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Complete Command: Lakers 102, C’s 89

 

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Not a blowout, just the Lakers remaining in complete control throughout, imposing their will on the C’s for the majority of the 48 minutes tonight. Altogether, it was a thoroughly impressive effort by the defending champs, dominating the C’s on the board, in the paint and on the defensive end.

A line has been drawn in the sand and as of tonight, it was the Lakers that looked like the tougher team. They were the ones making the hustle plays and playing the tough physical D needed to be Champions. The good news is there are still plenty of games to be played, the C’s just need to answer the call. The Lakers won’t make that easy.

There were a lot of heroes tonight wearing yellow jerseys but you have start with the Spanish Llama, one Pau Gasol. Taking the knocks on his toughness to heart, he led the way for LA, logging over 46 minutes and putting up a crucial 23 points and 14 rebounds, (8 offensive), 3 assists and 3 blocks. Just a tremendous line that spoke volumes about just how much of an impact had on his contest.

Gasol picked his spots well, working the pick and roll to perfection with Kobe and company all night long, while setting the tone for his team from the opening tip with his effort on the glass. He also carried the load with half of the Lakers roster was beset with foul trouble throughout the first half, keeping the Lakers in control before their big run at the end of the second quarter.

There was no question that Gasol had the edge at the power forward position going into tonight, but he made KG look flat out old on both ends of the floor. He outrebounded him 14-4, got to the basket at will, the C’s had no answer for him. Just a tremendous performance.

Looking around the rest of the Lakers squad, it was a perfectly balanced effort. Kobe got his 30 with relative ease, while keeping Ray Allen in foul trouble for much of the evening. The role players stepped up throughout with Ron Artest and Derek Fisher hitting some timely jumpers. Andrew Bynum looked strong in 28 minutes of floor time, putting up a respectable 10-6. Just a polished all-around effort.

The Lakers made a couple of runs in this back and forth affair, one at the end of the 2nd to bump the lead up to double digits and again in the 3rd to essentially put the Celtics away early. When the Celtics are down 20 and Ray Allen is stuck on the bench with 5 fouls, there is no way this team is winning, pure and simple.

Enough credit for the Lakers though, let’s get to the C’s. They were outworked tonight. Outhustled. Not to an embarrassing degree, but enough to make the difference. They were tentative all night on the offensive end, never gaining any kind of rhythm. A lot of that had to do with Ray’s foul trouble throughout the game. It’s tough to play offense without Ray, but that chore becomes he even more challenging when you are playing from behind, which is what the C’s were doing all night.

The long range game was non-existent as well with the C’s shooting just 1 of 10 from downtown. The Lakers played a smart disciplined defensive game, making the C’s earn their points with either tough shots or at the free throw line.

It wasn’t that anyone on the Celtics was playing particular bad, (except for TA and KG at points) it’s just that no one played particularly well. Few teams this playoffs have been able to contain all of the C’s weapons but that’s exactly what LA did tonight. Rondo, KG, Pierce all held in check. No one got any kind of flow going, which limited the C’s from sustaining any kind of runs offensively. Never a serious threat, the closest they got the second half was nine points.

Bullets soon….

  • joe

    NEVER DRAW CONCLUSIONS AFTER GAME 1. This will be a long series. Remember game 3 vs. CLE? We’ll be fine.

  • LAKERS FAN

    CHUMPIFICATION . . . . CHAMPS OVER CHUMPS.

  • Cptn Bubbles

    I could see Kobe shooting the lights out & the Lake winning, but not the Lake out hustling & out defending the Cs.

    The passing for the lake was superb…it was really like there was not another team on the floor for much of the game. Best example, when a laker picked up his dribble, no worries, zero ball pressure, just hold the ball at chest level, wait & pass it back around. Seriously, a laker could pick up his dribble, put the ball on the floor, tie both his shoes, get out a stick of gum, & then make the pass. That is how much pressure they faced on the ball. They moved the ball on offense while we just dribbled around into their long, swarming defense.

    First words out of Kobe’s mouth: We had to defend. We had to do a good job defending the ball, rebounding the ball. Offense comes & goes………. What a great statement & attitude. THAT SOUNDS LIKE SOMETHING A GREAT DEFENSIVE TEAM WOULD SAY.

