Blog Entry

Lakers mull adjustments for Game 3

Posted on: June 7, 2010 3:45 pm

LOS ANGELES – The game wasn’t even over for an hour, and already Kobe Bryant’s mind was back in Boston. Back to the scene of one of the most bitter disappointments of his Hall of Fame career.

It was two years ago when Bryant walked out of the new Boston Garden with a 39-point loss to the Celtics in Game 6 of the Finals haunting him. It had been four years since Bryant had been back to the Finals, and this was the memory he’d carry with him into a long, painful offseason: Celtics fans pelting the team bus with expletives and garbage.

So Bryant’s mood deteriorated rapidly on Sunday night, after the Lakers lost home-court advantage with a 103-94 loss to the Celtics that evened the Finals at 1-1 going back to Boston. On the chartered flight, memories of the 2008 Finals surely were on his mind, not to mention the screech of the referees’ whistle.

Bryant was a non-factor in Game 2, taken out of the mix by foul trouble. Bryant finished the game with five fouls, and backcourt mate Derek Fisher had three – emblematic of the Lakers’ defensive struggles against the devastating combination of Ray Allen’s 3-point shooting and Rajon Rondo’s mastery in the open court. So when it comes to adjustments for Game 3, it begins and ends there for the Lakers.

Phil Jackson made a choice heading into the series that Rondo would be the player most deserving of Bryant’s defensive attention. It worked in Game 1; not so much in Game 2, due in part to a tough whistle on Bryant and also to the Celtics’ improved defense and rebounding, which were the catalyst for Rondo’s latest playoff triple-double. Rondo makes the Celtics’ engine go, but the problem with putting Bryant in his path played out in Game 2, with Fisher unable to reroute Allen around screens or shrink his air space enough to contest his shots.

So with the series shifting to Boston for the middle three games, will Jackson consider putting Fisher on Rondo, with the knowledge that the Lakers’ point guard has fared OK against Deron Williams and Steve Nash in the two previous series? Will he need to use Bryant’s length and strength to slow Allen’s 3-point rampage?

It’s a tricky proposition for Jackson. Though Bryant’s aching knee has improved during the course of the playoffs, putting him in a rat race around screens with Allen could sap the energy he needs on the offensive end. But if Allen keeps getting the looks he got in Game 2, the Lakers will be in for another disastrous outcome in Boston.

What to do? Before watching the film or deciding what strategic adjustments to make, Jackson first took aim at the officials in the aftermath of Sunday night’s loss. With a fine from the NBA office almost certainly to follow, consider it a $25,000 down payment by Jackson to get the officials’ attention should he decide to stay with the same defensive approach in Game 3.

“When they take away any bumps, when Fish is trying to make him divert his path and they don't allow him to do that, they call fouls on Fish and that really gives him an opportunity to take whatever route he wants,” Jackson said. “That really makes it very difficult. We just have to adjust to the ballgame [and] to what the referees are going to call. Are they going to allow us to take direct line cuts away from him so he has to divert his route, [or] get a foul called on Fisher? That makes for a totally different type of ballgame. Then Fish has to give the routes that he wants to run and then he's got to play from behind all the time. That's an adjustment we all need to make in the course of this series.”

One that will have plenty to do with the outcome.

Since: Oct 19, 2007
Posted on: June 9, 2010 9:22 pm

Lakers mull adjustments for Game 3

The way you talk $hit in here, I would think you are winning the series.   Like he said, keep your STUPID prediction to yourself!

Lakers in 6. 

Since: Dec 2, 2006
Posted on: June 8, 2010 7:43 pm

Lakers mull adjustments for Game 3

You are such yet another Boston idiot, you people make me sick with your front runner status and cuss everybody out status when you lose.

Since: Dec 2, 2006
Posted on: June 8, 2010 7:42 pm

Lakers mull adjustments for Game 3

Oooooooh you go boy, well said.  Love the way you put it.

