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The Struggles of KG

 

Kevin Garnett scored 16 points in Game 1, his highest scoring game since the Cleveland series. But if you watched the game, you know: KG is going to have a very, very difficult time scoring in the post on Pau Gasol.

Gasol is as tall and long-limbed as Garnett, and KG no longer has the raw leaping ability he showed before his knee in injury last season. (And even then, his athleticism was starting to decline). If Gasol stays down on pump fakes, every shot from the post is going to be a tough one for KG. Check out this make from the 2nd quarter:

That is a difficult shot, and one the Lakers will happily accept every time down the floor.

But Gasol’s length also helps against another one of KG’s pet shots: The long jumper off a drive-and-kick. (Note: This is distinct from a pick-and-pop, which causes a totally different set of problems for the defense). When one of Boston’s perimeter players drives into the paint on action that doesn’t involve KG as a screener, Garnett loves to float out to the elbow and make himself a target in the event that his guy chooses to dart down and help on the driver.

Few defenders are long and agile enough to help, recover and contest the KG jumper. And when KG senses even a weak contest coming, he likes to create an extra bit of space for himself by taking one dribble to his left as the defender flies at him. But in Game 1, Gasol was up to the challenge:

KG can absolutely make that shot, but Gasol’s presence creates a higher degree of difficulty than normal.

Garnett had a monster offensive series in the low post against the Cavaliers, but as the playoffs have continued, it has become clear that KG’s production had a lot to do with the height advantage he enjoyed over Antawn Jamison. It was clear at the time, actually. It was an important weapon against Cleveland, and it was a crutch the C’s could lean on when other parts of their offense sputtered.

That crutch will not work as well in this series. That doesn’t mean you toss the KG post-up from the C’s play book; it is too central to what Boston does on offense, and it spurs the other Celtics to move without the ball.

But Boston cannot lean on it. Not against Gasol. They can use it strategically, when KG secures deeper-than-usual position or catches Gasol back-pedaling in transition. And when they feed Garnett, the off-the-ball movement has to be aggressive. The other four Boston players cannot be standing and watching, because if they do, they will most likely stand watch a miss—or, at best, a brutally contested make.

I also think we will see more of KG as the screener in screen/roll situations. Jeff Van Gundy mentioned during the game that the Lakers were switching on the Pierce/Garnett screen/roll, with KG’s guy (Gasol) moving over to guard Pierce while Pierce’s guy shifted onto KG.

Pierce torched Gasol when that switch happened, and so I wonder if the Lakers will make a point not to switch as often in Game 2.

Either way, look for Boston to work KG into more screen/rolls in Game 2. It may represent his best chance to be an offensive threat in this series.

  • Korey

    The Pierce/Garnett screen is WITHOUT A DOUBT the biggest problem for the Lakers in my view.

    If the Lakers switch Gasol is going to foul out guarding Pierce the way Pierce creates contact and flops back.

    If the Lakers dont switch, it gets Artest on the move and Pierce some breathing room.

    So to me the Lakers will eventually have to trap that and then rotate. The rotation is dangerous though because you dont need to be rotating off of Ray Allen.

    What’s interesting is that THIS IS BASKETBALL at its finest in terms of strategy. Its not fun when you can say “the lakers can just switch all screen rolls”. Thats Atlanta Hawks Mike Woodson basketball.

    The Lakers need to :
    - Go under Rondo screen rolls
    - Chase and/or switch Ray Allen screen
    and in my view
    - Trap Pierce screen rolls.

    So that means all defenders on the court must be on the same page. Odom cant get in the game, forget and let Allen get hot.

    The Cs have a host of problems on defense which you saw last night but in terms of the Lakers D, game 2 should be quite the interesting test case.

    Let the chess match begin folks.

  • Korey

    KG totally doesnt scare me especially as a scorer.

    If he wants to take jumpers all day thats fine because that saves fouls on our bigs for Rondo and Pierce.

    So shoot away KG! When you miss we’ll clean the glass and go the other way. When you make it, oh well, at least we wont be in foul trouble!

