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Poll results about Finals reveal cautious split among Lakers fans

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We all knew the Lakers-Celtics NBA Finals match-up would yield plenty of story lines and feature the competitiveness we expect from these two teams. Among the 11 Finals match-ups between the Lakers and the Celtics, only twice have the series been decided in four or five games. Boston swept L.A. in their first Finals match-up in 1959, and the Celtics defeated the Lakers, 4-1, in the 1965 Finals. Of the other match-ups, four were decided in seven games, and five finished in six. Based on results from last week's poll, 66.9% of respondents predicted the series would last at least six or seven games, ending in the Lakers' favor.

That's why it shouldn't be a surprise that the series is tied 1-1 heading into Game 3 Tuesday night at Boston's TD Garden. But what is surprising is the way many of the events unfolded. Based on recent poll results, the majority of respondents weren't worried about the series outcome as much as how differently the Lakers played in Games 1 and 2. Even though a majority still predicted the Lakers would win the title -- 38.7% took the Lakers in six games, and 29.8% picked the Lakers in seven -- the Lakers' Game 2 loss caused enough concern for 82.5% to deem Game 3 as crucial to the Lakers' success in the series.

The reasons were varied. There's 22% who said the Lakers need to win Game 3 to retake home-court advantage. A Lakers win would ensure them retaking control of the series, 17.2% argued. Meanwhile, 41.3% deemed retaking control of the series and regaining home-court advantage as equally important. Though 66% said they believe the Lakers would win Game 3, some respondents remain worried about a few things. Only 17% said they believe the Lakers are in control of the series, with 48% saying the 1-1 tie shows the Lakers and Celtics are locked in a competitive match-up. Nonetheless, a Lakers loss Tuesday night would surely add to the 35% who said they believe the Celtics are controlling the series.

Generally, respondents were satisfied with the team's play, with 58% giving the Lakers a "B" grade. Yet, there was concern among the 42% who said the Lakers' Game 2 performance significantly changed their perception of the series. The Lakers loss of home-court advantage raised concerns among 21%, while their play prompted 7% to pull their hair out. And then there was the 16% who were equally disturbed by the Lakers losing at home for the first time this postseason and for their lackluster performance.

The sentiment swung from game to game. There were the 45.5% who felt generally pleased with the Lakers' Game 1 win because of the team's physical play, Pau Gasol's match-up with Kevin Garnett, Andrew Bynum's ability to play through his injury, Ron Artest's defense on Paul Pierce, Kobe Bryant's dominance and the appearance that the Lakers set the tone in the series. But with the Lakers' Game 2 loss, 36.2% were concerned about the Lakers lack of an inside presence late in the game, their fourth-quarter meltdown, poor defense on Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo, Artest's poor shooting, Lamar Odom's ineffectiveness and, of course, the officiating.

Don't get started on that topic with Lakers fans, though 45% of respondents said the officiating has been equally bad for both teams. There was very little charge of bias geared toward the Lakers or the Celtics, but a fair number -- 18% -- said they believe the constant whistles serve as music to the NBA's ears, ensuring a prolonged series. But 10% simply said both teams simply need to adjust to the calls.

These results perhaps serve as a sign that fans do indeed react to the Lakers' fortunes on a game-by-basis. Or they could mean that fans are rightfully concerned about whether the habits of Game 2 can suddenly be erased, when it's expected that Boston will maintain its level of play. We'll see how far the pendulum swings -- and in which direction -- once Game 3 ends.

-- Mark Medina

twitter.com/latmedina

E-mail the Lakers blog at mgmedin@gmail.com

Photo: Lakers forward Ron Artest tries to split the defense of Boston forward Paul Pierce (34) and point guard Rajon Rondo in the second half of Game 2 on Sunday. Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times

 
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Mark G,

Unfortunately, Bill is the "wrong" Kennedy....He is the one Kennedy we wish would take a bullet!

MM,

I think the poll shows that Laker fans are a pretty smart group as a whole. I sometimes think they panic too much, but I guess not.

You know what would be sweet right now, ECJ's live chat Avatar. Oh yeah, you know the one I mean Laker family. The one with Calvin making some rain. I guess there is no way to get MM to post it somehow. Really though, shouldn't it be the official symbol of the Lakers' blog?

