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Caught in the Web: Lakers and Celtics practice reports

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Lakers links

--The Times' Broderick Turner details the decision behind Lakers center Andrew Bynum getting his right knee drained.

--The Times' Mike Bresnahan looks at the decisions the Lakers will have to make during off-season.

--NBA Fanhouse's Sam Amick details Ron Artest's playoff journey.

--The Riverside Press-Enterprise's Matt Calkins says Lakers assistant trainer Marco Nunez actually enjoys his commute from Riverside, a time that allows him to reflect on his life journey.

--The Orange County Register's Kevin Ding argues the Lakers must play physical against the Celtics. Ding also lists the three keys to the series.

--Pro Basketball Talk's Kurt Helin focuses on the Artest-Paul Pierce matchup.

--ESPN.com's John Hollinger breaks down some numbers to illustrate Lakers guard Kobe Bryant's improved play. (Subscription required)

--The Riverside Press-Enterprise's David Lassen reports on Bynum's decision to have his knee drained, which could help his play.

--ESPN Los Angeles Andy Kamenetzky looks at the history that Lakers forwards Lamar Odom and Ron Artest share with each other.

--ESPN Los Angeles' Arash Markazi argues that a Lakers Finals victory over the Celtics would further cement Bryant's legacy and shape how history views both teams.

--ESPN Los Angeles' Dave McMenamin assesses how the Lakers have matured since their 2008 Finals loss to the Celtics.

---NBA.com's John Schuhmann believes both the Lakers and Celtics are ready for the Finals.

--The Daily News' Elliott Teaford says part of Bynum's reasoning behind getting his knee drained included Bryant's elevated play after having his own knee drained.

--The Orange County Register's Mark Whicker highlights how the Lakers and Celtics are different since the 2008 Finals.

--Silver Screen and Roll's wondahbap argues the 2010 Finals has significant bearings on Bryant's legacy.

Celtics links

--The Times' Lisa Dillman explains how Celtics Coach Doc Rivers and forward Paul Pierce have provided a calming influence on the team.

--The New York Times' Jonathan Abrams details how Boston used the 82-game regular season as an extended training camp.

--ESPN Boston's Chris Forsberg says Boston's bench could again be the difference-maker.

--The Orange County Register's Jeff Miller calls Pierce the NBA's No. 1 diva.

--The Boston Globe's Dan Shaughnessy says the Lakers-Celtics rivalry gives young and old a chance to relive the good old days.

--The Boston Globe's Julian Benbow highlights the Celtics' acknowledgment that they've been looking forward to this matchup.

--The Boston Herald's Gerry Callahan marvels at how the Celtics got to this point.

--Celtic Blog's Jimmy Toscano explains what makes Boston a good road team.

--The Boston Herald's Mark Murphy reports Rivers remains upset that Kendrick Perkins is one technical foul away from receiving a one-game suspension.

--Forum Blue and Gold's Darius breaks down the Celtics' offense.

--The Boston Herald's Dan Ventura documents the many concerns the Celtics have about guarding Bryant.

Tweet of the Day: "Bynum just had 70 cc drained from his ailing right knee. Almost twice as much as Kobe. It's a lot. How will he fare? To be answered Thursday" -- Mike_Bresnahan (L.A. Times Lakers reporter Mike Bresnahan)

Reader Comment of the Day: "Translation of Phil's Video: 1. The Celtics are a bunch of bullies. 2. We have to be mentally tough to deal with them." -- Jon K

--Mark Medina

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

Photo: Lakers guard Kobe Bryant looks to score on a reverse layup against Celtics big men Kevin Garnett and Kendrick Perkins in the first half of Game 3 of the 2008 NBA Finals. Bryant would score 36 points in leading L.A. to an 87-81 victory. Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times

 
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So I tried buying finals tickets using the presale email for Lakers Supporters, and everything is sold out. SECONDS after the page went live. How does every single ticket sell out in seconds. Minutes I get, but seconds??