  • gone green

    KG had a bad game yes Gasol had a great game. KG doesnt have to have monster games every night to beat LA where as Gasol is a MUST for LA to have any shot at beating Boston. KG concern has to be defending Gasol and keping Gasol off the boards. If you ask KG what was the worse part of his game last night he would say the fact that Gasol had 8 OBoards. KG will be fine and Lets not forget how closely the game was called> Ill say it again if the game is officiated as it was last night Lakers win easy If both teams are allowed to play the the edge goes to Boston. Not saying that it was called on sided but it was called closely. Boston is a far more physical team then the Lakers hence a tightly called game favors LA

  • joe

    If he doesn’t at least come close to matching Gasol LAL is gonna win this. In fairness, the entire frontline can’t allow Gasol to dominate the game. Additionally, KG can’t only grab 4 boards in 35 minutes. Those are Amare Stoudemire numbers.

  • http://doubledribble.wordpress.com Jason J

    Nice piece, Zack. It will be interesting to see if they iso KG more away from the basket and let him face up Gasol with his ball-handling skills. They ran that once on the right wing, and he had success on a dribble pull up. If they spaced it right, he could probably get to the hole on the that play more often than not.

    Sheed showed an ability to post up Gasol, and I wouldn’t mind seeing more of that.

    In any case there’s no way Boston wins with 27 minutes from Allen. Pierce needs someone to space the floor when he isolates, and Tony and Rondo can’t do it.

  • Jay P

    No question KG was beat on the glass all night. Forget the rest of the numbers, that can’t happen again.

    Also, Bynum gave a lot of good minutes yesterday. If that’s not able to continue, it means we’ll see more Gasol/Odom, which helps the Cs. Perkins can take away Gasol’s post game, and force him to be a shooter, Odom is a better match up for KG who’s still shown an ability to guard athletic 4s (like he did with Lewis.)

  • A die hard Celtic in LakerLand

    I must say the game was called a lot closer than they have been doing so far this post season.

    The officiating has been so inconsistent!

    And can anyone think of a more horrific officiating combo than Joey Crawford and Joe Derosa?!!!

    Before the game was over I was expecting to see Joey Crawford tell Perkins he wanted to meet him outside after the game for a braul and Derosa to be chucking balls at little kids in the stands!

    The one part that bugged me was the calls against Ray. Come on man! Is this Basketball or Ballet?!

    He had just come off the bench after sitting because of the other 4 bogus fouls, and he gets number 5 within a minute?!!!

    I mean come on! It’s Ray Allen! We’re not talking about a mug artist here. Womens figure skating has more contact than what they were calling Ray for.

    Pretty sad. I’m not saying it would have been the difference in the game but the Rondo/Allen vs. Fisher/Bryant matchup issue was expected to create a HUGE problem for the Lakers in this series and the refs totally negated it. Kinda sad. I was really interested to see what the adjustment would be for the Lakers to handle that mismatch. If the refs will call it fair, maybe we can find out in game 2! What do you say Dave?! Think you can actually do your job for once?!!!

  • Todd

    @gone green

    I’m not entirely convinced that the Celtics are really the more physical team. I believe that’s a function of memory more than anything else. With Bynum in the lineup and effective, the physical factor is pretty much a wash from what I can tell.

    Perkins is perhaps a more physical presence than Bynum – though not by much – and Bynum’s ability to score more or less negates any advantage.

    At one time, Garnett may have been more physical than Gasol, but that’s not really the case any longer. Garnett is far more effective in mid-range and Gasol far more devastating in the low post.

    Fisher and Rondo are a wash. Artest is more physical than Pierce, and Kobe is more physical than Allen. And off the bench, I’d give the Celtics the advantage though Odom has quickness and height advantages over Wallace and Davis respectively that pretty much nullifies that factor.

    I do agree that the refs need to let the refs play and that a tight whistle generally benefits the Lakers. But I think that’s actually more of a problem for the Celtics on the perimeter than it is on the interior. The majority of the Celtics scoring comes from perimeter players and tight whistles that get guys like Allen into foul trouble greatly reduces their chances of winning. Particularly since the Celtics best bench players are power forwards.