Since: Jun 3, 2010
Posted on: June 8, 2010 6:37 pm

Lakers mull adjustments for Game 3

Yes, I am a Laker fan and yes I agree that some Laker fans are whining too much about the refs calls, as I am of the opinion that both teams and fans of both teams are being screwed by the horrible refereeing. Celtic fan whined a littel too much about it in game 1. But, when the post's are saying that the Celts bench is far superior to the Laker bench, well, I live in Ca and I would LOVE to have some of what those people are smoking. Lakers bench outplayed the Celtic bench in game 1 and the Celtic bench outplayed the Laker bench in game 2. One of the main reasons the series is tied up 1-1. I also believe that tonights result will be determine, in large part, to the way each bench plays. Odom must stay out of foul trouble to be able to contribute. Inconsistency is not the problem with Odom, foul trouble is the problem, same with KG. Ray Ray was pissed that foul trouble cost him in game 1 and came out on fire in game 2. I just hope, as a Laker fan that Odom finds that same fire. I am worried that KG is going to wake up, but, I don't think Ray is going to be so hot again and may force up some shots. However, winning in Boston is going to be tough, but, Laker fans thank the truth for saying that they aint going back to L.A. at the end of game 2. That guy really doesn't know when to shut up.

Since: Nov 11, 2008
Posted on: June 8, 2010 6:05 pm

Lakers mull adjustments for Game 3

I think the lakers need to stop looking at the calls on Kobe.  While I agree there were questionable calls made on Kobe, that was more than offset by the lack of calls on the Lakers big men.  Pau and Bynum combined for 13 blocks.  Even when a clean block is made, the refs will call a foul on it about 50% of the time (see the Pierce and Big Baby clean blocks that were called fouls).  The lakers were lucky the refs let it go a lot.  The refs did call a lot of fouls on the Celtics big men when they were establishing position on D.  Bynum shot 12 FT in game 2.  That is the same number of FT he shot for the entire Suns series.  So while I think Kobe will not get called for the same fouls he did in game 2, I think the lakers were on the recieving end of a lot of help from the officials in game 2 as well.

Since: Sep 18, 2006
Posted on: June 8, 2010 5:51 pm

Lakers mull adjustments for Game 3

Please stop whining!  Boston had to deal with no-calls when fouls should have been called etc. in game one.  That wasn't why they lost--they didn't play well enough.  Admit that the Fakers just don't defend well!  That's the point, plain and simple.  Fun and gun teams of the west don't play defense, they focus on putting points on the board.  Defensive teams kill running teams:  2008 Celtics vs Lakers, and 2004 Pistons vs Lakers.  L.A. needs to D-up!!! 

Since: Nov 11, 2006
Posted on: June 8, 2010 4:59 pm

Lakers mull adjustments for Game 3

The Celtics bench plays better at home, its a fact. The Celtics is outplaying ther Lakers bench. Still with me? What have you seen from ODom that makes you think he will " start playing" . We should stop predicting ? Pot meet kettleHaving Odom play well and avoid foul trouble would be outstanding, but LA should be up 2-0 without him.  His production would be a bonus.  As long as the officials don't call bogus fouls on Kobe again, LA will win.  I've seen guys take bogus calls before, but I don't think I've ever seen one player get three bogus calls in one game.  It's hard to say Kobe gets all the calls now.

Since: Nov 11, 2006
Posted on: June 8, 2010 4:53 pm

Lakers mull adjustments for Game 3

I am Biased, 110 % the Boston Celtics will be more dominant in their House. The Bench will show up more than the faker LA's Because the Celtics are a teamthey know they plays in and outside the paint; albeit the refs need to not anticipatea Tech and give them rather well than let the tow teams play and let the hard playsfollow through.who else can call the game for LA ? * fishman is not who he  once was * in the words used by Gasol*and blah blah blah Game 3 will test both teamsThey better be more dominant because Allen won't shoot otherworldly again - he'll do well, but not THAT well.  Also, you can't count on three phantom calls on Kobe that took points from LA, gave them to Boston, allowed Rondo to run free in the 4th (didn't do crap except rebound and throw the ball to Allen before Kobe was whistled for three garbage calls), and kept Kobe from being aggressive on the offensive end.  The Celtics have to play much, much better and I'm not sure why you think they will.  They were a thoroughly mediocre home team all year.

Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: June 8, 2010 4:00 pm

Lakers mull adjustments for Game 3

The Celtics bench plays better at home, its a fact. The Celtics is outplaying ther Lakers bench. Still with me? What have you seen from ODom that makes you think he will " start playing" . We should stop predicting ? Pot meet kettle

Since: Aug 20, 2009
Posted on: June 8, 2010 3:59 pm

Lakers mull adjustments for Game 3

This is the most common sense post I've read since the Celtic / Laker matchup in the Finals was set.

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