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Off-day notebook: Pillow talk, Bynum’s knee, KG and babies

 

Big Baby didn’t fall asleep until 3 a.m. this morning. Rondo “didn’t sleep well, either.” And what did Doc Rivers want Ray Allen to do after an 0-for-13 night?

“Hopefully sleep,” Rivers said Wednesday afternoon.

Pau Gasol on his bedtime: “Yeah, obviously when you go to sleep with a win you sleep a lot better than you would if you would have lost.”

Other than confirming that all players did, in fact, wake up this morning, this afternoon’s media session provided some closure and it-feels-good-to-talk-it-out chatter reflecting on Pierce and Allen’s overall inabilities.

Oh, and what’s a media session without a pseudo-drama unfolding Re: Officiating, fueled by reporters’ Pandora’s Box of wordplay. If this is something that interests you, please reevaluate last night’s performance by the athletes first.

Here’s a sampling of your not-overly-obvious sound bits from today (redacting the clichés, Fisher slobber and officiating speak):

Phil Jackson:

Q. What is the latest on Bynum’s knee? You said last night he’d be questionable for Thursday. Do you see him playing today?
PHIL JACKSON: We won’t be able to have any kind of answer on that until tomorrow. He’ll go through the process he goes through, which tries to take some of the swelling down and alleviate some of the discomfort, and then he’ll have some recovery time between now and then, 36 hours or whatever it is. So there’s still an opportunity for that to happen.

Q. Are you optimistic?
PHIL JACKSON: Yeah, I am. He’s been able to overcome those odds almost all the way through these playoffs, ever since Oklahoma. So we’re really optimistic that he’ll be able to find a way to do that.

***

Paul Pierce:

Q. What kind of problems has Ron presented for you I guess defensively? Is it him just being physical or has he affected you this series in your production?
PAUL PIERCE: I don’t really see anything he’s doing special that any other teams haven’t done throughout the course of the playoffs. That’s it.

Q. So you’re basically saying you’re missing shots that you normally should make?
PAUL PIERCE: You watched the game. What do you think he’s doing?

Q. Just his physical presence, historically he’s given you problems in the past. Just looking at the stats. Is it just coincidence?
PAUL PIERCE: I think so.

***

Kevin Garnett

Q. If Doc is saying that he wants you to have the ball more, do you kind of have to say to the guys the same thing?
KEVIN GARNETT: I think yesterday wasn’t a force-fed type of thing. I thought the flow called for it. We got fast breaks, easy buckets. It was just flow. It had nothing to do with force feeding and shoving the biscuit down the baby’s throat, so to speak. I can’t believe I just said that. (Laughter).

Q. Lamar Odom said you give him two seconds, he’s scoring.
KEVIN GARNETT: Yeah, I think Baby is — I think people don’t really at some point respect his scoring ability, but he can score the ball. He has a lot of confidence in himself, and well deserving of it. He works really hard.

***

Kobe Bryant

Q. Talk about your team’s defense against Ray Allen. What do you feel about that?
KOBE BRYANT: He just missed. If somebody goes 0 for 13, defense has got nothing to do with that. He just missed shots. He won’t miss them the next game.

***

Ray Allen

Q. Did they cause some of that instead of just you missing shots?
RAY ALLEN: You know, defense is defense. It’s one thing if you’re spot blank missing wide open shots. You sit there and start to think about it. But I look at the film and I seen mostly shots that I took, and there were shots that I’ve made before, there are shots that I make, and then just a couple of them didn’t make it to the rim.

Q. Was it because of the blow or you just didn’t have your legs?
RAY ALLEN: You know, I don’t question it, I just move forward. I just move forward and just focus on getting good rest today and being ready for tomorrow.

  • jonathan

    Pierce sounds very defensive, and he may be a bit in denial.

  • Cptn Bubbles

    That was a tough knee from Artest. All of the experienced vets are not going to want to talk about an injury or problem. Some players will even try to hide it from the coach so they can still play (Paul is famous for saying he is fine when he is not). I don’t remember Ray ever talking about injuries (last year it came out that he had an injury AFTER the Orlando series). Everybody tries to play through injuries & hide them if possible, BUT if a guy is slow defensively or his shot is just not there it is up to the COACH to try & work around it or sit that player. Doc should be taking some heat for the 0-13. Other guys can hit shots. Doc has been afraid of the bench all season. He has played a hurt starter over an injury free bench player all year. It is not a mortal sin for a starter to sit. We’ve had guys in foul trouble many times with the bench able to pick up the slack.

