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Anything is Possible? Celtics 92, Lakers 86

 

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“[The Celtics] know how to lose in the fourth quarter.”  ~ Phil Jackson

Luckily, they also know how to win.  After dominating the entire game, shooting an other-worldly 65% through three quarters, the Celtics were a vintage Kobe Bryant performance and a fourth quarter collapse away from being down 3-2.

Instead, the Celtics hold on to take what would seem to be a commanding lead in a series that has failed to have a clear-cut better team.  Most have said that the first team to win two in a row will win this series. Let’s hope they are right.

Celtics fans have been waiting for their team to live up to their billing.  To play like everyone knows they can play.  Finally, Paul Pierce shows some 2008 Finals type play with a huge 27 points.  I say “huge” because he was able to score from all over the floor, mixing in a healthy level of step-back jumpers, strong takes to the hoop, and timely three point shooting.  He may not be as flashy as Kobe Bryant, but when he is on, he gets it done in a big way.

This game had a “First 25″ written all over it.  The Celtics controlled the pace, played great defense, got out in transition, and also had 16 turnovers.  Rajon Rondo nearly messed around and got a triple-double.  Seriously, it was messy at times as Rondo totaled seven turnovers all by himself.  Most of these miscues came as a result of Rondo reverting back to what he did before he reached elite status: trying to do too much.  Threading passes through impossibly small areas, getting an offensive rebound and trying to quickly spin-dribble and go baseline without checking for a defender, and just over-passing.

Sticking with the “First 25″ theme, Kevin Garnett motored his way to a strong double-double, scoring 18 and snatching 10 boards.  He was aggressive and elevated like he was in Orlando or Cleveland.  I think it is safe to say that was ever going on with him in the beginning of this series has worked itself out.

Ray Allen continues to struggle from deep.  It’s as if he used up all the firepower he had breaking that Finals record in Game 2.  Still, he is doing all the little things that is really making him earn his money.  For example, the ball he saved from going out of bounds to Rondo for the easy lay-up?  Gigantic.  Getting up in Kobe’s face and not falling for head-fakes? Even bigger.  And jawing with Derek Fisher provides endless comedic appeal.  Seriously, their trash talking must contain the most polite insults ever uttered.  Here’s how I think it goes:

RAY: Come on Fish, that’s a flop.

FISHER: No way Ray, your forearm is right in my face.  You got three inches on me, it’s only natural that your arm is at my head’s level.

RAY: Alright, I’ll try to do better next time. How’s your daughter, by the way?

FISHER: Doing much better, thanks!

Okay, so maybe that’s pushing it a little and I’m sure they are well-accomplished trash-talkers.  I mean, they have both been in the league so long.  However, they’re also two of the nicest guys in the league.

I think it’s time for Ray to start doing a little bit of a Rip Hamilton impression.  The last three he took, ya know, the one Celtics fans are sure hit rim and Lakers fans are sure they’ve been bamboozled, was bad.  Real bad.  In fact, his three point shooting was awful all game.  In the previous games where he has struggled, the ball at least looks like it’s halfway down before popping out.  Tonight, those shots were just way off.  Conversely, his mid-range game is still intact and should be utilized.

What can I say about Kobe Bryant?  No, I’m serious.  I do not know what to say about Kobe Bryant.  Some times, there are just no words for his game and the third quarter was one of those times.  Though, for most of the night he reminded me of the guy at the sports club who is just head and shoulders above everyone else.  You know, he played Division 1 back in the early nineties and spent a couple of years in Europe before completely blowing out his knee?  It’s safe to say Kobe Bryant can do whatever he wants on the floor but his teammates have not been able to follow suit.  For the Celtics, it is very fortuitous. Bryant’s teammates are not random gym rats.  They are all-world basketball players who are suffering from a bad stretch of games all while facing an elite defense.  Just a bad combination for morale.

It was interesting how the story of Game Four was the bench, and the story tonight was the starters.  The Celtics have enjoyed a different collection of players stepping up each game.  They will need to continue to get this kind of production if they are going to win one out of two in Los Angeles.  Speaking of the bench, a bit of an underwhelming performance tonight.  I mean, aside from the huge block from Tony Allen and the Rasheed top-of-the-key-three.  The TA play was so nice he blocked it twice and the Wallace three was a momentum killer.

There’s a lot more to discuss regarding this game and we’ll be sure to sift through all of it in the coming days.  For now, rest up because the magic number is one.

  • joe

    Boston has been the best road team in the playoffs. They WILL get 1 in LA.

  • Sophomore

    Kind of can’t believe it, but Ray Allen was 5-10 in that game.

  • JMM

    EAT that Phil.

    Beat LA . . . AGAIN

  • joe

    If/when they win the title, they will have won 2 in LA, CLE, & ORL. wow

  • sacbobv

    Bet Kobes’ answers at the podium will be even shorter than ever before.

  • JMM

    Who cares what Kobe says? What Kobe thinks/does becomes less relevent with every game of this series.

  • sacbobv

    @JMM – True, I was just being sarcastic.

  • JMM

    Sorry, sac, I’m way too jacked up.

  • Mang

    This is all I want to say: YUS.

  • sacbobv

    It’s cool, but thanx.

  • RBD

    Attention: NBA Championship Trophy

    Please report to the Staples Center for Game 6.

