calling someone a moron or idiot isn't nice, but it should be permitted here.

Making false accusations about someone in real life (calling them a murderer or rapist) is so far out of bounds that it opens that person up to legal trouble.

Making comments about an asterisk is moronic because EVERY title would require an asterisk. I've never seen every team in the NBA or playoffs 100% healthy, and therefore we do not know how things *would* have gone if those teams were 100%. How about 1989 when Magic Johnson & B Scott went down and we lost four straight close games? That's just bad luck. How about 2008 when 40% of our '09 title run starters were out with injuries? Just bad luck.

And no one ever said Kobe was a triple amputee. He has literally 2 busted fingers on his shooting hand (the one from last year was never repaired), a knee that needs draining, and an ankle that's questionable - and yet he's putting on one of the greatest playoff performances ever. Quite a difference from a guy that goes down, leaves in a wheel chair, and then comes back 10 minutes later doing the Irish Jig after canning a three from the corner.

One guy is fighting through, and the other is putting on an act. Both are dramatic, but I'd rather watch Kobe drop kick the opposition while playing with only half of his fingers rather than some staged Willis Reed BS.

One guy is fighting through, and the other is putting on an act. Both are dramatic, but I'd rather watch Kobe drop kick the opposition while playing with only half of his fingers rather than some staged Willis Reed BS.

Posted by: Tim-4-Show | May 21, 2010 at 10:29 AM

Wonderful ... And I rather watch Pierce beat the Lakers.

Howard cracked Pierce intentionally - 131

~~it's a retaliation foul after all the holding or pulling down the arms of Dwight. They could not crack it because his muscles are stiff and huge. Paula, everytime you foul him, bring in the stretcher, be ready for cpr, it's over acting. lol Yes, he got hurt by the foul, how about when he intentionally hurt Dwight and others, ah it's just a friendly touch on Lebron. As you said, do any other means to win the game. (a bad example for Celtic kids)

ATTENTION: LA Times bloggers and commenters

Alvin Gentry needs our help. Usually, we give advice without any prompting. But this is different. He's begging for us to share our unique brand of basketball wisdom that only us bloggers and commenters can give.

“I’m open for suggestions,” Gentry said on his way out of the interview room late Wednesday night, fresh from watching his Phoenix Suns get absolutely shredded again.

“Even from the media.”

I think he meant us here on the LA Times Lakers blog. Where else can you go to get 100 different opinions on one subject AND every one of them be right?

Surely by 'media' he wasn't thinking Plashke or Simons, National Enquirer quality of sports writers. So he HAD to mean us.

So, what are your suggestions? What can we give Gentry, to help him do the impossible task before him? Stop the Lakers with the two incredible defensive liabilities of Nash and Staudimire?

Funny or serious, me and Alvin would like to know.....

Paul Pierce is the "Pride of Inglewood".

How about a parade in his honor {along Manchester Blvd.} when he wins his 2nd Finals MVP award in 3 years?

Howard cracked Pierce intentionally - 131

~~it's a retaliation foul after all the holding or pulling down the arms of Dwight. They could not crack it because his muscles are stiff and huge. Paula, everytime you foul him, bring in the stretcher, be ready for cpr, it's over acting. lol Yes, he got hurt by the foul, how about when he intentionally hurt Dwight and others, ah it's just a friendly touch on Lebron. As you said, do any other means to win the game. (a bad example for Celtic kids)

Posted by: Edwin Gueco | May 21, 2010 at 10:35 AM

Eddie-

I wont even ask you how you know that Howards muscle is stiff and huge!

BTW,your other statement ... "They kept reminding us of the '08 score, well in 08 Ray Allen, Sheed, Garnett, Finley, Pierce were younger, vibrant and hungry."

I dont recall Sheed and Finley on the '08 team.

NFL 101:

Ediwn & yellerfever:

They call NFL football because they use their foot to kick a goal, after they score a goal and when they can't make the first down..

Hey guys. We got a new post up

MM

All this talk about a Lakers vs. Celtics Finals while still smack-dab in the middle of our respective Conference Finals is so disrespectful to both the Suns & Magic... Then I thought, "SO THE EFF WHAT!!!"

This is a LAKERS Blog and we are all happily dueling it out with Gangrene Trolls and LOVING every minute of it.