    Ray shouldn’t be protesting too much. He did not move his feet. He was reaching all over the place.

  • MP

    We have to rebound. It’s that simple. Gasol had seven offensive boards himself. Can’t allow that to happen.

  • http://www.forumblueandgold.com Lakers Fan

    The “Celtics in 5″ pick looks like Celtics fans were overestimating how good they were or underestimating how good the Lakers were.

    Looks like the same thing happened in the game with the teams too.

  • I love Green

    KG was a pussy tonight. Simple as that. He let Gasoft push him around, and Garnett is one of the toughest guys in the league. Rondo played scared, Ray sat on the bench, and there was barely any help on defense.
    Ugly game, and now game 2 is pretty much a must win game.

  • I love Green

    And to everyone talking about game 3 against Cleveland: This is the Lakers, not Cavs. Lakers have the best and smartest player in the league. He’s also one of the best leaders of all time which is big in the playoffs. Cavs have a horrible playoff coach, and apparently the “Best player on the planet” in Lebron James but to bad he’s a horrible leader.

    Totally different teams, totally different leaders.

  • Nick D

    What do you mean? this was a blowout!! the final score only shows that the celtics scored a few garbage time points. They were beat with 2 minutes left and had their starters in! losers!!

    BOSTON SUCKS! CELTICS SUCK! WE ARE GOING TO CELEBRATE ON YOUR HOME FLOOR!!

  • MP

    The Lakers won…here come the trolls.

  • LAKERS FAN

    MP we’re gonna be at your house on Sunday. . . get some extra beer

  • joe

    @I love Green, i wasn’t comparing CLE to LAL. i was comparing how demoralizing the losses were to show that C’s fans shouldn’t panic. CLE looked tougher and beat up BOS on the boards pretty bad as well. BOS looked to be in worse shape after that loss than they do after this one.

  • MP

    Sounds good

  • Eran

    Gasol had twice as many rebounds as KG and Perk together. There’s no way the Cs can win like that.

  • Gump

    Play of the series was the KG blown layup. Reminded me of when T-Mac had that wide open dunk blocked by the rim in Milwaukee.

    Sad to see one of my favorite players go out like that.

  • lakerland

    @gump blown layup and airball put back….

  • Ersatz

    My wife keeps reminding me that it’s one game, but I’m hurting. Bad. All hail the Lakers, they totally punked us tonight: way more intense, way more caring, way better. And that worries me. They killed us because they cared more. Yeah, they’re were a lot of bad calls against us, especially in the determinative third quarter — my wife can attest to my feelings on the matter — but it didn’t matter because they were better the whole game. Paul Gasol was completely brilliant, and if Garnett is going to get bitched like that every game, it will be a sweep, and a very ugly one.

    Too bad too, because PP was freaking brilliant, almost as much as Gasol. Too bad that Rondo, Ray, and Garnett failed to show up. They all, to but it as diplomatically as I can, sucked. Ray less than the other two, but he was no less inconsequential. I was actually sad when Rondo replaced Nate in the fourth, because Nate was making shit happen. Rondo did, what exactly? Nothing. Garnett was beyond terrible, which the few shots he hit shots will hide. Pierce had one of the great nonwinning Celtic playoff games I can remember. Too bad the offense went away from him when, well, the whole freaking game.

    If at this point I have any hope it’s that everything that Fischer, Kobe, and Brown threw up went in. Law of averages and all that. But if our Next Three are going to suck as they did tonight, it’s going to be an unfortunately short series. Either they need to step up or…hey guys, get the fucking ball to Paul Pierce for more than a bailout shot attempt. The guy was genius; you may want to feed him a bit.