  • ranen645

    artest and kobe are such bitches

  • clasher

    phil jackson has never won an elimation game when his team is down in the nba finals.

  • Eran

    Story of the game is that Bynum was a non-factor. For that reason, Pierce and Rondo could easily get to the rim, Garnett was matched-up against Odom instead of against Gasol, and the Cs had 1 more rebound and 6 more blocks compared to the Lakers. Even Kobe’s first real good game of the finals could not take the win away from the Cs.

  • Allen

    Anyone hear rumors about Ray Allen going to the Miami Heat?
    Dwyane Wade was at the Boston game today.

  • sacbobv

    Hope the Laker plane ride home is really long. Maybe someone at Logan can short fuel it so it has to stop in Oklahoma and make it even longer.

  • ranen645

    what about the foul disparity… we clearly out played LA and it should have not been that close… I usually don’t mention fouls but the officiating has still been very bad through out the series.

  • JMM

    “The Lakers’ defense was soft.” Magic Johnson

  • sacbobv

    @Allen – So was the Nets owner and Avery Johnson, maybe there? Nah, I think he’ll be staying in Boston.

  • crizik

    I think tonight’s was perhaps the best performance that Kobe could have in the entire series, and the Lakers didn’t win. C’s in 6.

  • paolopao

    Kobe! your history!!! Lost Angeles Losers!!!!

  • paolopao

    GO C’s!!!!

  • paolopao

    The best performance of Kobe in the series and that proves how selfish he is…

  • Sophomore

    I think game 6 is a must-win for the Lakers.

  • ranen645

    paul pierce was really good tonight… every one hopes he can sustain it.

  • YOYO

    Every game for either team is a must win. Not many left!

  • paolopao

    Correct and they play with heart and passion. I hope they will bring the momentum in L.A.

  • YOYO

    38 for kobe and 48 for the Lakers. formula for a loss.

    Thank u Kobe!!!

  • Evan

    What a classic, great game…amazing Joey Crawford swallowed his whistle on a few of the calls. I would’ve loved to see Ray knock down 1 three in the second half to symbolically shake of the rust/ice of his 0-16 drought from distance but I feel he’ll find his stroke back in LA.

    Ball movement and rebounds tonight–grade A quality.

  • YOYO

    rebounds and offensive rebounds will be key in LA, Rondo needs to step that up next game.

  • http://www.bostonsuperblog.com Dan

    Looks like Phil was wrong. The Celtics don’t know how to lose in the 4th quarter.

    More play like this and they’ll take it home again!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SQ4KGfsV38w

  • I love Green

    Against the Heat we won 3 in a row to go up 3-0.

    Against the Cavs we won 3 in a row to win 4-2 after being down 2-1.

    Against the Magic we won 3 in a row to go up 3-0.

    Against the Lakers we’ve won 2 in a row to go up 3-2 after being down 2-1.

    Noticible pattern there…

  • joe

    before this series, the lakers had been undefeated when holding opponent under 100. And piece of info about Phil’s 47-0 record, after he’s won game 1, he has never trailed in the same series.

  • paolopao

    As Rudolph Tomjanovich, Jr says “Don’t you ever underestimate the heart of the Champions”…. Celtics will win in 6. They are best road team in the NBA.

  • Rich

    Ron Artest. How many Laker fans out there still think he is the big key this year? SOrry people. TERRIBLE idea to let Ariza go for this guy. You could count on Ariza to make open threes. Can’t count on Ron Artest to tie his shoes right now. They lost the title when they lost Ariza…only a few of us realized it then.

  • Zain

    clasher says:
    June 13, 2010 at 11:12 pm
    phil jackson has never won an elimation game when his team is down in the nba finals.

    Game 5, 2008 finals?

    One more C’s! Lets go get it on Tuesday!!

  • paolopao

    Doc, has done a great job in countering the triangle offense of L.A.

  • Sophomore

    Let’s note that Nate Robinson made a nice contribution tonight. 10 minutes, 4 points, 4 assists, 1 turnover. Only one of those shots really dumb.

  • Sophomore

    Sheed also played well. He’s been absolutely huge this series, mostly with his D. His length, intelligence, and competitiveness really give Gasol trouble.

  • paolopao

    Ariza will make a big difference if he is still Lakers. He is a hard working player and has excellent offense compare to Ron Artest. Ariza can be a threat inside, outside including the offense. While Artest is not.

  • DRJ1

    @Rich– I said at the beginning of this season that there were three horrible moves then
    - Artest for Ariza
    - Shaq to CLE
    - ORL letting Hedo go.

    I wasn’t sure about Artest till this series. Now I’m sure. He is a very stupid man. And he will cost LA, big time. Ariza is smarter, more athletic, also a great defender, and ON HIS WAY UP, not down like Artest. Terrible move, agree.

  • paolopao

    C’s has a balance offense and defense. Most of all, players respect and trust to each other.

  • Sean

    Excellent Ice Cube reference– “messed around and got a triple-double.” Right on.

  • dont_drink_the_koolaid

    kobe going 1 on 5 is epic viewing. the angrier he gets….the more the lakers suffer. go Cs.

  • I love Green

    Paul’s press conference was funny

  • Charlie

    Monster stat line for KG: 18 points on only 11 shots, 10 boards, 3 assists, 5 steals and 2 blocks.

