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Caught in the Web: Previewing Game 5 of Lakers-Celtics series


Lakers links

--The Times' Mike Bresnahan wonders how Lakers center Andrew Bynum will look in Game 5 Sunday night against Boston.

--The Times' Broderick Turner notes Lamar Odom's serious demeanor during Saturday's media session.

--The Times' Bill Plaschke wants more from Kobe Bryant.

--The Times' Mark Heisler compares this series to the 1984 and 1985 NBA Finals.

--The New York Times' Jonathan Abrams looks at how Boston is defending Bryant. Abrams also details the frustrations Bynum's experiencing with his injury.

--True Hoop's Kevin Arnovitz breaks down the good and the bad from Odom.

--The Daily News' Vincent Bonsignore stresses that Odom and Ron Artest must have big games Sunday night.

--The Orange County Register's Kevin Ding respects how Bynum has fought through his injury.

--Ball Don't Lie's Kelly Dwyer wants Bryant to shoot more.

--ESPN Los Angeles' Andy Kamenetzky looks at who the Greatest Lakers of All Time might be, adding Bryant's own two cents.

--The Washington Post's Michael Lee says the Lakers need production from Bynum and Odom in Game 5.

--ESPN Los Angeles' Dave McMenamin looks at the relationship between Bryant and Derek Fisher.

--The Orange County Register's Jeff Miller thinks this Finals series is ugly.

--The Riverside Press Enterprise's Gregg Patton explains why Artest doesn't wear his emotions on his sleeve anymore. Patton also looks at the Lakers' and Celtics' contrasting styles.'s Sekou Smith is trying to figure out Odom.

--The Daily News' Elliott Teaford has more on Bryant's take that Jerry West is the best Laker. Teaford also focuses on Bynum's injury.

--Sports Illustrated's Ian Thomsen points to Bynum as the key to Game 5.

--Forum Blue and Gold's Jeff Skibiski gives his take on what the Lakers-Celtics rivalry means.

--Silver Screen and Roll's C.A. Clark wonders what other plot twists will happen this series.


Celtics links

--The Times' Lisa Dillman looks at how Boston has reinvented itself.

--The New York Times' Harvey Araton highlights Nate Robinson's growth.

--The Boston Globe's Julian Benbow details Glen Davis' growth. Benbow also looks at the bench's contributions.

--ESPN the Magazine's Chris Broussard argues the Celtics' team effort will be needed to ensure a Finals victory.

--ESPN Boston's Chris Forsberg lists five keys to Game 5.

--The Boston Herald's Ron Borges wants more from the Big 3.

--The Boston Herald's Steve Bulpett explains why Boston is happy it locked guard Rajon Rondo into a long-term deal.

--Fox Sports' Mitch Lawrence credits Doc Rivers' coaching.

--The Boston Herald's Mark Murphy compares and contrasts the current Celtics to the 1968-69 team.

--The Boston Globe's Dan Shaughnessy looks back at the 1984 NBA Finals.

--Yahoo! Sports' Marc Spears says Rivers' and Jackson's futures in coaching could hinge on the NBA Finals' outcome.

Tweet of the Day: "Champ's Sports store in Boston has several Celtics jerseys, LeBron, Nash, Rose, CP3 and Wade. No Kobe, not surprisingly." -- LakersReporter ('s Mike Trudell)

Reader Comment of the Day: "I was just wondering why don't the Lakers try and run after Celtics misses and get some easy buckets. We are just sticking with that half court game and allowing them to lock down on us. Like Kobe said if his teaammates are not hitting outside shots there is not much space for him to operate. However, Kobe you need to get the ball from the top of the key to have more options." -- island priest

-- Mark Medina, in Boston

Follow the L.A. Times Lakers blog on Twitter: E-mail the Lakers blog at

Photos, from top: Lakers forward Lamar Odom lends guard Kobe Bryant a hand near the end of Game 4 on June 10, 2010. Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times. Bryant, who was called for the blocking foul, heads to the court as Boston forward Paul Pierce scores on a play inside during the fourth quarter. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times

Comments () | Archives (29)

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You're going to see the Lakers give them their best shot.

I fully expect the Celtics to fall down.

I have a feeling the two boyhood Laker friends are going to be our star tandem tonight. I just have a feeling.