Hey MM how about asking the Lakers front office about this BS. It sucks how the real fans are priced out of the most important games because A-Hole ticket vendors like VIP or Barry's get all the tickets.

I KINDA FEEL SORRY FOR PAUL PIERCE.

SURE HE'S GONNA HIT A FEW SHOTS HERE AND THERE.

BUT OVERALL ARTEST IS GONNA MAKE HIS WORLD A LIVING FREAKING NIGHTMARE!! YEA!!!

:)
THANK GOD WE HAVE ARTESSSSSSSSSSTTTTTTTTTTTTT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

SORRY PAUL PIERCE, DON'T GET QUEASY JUST FOCUS WHEN YOU HAVE TO TAKE THAT LAST SECOND SHOT AND YOU GOT A GUY WHOSE GONNA MAKE DIFFICULT. ARTEST ALMOST COST THE LAKERS THE CHAMPIONSHIP LAST YEAR WHEN HE WENT UP AGAINS KOBE.
If he did that to Kobe last year... I can't feaking wait to see what Paul the "wilt" Pierce does in those last second shot apportunities. Good luck and don't dwell on D that's coming to you senor. :-)
I don't want to see domination. I want to see a fun series, maybe 6 games :)

LakerTom,


I have been waiting patiently for the BEAST to appear and this series will be it. He and Laker Mgt held off the surgery all because of Boston being in the back of the minds. My gut tells me we will see a lot more out of Bynum in this series and will surprise a lot of Laker Fans with his play especially KobeBlitz.


What about Artest Tom? After rewinding that play to end game 5 about 100 times I think that play will send the Lakers to the PromiseLand. Like he has stated he now feels like part of the team and now can relax and let it come to him instead of forcing it. Example: game 6...has he ever had a better all around game? I think the goat to hero and finally feeling like he belongs will be the key to the Lakers Championship. Bottom line: If Fish and Artest hit shots I just can't see them losing.


This is going to be special LakerTom!


BD

Fatty,

"To put it bluntly, its un-American to have this policy in a true capitalist society."

I happen to agree here. I also think the draft, lottery, salary cap, and trade restrictions are un-capitalistic. Sadly, there is no true capitalist society, including the USA. If it were, I wouldn't go on to say what I'm about to say...

Wes,
I also agree with the degree of poverty in the USA. While there's a massive difference between have and have nots (and actually, more and more of us are have nots), the poor or homeless in the USA have it awesome when compared to other areas of the world. I mean, absolutely unequivocally no comparison.

And while I agree with Edwin that we'll always have the poor and there's no Utopian society (and I'll go a step further and say the harder you try to create one, the further away it will get), the system is massively unfair. It's unfair for reasons that probably most everyone here hasn't realized (not the typical reason(s) you hear in political speeches).

But, it's not as though I'll ever feel sorry for an NBA player's job. If I could have continued to be an athlete for money (better than when I was in college), I would have continued all day long. I'd still be doing it. Then throw in 7 or 8 figure salary and I don't care if they move me every year....

But, that's just me

Can I just add....

There's NO WAY the Lakers are walking away from this series without the O'Brien.

It would take massive injury.

Lakers in 6 or less. Consider it done.

The notion floating around that James Posey or Paul Pierce shut down Kobe in the 2008 finals is completely off base. The entire Boston team focused on Kobe. I'm not even talking about double teams, I'm talking about occasional quadruple teams. Boston was getting away with murder on the court. Illegal screens on almost every offensive play, and multiple hacks on Kobe everytime he drove into the lane. This video is an interesting analysis of the 2008 Finals:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nepmd2ygMK4

"My gut tells me we will see a lot more out of Bynum in this series and will surprise a lot of Laker Fans with his play especially KobeBlitz."