  • paolopao

    Agreed DRJ1. That’s the teams dumb move. I’m actually afraid during the all-star break that Ray will be moved. I love Ray in C’s. I don’t want to lose him.

  • YOYO

    Stat of the night Celtics Win game 5, 75% of game 5 winners win the series.

  • paolopao

    Kobe is not that good… he only earn his 3 rings alongside with Shaq. Without Shaq and Gasol, Kobe is nothing.

  • http://celticshub.com Brendan Jackson

    @Sean
    Had to. After all, today was a very good day.

  • YOYO

    @ paolopao, I agree with you. Kobe is a scorer but MJ was a monster player, period end of story.

  • Coolin

    Great victory Celtics.

    All we need is Pierce and Rondo to play good games in game 6 and we will be hoisting #18. The rest of the team can play decent and these two will do the rest.

    The Celtics need to use what Phil Jackson was saying in the huttle about how the Celtics are chokers as fuel to really go out and win on the Lakers home court.

  • DRJ1

    @pao– no single player can win without a team. Kobe is friggin GREAT… no question about that… great all around.

  • I love Green

    Kome tried to take over, Gasoft lived up to his label, Odumb and Artest still suck, and D-Fish just played like a bitch.

  • paolopao

    Good day for him, but, bad day for L.A.

  • I love Green

    Yeahhh Brian Robb asking Kome a question!

  • Rich

    Gasol got a bunch of rebounds. Can’t just label him soft because the Lakers lost. That isn’t fair.

    Just like when the Cavs were playing the Celtics and I was pitching a fit that Jamison wasn’t getting enough shots, I can say the same for Gasol. There is, under no circumstance, no reason he shouldn’t get 15+ shots a game. What he get tonight..12? Yea..not nearly enough for a guy that good.

  • Charlie

    @paolopao

    I love my celtics, but you’ve got to give Kobe credit. 4 rings and 7 finals appearances. Yeah he had Shaq, but Shaq needed him too.

  • paolopao

    Kobe is good, but for you to be the best player you should involve your teammates. Like what MJ did.

  • dslack

    What Q?

  • I love Green

    Excuse me Rich if you’ve watched the past couple games and paid attention to Gasoft you’d realize we’re just starting to bully him. Perkins in game 4 was just walking into him, pushing him around, and being very physical. Now Sheed and KG are doing the same, and Pau is no longer getting those tough rebounds or shots like he did earlier in the series. Simply put, those big bad bullies on the Celtics got into his head.

  • Eric

    It’s amazing how many people hate on Kobe, the reason Boston won tonight is because the Celtics have a better team you idiots. Kobe had to be selfish because nobody else on that damn roster has the balls to step up and be a man and make a statement on the game. This is a TEAM sport and Kobe did his part tonight, he just had no help at all. People love Jordan’s jock strap so much but put Jordan in the same position Kobe was tonight (having to go 1 on 5) and the same result would have happened. Kobe/Jordan cant guard 5 players on the defensive end themselves. Instead of giving the guy credit for hitting big shots when he team needed it your basically downplaying your own team’s defense. That is the entire reason why the Celtics won tonight, they played incredible defense on everyone tonight including Kobe (but everyone else on the Lakers roster forgot to show up) AND THEY ONLY LOST BY 6. So keep hating on one of the best players to ever play the game, instead why not say wow Kobe played well but the Celtics team was too much to handle tonight.

  • JMM

    Kobe played great Eric, no doubt.

    But, he works so hard to promote his image as a souless, humorless, creepy, cheapjack, thug that he’s very easy to hate.

    And, “they only lost by 6″? That’s a good margin of victory in a game where the loser was held to 86.

    The Celtics owned Kobe and the Lakers tonight.

  • Eric

    Oh and paolopao your the biggest idiot on here, did you check the box score to see how every other player shot on the Lakers team? Yeah horribly. Jordan was great but he cant make shots for his teammates only himself and Kobe is no different. Kobe has put his teammates in position to hit shots but nobody has knocked them down for 2 games straight. Jordan won because he was incredible but also had a reliable support cast every year. Would you rather have Scottie Pippen or Lamar Odom? Sasha Vujacic or Steve Kerr? Exactly my point, this sport is about teamwork and so far the Celtics have shown they are the better team.

  • I love Green

    Brian Robb strikes again!

  • Paul (NYC)

    Haha just saw B. Robb on espnews asking KG a question…well done guys!

  • Urbeltic

    Brian Robb needs to take some pride and expense some better threads. Gotta set yourself above the rest of those slob reporters.

    Lakers are the same as 08, just trying to pretend to be tougher now. The Celtics are the same – tough, well coached, hungry.

  • Coolin

    @ Eric: Jordan won the championship 6 times and he played for the championship 6 times. That is winning the championship everytime he played. I have no doubt if 90′s Jordan was playing with this Lakers team he would win the championship with them. Kobe does not make the other players on his team better and Jordan could make Luc Longly, Bill Wennington and many others look good, why, because he was the best to ever do it.

  • paolopao

    If he is a good team player, then he knows how to share the basketball with his temmates and make his teammates feel comfortable with there roles so they will step up. But yes, you are right, Eric, Celtics team was too much to handle tonight.