    Allen definitely got hosed on a couple of calls, but I don’t think it’s a surprise that the guy with a strength and quickness disadvantage against arguably the best player in the game struggled with fouls. He’ll surely get better whistles going forward, but if he continues to mark Kobe he’s going to run into the same problem here and there.

  • A die hard Celtic in LakerLand

    @Todd:
    I think you had some very good points except for the whole Bynum thing, and the Fisher vs Rondo wash.

    Actually what people forget is the Pounding the C’s put on Bynum the first regular season game in 2008. Bynum got destroyed single handedly by Perkins. As far as Physical goes…not even Howard compares to Perkins. Perk is the ultimate enforcer. Bynum is not a truly Physical presence. He benefits from the attention drawn by Gasol in the post.

    As for Fisher vs. Rondo, it’s not even close. Fisher may have had the better game but when the officials are told to lighten their whistles and Allen can stay in the game, the Lakers focus will not be able to stick on Rondo only. Fish will have to guard Ray and likely get pwnd, then Kobe will have to switch to Ray to stop the 3 point barrage, and then Rondo will come off the chain.

    It’s not a matter of if, it’s only a matter of when.

  • Ersatz

    I’m still too hungover to make a coherent argument for this, but why not put Garnett on Bynum? I know the usual arguments, but I don’t really by them. Bynum doesn’t have any post moves to bowl Garnett over with; Garnett would just have to concentrate on boxing out and filling the passing lanes. Having Perk would be guarding Gasol would be much better for us.

  • Evan

    I know this isn’t the thread for it, and there’s better conversation going on in here than what I’m about to say but…there are so many smart basketball fans here why on earth did so many people get giddy and vote C’s in 5 when you knew LA was gonna bring it hard. And I’m not saying the series is over but if you follow basketball give your opposition the respect they deserve, Celtics in 5 is just asinine. Anyway.

  • A die hard Celtic in LakerLand

    @Evan:

    My pick was Celtics in 6, but that was because I think it will be really hard to go to LA for a game 7 and win.

    I think that people were just so worked up from the hype machine over a week, that they got a little too enthusiastic lol!

    There is NO WAY this series goes less than 6 games for anyone.

    The C’s really need to take care of biz in Game 2 though. I think they can. They did it after Game 1 in Cleveland. The C’s have played from behind in Series, the Lakers have not. I would be interested to see what would happen if the C’s won the next 2.

  • Chris O.

    @Todd – Artest is more physical than Pierce? Really? I know it would seem to be conventional wisdom that he is or that Pierce loves to ride in wheelchairs but dude was stabbed 11 times came back and played 48 hours later in a preseason game and played all 82 regular season games last year. Dude also lost his teeth because of Amare in a game finished the game, went to have like 12 hours of dental surgery and then played the next game. Also I wouldn’t say someone who shot 13 FTs is being outphysicaled. Add in the fact that really Bostons bench *should* be much more physical than the Lakers and I think you have pretty well-matched physical teams…however we did not see that in game one. We also saw the refs call fouls like they were protecting the WNBA. It was calld fair and even but the type of game the refs called vastly favors LA. Boston likes the grind it out no fouls called type game while LA would love to hear whisltes…

  • Todd

    @A die hard Celtic

    I won’t argue that Bynum is an equal physical force to Perkins. My only point is that his size, strength and scoring ability keep Perkins preoccupied. If Bynum is unable to go or gets in foul trouble – both of which are likely to happen – that’s when the overall physical edge shifts to Boston.

    I agree that the Rondo/Allen combo poses matchup problems for the Lakers and I would like to see how that plays out. It’s definitely an advantage for the Celtics, particularly if they isolate Allen in the post.

    But there is an equal matchup problem on the other end. Allen can’t guard Kobe one on one. He’ll either get torched, need doubles, or accumulate fouls – all of which pose problems for the Celtics obviously. We saw how this played out in Game 1.

    This is where it all gets interesting. I think the Celtics will make some adjustments that will probably create problems for the Lakers. (I have to assume the Celtics will give more time to Pierce and Rondo on Kobe and perhaps show some doubles.) And the onus will be on the Lakers to adjust on the fly or they’ll lose game 2.

    Ultimately, the way the game is called has an impact, but as long as it’s consistent it doesn’t really matter. And though the greatest effect was on Allen, I think generally the officiating was pretty even – just way too tight.