Can you actually imagine or picture a Suns/Magic Finals... uugghhh... I think I just puked a little in my mouth there.

Fatty,

Seriously?
Lol.
Ok, I'll bite.

The Suns should keep doubling Kobe and take the chance that Ron, Fish, Farmar, Brown and LO won't be quite as accurate from outside on the road.
Stay inside with Pau, Bynum, LO to make interior passes difficult and double Kobe from the perimeter guys.
Keep pushing the pace and try not to let the Lakers slow them down.
Go with the small line up a little longer that gave them that strong 3rd quarter in game 2.
They shot 50% but got beat by 58% shooting.
Can the Lakers shoot 58% on the road?
I am going to guess that more of the Suns shots will fall being at home.
Play their hearts out and leave it all on the floor for game 3 because they absolutely must win this game.
If that doesn't work and they lose game 3, just forfeit game 4.


Just two short years ago, as the Celtics were pushing around a less-than-full-strength Lakers team in the Finals, Ron Artest was at every game as a spectator. When the end came, Artest approached Kobe Bryant on his own and made a promise that IF he joined the Lakers, Kobe would never suffer such a loss at the hands of the miserable Green Septics again.

Posted by: Purple & Gold Reign | May 21, 2010 at 08:54 AM

That actually happenned while Kobe was in the shower...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mOVkP8v4M2E&feature=channel
ff to 3'30.

Chicknstu

Don't be an idiot. The playoffs and especially with the Celtics will be a slow down game and the lakers will have to be tougher than the celtics this time around.

lakerfan,

Good to see you.

you wrote:

1. When I watch Kobe take on an opposing team single handedly and please don’t tell me because his team mates can’t play.
2. When he suffocates the team concept out of a team sport and his team mates.
3. When he is unable to manage his team as a team leader, corral his team mates into helping him with heavy lifting, sign of a poor management and leadership.
4. When he jacks up shots after shots, extremely difficult shots and don’t tell me mates can’t play.
5. Has this team won without Kobe? Have they beaten good teams without Kobe? Can his team mates play?
6. Why is it that Kobe only has won one MVP?
7. We all have Achilles heel and so does your favorite player and Hero. The topic of leadership has been discussed and questioned publicly amongst the NBA circle for almost over a decade now.

my response: Hmmm, let's see ...

re: 1. Phil has said that Kobe didn't tank the 2007 game. D-Wade couldn't
make Smush Parker a better player. Smush Parker is no longer in the NBA.
Starting C Kwame Brown was riding pine in Detroit. MJ couldn't make him
a better player. Brian Cook. When last seen, he was riding pine in Houston
& making a on court appearance when? So which teammate are you
suggesting that Kobe should have passed the ball to?

re: 2. So there are 4 teammates who have thrown Kobe under the bus.

a. Smush Parker. enough said.
b. Pau, who then showed that he was all talk and no action. hence, PJ
calling him soft to a spanish reporter and introducing him to Oaklye.
c. D-Fish who couldn't buy a shot during the regular season, but has finally
found his wallet against the Suns.
d. Shaq, who rode D-Wade to another ring. His campaign to win a ring for
the King failed. He was fired from a VOLUNTARY police job for his
crassness & has confessed that he was more interested in money than in
winning after his 3rd championship with the Lakers.

As someone who *should* be moderately objective, are these pedigrees
worth believing over "playing with a broken finger 2 times in the last 3
years, winning an olympic gold and getting rave reviews from every
team USA member as well as the coach, & joining the elite company of
West & Jordan for best Finals series?

re: 3. How do you manage a team of professionals who admit that they are
coasting, lacking focus & lackadaisical when you're attempting a repeat
of a championship? How do you compare this to the words of Ariza, Powell,
Artest & Vujucic who credit Kobe's leadership in the development of their
game and/or their commitment preparation?

re: 4. You mean like making 6 game winning shots this year, because his
teammates kept giving away leads? You mean like all of the times this
season where Artest was 2-10, Fisher was 2-7, LO was 2-9 ?

re: 5. Hard to say if they have won without Kobe. He plays when he's hurt.
Have they beat a good team without Kobe? No. They lost to Boston in
that first 5 game layoff he took. Would you care to name a good team that
they beat without Kobe? Pau & Artest were all-stars ~ 4 years ago. Other
than that, none of Kobe's teammates have been within sniffing distance
of all-star status without Kobe. So can they play without Kobe? Since they
didn't win anything worth talking about without Kobe, let's just say they're
better with Kobe than without.