  • Eric

    JMM, your right the Celtics did own the Lakers. The reason I said they only lost by 6 was because really Kobe was the only guy to show up for LA, Boston had 3 of the big 4 show up and the margin was still only 6. You can take that either way you look at it but the main point I was trying to make is that without a true TEAM a basketball game against an incredible defensive team like Boston cannot be won. The same was true in 2008 when Boston won and unless the Lakers not named Kobe find their hearts on the flight home then this will be the same story as that year.

  • Rich

    Ok Green so lets totally discount games 1 and 2 so you can make your point valid? Look at the whole series and don’t cherry pick. Gasol must have gotten 12 “soft” rebounds tonight. Gasol has, quite frankly, abused KG on the boards this series. Not just sort of, but totally dominated him. It’s so funny how winning and losing frames perception, but if the Lakers win tonight, no1 is calling Gasol soft.

    Just for fun…guess the rebounds….

    Gasol 50. Garnett 30.

    So, maybe you can explain me to what the definition of soft is, cause he’s also out-played him on offense as well (not by a lot, but by enough). Fact is, it’s a fun little label, just like the whole “KOBE IS SELFISH” stuff is. If the Lakers win, Kobe is the greatest of all time and you people totally over-react in the other direction. Have a broad view.

  • Evan

    What the f*#k ever. You say you can’t label Gasol soft because he got a bunch of rebounds but his IS. HE’S FU*KING SOFT AS SH*T. Him and Vujacic makin the big head fakes on every drive to get the call. That’s soft. To put the foul first and defense second. Gasoft. Still. Always.

  • Eric

    Coolin, that’s so funny to say that your basically degrading your own Celtics team right now by saying that. There is nothing Jordan could do any different than what Kobe did tonight. This game was lost in the 3rd quarter when the Lakers couldn’t get a stop on the defensive end when Kobe was scoring at will. Your telling me Jordan could guard Paul Pierce Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett and prevent them from scoring while still guarding Rajon Rondo? That is such a bullshit thing to say Kobe did his job tonight, his teammates tonight did not.

  • JMM

    Eric,

    Uh, okay.

    Anyway, you let Kobe off too easy. He’s not nearly the teammate as Magic, Bird, or Jordan.

  • Evan

    Also there is so much b*tching in these posts from people that should be on the same side. Sad.

  • lakershater13

    Korey….. Bynum played 31 mins and lakers got out rebounded. what do you have to say about this?

    the celtics did a great job beating the lakers and the refs tonight. rondo takes it at kobe gets fouled and they call an offensive. rondos did not push off on kobe in any way. he tried to brace himself from falling after kobe made contact with him in the air. that was foul 2 on kobe and would have made a big difference. kobe late in the game was on pierce 2 straight plays. he was hacking, hacking and hacking… pierce puts up shot and misses. next time down kobe is hacking hacking and oh yeah hacking and then throws pierce on the floor and pierce finally gets 2 fts after being molested by artest all night. then no one boxes out rondo he puts it in and plain as day on the replay odom hits him clear across the arm. very next play allen gets bumped by gasol makes little to no contact with kobe and he goes and shoots 3 fts. very similar to pierce with the block shot in the first half giving fisher fts. refs were awful tonight. 26-13 ft advantage for la and boston was the much more agressive team on offense. 4 of those fts were at the end when la had to foul. so great victory by the celtics dispite the awful job by the refs.

    Oh and any laker fan want to complain about boston player complaining about the refs? see kobe throwing a temper tantrum after pierce rips the rebound cleaning out of his arms. kobe your a great player but pierce punked you on that play and kobe cried as usual. perkins reacts very similar to kobe. perk 6 Ts in the play offs. someone tell me how many kobe has?

    Celtics in 6.

  • Evan

    Bitch bitch bitch bitch. That’s what we do on Celtics Hub. Wooooo.

  • Rich

    Rofl, ok, so because Gasol uses head fakes, he’s soft. Because he tries to get calls, he’s soft. Remember that next time Paul Pierce gets breathed on and goes down like he got shot with an effin cannon. And don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying Pierce is soft, just using that as an example that trying to get calls does not make one soft.

  • JMM

    In the press conference tonight Kobe was asked how he would inspire his teammates. Kobe essentially said – that’s not my job, they need to inspire themselves.

    Wow, there’s some leadership.

    Win or lose, I’m glad Kobe’s not a Celtic.

  • Rich

    He is right. They are professional players paid a ton of money. Learn how to inspire yourself.

  • sacbobv

    “Kobe, that guy who could never beat the Celtics in the Finals”. Kind of has a nice ring to it, well it does to me anyway!

  • Eric

    JMM, I dont think any of us have any idea what kind of teammate Kobe is but why should that matter, if a man does his Job it shouldn’t matter where you love him or hate him. Perfect example was Shaq and Kobe winning 3 rings, they hated each other yet the got it done for 3 titles. As long as every man who is playing on the floor does their job to the best of their potential then it shouldn’t matter whether you like them or not, you still know you can count on them and they are going to be there for you since you have the same common goal.

  • Rich

    It’s also stunning how everyone has such visions of grandeur already. Lakers still have home court. I think the Celtics win ( have from the start ) but to already start these “Kobe isn’t as good as Jordan, Gasol is soft” conversation is a little early considering Boston still has to go win in LA again.

  • JMM

    Rich,

    They’re on a team. True stars make their teammates better, regardless their teammates salaries.

    Leaders lead. Kobe pouts.