  • Todd

    @Chris O I’m not suggesting Pierce isn’t tough or that he isn’t physical. I am only saying the way Artest plays is more physical in nature. You can agree or disagree but I believe it’s at best a wash.

    I also didn’t mean to imply that the Lakers are, in fact, more physical – only that it’s much more even than most people argued coming in. And that really the only thing that matters is who is more aggressive in any given game.

    A looser whistle isn’t suddenly going to make the Celtics barbarians and the Lakers ballerinas. Whoever exerts their will will likely win, and I think it’s going to be a pretty back and forth affair in that regard.

  • Todd

    @Ersatz I think that would be a great defensive scheme to show and would pose some real problems for the Lakers. My suspicion would be that in that scenario you’d see a lot more pick and roll action with Kobe and Gasol and more Bynum in the low post (Bynum’s actually very good in the low post against smaller defenders). Over time, I think the Lakers would exploit it, but if the Celtics mixed that in, as well as occasional doubles, the Celtics could fluster the Lakers. They don’t handle change particularly well. I think to grind down the Lakers offense you have to keep it off balance.

  • I love Green

    Rondo needs to be more aggressive, hopefully more screen and rolls will be ran with him. KG needs to focus more on defense, and rebounding. His offense will come, but those should be the #1 things on his to do list. Doc absolutley needs to let Pierce guard Kobe for some parts of the games. In the 4th he was doing a great job on him, and we started to get back into the game but just had too many mistakes (most by KG). With Ray on Kobe he’ll just be in foul trouble the whole time, but if Doc rotates them back on forth on Kobe the fouls will stay down. We need Ray to be torching D-Fish every game to win this series. I also think Doc should try the Perk and Sheed lineup more when Gasoft and Bynum are in, and then when Odom is in with Gasoft play Sheed and KG more. We can have mismatches easily in the front court if Doc is smart about it.

  • Jay P

    @Evan

    I don’t know a lot of people that said Cs in 5.

    Those who did (and some can still make the argument) were saying so because of the format of the finals having 3 Games in Boston.

    So if Boston pulls off a split in LA, they could conceivably close it out on home court.

    However, I think both of these teams are way to good to really believe either one will win 3 in a row, home or away.

    So I continue to stick to my original prediction, Split in LA, 2/3 in Boston, Boston wins in 6.

  • zeus

    Kinda depressing but it doesnt look like Rondo can lead the Cs to victory and that KG can hold up against Gasol. I think Pierce was the only one to play close to the required level. and I have to disagree about Rondo being our MVP. not a good jump shot and lousy free throws

  • A die hard Celtic in LakerLand

    @Todd:

    Todd…..I think we are on exactly the same page.

    I don’t think that’s ever happened with a Laker fan to be honest.

    I love to talk with people who can be objective about matters.

    I have to say I was completely baffled at how many plays the Celtics had that could’ve kept the game WAY closer.

    The bad 3 by Pierce at the end of the first which lead to transition points for Brown. Could’ve been a 1 point game or tied if he drives and gets an and 1! He drives me nutts with that stuff sometimes!

    Other play, in the 4th trying to comeback, what the heck was KG doing with that WEAK, two handed, volley ball set, lay-in, miss crap when he could’ve gathered himself, and FACIALED Odom?!!!

    Then he does a pathetic fadeaway jumpshot from 5 feet and MISSES?!

    Also, the handoff from Sheed to Nate that eneded up in the stands?!

    And how many times did the C’s have 3-4 guys surrounding an easy rebound and they just somehow, didn’t have the wherewithall to just grab it?!!!

    This game should’ve been down to the WIRE, if they make even half of those plays!

    They just weren’t in the game, at all.

  • KimmyCiano

    The Celtics need—

    The Psycho Coach has THE answer!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jQ0JQpgJwxQ

  • The Dude Abides

    Food for thought: the Lakers are now 6-2 vs the Celtics with Kobe guarding Rajon, ever since Phil changed the matchup starting with Game 3 of the 2008 Finals. He’s guarding Rajon in the same manner he guarded Westbrook. Give him his initial space to tempt him into shooting a jumper, then contest that jumper in the last instant. When Rajon scored on Kobe, it was usually because Kobe was doubling down on a post player. This strategy somewhat cuts down on Rajon’s playmaking.

