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Caught in the Web: Previewing Game 2 of Lakers-Celtics series

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Lakers links

--The Times' Mark Heisler details how the late John Wooden touched everyone involved with basketball, including the Lakers.

--The Times' Mike Bresnahan documents Pau Gasol's progression.

--The Times' Bill Plaschke argues the Lakers need to re-sign Derek Fisher this off-season.

--The Times' Broderick Turner mentions Phil Jackson's hope that neither team collects a lot of fouls in Game 2.

--ESPN.com's J.A. Adande shows how Ron Artest has fit in with the Lakers.

--ESPN Los Angeles' Kevin Arnovitz argues Gasol's statements about Kevin Garnett's game are accurate.

--Sports Illustrated's Chris Ballard explains how Bryant's game has evolved.

--The Orange County Register's Kevin Ding argues it is Lamar Odom's turn to redeem himself from the 2008 NBA Finals loss to Boston.

--Fox Sports lists 5 questions for Game 2.

--ESPN Los Angeles' Brian Kamenetzky lists five things to watch for in Game 2.

--The Riverside Press Enterprise's David Lassen explains how Andrew Bynum's presence has positively impacted the Lakers' rotation.

--ESPN Los Angeles' Arash Markazi believes Phil Jackson will return next season to coach the Lakers if they win the title.

--The Orange County Register's Jeff Miller documents Bryant's laser-beam focus.

--The Riverside Press Enterprise's Gregg Patton argues the Lakers shouldn't overreact to their Game 1 win.

--ESPN Los Angeles' Ramona Shelburne explains how Gasol has overcome the "soft" label.

--The Daily News' Elliott Teaford features the reflections shared by the Lakers on Wooden. He also explains why Lakers forward Pau Gasol is upset with ESPN.

--Forum Blue and Gold's Darius predicts and details the adjustments we'll see in Game 2.

--Silver Screen and Roll's C.A. Clark shares his NBA Finals experience.

--Yahoo! Sports' Marc Spears showcases how Bynum has properly paced himself for the NBA Finals.

Celtics links

--The Boston Globe's Julian Benbow reports Celtics assistant coach Tom Thibodeau will coach the Chicago Bulls.

--The Daily News' Vincent Bonsignore suggests the Celtics should take note of Larry Bird's fiery criticism of his teammates that was credited for helping the team defeat the Lakers in 1984 NBA Finals.

--ESPN Boston's Chris Forsberg keys in on what the Celtics need to do to take Game 2.

--ESPN Boston's Peter May has a detailed practice report.

--The Boston Globe's Dan Shaughnessy details how Celtics General Manager Danny Ainge has molded the team.

--The Boston Globe's Frank Dell’Apa highlights Pierce's belief that the Celtics will play better in Game 2.

--ESPN.com's Chris Sheridan highlights Tony Gaffney's memories with the Lakers.

--Sports Illustrated's Ian Thomsen lists Boston's point-guard play as the most important factor in Game 2.

--Ball Don't Lie's Kelly Dwyer explains how Gasol got the better of Garnett in Game 1.

Tweet of the Day: "The accomplishments & lasting legacy of Coach John Wooden's life are a formidable reminder of a life well lived." -- kaj33 (Former Lakers and UCLA center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar)

Reader Comment of the Day: "John Wooden is a consummate teacher both on the basketball court as well in real life including 0rdinary individuals. His book, Pyramid of Success is used by companies as training tool for their sales force because its principles applies at any product or at any age. How many individuals today are moved by the death of John Wooden? Yes, he has lived full length of life at age 99, and yet people for asking for more encore from John Wooden, 7 decades with JW is too short. They don't want to end the world of John Wooden's - Life is Good. Unfortunately, nobody is immortal. His flesh may be gone but his legacy lives on." - Edwin Gueco

--Mark Medina

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

Photo: Kobe Bryant has his shot challenged by Celtics forward Paul Pierce during Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Thursday. Credit: Robyn Beck / Getty Images