HE WHO CONTROLS GAME THREE.... CONTROLS THE UNIVERSE

HE WHO CONTROLS THE REFS....CONTROLS THE UNIVERSE

ECJ,

I can't get it to paste in the Comment box.

Come on MM, you can post it.

Damn those pesky licensing agreements!

HE WHO CONTROLS GAME THREE.... CONTROLS THE UNIVERSE

Posted by: conTroll Man

This is true

HE WHO CONTROLS THE REFS....CONTROLS THE UNIVERSE

Posted by: Magia32 | June 08, 2010 at 12:26 PM

and that would be David Stern...

I hate the Celtics!!!

Real simple we need a "W" tonight. Lamar, Lamar? Please put down the sugar and deliver us stat worthy game.

Sorry about the double posts above folks. I tried posting the picture as a comment with a trick I found online but obviously it didn't work. Must be an internal thing at LAT.

"HE WHO CONTROLS GAME THREE.... CONTROLS THE UNIVERSE

Posted by: conTroll Man | June 08, 2010 at 12:20 PM"

Cleveland controlled (and won) game three in their series with Boston...

Lakers got this, even the trolls know. That's why they are so noisy today, their panties are bunched too tight!

I hate the celtics!!!! I'll be pacing and cursing the whole game tonight until the Lakers get the win...

I am kind of worried about this game:

- Kobe is going to have a monster game. 40 pts
- Odom will have 15 boards and 15 pts
- Fisher will shoot 3-5 3's
- Farmar & Vujacic will shoot 6-11 3's
- Bynum & Gasol will have 12 blks, 30 rebs, and 46 pts
- Artest will shutdown Pierce to 12 pts
- Kobe shuts down Rondo for 4 turnovers
- Gasol will put 4 fouls on Garnett by 3rd
- Perkins will get a T.. toyed around by bynum
- Wallace will be gasping for air
- Big Baby will try 1 against 4
- Nate will be going barbosa
- Allen shut down by fisher

2nd quarter Lakers up 15-20. 3rd Quarted up by 30+. Final .. 131-92. hmmm deja vu...

Lets try this again..as bad celtics played in game 1:
- Kobe shot 10-22 for 30 pts .. 4 turnovers (Can I look forward for 30+ pts and 4 to's again?)
- Odom grabs 4 rebs (does he show up?)
- Gasol 8/14 .. 23 pts.. 14 rebs .. is he going to get his in game 3?
- Artest 5/10 (3/5 3's) .. good artest bad artest.. its not LA now
- Brown, Farmar, odom.. bench mob was like bench kitties - 15 pts)

- Is Allen going to shoot 2 3's? have 12 pts?
- Can Paul Pierce score a lil more than 24.. ok 24 is okay since he stinks.. right?
- Can Garnett be more than 7/16 .. or should we play baby and wallace a lil more
- Will Nate & tony give minutes like game 3?
- Boston bench was 16 pts, 9 rebs, 4 .. almost like bench kitties
- Big question .. will Celtics shoot 1/10 3's again?
- Can Rondo play that passive again.. can we expect him to vanish again?

The polls say we are intelligent if not a little wishy-washy, as a group.

I buy that.

--FEARless

Well, maybe jittery is a better term.

"HE WHO CONTROLS GAME THREE.... CONTROLS THE UNIVERSE

Posted by: conTroll Man | June 08, 2010 at 12:20 PM"

Utah absolutely controlled game 3 against the Lakers. Care to guess how that turned out?

--FEARless

Guys,

This is an unfortunate reality but I'm going to start moderating comments. Just be forewarned that the comments won't be as streamless, but the comments lately have gotten out of control.

MM

"HE WHO CONTROLS GAME THREE.... CONTROLS THE UNIVERSE

Posted by: conTroll Man | June 08, 2010 at 12:20 PM"

The Thunder punked and scared the Lakers in game 3. I wonder how that one turned out?

--FEARless

Heck, now that I think of it, the Thunder scared the hell out of EVERYBODY in game three. The whole rest of the league were glad they didn't have to play the Thunder to advance...

Didn't mean much to their vacation plans, did it?

--FEARless

Alright, guys.

I've got to activate the lucky barstool and then get off to work.