    I believe that Doc will need to make two adjustments if he wants this series to go back to LA for Game 6: first, he’ll need to try putting Perk on Pau, and hoping that Drew’s knee limits his post offense against KG; and second, he’ll need to put Pierce on Kobe for more minutes, as his length and physicality is tougher for Kobe to deal with than a shorter Ray.

    I do agree that overexuberant officiating plays into LA’s hands. At least three of Ray’s fouls were jokes, but Fish and Lamar also were in foul trouble due to some ridiculous whistles. What gets me is that Ray picked up fouls for barely touching Kobe, while KG gets away with shoving Pau in the back on every putback attempt. A well-officiated game would see them letting Ray’s contact go, and calling KG for those fouls.

  • Korey

    Perkins on Pau would be quite interesting…

    Pau can win that matchup but not in the same way as he does vs. KG.

    I think the 2010 Pau would attack Perk off the dribble in much more effective way then Dwight howard could.

    BUT, all the offensive rebound from Pau Perk probably negates.

    Balky knee Bynum vs. Old Kneed KG actually might be the right matchup.

    Dont tell Doc!

  • The Dude Abides

    Also, I’m surprised that on this blog, there is still the “Gasoft” and “Fakers” labels going around. That’s something I’d expect to see on the ESPN and the Yahoo blogs, and also the Celtics Blog, to a lesser extent. Can we agree to retire the Gasoft label? The guy lifted weights for the first time in his life after the 2008 Finals, and held Dwight Howard to one FG in single coverage in Game 5 of the 2009 Finals.

  • The Dude Abides

    Korey, we both know that Doc and Thibodeau are strongly considering that adjustment. Those guys coached circles around Phil in the 2008 Finals, which is an underpublicized fact. Waiting until Game 3 to put Kobe on Rondo, leaving Fish on the bench in Game 4 from three minutes left in the 3rd (Lakers +11) to two minutes remaining in the 4th (Lakers -5), waiting too long to give Ariza minutes on Pierce instead of Vlad Rad, inserting Chris Mihm in the 2nd quarter of Game 6 instead of Mbenga when the Lakers are getting bullied, etc. All little things, but they add up.

  • Korey

    As a Laker fan, I do still reserve the right to call Gasol soft. Celtics fans, Pau just gave you the b’ness w/ a bucket of hot sauce specially brewed up for KG. So no “Gasoft” for you!

    I get text messages from fellow fans all game saying either “pau was soft there” and “pau finally mann’d up”.

    I will retire Gasol’s soft label personally when he shows up on the road and does work.

    In PHX, he was just wack on the road. 15 pts, 5 boards game 5. 9pts , 7 boards game 6.

    To be the true superstar he can be, you have to be at your best on the road.

    Celtic fans , you cant call pau soft! He just served up your KG tough guy!… But Laker fans (diehards), I still reserve the right to call it as I see it!

  • Korey

    @DUDE

    I guess we would have to disagree on something.

    #1 PHIL was NOT outcoached in 2008. Unless you want to come down to players being motivated the Laker players simply did not play right and also the Celtics were too deep, too strong, and had to much of a resolve. Phil had less chess pieces.

    #2 Ariza couldnt do JACK vs. Paul Pierce. He got in the game and got rocked. And last year, Carmelo went bananas on Ariza. Ariza cant handle physicality AT ALL. So let’s not act like ARiza was the solution. He wasnt.

    #3 Game 6 was decided by Eddie House and Posey going wild from 3. And wasnt Kobe guarding Rondo that game too? The Cs were just better man. Simply losing a series doesnt mean you are “outcoached”.

  • Korey

    A problem w/Perk on Pau:

    How does Perk handle Pau’s high post game? Does he give up the FT line jumper?

    I think a moving Pau is kryptonite for Perk but a stationary, Post Pau is like steroids for Perk…

  • Todd

    @die hard Celtic

    Thanks. It’s nice not to be perceived as troll! In all honesty I much prefer to view and sometimes participate in opponent’s boards but it’s because I like to see what the other side is thinking and understand what changes I should expect. Obviously fans of the other side have a much better read on their team.

