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Caught in the Web: Lakers-Celtics practice reports

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Lakers links

--The Times' Mike Bresnahan highlights the Lakers' belief that the Celtics will play more aggressively in Game 2.

--The Times' Broderick Turner gets a Game 1 assessment from Lakers assistant coach Frank Hamblen, who points out a few areas the Lakers need to sharpen for Game 2.

--NBA.com's Steve Aschburner looks at how the Pau Gasol-Kevin Garnett matchup with shape up in Game 2.

--The Daily News' Vincent Bonsignore argues that Ron Artest's more serious approach to the game has yielded positive results for the Lakers.

--The Riverside Press Enterprise's Matt Calkins believes many of the media have overblown the comments Gasol made on Garnett.

--The Orange County Register's Kevin Ding has an update on Sasha Vujacic's relationship with tennis player Maria Sharapova.

--Sports Illustrated's Lee Jenkins explains in great detail in the latest issue of S.I. why a championship specifically over Boston would vastly help Bryant's legacy.

--ESPN Los Angeles' Andy Kamenetzky documents how the Lakers managed to win an ugly Game 1.

--The Riverside Press-Enterprise's David Lassen looks at how the 67 combined free throws in Game 1 affected the pace of the game. Lassen also explains why Gasol has struggled with shedding the "soft" label.

--Jackie MacMullan with ESPN sits down with Bryant to discuss in the video below what he's learned from the NBA's all-time greats.

--ESPN Los Angeles' Arash Markazi proclaims the series is over.

--The Orange County Register's Jeff Miller takes Gasol to task for criticizing Garnett's game.

--Sports Illustrated's Richard Rothchild ranks all 11 series of the Lakers-Celtics Finals matchups.

--The Boston Globe's Bob Ryan appreciates how "skilled" a basketball player Gasol has become.

--The Daily News' Elliott Teaford reports Lakers guard Derek Fisher doesn't plan to retire after this season, though he conceded his uncertain future as a free agent.

--AOL Fanhouse's Chris Tomasson highlights Bryant's maturity.

--Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski documents how Gasol exacted revenge on Garnett in Game 1.

--Lakers.com's Mike Trudell goes one-on-one in the video below with Lakers guard Sasha Vujacic

--Silver Screen and Roll's C.A. Clark dissects how the Lakers' offense has done in the postseason.

--Forum Blue and Gold's Darius argues the Lakers-Suns West Finals series could serve as a valuable learning experience for the rest of the NBA Finals.

Celtics links

--The Times' Mark Heisler warns the Lakers and their fans why they shouldn't count Boston out.

--The Times' Baxter Holmes details the difficulty Celtics guard Rajon Rondo faced against the Lakers. Holmes also explains how Boston plans to guard Bryant in Game 2.

--The Boston Globe's Zuri Berry notices the team hasn't changed its mood since the Game 1 loss.

--The Boston Herald's Steve Buckley observes the Celtics aren't panicking

--Ball Don't Lie's Kelly Dwyer wonders whether Rondo can crack the Lakers' defense.

--ESPN Boston's Chris Forsberg and ESPN Los Angeles' Dave McMenamin detail both sides of the debate over Garnett's play. Forsberg also argues the Celtics need to forget about their Game 1 loss.

--The Boston Globe's Christopher L. Gasper believes the series will be decided by defense.

--ESPN.com's Scoop Jackson argues Garnett lacked rhythm in Game 1.

--ESPN Boston's Peter May believes Gasol's assessment of Garnett was accurate.

--The Boston Herald's Mark Murphy details how the Celtics plan to bounce back from Game 1.

--Sports Illustrated's Joe Posnanski calls Celtics forward Paul Pierce the "Jedi Knight of hoops."

--Yahoo! Sports' Marc Spears details how Ray Allen's foul trouble hurt his Game 1 performance.

--Celtic Blog's Jeff Clark lists five reasons why Boston can win Game 2.