So says the person who blasted Kobe Bryant as selfish and cared more about his stats after the Bulls game in December and blasted any criticims of that as Bryant fans rather than Laker fans and that there should be no criticism of Andrew Bynum since he's the beast with no weaknesses and the future of the NBA who should have earned his first regular season MVP, DPOY, a spot on all nba team, and the defensive team and already the finals mvp (you didn't say that Bynum deserved those awards I know it was more rather to show much in love with Bynum you are).


I was really proud of Bynum in Games 5 and 6 where he really contributed instead of the foul machine he was in Games 2 and 3 and the one who ran his mouth in after Game 2 and has his focus on the Finals instead of the series which was a very competitive series which could have been a 3-2 in favor of Phoenix had it been not for Ron Artest's last second shot. So much where Bynum's head was instead of the task at hand which KOBE BRYANT led his team to those wins.


But anyways I want the Lakers to win. I don't care if Kobe gets a 30-5-5 series or Bynum averages 20-10 whats important is the win if either gets it and wins it's flavoring but if they do get their stats but lose it's pointless......


Laker Truth, nice video link. That is just the thing to get the blood boiling.

After seeing the way the officiating has gone in this year's playoff run, I have zero confidence that any of these fouls will be called this year either. So, the best way to deal with the repeated fouling and illegal Celtic defense is for Pau and Lamar (and hopefully Andrew) to make a presence. What was notable from that video was how rarely we saw a Laker big cut to the basket . There is no way a team can be allowed to double, triple or even quadruple team Kobe and not be made to pay by our big guys. This is one area (of many, I think) where this year's team should be better than the 2008 version....

You asked for me - you got me - WUTTUP PARTY PEOPLE!!!!!!


HAHAHAHAHA!!!!

Ok - first thing's first.

I spend a couple days away from here, then when trying to catch up I find I've missed a proposal from Mamba24????


WHAT THE HELL???? LMAO!!! Wow - didn't see that one coming AT ALL!!!! Mamba24 - I LOVE YOU MAN (but not in that way) HAHAHAHA!!! Also - thanks for getting me on the rolling bandwagons. I"M RIDING ON THEM ALL. AND DON"T FORGET - WE GOT THIS!!!! Fricken Beantown idiots - who do they think they are - standing in the way of our DESTINY?????


complex (my) brotha - OH HELL NO. I refuse to talk to you down. Didn't you see me?? I was the one right beside you pimp smacking KG's mama while you were focused on the lunatic. HAHAHAHAHAHA!!! (Ok - no - I don't condone violence in real life. BUT - in dreams AND on the court - it is perfectly acceptable when we're talking about the green weeners. The nastier, the better.)


Rick - my BFF - congrats on RCOTD - AGAIN. MM - you're gonna have to start paying my friend here. His stuff is right up there with yours!


IS IT THURSDAY YET?????

FOR THE LOVE OF GOD - IS IT GAME DAY YET?????

Noah - can't you talk to your friend and see if he can speed up time? Just this once? I know he can do it. He made the sun stand still once before - doesn't he owe the universe the difference????

wes - awesome posts - and poetry. Thanks!!

Laker Tom - glad to see you didn't bail. No troll is worth that sacrifice.


Jon K - great story about the deer. That is way cool. Hope you get the LA job!! My fingers & toes are crossed for you!!


Sherrif - glad to see you again - where you been??? Better get back here more regular like. It's been nightmare without you keeping the peace.

I LOVE LA!! I LOVE THE LAKERS!! I LOVE THIS BLOG!!!


NOTHING BEATS BEING A FAN OF THE GREATEST FRANCHISE ON EARTH - YOUR WORLD CHAMPION LOS ANGELES LAKERS!!!!

Our Sweet 16 is 4 wins away. WE GOT THIS.

GO LAKERS!!

Nothing but another title will suffice - Kobe Bryant


Welcome back Justa

Already approached Him on the time thing..
He's REALLY cranky. I think He's feeling trapped
because he created the whole free will thing and now he has to stick it out...
which means we have to wait 2 more days..