  • rob

    hey lakers “fans” i find it so amusing that you don’t know a single shred of information about how a basketball game works, yet you pretend you know everything when your just copying what the hosts of the pre game show are saying it’s pathetic. If you did know anything about basketball you’d realize that your little spanish poodle is just hiding behind the so called “leader” in kobe bryant when it was him who took a cheap shot at the end of regulation when clearly no one was playing defense. You guys call yourselves the “lake show” but behind your “forum blue” and yellow jerseys your just an abnocious circus act starring the freak ron artest and the little princess gasol

  • LakerHater13

    Laker fans dont get too excited. The celtics really just beat themselves tonight. Yes the lakers are a great team but the Celtics had a lot of bad unforced turnovers in this game. Just stupid plays. They missed easy buckets. The worst part was they gave the lakers easy baskets off of offensive rebounds. The Celtics just played poor basketball. Oh and to Nick can suck on my D. Your complaining about the celtics not being blown out because they kept the starters in. Wasnt that Kobe shooting a 3 with 3 seconds to go. We came back and then we had bad turn overs at bad times. We were not scoring garbage points against your bench. So Nick get a clue. I like our odds in this series if we can play terrible and still be in striking distance. If we play like half the team we are Phil could end up 47-1 after winning game 1 of a series.

  • Ersatz

    Let me emphasize: the Lakers were great. If the Celtics, and their fans, think they were playing the ’08 Lakers, hopefully tonight b-slapped them backed to reality. The Lakers are good. And tough. Ask KG about this — if he’s not still cowering behind his mom’s skirt. (I’m not one for tough-guy metaphors, but it can’t be underestimated the extent to which he got abused tonight. If he doesn’t improve, we’re sunk.)

  • LAKERS FAN

    Hey Rob I do have one “shred of information” . . . . . . . . The team with the most points at the end wins. Suck it up and stop being such a b%^ch.

  • Nick D

    I knew Celtics fans are idiots or retards. You beat yourselves? Really? How is that? The Lakers punked out the Celtics across the board. The refs even called some pity fouls to save the Celtics when shots did not fall after they were down and pretty much out. Would you expect the Lakers starters to be out when the Doc “Cry Me a” Rivers keeps his starters in? You all will be sucking our championship!

  • Dustball

    Well that was anticlimactic… It’s just one game though. Cs fans, I think it’s time you start showing a little respect to your opponent, however. This is not the same team you faced in ’08. Vlad rad aint playing, Bynum is back, and Pau is tougher and knows this offense inside and out. Let’s see if the Cs can’t make it competitive in game 2, though.

  • Mike

    Oh Rob, thanks for the laugh. I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that in traditional irish fashion you drank yourself into an “abnocious” rage and didn’t notice that there was a 2 -3 second differential between the shot clock and the game clock when Kobe let that last long bomb fly. ‘Cause if you did notice then you revealed your own ignorance of basketball etiquette while insulting that of Lakers fans. How ironic that would be! It’s way more insulting to a team to purposefully commit a 24 second violation at the end of a game. Plus, just because your guys have given up doesn’t mean the game is over.

    Oh and if the Lakers are a circus act, what does it say about your team that they just got trampled by one?

  • DRJ1

    Thing is, game 2 is now completely CRITICAL. They cannot lose the next one.

    Btw… Rondo and KG WERE bad… really bad. Rondo may have looked not-too-bad, but his aggression was AWOL, his D was feathery, and he did not do what he’s out there to do… lead the team. Awful performance from Rondo… and it all starts with him. Ray’s foul trouble also hurt, of course. As did the general lack of effort (except for Paul, Sheed and Nate, that is… and Ray too, when he could).

    They have plenty of motivation now for game 2. Little things, like… oh… THEY’RE DEAD IN THE WATER IF THEY LOSE. So we can hope for a better night then.

  • Ersatz

    DRJ1, yes. Rondo and Garnett were not just bad but atrociosly, historically bad. My game 2 and series hope are that they can’t be that bad again, can they? Cuz if they are, we’re screwed. What a horrorshow for those two.

    Now let’s rest and recover from this game. Let’s also remember: Paul Pierce plays the game of basketball very well.

  • Mike

    The key to tonight’s game was rebounding. By pulling down so many offensive boards and getting second chance points we stopped you guys from getting out in transition which is where Rondo really shines. If you are going to have any chance in this series KG in particular is going to have to keep Gasol off the glass. That will help feed Rondo which will fuel your offense.

    This game makes me feel good about our chances but the celtics will and tenacity scares me. I expect that the next game the Lakers will have to play even better to have a chance at winning game 2.