If Ron-Ron went to the showers in Boston 2008 and told Kobe it will never happen again, tonight is Ron's game to keep his promise. The Lakers are not going to leave Boston simmering after another loss. They just won't.


PLG - counting down to game time.

* *
The back and forth of this series is the story. Phil will adjust with the luxury of all of his pieces on the board. Everyone's talking about Andrew being the difference and he is, but I also like Phil's idea of giving Powell some run tonight. He's thicker than Lamar and his mid range game has to be respected. If LO had his jumper, we'd win easier and he'd be an All Star.
* *
Both teams have been there, both are experienced and both know tonight's the game that the statistics favor. We could win 2 at home but with all our guns loaded, we won't have to. The extra day of rest will favor Kobe and Pau who were obviously both leg weary playing Phil's tightened rotation. We got next.
* *
Finally, the use of * is a bit of an experiment inspired by recently taking a multi tasking test.

We got this. GO lakers

Lakers are a much better team at their best. Go Lakers!

The key to the Lakers winning tonight is better transition offense and defense. Offensively, the Lakers need to get easier shots. To do that, they need to push the ball all game long against the older, slower Celtics to create easy shot opportunities before the Celtics can setup their vaunted half court defense and to take away their legs in the 4th quarter. Running will also help the Lakers control the defensive boards as it will deter the Celtics, especially Rondo, from constantly crashing the offensive boards.
When the transition offense is not there, the Lakers need to be patient and run the Triangle Offense with purpose to produce easy shot opportunities for Kobe within the offense rather than the isolation plays that tend to stall ball and player movement – elbow jumpers off down screens, pick and pops off screens from Drew, and back door lobs for dunks when overplayed by the Celtics. Same with Lamar. Have Drew pop out to the right top of the key for a pass and handoff to Lamar for a his patented left hand drive to rim or have him post up Big Baby under the rim for an easy basket in the paint.
The great thing about the Triangle Offense is that when run efficiently, it is designed to enable the players to make an equally efficient transition to defense, something that is critical to preventing the Celtics’ Rajon Rondo from adversely impacting the game. This is why the Lakers need to be sure not to fall back into playing “Kobe” ball where everybody ends up standing around watching Kobe trying to go one-on-one against the entire Celtics defense or to start casting 3-point shots that lead to long rebounds and play right into the Celtics and Rondo’s hands. The Lakers must run their offense.
I am looking for a rejuvenated Andrew Bynum to lead the charge tonight. Offensively, the Lakers have struggled to find an inside game without Drew on the floor, which really makes it hard to play inside-out basketball. Drew changes that. Defensively, the Lakers have struggled to seal the paint and protect the rim when Drew is on the bench. Without Drew’s length and strength, players like Perkins and Big Baby are able to physically overpower Pau and Lamar in the post. With Drew on the floor, all of that is changed. That is why Drew being able to play effectively is so critical.
In the two games the Celtics won, they were the better team in the 4th quarter, even the more energetic team. The Lakers need to take advantage of their speed, quickness, and athleticism and wear the older, slower Celtics down while at the same time turning the tables and forcing the Celtics to play against their length and strength in the half court. If the Lakers can do this, they will head back to LA with a 3-2 lead and a strangle hold on this series. It’s all about playing smarter


If the Lakers want to generate more transition offense, guess which person has to get less time, and which has to get more. Transition offense is not Derek's gig.

Tonight it must be ALL OUT!!
No matter what, keep fighting!

We can do this!
Go Lakers!

Lakers best running team
JF, KB, LO, Gasol, Artest

You might wonder why Artest and not UPS - 1. Better D to generate the running game + somewhat more reliable in transition (though I give you, he's weak on the break but he generates a ton of them)

Rebounding is the key. Has been all series. Lakers really need to concentrate on forgetting about the ball in the air and getting a body on their man. If they do, they'll get most of the rebounds because of their length. I don't know if the Celtics coaching staff really does a great job of analyzing the Lakers player's shooting tendencies and where the ball comes off the rim or what, but the Celtics always seem to be in great defensive rebounding position even without boxing out. Lakers will definitely have to out work the C's...this is not one of the things that just happen in the NBA...


JF? Give me a break. Although I love the other four players mentioned in your post, Smush Farmar does not belong in the NBA! Farmar, after 5 years with the Lakers, has not done anything to validate his status as a NBA players. I'd rather have Sasha in there.