Let's play our hearts out tonight.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

For anyone who does not know, 9 times out 10 where big money
is involved there is politics right behind it. As a Laker fan and antendee
I have an advantage point next to the court and I can tell you that the "Tim Donaghys" are still officiating in the game.
And Mr. NBA-COMMISH is foolish to say he was a "rogue" official.
Did everyone forget that ridiculous call On Marcus Camby against
Nash and the suns? (youtube it!) or how about the Game clock was "paused" momentarily on game 5 or 6 of the Eastern Conf. Finals this year favoring the Celtics. Besides against my lawyers wishes
I am telling you, You dont know JACK!

"All Work and No Play makes Jack(ME) a dull boy"

Thank you MM. Most of the time I ignore them but I agree that they've gotten ridiculous now.

MM,

No fault to you MM. Clearly some of the Trolls went way beyond the pale. I don't see that you have much choice other than to moderate. . .

unless you let me and Justa do it! Sure we will be fair.

conTroll Man,

He who wins 4 games out of 7 controls the universe. Last year, it was us. This year, it will be us again.

Go Lake Show!

GO BOSTON!

The Thunder punked and scared the Lakers in game 3. I wonder how that one turned out?

--FEARless

Posted by: FEARless | June 08, 2010 at 01:20 PM

We're talking about this game 3 in this situation, tied 1-1, in a 2-3-2 format. Whole different animal than versus OKC.

Lakers in 5 Suburban...

===------ === ------==
/_____l______l__ ___\____
ll l - --> 4 - 1 <-- l ------- l---]
L___(0)l______l__ ____l(0) J

lewstrs

All aboard...plenty of seats available

East Coast Jessie -

Did you make it back to the East Coast ok? I've been M.I.A. from the blog due to my work schedule, but I might be able to make the game chat tonight.

Hope everyone is having a good day!

M2,

You're certainly entitled to moderate the comments, but it has all been relatively sane today. I think you're jumping the gun.

HE WHO CONTROLS GAME THREE.... CONTROLS THE UNIVERSE


HOW IMPORTANT IS THE NEXT GAME?


• In the 2-3-2 series format (since 1985), when the NBA Finals is tied 1-1, the winner of Game 3 has gone on to win the series on all 10 occasions.

• How important is Game 3 of the NBA Finals? In NBA Finals history, the series has been tied 1-1 on 32 occasions. The Game 3 winner has gone on to win 28 of those 32 series (87.5 percent).

Last time I checked Utah has no center. Kyle (Ashton Kutcher) Korver, lil Millsap, matchstick krilenko played gasol and bynum. Boozer had small arms.. like a dinosaur.. i got big head and small hands master.. and some guy fosenko .. Hardly plays D .. and Boozer he is sooo over rated.. they win because of altitude .. like denver.. almost as soft as los sonitas..

I love the way u guys campare Celtics to your west coast teams.. like OKC Sonitas and Jazz.. ur past glory of 1st 2nd and 3rd round.. its the finals .. and lemme remind u this is a east coast team.. not very good looking and not very nice (since i am gonna get moderated).

BTW who controlled game 2 .. on ur floor.. unlike any chiquita of west coast .. care to know how dat turned out?

U may very well win this series.. in 4 .. ops dat can't be.. or 5 or 7 .. but dis is not ur west coast team dat u used to watching. they r not gonna back down.. u will have step over them to get the title!

THE SLEEPER MUST AWAKEN

LAMAR ODOM THIS MEANS YOU

Remember all...

Chowders were a mediocre 24-17 at home this year...

Lakers have shown they play great on the road...closing out every series on the road since Denver last season...

Advantage: LAKERS...

MM

IT'S JUST SMACK TALK BY CELTIC TROLLS, I'VE READ EVERY POST AND WHILE SOME LACK TASTE IT'S NOTHING TO FREAK ABOUT.

NO WAITING FOR POSTS..... THIS IS THE FINALS.

BESIDES, AFTER THE LAKERS KICK SOME BUTT TONIGHT, THERE WON'T BE TOO MANT CELTIC TROLLS BESIDES 131 AND RED

MM

Don't forget the troll factor when publishing your results.

Ignore all troll posts and the boston slugs will slink back under thier rocks.

MM -

I don't mind you moderating the comments, although it may take time away from the other stuff you have to do/like to do/enjoy doing in your off time.