  • LakerHater13

    Nick D…. the usual laker fan that doesnt know anything. Your saying with 2 mins to go in a 10 point game in the finals a team is supposed to empty the bench and give up. You clearly dont know anything about basketball. Let me guess. Yankee fan too?

  • jonathan

    LakerHater13 – you need to re-read Nick D’s post, and think hard about what his point is, because it seems to have eluded you this first time around…

  • Ersatz

    @Mike, I agree to an extent. I kept commenting to the people I hadn’t driven to their rooms about the Cs lack of running opportunities, but I’m not sure it was the difference. I think more about their inability to capitalize on the PP-RA (mis)match, which most thought would be even but is clearly in the Celtics favor. If Rondo is going to play like a barrel full of crap like he did tonight, the Cs only hope is for to Pierce to score 35. It’s very difficult to score 35 on 12 shots.

  • zebulon

    KG looked absurdly bad. He missed a dunk! (and not off the back of the rim, he just didn’t elevate). And he couldn’t grab a number of wide-open rebounds, and he couldn’t box out Gasol to save his life, and he passed up wide open jumpers off of kickouts to take a dribble, then take a contested two.

    Ray is obviously crucial to our offense. The Rondo-TA backcourt will not work against the lakers. They got back on defense EVERY time (while leaving Pau or Lamar grab the board over the celtics), meaning the the transition opportunities Rondo/TA depend on to score were simply not there. Instead, they clogged up all the possible driving lanes Paul could have had.

  • zebulon

    Doc’s lineup decisions were abysmal. Baby should not have played a quarter as much as he did in the fourth – he does not hit the open 17 footer this year that he did last year, and again causes the lane to be clogged. Not to mention his abysmal defense when matched up with Odom or Gasol.

    When trailing in the fourth, it was obvious we needed the floor spaced for Rondo or Pierce to go to work. There was no room in the middle, because the lakers can play off of Davis and Perk without worrying about the outside shot. With Rondo and TA in, there are three defenders who only need to defend their man when he is in the immediate basket area. This is a recipe for disaster.

    Doc used four linups in the fourth.
    Nate/Ray/Pierce/Sheed/Baby
    Nate/Ray/Pierce/KG/Baby
    Rondo/Ray/Pierce/KG/Baby
    and FINALLY (with 2 minutes remaining and the game out of reach)
    Rondo/Ray/Pierce/KG/Sheed

    The first lineup was +5, because there were openings available on offense with four legitimate three point threats. The next two were unable to cut into the lead at all, and the final lineup only played meaningless minutes.

    Doc needs to understand the situations where each of his bigs can excel – much like Phil does with the rotating three bigs of the lakers. Against the laker’s desire to ‘wall off’ the paint with their bigs, we need to have at least one shooting big on the floor, who can force their man to follow them on the perimeter. When we have both Rondo and TA in at the same time, we need to have TWO shooting bigs on the floor at the same time, because otherwise there are three defenders clogging the paint, leaving no room for anyone to create.

    Sheed needs to play a ton this series. I know I hated him all regular season, and that he is likely to lose his hot shooting from deep. But because of the deficiencies of our other players (ie, the complete inability to shoot of our two perimeter stoppers), we need some way to keep the paint clear and our offense running smoothly. The celtics never achieved an offensive rhythm this entire game.

  • zebulon

    Lineups I want to see:

    Rondo/Ray/Pierce/KG/Perk
    Rondo/TA/Ray or Pierce/KG/Sheed
    Nate/TA/Ray or Pierce/Davis/Sheed
    Nate/Rondo/Pierce/KG/Sheed or Perk (vs their 2 point guard bench unit).
    Our first unit has obviously had success, and is one of the best units in the league in Adjusted +/-. But in order to counter the strong-side overload, Doc needs to be sure all of his lineups include at least three legitimate shooters.

    Things I never ever want to see:

    Any three of Rondo/TA/Perk/Baby on the floor at the same time. It absolutely destroys our offense. I understand that defense comes first for the celtics, but winning needs to come before defense, and we can’t win with the 80ish offensive rating the results from the three-non-shooter lineup.