Tweet of the Day:@RealLamarOdom "Coach Wooden - Great Man" -- DuranLA (Lakers forward Lamar Odom to 710 ESPN's Beto Duran).

Video Caption Comment of the Day: "Chris: " hey Kobe wanna be on my new tv show Everybody Hates Boston ?? " Kobe: " hmm...I wonder whats Shaq doin' right now..heh..heh..prob fishin'" -- BongoAlx

Reader Comment of the Day:"WAS IT A WISE COMMENT BY PAU TO INFURIATE GARNETT? Or is there a truth to Pau's comment that KG has lost a step? There was none better than Magic at always praising his opponents with a smile and come game time ready to go after the jugular." -- FAR SIDE

--Mark Medina

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

Photo: Lakers forward Lamar Odom fights for possession of the ball against Boston's Ray Allen, Glen Davis and Kevin Garnett in the fourth quarter of Game 1 on Thursday night. Credit: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

 
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Celtics defensive coordinator, Tom Thibodeau, has just been offered (and is expeced to accept) the Bulls head coaching position.

Great timing - one more distraction for the Ceptics...

The Snake,

Well, Thibodeau would be wise to sign on the dotted line soon. His stock is only gonna drop as this series progresses.

What was with the ad DURING the game for Nightline featuring LeBronze?

I'm with the Snake here, I thought WTH??!!??

And yes, I remember KL coming on here day after day saying that Kobe was a cancer, he was the reason (the actual REASON) why the Lakers were losing a lot, saying that everyone in the league was telling Kobe "FU" and going elsewhere... blah blah blah. I tried to talk sense into him as did everyone else, but to no avail.

And his sidekick, Gunner, at least had the guts to show up after the Lakers won the title to admit he was wrong (about Kobe never winning without Snaq)...

I woke up this morning with a weird thought.

Kobe is 31, right? Going to be 32 soon?

I've always figured he could pull an MJ and play at MVP-like levels until he was about 35. By this measure, we have about 4 more seasons of great Kobe followed by seasons of good Kobe. In those 4 seasons, how many title shots will we get? Assuming PJ's 47-0 game 1 holds up, Kobe could go for what, 7+ titles possibly?

I just hope and pray that Mitch and Buss don't make the same exact mistake they made last time.... riding the horse a little too long. We're going to need an upgrade at the PG starting next season... come on, let's get real, Derek won't be able to play for 4 more seasons at a high level, so we'd best start working on patching the hole now (big reason I was for JF starting this year).

Anyway, can't wait til tomorrow!!

I will add that by the time those 4 yrs are up, it might not be a bad idea to start thinking of having a premier player (Durant) waiting in the wings?

Probably would take some massive luck, seeing as the economy will be shambles by then and many teams will be hurting coupled with all sorts of trade and salary restrictions.

Just thinking ahead on a day where I can't wait until tomorrow...

I hope Fish re-signs for something close to the vets' minimum and returns next year as our backup PG. You can't put a price tag on his leadership and presence on the team. He needs to be a Laker for life.

Tim,

"I will add that by the time those 4 yrs are up, it might not be a bad idea to start thinking of having a premier player (Durant) waiting in the wings?"

Hopefully Durant signs a short-term extension with OKC that will allow him to become a free agent in a couple of years. The lure of playing in LA and being mentored by Kobe may make the Lakers one of his top choices if he does become a free agent. I don't think he can become a mega-star by playing for OKC his entire career.

In any case, I think we should take a shot at getting LBJ this summer after we win the championship. A full court press by Kobe, Phil, Mitch and Buss might do the trick.

EJK,

"I hope Fish re-signs for something close to the vets' minimum and returns next year as our backup PG. You can't put a price tag on his leadership and presence on the team. He needs to be a Laker for life."

You and I have the same hopes, dreams and desires.

Yes.

I hate that people hate upon Derek. We wouldn't have these Championships without him.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

FAR SIDE,

"WAS IT A WISE COMMENT BY PAU TO INFURIATE GARNETT?"

Yes, it was.

In the presence of the Zen Master, this team has learned the value of psychological warfare.