  • I love Green

    Gasoft is being tossed around like he was in 08. Quit trying to defend him because its obvious he can’t play be effective against KG, Perk, or Sheed.

  • Rich

    True stars make their teammates better, but no one should have to make them play harder and be “inspired.” If someone needs to do that for you and you’re getting paid 10 million dollars, you need to find a new job.

  • lakershater13

    Rich. Gasol is the soft. Take any wnba center and they will be much tougher than gasol. he is probably my least favorite player of all time.

  • Eric

    JMM, Rich is exactly right, if you are a grown man you handle your business. Jordan would have said the same damn thing because what else could he say? Oh I’m gonna go hold their hand and show them how to play defense? Or I’m going to rip into their asses and make sure they dont fail me? Give me a break these guys are NBA champions, Your own Celtics players even mention that they shouldn’t need any motivation from anyone other than themselves this is the NBA FINALS you give it everything you’ve got or you lose.

  • JMM

    Eric,

    As I wrote, I don’t like Kobe, not because of or in spite of his athletic skills, but because he’s a souless, humorless, creepy, cheapjack, thug.

    His job isn’t just to score, it’s to lead.

    Kobe failed to lead tonight. He can’t be counted on to lead.

  • Rich

    Excellent response I love Green. Don’t actually use any real evidence, but instead go with the “Dont’ try to defend him because he’s getting tossed around and basically i have no real proof for my stance.” He’s outplayed Garnett, period. The stats back that up.

  • Rich

    Lol, ok Celtics fans. I’m done arguing the point. You have yourselves convinced that Gasol is soft and it isn’t based on anything other than you just don’t like him. Go with that. It makes you right.

  • JMM

    Actually Eric, Jordan didn’t say the same damn thing. He wouldn’t leave his teammates alone – he worked them, he dogged them, he led them. Kobe’s a failure at that kind of leadership.

  • lakershater13

    Best road team in the league. Only team to beat LA at home in the playoffs. On the season they are 2-1 in LA granted the first game they played in LA this year kobe didnt play. Celtics were playing poor basketball at the time so ill still give us credit for that win. I like our odds. Celtics in 6.

  • Eric

    JMM, let me ask you then how would YOU lead any different than he did tonight? He put his team on his shoulders and they weren’t there to back him up. There is only so much leading that can be done in a game like that, Kobe cant tell people where or how to play defense or how to go up strong on a jumpshot or how to be ready to shoot the ball. That crap was learned in high school for all these guys years ago. He came out set the pace and played his heart out and left it all on the floor. Watching the game did you think anyone other than him did tonight?
    Didn’t think so

    I understand you dont like Kobe but just be realistic, there is only so much “inspiring and leading” one player can do

  • Evan

    Blah blah blah blah blah blah my point blah blah blah blah next game.

  • Rich

    Just remember, when Gasol drops a 25-15 game in game 6, you are gonna stand by your whole Gasol is soft movement, right?

  • JMM

    But remember, this isn’t ESPN, let’s not make tonight about those two losers – Kobe and Gasol.

    Tonight is about winners, leaders, like Pierce, Rondo, Doc, KG, Ray and their teamates.

    Cel-tics!!

  • lakershater13

    TA pinned his shot to the back board. He is soft now you have proof.

  • Rich

    Ahh, so he had a shot blocked. Excellent…although I’m pretty sure I saw Perkins get blocked earlier in the series by Kobe? Hmm…PERKINS IS SOFT!!YES!

  • Eric

    JMM, not every player Leads the same way, Magic lead differently than Jordan did but does that make him any less of a leader? No it doesn’t, realistically you dont even know how Kobe leads because you aren’t on the court and dont hear or see what he does, all you do is see his performance and tonight his performance should say enough to you, yet you still cant give the man credit.

  • paolopao

    I having great time chatting with you guys and I like the arguing stuff here, and I like your knowledge in basketball as well. This is actually my first time to join at this post…:) Sadly, as much as I want to stay, but it’s time for me to go… See ya in game 6 guys!!! GO C’S!!!

  • lakershater13

    good luck with the whole perkins being soft. hahahahahahahahaha. do you have a poster above your bed of gasol? why is it so hard to admitt he is soft? the guy can play basketball but he is not a tough player. i dont know why you cannot see this.

  • Dan

    Just a thought: Should the Celtics win, who would their finals MVP be? All of the big 4 have had some real stinkers.

  • Paolo

    @Eric

    About Kobe’s terrific stretch in the third, yes it was his way of carrying his team. But do remember, the Celtics were only up by 6 at the half. It’s not like they were getting blown out. Still, he decided to hit the impossible shots early and leave his teammates uninvolved. This is a hunch, but watching your best guy hit impossible shot after impossible shot can lead you to being tentative on offense and defense, and that is somewhat what happened to the Lakers in that third quarter. I do not believe that Kobe is selfish, but he def. needed another way of leading back in that quarter.

  • Eric

    JMM, even Brendan who runs this blog agrees, dont let your hate goggles ruin your enjoyment of a brilliant performance. Try to watch the game objectively, I’m a Lakers fan and I hate the Celtics but I will admit they have the better team, and Paul Pierce played incredible tonight.

    Although I will still admit Rondo is given too much credit the guy is great but hes not a top 5 PG in the league, when he can gets a consistent jumper I will bump him into that category.