    The coach is the last line of defense to pull players who are physically hurt, mentally distracted, emotionally spent, or just plain playing poorly. If the coach is too emotionally attached to players to make an objective choice which is best for the team then that is a big problem.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but PAUL HIT ***ALL*** OF HIS SHOTS IN THE 2ND HALF (except for a free throw). Doc is nutty for running those Ray plays late. Paul had legs & deserved more shots. KG deserved more shots. As the captain, Paul should have spoken up & demanded the ball. Rajon was equally nutty for continuing to throw possessions away instead of getting the ball to Paul or KG. Game 2, Rajon correctly got the ball to Ray & fed the pig. Last game the pig(s) starved to death.

  • iloveh8trs

    you think?

  • iloveh8trs

    maybe Doc should have ran onto the floor again to save the game for his players – paul pierce, he had a great finals in 08 because radmonovic was guarding him!

    take a secong to let that seep in…

    now artest is defending him, his production/effectivness through the first 3 games isnt even half of what it was in 08 –

    its not only LA#37 that’s been good on him, the entire LA team is doing a better job on him – LA may be “soft”, but they are a “smart” team – they learned from 08 and 09 on how to win –

    the seies is far from over, however, LA has been the better team in all 3 games thus far – it took a tripdub from BOS#9 and an off-the-charts shooting display from BOS#20 to narrowly beat LA in G2 –

    excuses is what Boston said LA was full of after the 08 defeat – rivers has only lost 2 games and he’s already FULL of excuses –

    G3 was one hell of a game – i hope the officials get their ish together, because they have SUCKED so far – if so G4 should be even better –

    i’m not a hater, but BOTONSUX!

    OneLove – from, Another Ignorant LA Sports Fan -

  • Dan

    While Artest obviously is an upgrade over radmonavic if you watched the game last night pierce missed a lot of open looks early. He got to his spot and had good looks he just missed. Also Luke Walton was covering him for a good chunk of the first half because Artest was in foul trouble, Pierce just couldnt hit his shots. In the second half Paul was shooting and playing well on offense but got completely taken out of the game with quick whistles early in the 3rd and 4th quarter. Artest is a good defender but he is not close to his form of a few years ago and Pierce should still be able to go off for a big game against him especially with the refs calling such tight games.

    UMBONTU

  • Mr. C

    Re: Artest’s defense giving Pierce trouble – I don’t see it. Pierce is getting plenty of good looks in this series, a lot of them uncontested. He’s just not making enough of them. I don’t think Pierce scored on Walton at all when he was defending him. Is that because of his elite defense? Or could it be that the Laker’s TEAM defense is pretty good?

  • roy

    Give the defense credit, whether it is Garnett, Pierce, or Allen struggling … same goes for Kobe, Odom, and Gasol having sub-par games … it’s the finals, ref are not the greatest but players, coaches, and fans ough to sux it up and play accordingly … everyone stop whining, enjoy the series, and may the best team win.

  • Iggy Pap

    Whatever the reason, hats off to Allen & Pierce for tipping the scales even further in the Lakers favor. Thanks gents!

  • Ray Leighton

    Regarding Ray (and btw, thank you DS for correctly pointing out the misuse of the term “regression to the mean” and the fact that it is not a valid explanation in this case (see earlier post)), we’ve certainly seen cases where Ray has had awful shooting nights, been in a terrible slump and then hit a couple of big shots at the end of the game — so although I have complained a lot about Doc handling substitutions, it’s hard to fault him entirely. Keep in mind that the Lakers never stopped considering Ray a threat, and were pursuing him just as hard in the 4th as in the 1st — they understood that one more open look might be enough to get Ray untracked. That said, by the end of the game, the Lakers were forced to double KG when he got the ball — it just seems like smart basketball at that point to get the ball to KG, see if the Lakers double and then let KG hit the open guy. But we didn’t do it.

    Artest on Pierce — the Lakers’ fans and even some of our own analysts keep talking about this, but it seems to ignore an important point. Regardless of how well Artest has defended Pierce, Artest has been largely AWOL on offense. Artest is a terrific defender (his season defensive production suggests that he should have been considered for All-NBA defensive team), but he makes a lot of mistakes, has poor shot selection (his offensive production suggests that he plays every game as if he were covering himself), and Paul is one of the better defenders at the 3 in the league. The result of this is that although Paul is not scoring as much as normal, he has outproduced Artest in all three games — and the difference between Paul’s and Artest’s production has been greater than average for Paul vs. an opponent. We are not down 2-1 because of Artest; in fact this is one battle which we keep winning comfortably.

  • Iggy Pap

    Artest vs. Pierce in the offensive realm is a battle no Laker staffer or fan ever thought could be “won”. The offensive fire power of The Lakers is enough, and Ron was brought in to do what he has been doing. Slowing down top scorers on opposing teams via defense. We always knew Pierce would outscore Ron, but also knew Ron would limit Paul’s scoring. Finals MVP no more.