    I agree completely that there were many, many missed opportunities for the Celtics that could have changed the complexion of the game. As a Laker fan, I can also see many ways in which the Lakers let the Celtics hang around and get back in the game. Unfortunately, that is par for the course for these particular Lakers. I am never comfortable watching them play.

    Garnett’s performance was inexplicable to me. I can’t believe it was all age and injury. He just seemed completely out of sorts. The missed dunks/layups were just the epitome of that. I have to expect he’ll come back in game 2 with a vengeance.

    I think we’ll see a much different game 2, obviously. The Celtics should come with a great deal of intensity and with some key changes in game plan. I am very interested in seeing how the Lakers respond because, as I mentioned somewhere up there, I don’t think they’re particularly good at adapting in the flow of the game.

  • jonathan

    The other problem with putting Perk on Pau is that the Lakers will run pick and roll all day with Kobe and Pau. Celtics will have to switch every time leaving Perkins trying to stay with Kobe or Allen trying to guard Pau in the post, or watch Perkins get dusted by Gasol rolling into the paint.

    And if you think the Celtics had problems on the boards in game one, just watch what will happen if Perkins spends the entire game on the perimeter trying to stay with Gasol or Kobe off the screen.

  • The Dude Abides

    @Korey, not saying Ariza was the solution, just that he should have played more at Vlad’s expense. You have to at least TRY that.

    Not putting Kobe on Rondo in Games 1 & 2 was a huge tactical mistake, considering how nervous about shooting jumpers Rajon must have been at the start of the series.

    Yes, Posey and House went crazy from three. That’s one of the reasons for the comeback. But wouldn’t you rather have had a hot-shooting Fish (in that game) guarding House instead of a cold-shooting (in that game) Farmar? Farmar was 1-7 in that game, Fish was something like 4-6 or 5-7. House rarely drives, so Fish can play up on him.

  • Korey

    @jonathan

    GREAT POINT…

    So what can KG do to improve on Pau…

    I might suggest just sagging off Pau and letting him shoot jumpers.

    He can hit them, but he’s not necessarily going to go crazy on you from there.

    So how do they entice Pau to shoot jumpers but stay close enough he doesnt just pass to the open man! Oh yes, Pau is multiskilled!

    But solving Pau and negating his efficiency may be key #1 to the series…

    If Pau is going, Kobe can rest, pick his spots, and go MAMBA at just the right moment.

  • Jay P

    @Korey

    Perk on Pau would sacrifice the jumper. But I’ll take Pau being a jump shooter over the easy stuff he’s getting in the post on KG from Game 1.

    He’s got a decent 12-15 ft jump shot, but you have to concede something, and I’m willing to accept that.

  • Todd

    @Korey and @Jonathon

    I agree; the general strategy of switching assignments for Perkins and Garnett would be a real problem for the Celtics over the course of a full game. But I think employing that look on occasion, bringing surprising doubles, and other defensive ploys to keep the Lakers offense from settling into a groove would be the best way to challenge the Lakers offense. I also think you’ve got to put Pierce on Kobe more often and maybe even Rondo here and there.

    The Lakers offense generally can’t be stopped but it can get discombobulated if they’re defended in a way they don’t expect.

  • jonathan

    @ the dude – My memory is far from perfect, but I do think that Ariza was coming off a significant foot or leg injury that finals series and I don’t even remember if he was healthy enough to play until the second or third game of that series. Even then he wasn’t able to play more that a few minutes here and there. Maybe if he was healthy it would have been different, but the only reason he played at all was Rad was getting killed. Otherwise, I don’t think we would have seen him in the series. It was just a bad matchup at a bad time injury-wise for the Lakers that series and they really couldn’t have done anything to slow Pierce down.

  • jonathan

    @ Todd,

    Okay, then you leave Ray on Artest I assume. Ron will simply take Allen down low and pound on him. Artest’s numbers were down this year because of the roll he’s been asked to play but he can still score when he needs to be and Allen can’t hang with him in the post. Add in the extra rebounding from that matchup and the wear it’ll put on Allen’s body.