 
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IN THE EYE OF THE HURRICANE !!!
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On this lazy sunny California Game Day morning, it’s like time has been suspended and we are floating in the eye of a hurricane as the Lakers nation takes a collective breath. Sunday morning breakfast and the LA Times Lakers Blog! Now what could be better than that. Nice to have a moment to appreciate how truly blessed we are to be Lakerholics before MM puts the pedal to the metal and blitzes everyone with waves of new threads. For at least one morning, we can breathe a collective sigh of relief for a brief respite from the speed of Mark.
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Do you feel it? Do you share that sense of impending greatness that I feel? I believe we are watching basketball greatness emerge right before our eyes with this Lakers team, the same greatness we saw before with Jerry and Wilt, Magic and Kareem, and Shaq and Kobe. This is the Lakers team that Jerry Buss paid for, Mitch Kupchak put together, and Phil Jackson groomed. This is the team and the series that will define this team and these players and catapult them into basketball greatness and the Lakers franchise into yet another NBA dynasty.
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More than any other sport, basketball is about the matchups. Nobody knows that better than Jerry Buss, Mitch Kupchak, and Phil Jackson. This is the team that they all envisioned finally coming to fruition, led by the best player in the game today bar none in Kobe Bryant, and anchored by the biggest, best, and most versatile front court the league has seen since the Bird, McHale, and Parrish days with burgeoning beast Andrew Bynum, NBA top power forward Pau Gasol, former DPOY Ron Artest, and Swiss Army knife 6th man Lamar Odom.
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It will interesting seeing what adjustments the Celtics will make to turn the series around. Will they proudly stand pat and look for effort and execution to make the difference and carry them to victory? That’s what they will do if they still believe they are the better team. Or will they blink and start doubling Kobe the second he touches the ball to force him to give it up? This is not 2008 and the one thing that the Celtics need to do is make Kobe a volume scorer. I’m betting Boston will blink and relentless send two men at Kobe all the time.
~
I think every Lakers fan can now see how important Andrew Bynum is to this team. We are watching this young man grow up and mature in these playoffs. Drew may be playing hobbled but he is showing the heart and drive of a champion. If this young man can stay healthy next year, the Lakers are going to be a scary team. It’s never been about Drew vs. Pau or the bigs vs. Kobe. What counts is the synergy and chemistry generated when they all play together as a team. Tonight, the Lakers will show the world their dominance is real.
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TOM

WHAT WAS REALLY SPECIAL ABOUT JOHN WOODEN...
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While I will grudgingly admit that Red Auerbach was a great coach, I cringe at any comparison of him to the great John Wooden. Such a comparison is an insult to the life-enhancing principles and philosophy espoused and taught by the former UCLA coach. While Auerbach stood for win at any cost using any trick or advantage no matter how deceitful or unfair, John Wooden stood for fair play, sportsmanship, and playing the game the right way, something that seems to be far and distant memory to today’s crop of win-at-any cost coaches.
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I had the pleasure of personally meeting coach Wooden close to 40 years ago when I sent my 6-year old son to his summer basketball camps in San Diego for three consecutive years. Like every 5-9 basketball fanatic, I had hoped my son would grow up to be taller. And while Kevin did grow up to be the same height as I am and an outstanding basketball player in his own right, at 6 he was the smallest kid in the camp and became a perennial favorite of coach Wooden, who went out of his way to make him feel like appreciated and a part of the team.
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I have a photo of Kevin in his John Wooden basketball garb sitting on my desk at work to remind me every day what things are important in life. I grew up in LA, went to UCLA, attended many games at Pauley, and watched the 11:00 pm replays of Bruin games with Dick Enberg from the Goodrich-Hazzard team through the great Lou Alcinder and Bill Walton teams. Through it all, probably the greatest dynasty in college basketball history. The lessons that John taught were life changing. The young men he graduated learned far more than basketball.
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Of the coaches in the game today, Phil Jackson stands above the others as a coach that reminds me of John Wooden. Principled and sure of how you have to play the game and how to build team chemistry and synergy, Phil and John share a sense of personal confidence that only comes from having won multiple championships. Unlike the Doc Rivers, Stan Van Gundys, and Mike Browns, coaches Wooden and Jackson developed systems and philosophies that they knew worked and knew how to implement to win with different sets of personnel.
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TOM

QUESTIONS OF THE DAY...
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(1) Where is Mike T now that Kendrick Perkins has been taken out of the series by Andrew Bynum?
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(2) Where is DFish now that Derek Fisher has once again proven he still possesses championship mettle?
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(3) Where is Ouchhhhhhhh now that Pau Gasol has totally dominated his former nemesis Kevin Garnet?
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(4) Where is Pfunk now that Phil Jackson seems to have his team peaking at exactly the right time?
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TOM

Laker Tom - those guys are meeting with le Princess & the free agents to discuss how to make the league and the blog better....