re: 6. Because the MVP is a popularity contest. Because he played in Shaq's
shadow. Because the NBA has a love affair with offense. Because of fantasy
basketball. Because of people like you who seem to want to make one
person responsible for the actions or lack of actions of others. Because the
MVP is not about being the best player in the game, it's about being the best
player on the best team from a statistical point of view.

re: 7. Yes it has. If you're paying any attention to what they are actually
saying you'll find that they're recanting they're beliefs/statements. Because
instead of actually talking to knowledgeable people, loud mouth idiots
like yourself, charles barkley, and various writers of the LA times [ not named
Mark Medina ] chose to smell their own armpits and believe they're own
hate filled vomit instead of talking to the coaches of the LA Lakers or the
players of the LA Lakers.

Furthermore, you should go pick a fight with Mitch Kupchak for having the
.... *poor* judgement to draft/trade for guys like Vladamir Radmonovic
[ aka "Space Cadet" ala Phil Jackson ], Smush Parker, Kwame Brown &
getting rid of Caron Butler. This list is actually longer, but you don't really
care. The simple fact is that you believe what you believe regardless of
what historical facts actually say. You are of the same ilk as those who
preferred LeBron's muppet to Kobe. Just a straight up HATER.

re: a choice of Hero. I wouldn't have called him that, but let's go down this
road a bit.

Definition of "hero"

American Heritage Dictionary

1. In mythology and legend, a man, often of divine ancestry, who is endowed with great courage and strength, celebrated for his bold exploits, and favored by the gods.
2. A person noted for feats of courage or nobility of purpose, especially one who has risked or sacrificed his or her life: soldiers and nurses who were heroes in an unpopular war.
3. A person noted for special achievement in a particular field: the heroes of medicine. See Synonyms at celebrity.*
4. The principal male character in novel, poem, or dramatic presentation.

Is Kobe a legend? Yes. Is Kobe endowed with great courage and strength?
Yes. Is he celebrated for his bold exploits? Yes. Is he favored by the gods? He
seems to be. Is he noted for feats of courage/nobility of purpose? Yes. Is
he noted for special achievement in a particular field? Yes. Is he the
principal male character in the novel/poem/dramatic presentation that
is the Los Angeles Lakers/NBA ? HELL YES!!!

Well, I stand corrected. Kobe is a Hero. That's Mr. Hero to HATERS like
you!

lakerfan,

Where did the word soccer come from? At FIFA, they used their feet 90% of the time.

Here is the link about the origin of the word soccer:
http://www.soccer-fans-info.com/origin-of-the-word-soccer.html

After knowing the history and the game itself, which name is more appropriate?

John

"The playoffs and especially with the Celtics will be a slow down game and the lakers will have to be tougher than the celtics this time around."

The Lakers are currently playing a up-tempo style of ball. If the Celts want to continue to play slow and not get back on defense,well, that's just fine with me.

The Lakers ARE capable of playing any style of basketball they decide is most effective. The Celts only play 1 style of ball, It's a physical style of ball and the Lakers can match it.

The Lakers have the advantage.

OH. And Kobe is going to bring Rondo back to earth like he did to Westbrook.

Kobe will neutralize Rondo' speed by playing off of him and daring RR to shoot.

Hobbit:

hahahaha.. think and step out side the box for it will a) give a new perspective, and b) your response would not be emotionally charged where you resort to name calling and lastly please check your blood pressure, I highly recommend.

Let me reiterate that there is one common theme that parallels Kobe's career and that is leadership, and I mean lack of it, regardless of team mates that have come and gone. Kobe has no control over team personnel dynamics but one thing he has control over is his own ability to lead. Has he gotten better? I say yes, to a degree but then again we DFish..hahahahaha.


Edwin:

For very simple reason:

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Where_did_the_name_%27football%27_come_from

Answer

football is called football because you use your foot to kick the ball farther than you throw and you need feet to run,kick and all the other stuff.

Watching the Lakers gaining rhythm and momentum on offense, something that's been missing for most of the regular season, is making this so-called Series enjoyable.

Obviously, the Lakers D has been their focus throughout the regular season.

This so-called Series has become a great offensive tuneup for the Lakers.