    It’s almost a reverse scenario of 2008, where the Laker’s simply had too many matchup problems to cover. The Celtics just don’t have the personnel to match up with the Lakers this year.

    If you look at the individual match-ups the only real advantages I see for the Celtics are maybe Pierce v. Artest and Allen v. Fisher, and both of those are close to being washes. On the other hand, the Lakers have too much interior quickness for the C’s to handle and the Pierce can’t guard Kobe for extended periods without exposing other areas for the Lakers to exploit.

    But it’s only one game. We’ll see what happens on Sunday, but if the C’s don’t do something different, I can’t see them winning the series.

  • Korey

    Rondo on Kobe would be a alltime mismatch.

    You saw what he did to Tony Allen and Ray Allen in the post.

    Rondo wants no parts of that, because the Celtics either have to double or give up an uncontested short J to Kobe (yea, Rondo cant contest a Kobe shot)…

    Rondo on Kobe would have to be the nuclear option.

  • Korey

    @Todd

    Offense comes and goes, so I’m sure at some point the Cs will have success against the Lakers.

    The key diff this year is the Lakers play D too, so stopping us from scoring is one thing, but you have to score yourself.

    Defense creates offense both ways in this series.

  • Todd

    @Jonathon

    I’m in agreement. I don’t think there is any single defensive scheme that will give the Celtics the advantage. I am only suggesting that to try to keep the Lakers out of an offensive rhythm, they need to mix in a lot of different defensive looks. Almost all of them will give the Lakers an advantage somewhere on the court. But it’s also possible that it’ll work to confuse the Lakers enough that they never establish the kind of control they had last night.

  • A die hard Celtic in LakerLand

    @Todd:

    I definitely believe you’ll see a different KG in Game 2. He looked like a shell of his former self in that game.

    I don’t believe that it was anything to do with injury or age.

    It was not KG’s toughness physically. He was just not focused. 2008 KG was so intense, it looked like his head was ready to blow off every second of every game. In this game he looked almost…passive.

    Now if I’m KG right now, I know I played a poor game and got embaressed by Gasol, and in Game 2, I’d be lookin’ to bring back the whole Gasoft notion by taking him to school, kicking him out the bus, stealing his lunch, and his girlfriend too, while putting on a clinic on how you play D and get in somebody’s head!

    THAT is how the old KG would respond. Gasol, has turned into one of the better post scorers and rebounders in the game and the C’s need to take that away by putting the fear of God back into him. NO EASY BUCKETS!!! You wana play in the post, get ready to be on the floor and at the line, cuz that’s the way that you play D in the post.

    WhenI play ball 99 out 100 times I’m the guy down low who is on the block D’ing up the other teams big men, and if you want your points…I make you earn them.

    That’s not dirty, it’s how you play tough in the post. No good defensive post player ever got that way by stepping out of the way when a dude drives at you. You don’t try to kill him, but you make him think twice before the next drive.

    If he’s thinking, “Is it worth the two points to go in there? Or should I just shoot the J?” Then you’ve done your job.

    Time for KG, Perk, Sheed, and Glen to do there’s. If they don’t….Lakers will win in 6 or less…as sick as that makes me feel to think about. It’s 100% true.

  • Ersatz

    A diehard Celtic: “The bad 3 by Pierce at the end of the first which lead to transition points for Brown. Could’ve been a 1 point game or tied if he drives and gets an and 1! He drives me nutts with that stuff sometimes!”

    The Celtics were going for a two for one in that situation. It was a bad shot, but he took it so they could get another possession. Seemed like the call came from the bench. It turned out semi-distastrous because Pierce missed the three, then the Lakers got a bucket, then Rondo had the ball stolen from him while he was jawing with someone instead of watching his defender.

  • Todd

    @Korey

    Agreed. The Celtics greatest deficiency is scoring, which makes their defense all the more important. They need to get Rondo in transition or he’s kind of useless. They can only do that if they stop the Lakers offense.

    I’m a Laker fan, and I don’t want that to happen, but from my perspective, if you’re the Celtics you have to do something different than what you did last night. And I don’t see it as simply moving this guy onto that guy. There’s no “shift Kobe onto Westbrook” equivalent here.