LakerTom:

One game does not a vanquishing make. If KG weren't motivated for Game 2 before Pau spoke on him, then he is now. Pau needs 3 more wins to say he's vanquished the KG/C's bugaboo. I'd bet after 2 games the 84 Lakers thought they'd solved the Celtics riddle too.

Perk will come back strong too. The backcourt is going to taste floor early in this one. Let's see how Socks does tonight.

That being said, I believe D-Laker has made a fool of DFish this postseason. I posted a strong response to him back in March and Fisher himself vindicated it.

LA has won 4 of the last 5 games vs. the C's. Now they're going for five of six. The C's could change (perhaps for good) momentum if they win tonight. But a Laker win puts a purple and gold chokehold on the Finals, and puts a 16th banner in clear view.

JUSTA... “Laker Tom - those guys are meeting with le Princess & the free agents to discuss how to make the league and the blog better....” ROFLMAO. Great answer, Justa. While I would tend to agree that east coast sports fans in general are more knowledgeable than their west coast counterparts, that comparison definitely does not hold water when you compare sports blogs. Today’s posts were a perfect sample of the intelligent analysis, insightful observations, and talented writing that make this the premier sports blog in the world.
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ZAIRA... Another burst of Laker love and brilliant thoughts from our Italian princess. I have to agree with you 100% on the issue of Derek Fisher. Sign him for another year and make formal plans for him to join the Lakers as an assistant coach once his playing career is done. This is the one guy who could take over from Phil Jackson with nearly the same set of assistants without missing a beat. There is no better option to coach the Lakers in the future than the guy that Kobe Bryant trusts more than any other player and that the NBA players voted to be president of the players association. Derek Fisher will be the next great Lakers coach. Count on it.
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TOM

LA Times Plaschke is wrong. Fisher SHOULD NOT be resigned. Lakers need to get younger. Fisher is a defense liability and an inconsistent jump shooter.
Maybe Lakers can offer Fisher a broadcast job, although he would have to take a pay cut.

Fisher has done nothing during this playoff run that Farmar or Brown couldn't have done given the opportunity.

Wonderful tribute Laker Tom paid to the UCLA dynasty.

It`s a shame he ignored the immeasurable contributions of Sam Gilbert!!!

LakerTom,

D. Fish has proven adequate that's all. Jordan Farmar would contribute more points, assists, rebounds, steals and defense than Fisher if given the opportunity.

Its a moot point since ....

Fisher's play has given Lakers a chance to win the championship.

The End.

Boston was pissed off last Thursday and they will try to avenge that loss tonight. They tried to psyche themselves to prepare for this game. Their goal is to steal one game and get their mojo back and carry that confidence to Boston. However, our team is tried and tested in this kind of situation and they are excellent in confronting tough challenges. Since 2008 NBA finals we beat them 4 in 5 games, I am confident they will win tonight. There is no way they can slow down Kobe, they can play different types of defense against him but Kobe can handle it. The Lakers matured a lot since 2008....we are not intimidated, we will not be shaken.....Go Lakers.....

TOM --


Well said -- no perfectly said actually, regarding John wooden. That was a nice story about your son and the coach. And I agree with your comparison to Phil Jackson. On the money. Red Auerbach was a winning coach, no doubt (in the Al Davis mold of "Just win, baby" thuggery, deceit and all, circa 1975), but clearly not the human being, nor in the CLASS of the late great honorable sportsman, the great John Wooden.

"If the UCLA teams of the late 1960`s and early 1970`s were subjected to the kind of scrutiny other schools have been, UCLA would probably have to forfeit about 8 national championships and be on probation for the next 100 years!"