  • Rich

    Look, in ’08 the whole Gasol was soft thing had some actual evidence to go with it. He was outplayed by KG on a nightly basis. But this season Gasol has been better than Garnett, and there really is nothing that points to the contrary so far.

  • lakershater13

    MVP may come down to who has the best game in the clinching game. At this point you can flip a coin and give it to any of the big 4.

  • I love Green

    Alright Rich I think we can all agree the 4th quarter in a close game is where the best players step up.
    Game 2- Gasoft has 1 point in the 4th.

    Game 3- Gasoft has 3 points in the 4th.

    Game 4- Gasoft has 4 points in the 4th.

    Game 5- Gasoft has 3 points in the 4th.

    When the defense steps up, and the intesity of the Celtics bigs increases Pau dissapears.

  • Eric

    Paolo, if Kobe doesnt do what he did in the 3rd quarter then the Lakers would get blown out just like they did in game 6 in Boston two years ago, it’s as simple as that. The Lakers HAD to have that from Kobe at that point.

  • lakershater13

    No one is saying that garnett has out played gasol. we are just saying he is a soft player.

  • Rich

    Lakershater, I also hate the Lakers. However, unlike you I can actually look at things objectively and don’t walk around with my hate goggles on. Again, I use things like those crazy “stats” to back up my claims. Unlike you, who just says “well he is soft and you should see it my way because he is.” Sorry, that won’t win you a debate anywhere in the real world, but it works wonders on the internet.

  • http://espn.com travis zen

    Someone must have cursed Ray’s 3s after game 2..going 0/16 the last 3 games..simply disgusting..

  • Rich

    Ok, soft means what then? If Gasol can be better than Garnett, but garnett isn’t soft and Gasol is, then what does soft mean. Show me where soft hurts the team if it also means you can outplay your counterpart at the same time.

  • Rich

    Right now the MVP is jsut whoever has the biggest game in the deciding game for either team. If it goes to 7, then whoever dominates the 7th game wins the MVP. Could really be one of about 6 guys at this point, and three of them are only in consideration because of their names (really, Ray Allen shouldn’t be considered right now).

  • Eric

    Rich, I’m a Lakers fan and I think both sides of the argument are right about this. Pau Gasol is not a soft player, but he PLAYS SOFT more frequently than he should. He tends to shy away from contact and he does not finish the way a 7 footer should . . . . . BUT that isn’t his game, he is more of a finesse player and thats his skill set. So really both sides of the argument are right to a certain degree.

  • Rich

    I’d say Rondo is maybe slightly ahead…but he’s only had one great game, a couple of bad games, and tonights mediocre game.

  • I love Green

    @lakershater- It’ll go to Pierce or Rondo. Ray had one big game and hasn’t been back since, and Garnett has had 2 big games. Rondo had a huge game 2, and has had pretty consistant numbers since. Pierce had a bad game 2 and 3 offensivley, but I think he’ll get it if we win. Obviously if the Lakers win Kobe will get it.

  • boardrimnet

    I think i should emphasize how Garnett set the tone for this game early on by his rebounds. those were big ones that set up our tempo

  • lakershater13

    Gasol uses skill not strength. He lets himself gets pushed around. Soft means he is not a tough player. Im not saying he isnt good.

  • Kevin

    @Dan

    For the duration of the playoffs, the analogy has been 1969. Let’s give a ring to the C’s and a big loser MVP to Kobe.

  • lakershater13

    @ i love green… if KG goes for 25 and 15 or Ray puts up 30 cuz maybe he can only shoot in La and either one wins it for them in the clinching game you wouldnt give either the mvp?

  • Eric

    If Kobe puts up numbers like he has the past 2 games he has a realistic chance of winning MVP just like Jerry West did in a losing effort once. But thats because of the simple fact that I dont think there has been a single Boston player be an MVP over this entire series, it’s been one guy after another including Big Baby Davis in game 4. I cant remember how MVP’s are selected but realistically because Boston has so many MVP candidates they could cancel each other out by having the votes split up between them all. It’s unlikely Kobe wins but there is an outside chance (Unless Pierce plays like he did tonight the next 2 games)

  • I love Green

    Gasoft has not outplayed KG for the entire game since game 2 (and he was in foul trouble the whole game). Tough players show up when it matters. Like Kobe tonight in the second half, when it matters most Kobe showed up.

    Especially when Perk is on Gasoft he dissapears. He guarded him most of the 3rd quarter and held him to 1 field goal. He had 4 points total because of 2 free throws. When Perkins is on him, or its late in the game he just gets pushed around out there because he’s not tough enough to handle the big moments. If you watch some of these 4th quarters he usually isn’t even calling for the ball.

  • Dan

    Kobe getting the MVP but losing the series would be hilarious. If the C’s go on to win, Doc should insist that they give it to him.

  • pilgrimtraveller

    hey celtics fans, no one dislikes the lakers more than i do, but even i don’t think it’s right to mouth off about them as some of you are doing. if the lakers are losers and gasol is soft, etc., etc., then what have the celtics accomplished in winning the games they’ve won thusfar? nothing.

    the celtics are a great team because they beat some great players by being a better team than the lakers. kobe had an incredible game tonight and gasol played very well indeed. but the celtics prevailed tonight because they played as a team, and one of their great strengths as a team is that they beat you with different players from game to game. their heroes tonight are not those who were the heroes of the last game.