The Celtics are bullies.

Bullies are intrinctly internally weak. They over-compensate.

Attack their narcissistic wound and they collapse.

You've heard it here first:

I've been on this blog since its inception and if you look at my long track record, even though I have much less knowledge and access than so called "experts" in the field, over the long years I have been overwhelmingly right when the situation if over:

The Celtics will self-destruct in this series.

The Lakers' superior mental toughness will define the series.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

Lol Tim, slow day in Lakerland brings thoughts of the future.
The Lakers will be an old team in 4 years, but maybe the thought is by then Drew will be in his prime and a big force. Still they need another big time player for the perimeter.

But who knows, 4 years in the future in this day and age where the speed of events is faster than ever, there is no telling what may be happening in the world.
With your 'economy in shambles' thought maybe the only BB to be watched will be reruns of old games as the league is in shambles also, the owners refusing to pay any player more than $500k per year and the players being outraged and refusing to play, as the economic depression envelopes the world and pushes it into war and oil becomes so expensive no one but the very wealthy will attend the games anyway, and they aren't interested enough to attend enough games to allow the teams to make any money.
:)

Some comments on game 1.....

1. Lakers are off to a great start. Their intensity and focus are just what they need to bring home the O'Brien. As long as they focus and play great defense, they should be fine.

2. I'm sick of hearing about how poorly the Celtics played. The Lakers had a lot to do with that. There is no switch that the Celtics forgot to throw.

3. I thought that Farmar, Sasha and Farmar provided a big boost off the bench. Not great numbers, but big plays. In the 4th Q., when the C's cut the lead to 11, Farmar made a huge drive, beating his man, and finishing over KG. Pushed the lead back to 13 and killed the Celtics momentum.

4. PJ is amazing. When the Celtics cut the lead in the 4th Q., PJ takes Kobe out! Great show of faith in his team.

5. Pau is right about KG. His comments were taken out of context, however, and showed respect for his opponent. As I mentioned in point #3, KG couldn't even rotate over to give a hard foul on Farmar in the 4th. The injuries to KG's knee and his mileage and this long playoff run are taking their toll.

6. D(erek) J(eter) made a great point on one of the earlier threads when he noted that Boston has lost 3 of its last 4 playoff games. Again, I think that the long playoff run is catching up to them.

7. I'd be very leery of Glen Davis if I were the Lakers. He's a dirty, dirty player. Sheed, as well.

8. I've got eight words for Rasheed Wallace....

Afro pick.

STFU.

Cosmetic dentistry.

9. If Doc Rivers uses the word "physical" one more time in his interviews, I'm going to puke. Talk about trying to send messages to the refs.

10. I hope the Lakers don't lose focus with all the hype surrounding the Finals. Going through it the last 3 years has most of the team prepared, but for Ron Artest it's a new experience. Stay thirsty, Ron Ron!

That's all I got!
GO LAKERS!!

Jon K,

Agree with your thoughts about Pau's Garnett comments.
Garnett is mentally unstable, but he doesn't need any more motivation to play hard. I mean, Pau's comments aren't going to make him play better, he will want to play better anyway, but Pau's comments may make him overcompensate and be too hyped up like he was in game 1. Garnett prob is playing with too much energy, so I hope he comes out to show the world what a monster he is and by the 3rd quarter will be wasted, out of energy, or have gotten into foul trouble, maybe even a T.

Also agree with you about Fish, he isn't going anywhere.
There was an article a week or 2 ago showing Kobe saying he plans to have Fish around a while longer. If Kobe wants Fish, Kobe will get Fish.

MM,

Thank you kindly and most importantly thank you for keeping the fans hydrated from all the news.