---Bill Walton {1978}, in the book "On The Road With The Portland Trailblazers"

LT, as always, your posts are such a pleasure to read. I've always felt it comparabable to reading a good article or op/ed piece.

****

I enjoyed the Sheridan piece on Tony Gaffney. It highlights the downside to such a giant payroll, that we're unable to carry a promising rookie because of the luxury tax. I firmly believe that we need to start nurturing our garden for the future.

****

Gameday! I feel fueled by Mamba/Larry's day-long, pre-game show. They should scroll it across the Staple Center's jumbotron!

Our task is only 25% ready. Today we'll reach 50%.
GO LAKERS!!!

Mike T always disappears when he doesn't get his way. In this case, the Ceptics winning in 5 or 6. If disaster should strike tonight, expect a Mike T sighting as he has hopes of his dreams coming true. Should this play out normally and no refs dictating the game, you won't hear a peep from MT for a long while.

DFish was over the top, but he was correct 80% of the time. I've said it many times: outcomes do not justify decisions. I will also point out that Ray Allen was in foul trouble which had an impact on Derek's ability to play defense. Having pointed this out, I still think the Celtics are the perfect team for Derek to play against because they're not driving to the hoop relentlessly. While I'm being objective, I don't care if Derek goes off for 50 in the next three games while holding Ray Ray under 10 for every game of the series - I'm STILL disappointed in him; less so as a player and MORE so as a leader. He should have made a little more room for JF to grow and he did not. I want him back next year, but I do not want him to start.

Just because we win a title with Ariza does not mean a better choice would be Artest (and vice versa); outcomes do not justify decisions,logic does.

Enough about that... what about PJ? Hey, I have my criticisms of him like pretty much most fans do from time to time, but let me say it again: there's no one, NO ONE, else I'd rather have coaching the Lakers.

*@DAVE M. Stop it Dave, Stop it Now! Lol! Thanks bro!
*
*
*
WE GOT THIS!!! - BANDWAGON
*
(01) JUSTANOTHERMAMBAFAN – OWNER - I said WE GOT THIS - and we did. I'm still confident - WE WILL REPEAT. It's just a matter of time
(02)PHRED - CO/OWNER - I've been saying 'WE GOT THIS' since October
(03) HALOS-ANT – DRIVER - What better way to get closure than with the GREATEST "CLOSER" in the Game today?? To echo the BEST LAKER FANS ON THE PLANET:WE GOT THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
(04) #4
(05) VMAN – RIDING SHOTGUN - The Celtics don't have an advantage at any position. We got this!
(06) MAMBA24 - RIDING SHOTGUN - Game face on...Check, Pau talking trash...Check WE GOT THIS
(07) EASTCOASTJESSIE - BLOG LAWYER - Let's do this Lakers...3 more wins!!!! R.E.P.E.A.T. 16 TIME NBA WORLD CHAMPIONS!!!!!
(08) LAKERS – LASS – WE GOT THIS!
(09) JAMIE SWEET – SECURITY – Amen! We got this!
(10) SEGEBOY – THE SHERIFF – Yeah We Got This!
(11) WINTON DUPREE – SECURITY2 - If they bring it we got this.
(12) MAGIC PHIL – REFEREE – WE GOT THIS!!
(13) COMPLEX_BROTHA – DIRECTOR OF SECURITY
(14) TSPHERE - VALET TO THE KING OF CUPS - "The King of Cups sits calmly in the midst of a turbulent sea and wears a necklace with a fish amulet. The fish is the symbol of spirit and creativity and represents, in this card, the balance of the unconscious with the conscious. The King of Cups does not repress his emotions and unconscious impulses but has learned to accept and deal with them in a mature and balanced manner."
The turbulent sea is the Finals. The Fish needs no explanation. The balance of unconscious and concious: our sacred Triangle. And Kobe is the resounding principle of maturity and balance, and especially balance between offense and defense.
(15) MARK G. – SEMI CONVERT - put me on the we got this Bandwagon. I'm still not buying a sweep, but I think it is just a matter of time. The Celts are too small and too old. If we should lose game 2, I have no doubts we can win in Boston.
(16) NEWMEXICOLAKERLIFER - Now we are ready to roll. LAKERS in 6.All together now "We want Taco's"
(17) LAKERTOM – DIRECTOR OF WIN # 2 - More than any other sport, basketball is about the matchups. Nobody knows that better than Jerry Buss, Mitch Kupchak, and Phil Jackson. This is the team that they all envisioned finally coming to fruition, led by the best player in the game today bar none in Kobe Bryant, and anchored by the biggest, best, and most versatile front court the league has seen since the Bird, McHale, and Parrish days with burgeoning beast Andrew Bynum, NBA top power forward Pau Gasol, former DPOY Ron Artest, and Swiss Army knife 6th man Lamar Odom. I think every Lakers fan can now see how important Andrew Bynum is to this team. We are watching this young man grow up and mature in these playoffs. Drew may be playing hobbled but he is showing the heart and drive of a champion. If this young man can stay healthy next year, the Lakers are going to be a scary team. It’s never been about Drew vs. Pau or the bigs vs. Kobe. What counts is the synergy and chemistry generated when they all play together as a team. Tonight, the Lakers will show the world their dominance is real.
(18) MR. NANO - Our task is only 25% ready. Today we'll reach 50%.
(19) DAVE M.
(20) APPOLO C. VERMONT - The Lakers matured a lot since 2008....we are not intimidated, we will not be shaken.....Go Lakers.....