Lakers has too many weak players on the bench. Starting with the perennial MIA, LO, Smush Farmar, Ammo, Brown and the worst of all, Luke the Puke!

Go Lakers!

What fun is it being dominant all the time? So thanks to Lamar and Ron and the bench mob, we can worry ourselves sick and get that intense relief and joy when the Lakers win tonight...

[Game Day Prayer]

Let us pray...

Heavenly Father, thank you for your LOVE, your FAITH, and blessing each one of us with Life and Being.

Thank you.

We are called to you in prayer to ask you to bless the Los Angeles Lakers this day in competition.

We ask of you that you inspire, guide, and lead our team to experience their BEST and we thank you that you have given us the opportunity to know our BEST through competition.

In this world there is much pain and struggle, but it is through the experience of Adversity that one can know their BEST and in their BEST acheive Greatness. We ask you to through doing so bring the Los Angeles Lakers to VICTORY on this day, the VICTORY of overcoming struggle through acheiving union with one's True Self, the VICTORY of living up to your FAITH in us, the VICTORY of being all that one can be.

Heavenly Father, I was recently at LAX watching the Los Angeles Lakers acheive VICTORY against the Phoenix Suns. It was a beautiful thing. I stood in a small airport bar with a group of people of all different ethnicities, different, faiths, different ages, different genders, different wealth, different educations, different hopes, different dreams, different callings... and as we cheered our Los Angeles Lakers none of those differences mattered. All of those "differences" were replaced by fellowship, with joy, with welcoming, with hopes, with happiness.

It was something special and it is something special.

Los Angeles is a special community and plays a special role in crafting the dreams, hopes, and expectations of the world. The Los Angeles Lakers are among the strongest unifying forces in this otherwise disparate community. And in doing so, their BEST not only serves as an inspiration to us as individuals to have the HOPE and PASSION to work towards our BEST, but it serves unifying inspiration of fellowship in our community and from that across the world.

It shows us that in life that being our BEST and living beyond oneself are actually almost always the same thing. It shows us that hard work, FAITH, DISCIPLINE, and COMMITMENT matter and that these things when commiitted to wholly and selflessly can create true beauty in the ecstatic freedom of VICTORY.

Heavenly Father, lead our team to VICTORY tonight!

Greatness is not acheived without Adversity. You have given us Adversity in the form of the Boston Celtics, a team which has brough us much pain and suffering over the years. Lead us to play tonight not in Hatred for their Adversity, but for LOVE of the Game, LOVE of the Opportunity you have given us, LOVE of VICTORY itself.

Let us seize this precious moment with our Hearts, Minds, Souls, and Bodies.

Heavenly Father, you have blessed Andrew Bynum with an injury that has given him an opportunity to know Greatness by overcoming Adversity. We ask you to give the strength of Mind and Spirit to play through the pain with everything that he has and we ask YOU to out of Compassion and LOVE to heal his body and to allow his body to play to its fullest potential. We know you are a healer, Great Father, and that your LOVE is sometimes tough and sometimes merciful. We ask you to be merciful to Andrew Bynum tonight and allow his body to play without pain that would limit his potential.

Heavenly Father, we ask you to bless Kobe Bryant tonight who is so committed to being his BEST through Competition. His commitment is an inspiration. It is a thing of beauty. I have so many times broken out into joyful laughter watching him compete. It is freeing. Please Heavenly Father, bless Kobe's Mind and Body this evening with the power of your Grace and the force of your Spirit.

Heavenly Father, please bless Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom, Ron Artest, Derek Fisher, Sasha Vujacic, Luke Walton, Josh Powell, Jordan Farmar, DJ Mbenga, Adam Morrison, and Shannon Brown. Bless their Hearts, their Minds, their Bodies, and their Spirits. Protect them from injury. Invigorate their energies. Soothe their Awareness towards the ability through union to play above themselves as individuals, but to realize their BEST through TEAM.

Lead them to VICTORY, Oh Father!!!

Heavenly Father, please bless Phil Jackson and our coaching staff. Bring sharpness to their minds, their awareness, their intuition, their discernment and their collective competitive Spirit. Inspire them to make effective adjustments and build synergy among our players with accurate advice and direction.

Lead them to VICTORY, Oh Father!!!

All things ultimately come from you, Oh Father, and we thank you and praise you for that.