    Also why does Nate not assert himself? SHOOT THE OPEN THREE. He was open for a trey three times on one possession, and turned each of them down. So frustrating.

  • gxs

    ::sigh::..on behalf of Lakers fans I apologize for the trolls. I really suggest some moderation on the comments.

    The Celtics got out hustled tonight and the main difference I saw in this match up was the Lakers attacking the basket. Even when they blew a layup or Odom was getting called for an offensive foul because he still hasn’t learned what a pump fake is, I was glad to see them aggressively going to the basket.

    I picked Boston to win because it seemed like if the Lakers were to win, everyone would have to play well. Where as boston has been winning with only 2 out 4 key guys showing up at a time. Of course, with my luck, lo and behold, everyone on the Lakers played well.

  • eidos

    Some things to keep in mind for game 2, and that in a way makes me feel optimist about the outcome of the series

    We have 3 days to the next match and it benefits us more than lakers.

    RA trouble with faults. It hurted us a lot not having his shots

    Gasol got more rebounds that all Celtics big men combined, I dont belive Cs will allow this to happen again in game 2.

    We converted zero second chance points, and Lakers converted 16 points, giving the fact we lost by 9 points, I feel this was a very key factor about our defeat.

    Truly Lakers are not the 2008 lakers, but I feel this match is far from finished, Lakers are for a big upset on sunday

  • hillcrestwildcat

    @gxs Thanks for the constructive comment. Actually I didn’t think Lamar played that well, and for me he is your team’s x-factor so in essence your team can actually play better which is a scary prospect, but in general most of your guys played well and most of the celtics didn’t (not bad, just not good). Congrats on game 1 hopefully game 2 will be better called on both sides with no Joey Crawford to put half of both teams starting fives in foul trouble before halftime.

  • Gump

    Like I said before Game 1, Bynum is absolutely crucial to this series for the Lakers. Go back and watch the ’08 series. Anytime Garnett guarded Gasol, Gasol generally had success. Fortunately for the Celtics that year, Garnett didn’t have to guard Gasol much, Perkins did. Perkins gave Gasol a much harder time.

    Fast forward to today. Now that Bynum is in the lineup, Perkins has to guard him, leaving Garnett to guard Gasol. If 2008 Defensive Player of the Year Garnett had trouble guarding Gasol, 2010 older injured Garnett will have an even harder time guarding him.

    Doc needs to think of something, fast.

  • DRJ1

    @Gump– Thing is — KG must be able to stop Gasol. He has the ability and the length. There’s no excuse. The key point is: If KG cannot stop Gasol, then the Celtics are NOT GOING TO WIN THIS SERIES.

    It’s not on Doc to “think of something”. It’s on KG to do his job.

  • Gump

    I’m not so sure that KG has the ability to stop him. Seriously, go back and watch the ’08 series. Pay attention to the times that KG guards Gasol, and compare it to the times that Perkins guards Gasol.

    Gasol had some success against the ’08 version of KG. The ’10 version of KG isn’t nearly as mobile as the ’08 version. Gasol has also gotten stronger and more seasoned. If Doc puts it on KG to stop Gasol 1-on-1, then this series is probably a wrap, because I don’t think KG has the ability to do so.

  • Steve

    Here come the laker fans you have your own board. Seems we have really constructive chats on this forum until we get some trolls. But I digress KG + Rondo needs to step it up just played hesitant all around.

  • NHBluesMan

    @gxs your apology is accepted.

    For as horrible as the C’s looked, the fact that we were always within striking distance gives me some hope. Sure Odom didn’t have a good game (he’s liable to have 1 or 2 big ones per series), but when 1 player for the Lakers doesn’t play up to potential, and 3 to 4 Celtics don’t play up to potential, we’ve got a lot of room to improve.

    I feel like the Celtics will come out angry and hungry on Sunday, but they need to play smart, cause the Lakers will come to win. This could boil down to 2 things, the Gasol vs. Garnett match-up (which doesn’t look good as of last night) and who wants it more.

    both teams are capable of winning this series, and to all the Laker trolls, don’t act like you KNEW this was going to happen, if you knew anything about basketball you’d respect the Celtics abilities instead of just talking smack. I knew the Lakers would be tough, and i didn’t expect the C’s to come in and win 2 games in LA. The Lakers did what they were SUPPOSED to do, which was win at home. If the Celtics steal game 2 (which will be hard, but doable) they can still win this in 6, if not, they lose in 6 or 7.