    The Celtics are not down solely because of Artest, but he is a major factor.

    In any case, 2-1 is still the case.

  • Ray Leighton

    @Iggy — I think that you are missing my point. During the season, Paul averaged 18.3 ppg and 3.1 assists = 21.4. Ron averaged 11.0 ppg and 3.0 assists = 14.0. So if the two players were playing “average”, then Paul ought to outscore&assist Ron by 7.4.

    So far in the Finals, Paul has averaged 16.3 ppg and 3.3 assists = 19.6, whereas Ron is averaging 7.7 ppg and 1.0 assist = 8.7. So in the Finals, Paul is outscoring/assisting Ron by 10.9. (!)

    10.9 minus 7.4 = 3.5. Ron is actually doing _worse_ than would be expected against Paul, based on their season averages.

    I understand that the Lakers were not expecting Artest to outscore Paul, but Ron’s offensive dropoff against Paul is greater than Paul’s offensive dropoff against him. Not to mention that Paul is also out-rebounding him, and the defensive plays (blocks/steals/drawing charges) are about even.

    I think Ron Artest is a terrific defensive player, but he is not having a positive overall effect for the Lakers. The Lakers are winning so far because despite KG’s Game 3, the Lakers’ bigs have outplayed the Celtics’ bigs, and because Fish has done substantially better against Ray Allen (even with Ray’s Game 2, Ray’s Finals output is all below his season average, whereas Fish’s numbers are better) than would be expected — and this last matchup was one that the Celtics could have reasonably expected to be heavily in their favor.

    No doubt Artest is an improvement over the various defenders that the Lakers put on Pierce in 2008, but so far, he has simply been less negative. And from a purely Artest covering Pierce perspective, I have honestly been surprised that Artest has had such a minimal impact on Paul Pierce’s offensive production. Two fewer points and no discernable impact on assists?

  • Truth

    I am struggling on O because whoever is guarding Rondo is always waiting at the FT line to stop my drives. This is preventing me from getting easy shots at the rim as well as drawing fouls. My main area of operation on O is the free throw line extended where I like to use my body on smaller defenders to get easy looks. This is not easy to do against Artest. As such I am going to need to initiate the Offense from the top of the key through P&R and look for opportunities to spot up for 3′s to contribute this series. Hope this helps anyone confused about why I am struggling.

  • German Dude

    It’s time to stop complaining about individual performances. The Celtics are about TEAM Basketball. Win as a team, lose as a team. That’s what separates them from others, cause they do it and not only talk about it in front of the media. Comparing position vs position and player vs player is what faker fans do.

    Also don’t blame doc AGAIN, without him they are not even close to the finals!

  • trindog

    Lets see Game 1 Ray allen was taken out of the game because of fouls, Game 2 it was KG’s turn game 3 it was PP turn Game 4 I guess RR draws the short straw. I have said it too many times if the games are called as tight as they are being called on both ends it favors the Lakers. I remember three different occasions where the refs waited to see if the ball went thru the hoop before a foul was called. Let me get this if the ball goes down then its not a foul. The officials have got to allow the players to decide the game.

    Finally the real KG showed up he has to continue to put pressure on PG on the offensive end. Gasol didnt have as big of an impact on this game as he had in the first 2 thats because he had to worry about KG

  • mitch

    @ ilovehaters

    how did the c’s narrowly win game 2???
    the c’s won by 9 points

    so i guess LA narrowly won games 1 and 3 then???

    ya you are another ignorant LA sports fan, The c’s haven’t even played their best game yet…tonight will be the measuring stick for how far this series will go. La sucks balls…go c’s

  • http://www.learnrosettastone.com Learn Rosetta Stone

    excuses is what Boston said LA was full of after the 08 defeat – rivers has only lost 2 games and he’s already FULL of excuses

  • iloveh8trs

    @Mitch:

    re:
    how did the c’s narrowly win game 2???
    the c’s won by 9 points
    *** the game’s final scoring outcome was not “narrow” as say a 5 point lead or even 6 points, which is STILL ONLY 2 possesions – that’s pretty narrow, considering about 6 of the C’s final baskets came on free-throws while LAL was trying to “extend” the game by sending players to the foul line ***

    so i guess LA narrowly won games 1 and 3 then???
    *** G1 was decided by 13 points – that game was over from mid 4th qrtr – NOT NARROW – LAL stepped ALL OVER the C’s ***

    *** G3 was decided by DFISH’s hustle and clutch shot making in the final 2minutes – YES, NARROW WIN for LAL ***

    - ignorance is bliss – just like cali -

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