In this crazy, fallen, beguiling world that we all live in, it is so sweet to know your presence, perceive the beauty of your Creation, and to feel the fingerprints of your design on our souls by knowing our BEST through VICTORY.

Let us know the value of True Competition tonight. Competition not born of selfishness, ego, false pride, and hatred, but Competition born of LOVE. Competition which gives us the precious opportunity to know our BEST in LOVE through VICTORY!

Heavenly Father, on this night, lead our Los Angeles Lakers to VICTORY!!!

Thank you, Heavenly Father. Thank you.


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


Smush Farmar?

I'll give you that he's 1. inconsistent, and 2. dismayed at how he's been treated.

Other than this, there's no comparing Smush's replacement with Smush himself.

If you want to RUN, JF is the best we have at the PG for that. Shannon won't generate the steals and when he does, it's typically going to be a one on one or one on two where he's likely fouled going to the hoop (or worse, turns it back over).

I think JF has gotten a bad rap, just how Bynum got a bad rap when Kwame was around (and even since then)... a guy needs TIME, as in PT to see if he sucks or not. JF hasn't had it.

who you gonna stick in there, Sasha? No. Derek can get his hands on some balls, but no where near as many as JF.

i like the positive vibe!!!!!!!!

Lets go people!!!!

Lakers will win tonight backed up by us great Laker fans!

I expect each and every one of you to send positive vibes each step of the way ! We can do this!!!!

2 wins away, GO LAKERS!!

I'll add that I think there's a good chance JF is coming back next season. Why? The Lakers need someone in that spot, and who else are they going to get while cash strapped and owning JF's rights?

Thing is, Phil's never trusted him enough to even experiment with the PT to give him say 25-29 mpg over the course of a month or two just to see what happens. It's PJ that will dictate what happens to JF in the offseason I think, but only if there's someone to take the guy's place


Loved Larry's roll call and now I adored JonK's prayer ;)

Sneaking in a minute again before stepping off from the boat and straight into car (2 and more hours driving to Milan... LONG night ahead...), I wanna add in the "building atmosphere up and firing for tonight" thread my two cents.

Well... Karim's two cents in drawing, and my shout out.

In the words of Kobe Bean...

Enjoy and let's get together for the Battle!!!

Catch you later;)

Hugs Fam :)


I woke up this morning and as I was getting dressed for this Glorious Day, I realized that my socks were Olive Green. I Immediately Shed Those Socks Even Though They Weren't Keltic Green. On a Day as Important as Today, NO GREEN!!!

Burn Those Carbon Emissions!!! Don't Go Greeen!!!

Check Your Attire!!!! Be it Olive Green or Slime Green, SHED IT!!!!

Even if it's your Favorite Ring, If It's Got Green, Then It Don't Bling!!! SHED IT!!!






I just heard that the Lakers are working on their excuses and must not be disturbed.

If the Ceptics are still standing after tonight, then my hats off to them.

But let's get real - take an uppercut to the jaw, good chance they're going down.

The question will be, will they be down for the count (KO) or will we win by TKO?

ghost of red -

Didn't know the devil gave 'net access to his minions.

Do you think Artest knows that the game is in Boston tonight or is going to be waiting at the Staples Center?

Hi - Long time reader of this blog, but seldom post.

I have no idea what God thinks about a basketball game - seems like it would be way low on His priority list, but just want to say that was one beautiful prayer by Jon K.

Thanks Jon - it was very touching.

Go Lakers!

God lost intrest after the first sentence.

Well, makes sense.... the depths of hell have been unleashed for an all-out battle.

And sorry Cepts, our guns are bigger than yours, and this time, all of them are loaded.

So what do you guys want to talk about tomorrow?

I mean you'll only hear crickets from the trolls, so we're pretty much wide open.

Do you think Artest knows that the game is in Boston tonight or is going to be waiting at the Staples Center?

Posted by: The Ghost of Red | June 13, 2010 at 01:19 PM

I am absolutely sure that Artest will be in Boston tonight with the rest of the Lakers. I'm also sure that he knows that they are all there to play game 5 of the NBA Finals.

I hope that answered your question.

sorry you guys Lakers lost I saw the game live. I thought they were going to win for sure.Celtics lead 3_2 [sigh] but we can't lose hope keep cheering GO LAKERS PS nice prayer but din't work.



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