  • aaron

    yea, bad game, just 1. I got home from work last night to see my 5 year old watching the game in his rondo jersey. when asked what color the other team’s jerseys were, he said they were yellow like mommy’s pansies. the Celtics lost but its still nice to laugh at the simple things.

  • NHBluesMan

    @ Aaron, it sounds like you are raising your children well, haha

  • FYATroll

    I just like to offer perspective from an outside Cavalier fan.

    To DRJ1 about Rondo and KG. You would think they couldn’t be that bad again. I would tend to agree. BUT, take it from experience, it can happen. LeBron, I thought, was really quite poor in game 4 when he went 7-18 and had 7 turnovers. Did not look good. I was sure he would come out the next game and really show up. The next game was game 5. IT just got worse as you well know.

    So while I think KG and (specifically) rondo will be better, it certainly isn’t out of the realm of possibility that it not only might not improve, but can get worse.

  • klr

    looking lovely so far…:)

  • gone green

    If the Game is officiated in the manner that it was officiated last night LA will sweep Boston If the officials allow both teams to play then Boston will win Im not saying the calls were one sided rather the game was called too closely on both ends. Boston was never able to get in rythm. The game was stopped too many times to consistently get in a rythm. The lineups that Doc was forced to go to early also didnt allow for rythm. Overall Im not concerned, LA did exactly what they were suppose to do win at home. Boiston has showed a knack for bouncing back after bad game, and I see no reason why that shouldnt continue.

  • Sweeney

    TA is such an enigma on the offensive side of the ball. How low is his basketball IQ on the offensive side? I am not trying to bash, but he just doesn’t seem to understand what to do on the floor.

    The C’s were physically out played. Having Perk being one tech away from sitting a game is looming large over this team. There is a part of me that says he needs to go hard and if he get’s a double tech then so be it. At least it will be over with, because it seems like we lacked his usual toughness in the paint. Thoughts?

  • Ersatz

    @Sweeney, Perk looked a little hesitant. But the problem was mostly Garnett. My favorite Garnett moment was when Gasol was on the three-point and did pump fake, WHICH GARNETT TOTALLY FELL FOR, and then drove by Garnett for a layup. It was the perfect play for how Garnett played: stupid and lethargic. The game had nothing to do with Garnett’s ability, only his will and effort.

  • http://none Jeff

    Very surprised to see how tired the C’s looked last night. They’ll bounce back tough, but this isn’t the same deer in the headlights 2008 Lakers. They’ve gotten bigger and more mature in the last 2 years. I don’t see this series going well for the Celtics.

  • Bob

    Boston can and will play better. I usually take Game 1 as a feel out game because adjustments will always be made. I’m glad the Lakers won but im not celebrating like the rest of the crowd because i’ve seen what the c’s can do and it’s only a matter of time until they pick up on our tendencies and cover up their holes.

    Rondo started off great in my eyes. He made kobe pay for disregarding him on the offensive end and got to the open spots. He also made some great passes after getting into the paint. The problem was when he was open for that mid-range shot. He has to take those, right? Those usually came towards the end of the shot clock as well so he doesn’t have time to restart or create. We did a good job of containing Rondo, but I think you’ll see a more aggressive version of him from now on.

    KG is just not the same anymore. His legs are getting tired earlier, his athleticism is deteriorating and that’s affecting the ‘toughness’ aspect of his game. KG barks when he’s fired up and his intensity level rises at the same time. How can you be pumped up when what used to be a huge dunk turns into a botched lay up and an airball putback? I think he needs to re-focus his game and get that all back on the defensive end where he is the ring leader in the whole scheme. I’ve always admired the c’s defense and KG is the backbone of it.