I've been gone for a few days, and I didn't get a chance to read some of the stuff from the past few days. So far, things seem to be pretty sane (but maybe that's in part from your moderating the comments already...)

Put Sasha and Fish on Ray Allen...Save Kobe's legs, and put him on Rondo...

No matter, our bigs will delegate this game...

And a special guest appearance by Lamar Odom tonight...

Lakers by 9...and HCA back on our side...

Captain Jack

I have a theory, the Western conference has been the better conference for years. I don't buy into the BS that the eastern conference is a better defensive conference.
Both OKC and Phoenix played tougher defense than the Celtics have shown in the first 2 games of this series.
But a funny thing happens when the Lakers bully the "Bully Celtics", all of a sudden no tight defense is allowed without a foul being called.

The Eastern Conference was exposed in game 1
They will be exposed in this series.
.

Keys for the Lakers:
1. Rebound - they were outrebounded in game 2 and they can't do anything without the ball
2. Don't let Rondo in the paint - this will limit his assists and I don't think he's a consistent shooter yet from the perimeter
3. Limit turnovers - as with #1, they have to have the ball to score

Go Lakers!

in 5 Suburban...

===------ === ------==
/_____l______l__ ___\____
ll l - --> 4 - 1 <-- l ------- l---]
L___(0)l______l__ ____l(0) J
All aboard...plenty of seats available Posted by: lewstrs | June 08, 2010 at 01:30 PM
*
You're a genius! OUT FREAKIN STANDING!!!

I think it will be a close game tonight. Hopefully the refs will call it close rather than let the C's get away with thuggery (which sometimes happens in Boston). Kobe needs to finish things well (not just trying to be the hero) by playing smart.
My prediction: Lakers win 93-88.

Whenever the Celts keep the competition to below 95 points in the postseason they have won every game except one. Tony Allen and Rondo have guarded Kobe on 54 possessions so far and he has scored only 4 points against them, they totally shut him down.
I am sure the Celts don't like that Bynum and Gasol have done so well so I expect to see a very physical game under the basket and big games from Glen Davis and Rasheed. Maybe we will see once and for all if KG is ok. If he doesn't pour it on in this game then that tells me he is not right and won't be a factor in this series.

Mamba-

Good afternoon. How many points are you gonna win by tonite?


Lakers in 5 Suburban...

====------ === ------==
/_____l______l__ ___\____
ll l - --> 4 - 1 <-- l ------- l---]
L___(0)l______l__ ____l(0) J

lewstrs
MAMBA24

All aboard...plenty of seats available...

rdlee
You better hope the Lakers don't score 93 points as the Celtics are undeafeated this postseason when holding the competition to 95 points or lower. The Lakers are NOT a strong road team as they were only 23-18 on the road in the regular season. In the postseason they are only 4-4. If anyone thinks a .500 road team is going to sweep the Celts in Boston they are delusional.
In 54 possessions by Kobe against Tony Allen and Rondo, Kobe has only scored FOUR points, they totally shut him down.
I am sure the Celts are concerned about how well Bynum and Gasol have done and they will be all over them in this game. Expect big games from Glen Davis and Rasheed. And maybe we will finally see if KG is ok. If he is not a big factor in this game then I would agree he must not be right.

i fear for the lakers if they don't win tonite.


Remember all...
Chowders were a mediocre 24-17 at home this year...
Lakers have shown they play great on the road...closing out every series on the road since Denver last season...
Advantage: LAKERS...
Posted by: lewstrs | June 08, 2010 at 01:38 PM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1ST: This is not "ROAD" this is Boston.
2ND: Lakers are 4-4 on the road in the playoffs. Regular season lakers are 23-18. Celtics are 7-2 at home (jast a tad bit betta den 24-17). Advantage Lakers? BTW i am soo bad in math.. can u go to ESPN or something .. and do the count.. pirates can't be trusted!

Yeah.. Keep thinking chowders had a mediocre season .. like the powder got to lebron's head.. chowder gonna get to urs..

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
SamLL>>I have a theory, the Western conference has been the better conference for years. I don't buy into the BS that the eastern conference is a better defensive conference.
Both OKC and Phoenix played tougher defense than the Celtics have shown in the first 2 games of this series.
But a funny thing happens when the Lakers bully the "Bully Celtics", all of a sudden no tight defense is allowed without a foul being called.