  • A die hard Celtic in LakerLand

    @Todd:
    I believe there is a solution here, but many are not looking at it because it is unconventional.

    A C’s lineup of Rondo, Pierce, KG, Perk, and Sheed.

    This would cause a massive problem for Gasol and allow the C’s to put Pierce on Kobe and give serious length advantage to KG over Ron at the 3. Sheed could also stretch the floor without compromising offensive rebounding.

    Then let Ray come off the bench with TA, Finley, and Davis. Then you can interchange Rondo and Nate along with one other starter. It would be a SERIOUS on the fly adjustment for the Lakers with potential nightmare matchups! The Lakers would then be forced to play Odom more instead of Artest but the length would still cause issues, and PP on Kobe would slow his scoring a lot!

    I don’t see Doc being that unconventional though. Just thought I’d throw it out there.

  • Oz P

    @A die hard Celtic in LakerLand:

    “A C’s lineup of Rondo, Pierce, KG, Perk, and Sheed. This would cause a massive problem ,,, ”

    Actually, I don’t think it would. If the Celtics bench Allen, then the Lakers could just bench Fisher and play Kobe/Artest/Odom/Gasol/Bynum.

    Also, having a third big in there would make it even harder for Rondo to penetrate, so I don’t see this as being a good lineup for you guys.

  • deming

    @die hard Celtic

    I agree with Oz P. Putting in a line-up of Rondo, PP, KG, Perk & Sheed will only create more problems for the Celtics. This is because the Lakers play a lot bigger than their actual size. If LA puts in KB, LO, RA, PG and Bynum to match your proposed line-up, the Lakers will run your match-ups to the ground.
    Look at the fastbreaks stat for Game 1. The main reason Boston got walloped is because LA was rebounding AND then running down to their basket. All LA needed was for Bynum to contest & rebound. This is essentially what was lacking in 2008. Also, Boston wanted it more in 2008. This year, LA wants it WAY MORE than Boston.
    As I posted somewhere in another blog, Rondo is best in open court situations. Take away the rebounds…..you essentially slow down the Green Machine

  • deming

    @die hard Celtic

    I also don’t agree with you that Garnett will revert to simply having his way with Gasol circa 2008. Two reasons:

    1. Gasol is now just hitting his prime. Intimidating him may limit his play but not by that much. He simply has too much talent/skill.
    2. KG is not that PHYSICAL a monster to contend with. Amar’e was able to limit Gasol because of his superb ATHLETICISM. There is no player in Boston that comes close to Amar’e in that department.

    I think that KG will realize this now and will be more aggressive in seeking screens on the offensive end (scoring) and asking for help (defense, although Doc will IMPOSE this; KG is way too proud to ask this himself)
    For the Celtics to win, they have to EFFECTIVELY get their offense going. Sure, they can defend the Lakers; but can they score more when the Lakers are also EFFECTIVELY defending them?

  • kaveh

    Everyone needs to stop reading so much into 1 game! Last year the Lakeshow destroyed the Magic in game 1 by like 25 points. Then in game 2, the Magic were a missed layup away from winning and then took it into overtime.

    Sometimes you just don’t got it, while the other team is firing on all cylinders. This happened with the Celtics last night. But it’s only 1 game, and quite frankly, if they win game 2 then the series completely flips and Boston is in the driver’s seat.

    Boston just didn’t have it last night. But this doesn’t mean that they won’t have it on Sunday. I think they come out blazing, and put up a much better fight.

    Unfortunately for the Celtics, I don’t think it will be enough. The Lakers have shown a great knack for winning close games of the highest importance. Instead of wilting under pressure they now rise to the occassion (knock knock). Celtics lose a close game 2.

    Still this series is no where close to being over. The Celtics have a great chance at winning the series.

  • zebulon

    ” KG is not that PHYSICAL a monster to contend with. Amar’e was able to limit Gasol because of his superb ATHLETICISM. There is no player in Boston that comes close to Amar’e in that department.”

    ^^the only time in the history of the world that someone will attempt to argue that Amare’s defense is (even in some tiny way) better than KG’s.

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