Keep up the good work!!
Best,
Far Side

Kobe, Gasol, Artest, Bynum & Fisher are playing great. Fisher deserves to retire a Laker & provide 3 more years as a leader with wisdom while handing over the reigns to the next starting point guard. Farmar, Brown or Sasha have not earned that yet. Odom needs to do a better job with his offense and rebounding consistency against the Celtics who will show fierce rebounding & blocking out intensity in game 2. Unfortunately, Gasol has trampled on Garnet's ego & can expect vigorous physical punishment. Good job disrupting the Celtic "Loaded Defense" !!
The worst fouls by Lakers are offensive charging fouls & as with TOs give opponents an extra possession and an earlier free throw situation. Another caution is to avoid bigs taking cheap fouls against Celtic guards. Should rather take a charge outside the restricted area or not at all or go for blocks. Farmar, Brown & Sasha can help here, so can Mbenga. Bench can also help with rebounding and do have leapers to help block shots. Go Lakers, game 2 is a must win against the Celtics!!

Jon K.

"WAS IT A WISE COMMENT BY PAU TO INFURIATE GARNETT?"

Yes, it was.

In the presence of the Zen Master, this team has learned the value of psychological warfare.

Response: You may have a valid point here because of more to do with Phil's teachings.

Art - FL Lakers Fan,

Hello, brother.

1. "Garnett is mentally unstable, but he doesn't need any more motivation to play hard."

My hope is that Garnett plays TOO hard, meaning "mentally undisciplined." I think it is going to happen. That Giant Green Bald-Headed Lunatic is going to self-destruct.

2. "If Kobe wants Fish, Kobe will get Fish."

God, I hope so, and Mitch Kupchack isn't stupid. He knows the value of Fish, as does Phil.

If LeZero can basically through inference have the entire staff of the Cavs fired to meet his whims, hopefully a true Champion like Kobe will have his insight respected in building/maintaining this team next year.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

2.

afro pick! that was pretty damn funny, bronxlakerfan. there's no doubt in my mind the Lakers management has to BRING DFish back. L.A. made a huge mistake a few years ago letting Derek go. yeah, we weren't that good of a team when shaq left, but we would have been still a decent team with DFish at the point guard as oppose to having "Smush Parker" running the team. "do the right thing," mitch kupchak!

The way Fish has been playing lately, I'm not sure why he needs to be a backup next year. Dude started all 82 games, is averaging about 11 ppg in the playoffs and has held his own against some of the best guards out there. If we win another ring, next fall could easily be a replay of last fall - somebody else will have to come in and take that position away from him.

Kobe & Gasol will be the best dynamic duo for the next 4 years. Gasol, Bynum & Artest the best front line trio on defense. With a good defensive PG to gradually take over the starting role from Fish next year the best back court for a 3-peat!! Watchout for well practiced Celtics dirty play in game 2! Go Lakers beat the Celtsicks in Six with a Pau Garnaught & Artest, Bynum Barabing and Kobe-Fish hook!!!

@ tim4show @ EJK

Agreed I said the same in a previous post..don.t mind keeping fish(off the bench),but like in 03 the team went to long without a few tweaks.Hopefully they'll do it right this time. Also not just fish but there's some guys named luke and sasha.... Odom also is still up and down but that's who he is. Also it would have been great to have both artest and ariza and it should have been. I still feel the team made some bad decisions and ariza had to pay for it.Any idiot can see that arizas contributions expecially the last two rounds of last years run was huge. What i'm getting at is that his worth at that time was way more than luke and sasha yet they got longer contracts. It's amazing no one mentions this but I can bet that's what the main problem was. Even though looking back we still are in the finals that was a great oversight. Here's to hoping bynum isn't the next great overpayed laker...................

For all the focus on the Pau-KG matchup this series, I think the Drew-Perkins matchup is just as important. Drew has the opportunity to show the world that had he been healthy in '08, we'd be working on a three-peat this year. If Drew consistently wins the matchup, this series should be over in Boston.

Hi Everyone, I think game 2 will be huge in particular for the Celtics. If they loose which I hope they will, the Lakers will win in 5 or 6. The 2/3/2 format is an advantage to the team having the homecourt advantage. I thought atmosphere was great at Staples in G1, they do it with allot of class. Go Lakers.