  • I love Green

    @lakerhater- I’d probably give it to KG then depending on what Paul and Rondo do. Even if Ray has a big game it’d only be his 2nd good game of the series which wouldn’t be enough. Even though they’d be huge for the Celtics.

  • Eric

    Dan, that might be funny to you and other Celtics fans but from the historical significance of it (just like when jerry West won it) whoever wins the MVP is known as the best player in the series regardless of who won it, and thats how it will be remembered. Unless people go back and check the stats they will say well Kobe was the best player but the Celtics were the better team.

  • JMM

    Eric,

    You watch the game your way and I’ll watch it mine.

    I wear no hate goggles. No player or coach is worth the effort it would take me to hate them. What’s important to me is not Kobe, or the Lakers, it’s the Celtics.

    The Lakers are a footnote in Celtics history.

    As I wrote, this is not about Kobe, Gasol and the rest of those losers, it’s all about the Celtics.

    You worry about that thug Kobe and MVP awards. I’ll focus on the important stuff.

  • JMM

    Nobody remembers or cares who wins MVP awards. The only thing that matters is the championship.

    Except to the losers I guess.

  • http://espn.com travis zen

    game 2, Ray..game 4 Big Baby..game 5..Pierce..its still a race to the finals mvp..

  • Eric

    JMM your definitely a Hater but thats okay, you are what you are.

  • JMM

    Eric,

    I’m just speaking the truth, that’s not hating.

    The truth is:

    Your sad name-calling and Kobe manlove is creepy.

    The Celtics owned the Lakers tonight, owned Kobe, owned Phil, Gasol, the whole outfit.

    Kobe has spectacular athletic skills and is a failure as a leader. He’s a humorless thug.

    Most importantly the Celtics are executing a brilliant strategy in these playoffs under the leadership of their coach and experienced players.

    Cel-tics!

  • I love Green

    Actually JMM Kobe is a great leader. Which is why I feel he’s the best in the league. Lebron may win all the regular season MVPs but that doesn’t take leadership. He couldn’t lead his team to get close to beating us. They even struggled against Chicago at some points in their series. Obviously the Lakers have the better team, but if he’s so great like all the “experts” tell me he is, then he shouldn’t need a bunch of all stars around him.

    Kobe-Leader-Champion
    Lebron-None of the above.

  • JMM

    Agreed LaBron is a quitter. And Kobe is no quitter. But, by his own words, Kobe doesn’t lead.

    But, again, enough about the losers.

    The Celtics imposed their will on the Lakers tonight – that’s the key.

  • Graham

    Freakin N*****s every way/ like M-J.

  • sacbobv

    @Graham:
    That’s a Flagrant-2 on you, get out of here!

  • pilgrimtraveller

    not that it really matters who the mvp is, but assuming the series plays out as it has been going, garnett is the mvp. his resurrection has made all the difference. the celtics are winning the rebounding game now, the points-in-the-paint game. he is playing great all-around ball.

  • Ray Leighton

    My god, this is a f#cked up conversation. We’re talking trash to each other after WE WON.

    I don’t really give a damn whether Pau Gasol is “soft” or not. We played terrific defense tonight, KG looked like KG, and we shut down Gasol. But the guy is still a threat to put up 20-10 and he is one of the elite bigs in the league. You could no doubt argue that Kareem was soft too given his style of play, but that didn’t mean that you didn’t respect him, especially when he might drop 30 on you the next night. I am by no means a Lakers’ fan, but by my count, Gasol has gotten punched in the face four times this series and he doesn’t seem to be shying away from contact despite that. Maybe the real point is that we finally are playing tough defense on him and tough defensive is more effective than watching Gasol shoot uncontested from 18 feet.

    Could we talk about something actually relevant?? This was the most complete game from the Celtics this series; surely we have more interesting things to talk about.

  • DRJ1

    A perfect end to this amazing season would be if the eventual Finals MVP REFUSED the trophy, saying that he can’t take it because you really can’t separate any single person’s contributions from the whole in this team, this year. Let the whole team share the MVP award — one award, 15 guys. (Plus coaches.)

  • Frreddy

    yeaaa the celts are 1 game away from their 18 banner and i really want to see nate robinsons reaction when they do win rock on celts

  • http://celticshub idunno

    Okay. About this Kobe talk…
    Yes he made some”are you kidding me?” shots. Well more than some. And it seems he is receiving a lot of well deserved praise. But this was a pretty typical Kobe move, not that he always makes these ridiculous shots but that he takes them. Something made him shoot and shoot all game long. He came out of the gate like that, I believe 4 for 11 just into the second quarter. He tried to play hero and shot his team out of this game. He went 13-27. Is that what you want from Kobe? What makes it worse is that the next most shot attempts by any laker was 12. Too often Kobe went one-on-five which resulted in jump shots, long rebounds, transition C points. I dont know. He was great, but he didn’t do the best thing necessary to win. As a Celtic, I’ll take turn around, fade away, double clutch jumpers from Kobe all night. He can go 13-27, score 38, and i’ll watch him walk out of the building with his head down.