I got slammed for being a Trekkie, obviously by some Bostwick Cell-Tick fawn, well in a few hours, after the game, I hope there is green blood on the floor...
"The Big Dig"...why did Boston waste all that effort, when Erik Estrada was selling land....you could have moved your HOle city for cheaper, and killed less people.....gonna go work out then booze while I watch the game...

Kevin Ding (Ho),

well duh????


(1) Where is Mike T now that Kendrick Perkins has been taken out of the series by Andrew Bynum?
~
(2) Where is DFish now that Derek Fisher has once again proven he still possesses championship mettle?
~
(3) Where is Ouchhhhhhhh now that Pau Gasol has totally dominated his former nemesis Kevin Garnet?
~
(4) Where is Pfunk now that Phil Jackson seems to have his team peaking at exactly the right time?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
TOM


Posted by: LakerTom | June 06, 2010 at 12:45 PM


I'd look in one of the porn theatres on Van Nuys blvd. That seems about right.


Wes

Tim-4-Show/Laker Tom,

Michael C. Teniente has been banned by our blog lord, Mark Medina.

Yeah.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

Lakers need to be careful about letting Celtic 3 pointers getting hot and Allen inparticular loses guards with his perpetual motion w/o ball! Phil cannot go to sleep. Must bring Sasha in to stick to Ray Allen like a leach. Brown has a low BB IQ to handle Allen & will not be able to keep up with him. Kobe will get tired trying to run in circles to keep up with Allen. At least Sasha has the height & speed to affect Ray Allen. On the other end would be a 3-pt threat opening up opportunities for Kobe/Gasol. Go Lakers beware of practiced Celtics theatrics to get cheap fouls. Don't pick up charging fouls let them charge into you when Celtics are on offense! Go Lakers!!

I posted yesterday that whomever wins game 2 will win it all and I stand by that. I also said the Celts in 6 and I believe that will happen too. The Green is too deep and mentally tougher than the boys from La La Land. Mr. Kardashian did his usual disappearing act and Mr. Kobe wilts under nonstop defensive pressure; Tony Allen had his number this night. You guys were ready to have the coronation after the first game but last I checked you have to win 4 games. You must have big games from both Pau and Kobe to have a chance. That is not true of the Celts. They can have a bad night by Pierce or Ray or KG and still win. The Celts supporting cast is simply better. Wallace, Davis, Tony Allen, Richardson are all superior to the Lakers bench.
GO CELTICS!!

Oh geez.

Ray goes off, Rondo takes off, the Cs sizzle on 3s.

But KG still looks like a bus running on fumes, 3 wheels, with nowhere to go but the 4th rocker on a porch at Shady Rest.

LAL isn't ORL.

The Cs got by the Magic because Rashard & Vince aren't Pau & Kobe.

KG is still the key.

BOS *can't* and *won't* win 4 unless the KG who led them past MIA & CLE eventually reappears -- if ever.


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