Blog Entry

Lakers play their part as the drama continues

Posted on: February 11, 2011 1:34 am
Lakers take a big game from banged-up Celtics, prove the worth of Bynum. 
Posted by Matt Moore

Come now, Boston. You didn't think it would be that easy, did you?

The Lakers did their part in furthering the drama towards the inevitable Thursday night, downing the Celtics 92-86 in Boston. Each team has a win on one another's home floor. Each has a championship over the other since 2008. Each features aging superstars trying to pull one more run out of the struggle of injury and the grind of the 82-game season. In Los Angeles, it was Celtics execution overcoming the one-man Kobe show. In Boston? It was Bryant, looping baseline, drawing the double and dropping off to Pau Gasol, then working Ray Allen over like he was some rook on his way to the dagger elbow jumper. 

Even again. 

And now it's the Celtics left questioning themselves. Where is the offense going to come from? Why is Paul Pierce having so many turnovers in the clutch this year? How on Earth are the Celtics, even when Shaq and/or Jermaine O'Neal get back going to counter the Lakers' size, should they choose not to dish Andrew Bynum for Carmelo Anthony

And for the Lakers, the ultimate case of reassurance. They weren't just lost, just bored. They weren't out of sync, just lying in wait. This win, even over a banged-up Celtics squad proves that the concerns about the Lakers were unfounded. They're fine. They're focused, when they need to be, and they will be there in June, waiting for Boston to survive the Eastern Conference gauntlet. 

If Jim Buss was searching for some sign to prompt him to move Bynum in the Melo deal, it did not come tonight. Instead he found a team that simply is taller, longer, and more obstructive to the opponents' efforts in the paint with Bynum, and that is their biggest strength. Kobe Bryant is a killer, there's no question about that. But the Lakers thrive on being able to capture offensive rebound after offensive rebound, like the one that lead to the reset and Kobe-elbow-jumper to end it. The highlight reel will show Bryant breaking Allen's ankles (while Rajon Rondo simply watches for some reason, instead of comitting to the help-and-recover).  But the play was set up by the Lakers size providing them an offensive rebound. 

Sure, there was some voodoo going on with L.A., the usual Phil Jackson mind games. But the aesthetics are just a backdrop to the cold hard truth. The Celtics have to try and overcome physical advantage with mental effort. And while a victory of that sort may feel better than the alternative, it is because it is so much more difficult. Shaq may have made an impact. J.O. may have made an impact. But we saw Bynum make an impact, and we saw a Celtics team that just ran out of steam, much like it did in Game 7. 

The first game is not to be forgotten, however. In truth, these two teams are simply evenly matched. They are the best two teams, top to bottom, in the NBA. And once again, with their next meeting likely in June, these two are right back where they started. Even. 

Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: February 11, 2011 12:15 pm

Lakers play their part as the drama continues

Ebonyrod2 I agree with you.
This has been LA for the last several years and even before when Shaq was here.  Play like a team the isn't interested and lose some games they shouldn't (Charlotte and Memphis come to mind over the last 5 years) or struggle in playoff series (Houston without Yao or TMac and Denver 2 years ago pushed them to 7 and 6 game series respectively or Phoenix and Boston 6 and 7 games last year)and everyone questions their heart, determination and commitment.  Year af
ter year they just continue to be one of the top 2 or 3 teams in the NBA.  The last two years it was suppose to be Lebron sporting the best regular season record in Cleveland or Boston with the BIG 3 plus Rondo or Dwight Howard and the Magic or this years Miami Heat that are NBA Champs even though LA hasn't lost yet.  Of all those teams Boston is the only one to win a championship PERIOD.  The highs of the regular season are just the main course leading to the dessert that is the NBA PLAYOFFS.  That is where Champions are crowned and the last 2 years that has been the Lakers.  Don't believe the HYPE.  LA is the 2-time defending champs until someone knocks them off that perch.  2-6 record against the top teams in the regular season means nothing.  Holler at me during the playoffs.

Since: Mar 19, 2008
Posted on: February 11, 2011 11:51 am

Lakers play their part as the drama continues

Coworkers thought I was crazy all week for defending Bynum and being against a Melo trade, but truth be told their size is their biggest strength. Now if you will excuse I have some gloating to do for now...

Since: Aug 4, 2008
Posted on: February 11, 2011 9:51 am

Lakers play their part as the drama continues

We as Laker fans must remember that this is not playoff time. Those same fans and those that are not fans were saying the same thing last year about the Lakers, they were playing down to the opponent, they were going through the motions, they relied on Kobe too much.

Well once again come playoff time and the NBA championship game the Lakers did what they had to do. This team will do whatever is necessary to get to and win the NBA title once again.

Kobe’s and D-Fish motivation is that they want to be one of the few players that have won three consecutive NBA titles twice in a career. You can bet he and D-Fish are reminding themselves of this fact constantly.

This will be a good road trip for the team. Sit back and enjoy the ride the Lakers will take us on this year into the NBA playoffs and NBA championship.



The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or