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

U r comparing OKC to Celtics and Los Sonitas? Durant maybe good in the next couple years but he won't last Laker antics and bullying .. and did not. 7 secs of orange choir boys whose noses u broke at will .. they are better than Cleveland and Orlando? Cle & Orl both had over 60+ wins.. u r telling me Stoudamire dudley, knudsen (something like that), and lopez .. playin zone defense because of their size.. or lack of it.. have better D.. and are better teams.. when was the last time.. suns won anything, or Jazz, or OKC.. hold on OKC was homeless for a while..

Last time I checked ur first home loss was handed to you in 08 in Finals by Celtics.. first home loss handed to you in o'10 .. i like saying o ten.. by the Celtics.. Okay age maybe catching up to Celtics.. or they may have lost a player or two.. but they are holding their fort up to now..against all the talent money could buy.. tomorrow maybe another day.. but at least today.. they have held u to 1-1 on ur floor .. OKC did dat? Sonitas did dat? by the time OKC Jazz and sonitas looked up at the scoreboard u had 2-0 leads.. Give a lil respect!

David Geffen buying 51% of the Clippers and going after LeBron...

Kobe and LeBron both playing at the Staples Center?

Things that make me go hmmmm....

Lakers in 5 Suburban...

====------ === ------==
/_____l______l__ ___\____
ll l - --> 4 - 1 <-- l ------- l-----------]
L___(0)l______l__ ____l(0) J

lewstrs
MAMBA24

All aboard...plenty of seats available...

Captain Jack

Your Chowders had the exact record as the Thunder...

That means your green pukes would have been the 8th seed in the Western Conference...

Yes I'm comparing them, and I think the Thunder are better....;)

In my humble opinion Celtics has no answer for BYNUM AND GASOL in games 1 and 2.


The bigs should control game 3.


Kevin Tully:
Past stats don't determine the outcome of games. If so, the Celtics would have lost game #2 since the Lakers were undefeated at home.
I'm more worried about one-sided refereeing than past stats.
The Lakers don't need to sweep the C's in Boston. One win is needed, two would be nice. Three is not delusional (after all Rondo could get injured and be out the next three games), but it is unlikely.
I guess that's why they play the games.
I'll stick with my prediction: Lakers win 93-88.
(I'm not putting any money on it though) :)

====------ === ------==
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L___(0)l______l__ ____l(0) J

Just hope this is not a toyota.. auto accelerator freshly designed in Torrance..

BTW lewster u gots ur Laker Flags waving on both of ur windows? I always thought of the SUV drivers with Laker Flags highly intelligent individuals.. ERRRRR ...

y 93-88 for lakers? y not 101 or 110 ? not so confident in ur garden snake? Bynum and Gasoft r not going to rip the paint? ..

Wall St. said 96-95 for Celtics.. I love east coast bias..

If lakers win .. don't expect me to come here tomorrow because i will not be saying anything nice.. therefore a lot a mediation will be needed.. so i will save Mr Medina extra work..

If lakers loose .. i won't be coming here tomorrow also.. cause i will .. marooned on an island with lots of rum ..

(after all Rondo could get injured and be out the next three games)
Posted by: rdlee | June 08, 2010 at 02:48 PM

That is low. Is it like broken nose of Nash which u hoped for? Is it like cutting Stoudamire's repaired eye again fishers doing? is that u have gotten accustomed to .. great coaching Phillup?

Rondo will not (knock knock on wood) break his leg .. if u think Lakers can rattle the celtics by head budding fisher or by artest u r a lil mistaken.. i am sure thats what Phillup is gonna pull out once the game is on the line.. like tell fisher, artest, or kobe .. to accidently hurt some one in celtics.. u don't win 10 without rodman, fisher, and fox..

I think Pierce can be better in that category.. remember he is from ur fav part of the city.. Inglewood.. Gardena.. Compton..

Try hurting him!

.---- - -
( ,----- - -
\_/ ___
c--U---^--'o [_
|------------'_| Lakers Gravy Train
/_(o)(o)--(o)(o)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~

ALL ABOARD...NEXT STOP FIGUEROA STATION FOR THE 16TH LAKER PARADE


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