But some good news --while you were gone, He smote Mike T and Ricky..
although Ricky keeps worming his way back in..

The Lakers have to play tough against the Celtics. That is obvious. We have to hope Drew can give a good 20 minutes - his size alone will help and will push Perkins off Gasol defensively. Artest, Kobe and Fish will play tough, that is a given (and part of the Lakers' underesimated toughness. So it is (surprise) Pau and Lamar who will have to step up.


But toughness is only half the key. Rondo is a fast little dude. But other than Rondo, the Celtics are not all that quick. After battling quick teams like OKC and PHX, the Lakers will actually have a quickness advantage in some ways against Boston. When Lamar and Pau play together, they are a quick front line. Motion in the offense, man and ball, could go a long way to offset the Celt's advantage in brutality. The Lakers can take advantage of the age of Boston if they run the offense well and make them move.

Here's hoping for the "wholehearted" effort we're looking to see starting Thursday.
From Goethe:

Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative and creation, there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do
or dream you can, begin it.
Boldness has genius,
power and magic in it.

Laker Truth - Thanks for the memories....

"You could put hockey masks on the Celtics and easily confuse their play with the old Philadelphia Flyers"

I would love to see the NBA refs check them first with calling a tight game. The C's wouldn't have a clue how to play if the game were called straight up.

I really like Jon K's idea of turning MBenga loose on KG. I will even chip in to pay the Lakers fines.

BD... Thanks for your comments. I agree 100% that Drew and Ron are going to be the big difference. And you are right about the Game 5 heroics finally baptizing Ron as a Laker. Can’t wait for Thursday night. Go, Lakers.
~~~~~~~~
JUSTANOTHERMAMBAFAN... “Laker Tom - glad to see you didn't bail. No troll is worth that sacrifice.” Nothing compromises best intentions more than your jones telling you that you need a fix bad. Ergo, cut that vacation short, throw some mild critiques at MM, but most importantly, cancel the ill-advised vacation plans and get that fix to carry you forward for another game. Lakerholics unite. Our summer fix is arriving soon.
~~~~~~~~
TOM D... Some terrific posts coming from the better Tom. I agree with you. Now is the time for the younger, faster, and quicker Lakers to run the old dogs from Boston and get some easy hoops in transition before they can set up their vaunted half court defense. I especially look for Drew and Pau to beat their men down the court for some easy seals and dunks – sort of like KG did to Pau in 2008 – but reversed this time.
~~~~~~~~
JUSTALAKERFAN... Speaking of knees, I hope your knee is well enough for you to make those chest bumps every time we punk the green weenies. Mrs. LakerTom gets her brace off and will start heavy rehabbing her torn ACL, MCL, and meniscus. In many ways, I think her injury was harder on me than her. LOL!
~~~~~~~~
TOM

All the smug Magic and Cavs fans said the same thing; they were all going to win in five games, six tops. Boy, are you Lakers fans in for a sad surprise. The Celtics DISMANTLED your team in 2008 and you think a nutty Artest and a gimpy Bynum are going to be the difference? LMAO. We'll give King Kobe his 35 or 40 and the rest of your offense is toast. Rondo will blanket Fisher and KG will shut down Gasol, and Perkins will manhandle Odom. This ain't going to be some run and gun, where's the defense type of series. Your revenge will last one half of the first game and then it's going to be a gritty slog the rest of the series. The Lakers aren't tough enough to beat the Celtics.

LAKER TRUTH....

Thank you so much for that link to the 2008 Finals. For some reason I can't access Youtube's videos. I've wanted to link to that video for the past few days. I give the Celtics credit as a good defensive team, but the lack of calls and non-calls in the 2008 Finals was ridiculous. Kobe took a serious beating. It's real easy and disingenuous to praise a team for their "toughness" when they are playing completely outside the rules. This time around the Lakers are better prepared. 2008 was the first deep playoff run for a lot of the Lakers. This time they are defending champions. We shall see!

GO LAKERS!!!


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