  • Ray Leighton

    Completely with you, Idunno — this is starting to look an awful lot like 2008. Lakers get in trouble and suddenly Kobe is taking every shot. Or for that matter, Kobe against Detroit earlier in the decade. Yeah, he can make some of them, and yes, nobody else on the Lakers was able to score, but if only one guy is shooting for 12 minutes, then the rest of the team has no chance to get any kind of consistency.

    And the best part — Phil is OK with that.

  • RBD

    Celtics are gonna come out like goddamn war machine in game six and finish this thing off.

    A much better game tonight for our guys but there’s still a lot of room for improvement.

    And they seem to be getting tougher and more focused as the series has gone on.

  • DRJ1

    @idunno, Ray– absolutely right. It is 2008 redux. Even KG’s performing just like 2008. And we get some added pleasures, like
    -watching the whole Artest-for-Ariza thing fall on its face,
    -Shrek and Donkey doing their thing
    -Phil Jackson making that ridiculous speech, and then APPROVING the whole Kobe-take-over ‘plan’

    -and, for some, winning this championship in LA.

  • Jay P

    @DRJ1

    The single greatest moment for me was watching Paul go off, and as Kobe went back to the huddle saying to Phil Jackson “I got him” you traded away a dynamic offensive presence in Ariza, who would have given Kobe a lot of help on a night like last night, for Artest, and then in the biggest of stages, on the biggest of games, he gets torched, and you have Kobe Bryant wanting to guard Pierce.

    Oh the sweet sweet irony, it tastes so delicious.

  • gone green

    Stop Comparing Kobe to Michael. Michael is the GOAT Period. In that game last night the minute Kobe started jacking up every shot I Knew yhe Cs would win. One Guy will never beat a TEAM. When Kobe goes one on 5 then the other 4 aare not in the game. THe reason why LA couldmt get stops is because Kobe Shot everytime down court which didnt allow the other 4 to get in a rythm. What Kobe should have done was encouraged his teammates to keep playing dont look at the score keep playing your shot may not be falling but keep playing. There a lot of time left just keep playing. Kobe decided to go into hero mode anf=d effectively lost the game for the lakers

  • gone green

    ITs all about ME with Kobe. Take Garnett for instance, Kobe coould never be the leader that Garnett is. Even though Gasol Torched him in the first three games Garnett didnt force anything he continued to play. In 08 when the celtics won the title Rondo was the “weak link”, But you could hear Garnett telling him throughout the 08 playoffs that we need you keep doing your thing. Keep playing basketball. On the hand ladt night Kobe simply said give me the damn ball and get out of my way. Garnett made Rondo feel that he was an intregal part of the team and though he struggled at times we are gonna need you in order to win this think. Where as Kobe said i dont need you guys ill do it by myself. And to say in the press conference “all i have to say to the is man up and play.” Thats calling his teammates out in the media.

    Now Michael was notorious for getting on his teamates in PRACTICE not in the media. On Game day Michael continually encouraged his guys when they werent playing well or made a basket and encouraged the guys to stsay in the game. With Kobe it was ill score, ill guard Pierce, ill rebound, ill do all this alone. Kobe has a ton of mileage on his body and if he wants to play the hero then thas playing into the Cs hands

  • Trackstre

    @gonegreen

    My thoughts exactly. Let Kobe score 40, hell 50 points. If the rest of his team cannot step up offensively, the effort is a meaningless flashback to 08.
    Game 6 will be very interesting to see how both teams make adjustments.

    Dear Lakers:

    The solution is NOT “MORE KOBE”. It’s more Everyone Else. You’ve flooded the market with Bryant. Kobe can NOT single-handedly WIN CHAMPIONSHIPS. It didn’t work in 2008, it won’t work now. Learn from your mistakes.

    Sincerely,
    Common Sense

    Even if the Lakers were to get it right, they have already lost the most crucial game when tied 2-2. It is statistically improbable that Boston give up both games in LA.

  • Chris

    Rich,

    Do you actually watch these games or just look at the box score afterwards?

    Gasol was completely dominated by Glen Davis in game 4. Rasheed Wallace – not known as the best defender – has been giving Gasol fits this entire series. Rondo rebounded over Gasol (Gasol is a foot taller) for a key tip in late in the 4th quarter of game 5. Tony Allen (Gasol is almost a foot taller) posterized Gasol with a massive clean block, as did Perkins.

    Bynum, on the other hand, is a tough player. He finishes strong and doesn’t get pushed around. Bynum’s sudden ineffectiveness has exposed the Lakers as the weak team they are (without Bynum). A healthy Bynum certainly makes the Lakers pretty much unstoppable. Much moreso than a healthy Gasol.

    Just watching Gasol play, he has uninspiring post moves (ballerina-spin hooks), and uses finesse touches to get the ball in the bucket. Since game 3, KG has absolutely dominated the matchup. Not all stats show up in the box score – if you’d actually pay attention to the matchups away from the basketball (or watch the game, not the boxscore) you’d know this.

    I also don’t buy the whole Kobe is the best player of all time, in any sense of the word. I can name 6 players who would have won three championships with a Shaq in his prime (Pierce, Ray Allen, Kevin Durant, Joe Johnson, LEBRON JAMES, D-wade (oh wait..), Chris Paul, D-will).. Kobe has been on some teams with a ton of talent, see his current team.. Put Lebron James on the teams Kobe has had and he would have done the same, if not better.

  • http://www.hotmail.com Josh

    @ Brendan
    Haha nice! so true, so true.

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