I agree with the many comments on various threads expressing dismay with the timing of LeBrawn's recent media tour on Nightline and Larry King Live. I forgot who said it, but "media whore" sums it up pretty nicely.

I think that the Princess will re-sign with the Cavs. Bottom line, they can offer him the most money. I can't see that greedy "media whore" leaving all that money on the table. Especially now that Brown and Ferry are out of the picture.

"PAUs COMMENTS ON GARNETT "
Too much is made out of Pau's comments "waking up the beast" or whatever.I mean, it is the NBA finals and the Cs would be raring to go in game 2 anyway. I don't believe Garnett needs that extra bit of motivation and if he perchance does, they are already in more trouble than they are aware of.

As for the comment itself, every player over 30 is bound to lose a step or two with all the injuries that accumulate over the years.Some manage to compensate for it really well by developing different facets of their game and the maturity/smartness that grows with age.I would say Garnett has been able to do that and Pau did acknowledge the same.
Funny how Rondo responded to a reporter telling him of Pau's comments - "Oh he said that ?? I didn't know..man I just can't wait"...So what were you planning on doing before you knew about the comments ? Not bringing your A-game ? Rolling over ? Winning the game to gain momentum and as a step towards the championship should be motivation enough for anyone.All of the rest is just balderdash :). With all the talk from Garnett/Doc Rivers about him needing to "stop thinking too much and just play" , anymore distractions tossed his way should only work in favor of the Lakers

Amit

Why the media keeps saying we were more physical than the Celts? The truth is that the refs toned the game down by calling every single touch. That helped the more "finesse" team, us. There was no physical game at all, and that hurted the Celts. Also, one of their weapons, Ray Allen 3-pointers, was not used, once he got into foul trouble.
Refs again are the key for a win. We need to "read" the refs as quick as we can and play accordingly.
Cheers.

Why are you all complaining about the timing on LeBron's interview?
LeWho?

Suppose Rivers keeps saying how physical the Lakers were to motivate the refs to call more fouls against the Lakers?
Was he pulling a "PJ" here or maybe he was just trying to pump up his guys.

VI Lakerfan- Yes, keeping Ariza with Ron would have been really good, would have made made the team even deeper. Imagine Ariza coming in for Ron. What would have been lost in strong physical defense would have been offset but Ariza's quickness and offense. Ariza is an excellent role player, out of place being the main man in Houston.

Jon K- About Garnett playing TOO hard, that's what I was getting at, but you said it just right.

I'd like to see Fish become a player-coach for the next few years grooming the next PG or backing up a quality acquisition in FA, thus reducing his minutes in the regular season and getting him ready for the playoffs where he always comes through. After he retires he can stay on as a coach, he'd be awesome and have the players respect with all those damn rings he'll be wearing by that time.

Woj's article about how Pau dislikes KG cuz of all the dirty play and trash talk he has spewed to the euros, and how he wants to take KG's lunch money and not just beat him but embarrass him is awesome! Game 1 = Scoreboard Bizatch!!! I don't think KG has the game to do anything about it now so he's down for a beating like Ali gave to Floyd Patterson..."what's my name?" Smack..."what's my name" Smack. I think Pau is crazy like a fox and setting KG up for humiliation on steroids. Make it happen Pau. You might even get Kobe to smile ;~)

This blog hasn't been the same without input from DriftSki

Just woke up...read HoopHype.com/rumors first (cuz quicker read)....they said Ricky Rubio is saying that he will play in the NBA in the 2011-2012 season...Rambis went to go see him play and talk to him and apparently Rubio took a liking to Rambis. Well we can kill 2 birds with one stone and maybe not have to give up a whole lot....Somehow we ge get these 2 back as Lakers, if Rambis is fired by then he doesn't deserve automatic head coach to take over for Phil, and with Rubio we would have a point guard that Pau would absolutely enjoy playing with. Soon the Lakers may as well put "Los" on the front of their jerseys permanently and all the other players will be required to learn a 2nd or 3rd language...just a thought, now someone will go ahead and destroy it


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