    C’s fans shouldn’t be discouraged and Lakers fans should just be thankful that everyone came out to play tonight. Pau was a beast and kobe did his thing. I feel like we can play better than what we showed but like I said there are adjustments to be made. One thing I feel the c’s are gonna go to more often is that P&R with Pierce so I hope we prepare ourselves better for that. Just be prepared for a much more aggressive c’s team on sunday. Hopefully we’ll pick up our level of play as well and maintain HOA.

  • BLACKJACK

    I dont like the Lakers either but ill bet anyone out their $5,000 that they’ll win this series. I already got $5,000 in Vegas on the Lakers not because I like them. Its because their going to win and Im a gambler. So if anyone wants to take up another $5,000 bet with me I’m down. We can put the money through escrow. Let me know???

  • BLACKJACK

    I can go up to $10,000.

  • stephen

    @ gone green—- I agree with you totally .If the officiating remains like this for the rest of the series then the Celtics are doomed. There is no question as to which team will be affected more. Many of the calls were bogus against both teams, however are the teams going to get to decide this or the damn officials?

  • Evan

    Here are a few thoughts from a more objective laker fan:

    The Laker coaching staff seems to be set on doing whatever they can to eliminate Boston’s 3 point opportunities.

    The threes in transition for PP and Ray were obviously not available because the lakers were so potent offensively and on the offensive glass (not to mention low TOs), they still did a great job of meeting Rondo early, above the three point line in transition. LA can thank the Suns for demonstrating a similar transition attack (regarding transition threes).

    Still, Boston needs three point opportunities in the half-court set. Any Laker fan remembers that Ray Allen threes off the baseline double-screen action absolutely destroyed LA in 2008.

    IT didn’t seem like we saw that action much tonight, mainly because Ray Ray got in foul trouble (4/5 fouls were legitimate calls – but come on guys, be real here. Ray is a hand-checking fiend and could pick up 15 fouls a night if the officials honored the rulebook, not to mention the eh-hem, occasionally dubious screens that get him open).

    But besides the foul trouble, Ray Ray was on the court for 27 minutes and they ran that action for him numerous times. But the Lakers had a brilliant scheme for this. If Fisher or whoever couldn’t recover, the big would step out and contest. If Ray turned down the shot, he had an iso against a big. But when that big is Pau or Lamar, the mismatch is not that great. Lakers dealt with this. Only once did the Celtics punish the Lakers for the switch by pounding the ball inside to a big who was being guarded by a Laker guard. Boston needs to correct this.

    The problem is, The Celtics love to take their time getting into their offensive sets. Lakers did a great job of switching and having the big man contest the three ONLY when Boston didn’t have time for a re-set. If Boston wants to capitalize off of the Laker switches, they need to stop running clock and get into their actions earlier.

    I also think that the officiating completely took Boston out of their defensive game. In the 2008 finals, Boston did a lot of holding and grabbing on the perimeter, which is great, when the officials are calling it old school. But if the officials read their 2010 rulebooks, that’s not gonna fly, and the Boston perimeter defenders will struggle containing penetration.

    But beyond the issue of dribble penetration, which creates help situations (ie offensive rebound situations), the Lakers did a wonderful job when Boston loaded up on the strong side (as in, their defensive attack). Whenever you load up like this, there are glaring holes right in the middle of the court (similar to attacking a traditional zone). Last night, the weakside laker big (Lamar)or the roller in the P&R (Gasol) did a great job of filling that wide open area, underneath the incredible defensive Boston pressure. Boston’s a great defensive team, so more times than not, there was help. But the only help there was was Boston’s weakside big. When the help came, A laker big had a dunk off of crisp big-to-big passing, or, at the very least, a wonderful offensive rebounding opportunity.

    This sequence (what us laker fans like to call the high-low action – haha kidding) really hurt you guys. If boston’s gonna zone off the strong side and LA executes like they did by finding a cutting big man, then Boston is going to give up something. Boston would do well to make that something be something other than a dunk.

    So there you have it. Sometimes it’s hard to see what the other team is doing, so here was a couple defensive strategies and an offensive strategy by the hated ones in LA.

  • Vince

    I better not hear one more word about the refs. Man even the Boston fans sound soft. Shoe is on the other foot and it’s not coming off. See ya Celts, LA is clearly the better team. And quit your crying softees, we’re gonna win it all in game 5 on your court.

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