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

Mark Medina, here's a question for you: The Suns wore a purple uniform in Game 1 and an orange uniform in Game 2. I presume they'll wear the white uniform for Game 3. Will the Suns have a uniform to wear when they're swept in Game 4? They're running out of colors...

Marc B - Hahaha good observation. To be honest I have no idea. And unfortunately the Suns have already left for Arizona so I can come by practice to get some answers. Let at serve as more anticipation for Game 3.

MM

Dear LO
Please take a few more boxing lessons to tune-up your chin, and to mentally prepare for the boxing match that will be in the paint.

KG is going to try to punk you again just like the Christmas game 2008 when you didn't back down and then slapped his a**.

Hey bring Pau with you too, he needs to get used to people banging him, and then banging back. Do it for the Bronx, LO!

fan since '81

If this series happens, I think a lot of you have been saying that Kobe would guard Rondo. He could do it full time. IF LA finishes the series EARLY and allows Kobe 9 full days to rest. But I would give Rondo to Fish or Farmar if the score stays +/- 2 possessions.

If LA's down 2 possessions, Kobe can help against the C's building a lead.

If LA's up 2 possessions, Kobe can help get more stops and LA can build a lead.

All bets are off if the game is in the 4th. But the guys that matter in such a series wouldn't be Kobe or Pau, who I think would play at or above their averages. The keys, in this order, would be:

1. LO -- Candyman's the X-factor the C's will have the most problems with if he's on his game.

2. Bynum: if he gets double-doubles or close (10 and 10, 13 and 8, etc.), the C's can't beat'em.

3. Artest: staying in Pierce's jersey is key.

4. Farmar: if he can mitigate the damage Rondo can do at PG with productive minutes, LA can win this in six.

I think this series, for all the C's bring to the table, will not be about what they do, but what LA does. If they play 4 games like the closeout game v. Denver (still their best win in recent memory) then Sixteen will be in the bag. This series will turn out like:

the 2008 Finals

the 1985 Finals or

the 2001 Western Conference Finals, when everybody was expecting a colossal LA-SAS series and the Spurs didn't even get close.

Chickenstu,

This is playoff basketball and we aren't playing the suns. It will be a grind it out dog fight. The uptempo style is because we are playing Phoenix. Don't expect it to be another fast paced series. Did you just become a laker fan? Remember 08? That is what it will be like.

John.

. I never said it wouldn't be a dogfight. What i'm saying is the Lakers are capable of playing a fast tempo game which would favor the Lakers in the 4th qtr.

This isn't the same team of 08.

Gasol was still learning the triangle in 08, he is very focused this year. We didn't have Drew in the line up in 08. We also didn't have Artest.

Its OK to be afraid John.

peace

Lakerfan,

Ron Artest, Lamar Odom, Andrew Bynum, Shannon Brown, DJ Benga, Luke Walton, Sasha,Derek Fisher, Phil Jackson and Josh Powell have consistently called Kobe the Leader or one of the leaders of the team. I think they have a better clue about his leadership skills than someone looking from the outside in.

As someone on the blog consistently says, there are lies, damn lies and statistics. Right now your comments fall between the damn lies and statistics category.

I agree that Kobe lacked good leadership skills and had to grow into them, but he's done a very good job over the last 3 years. As far as leadership goes he's changed for the better, most of us have no problem giving him credit for that.

Parallel forces are at hand. A perfect storm is looming. Yes we chanted "we want Boston" at Staples at the end of game two because of a possibility of a Laker sweep in Pheonix. But definitely not a shun to the Suns and their organization. Supposed Boston wins Saturday night or game 4 in Boston, you know the Celtics fans are going to be echoing their ole' mantra "beat LA" over and over

Anyone who thinks the lakers can sweep the Celtics doesn't know a thing about basketball!!

The Lakers will hit our geriatric stone wall of green, and your darling Kobe will be looking up at the the scoreboard like a little boy lost once again. The Lakers have not been tested against a defense like Boston's circa may 2010. Anyone that thinks the Celtics can't win this knows nothing about basketball.

The Celts have dismantled James and Howard, as if they were playing a high school team, and while the Lakers are certainly deeper, if they underestimate the Green it will be over in five. No one knows this more than Phil Jackson.

Get your manicures and bang your C-List starlets....WERE COMING!


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