Tag:Kevin Garnett
Posted on: January 30, 2011 5:19 pm
 

At the half: Lakers 54, Celtics 50

The Los Angeles Lakers lead the Boston Celtics 54-50 at the half of their game on Sunday. Posted by Ben Golliver. kobe-bryant-lakers-celtics

In their first meeting between the teams since the Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Boston Celtics in the 2010 NBA Finals, the Lakers hold the edge at halftime, 54-50.

It was a tale of two quarters, to some degree, as the Celtics pushed strong out of the gate, building a 16-9 lead, with 14 of the points coming from Boston's Big 3 of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen

It was slow-going offensively for the Lakers throughout the early stages of the game, but Los Angeles, keyed by guard Kobe Bryant, went on a 13-2 run in the middle of the second quarter, as Bryant notched nine of those 13 points. 

The half ended in a disappointing fashion for the Lakers, as forward Lamar Odom carelessly fouled Celtics big man Glen Davis on a three-quarter court desperation heave. Davis made two of the three free throws with less than a second to go in the second quarter, pulling the Celtics back to within four points. 

Interviewed on his way to the locker room, Bryant was asked about the foul. His response: "That should make SportsCenter's 'not top 10' moment ... in those situations, you just have to back up."

Bryant leads all scorers with 22 points. Lakers center big men Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum and Odom all chipped in eight apiece.

Pierce led the way for Boston with 16 points.
Posted on: January 30, 2011 2:57 pm
Edited on: January 30, 2011 3:02 pm
 

Celtics coach Doc Rivers fined after ejection

Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers has been fined by the NBA following his ejection in a Friday night game against the Phoenix Suns. Posted by Bendoc-rivers Golliver.

We've already noted this weekend that Friday's game between the Boston Celtics and the Phoenix Suns ended wildly, with Celtics forward Kevin Garnett being ejected following a skirmish set off by a low blow on Suns big man Channing Frye.

Well before that fourth quarter brouhaha, though, Celtics coach Doc Rivers was also ejected from the game. On Sunday, the NBA announced that Rivers had been fined for his actions following the ejection.
Boston Celtics head coach Doc Rivers has been fined $15,000 for failing to leave the court in a timely manner following an ejection, it was announced today by Stu Jackson, NBA Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.
The incident occurred with 4:33 remaining in the second period of the Celtics’ 88-71 loss to the Phoenix Suns at US Airways Arena in Phoenix on January 28.
ESPNBoston.com describes the scene surrounding the ejection.
With the Celtics trailing 40-25, Rivers was ejected late in the quarter after arguing with referee Steve Javie during a timeout. Rivers was hit with one technical foul and kept arguing with Javie, pointing to the official and his head as he yelled across the court. Rivers got in a few more choice words before finally walking off the court.
All the arguing was to no avail ultimately, as the Celtics wound up losing to the Suns, 88-71.

On Sunday, Rivers and the Celtics have a big opportunity to turn the page, travelling to Los Angeles for a marquee match-up against the Lakers. Here's a look at CBSSports.com's preview coverage of the 2010 NBA Finals rematch.
Posted on: January 29, 2011 5:15 pm
 

Kevin Garnett won't be suspended for low-blow

Posted by Royce Young

Via a tweet from Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports, Kevin Garnett isn't expected to be given a suspension for his low-blow on Suns forward Channing Frye.

Here, let's watch the tape again and decided if he should.



There's just no defending what Garnett did. He absolutely smacked Frye in the goods. There's no way around that. He wasn't given a flagrant for the play, but was called for a foul. Garnett was ejected not because of the cheap shot, but because of his reaction to Frye and for carrying on with the officials after the play.

What's shocking to me, even though it shouldn't be shocking at all because it's Kevin Garnett, is why he'd do it. The game is being televised nationally on ESPN. You really think we're all going to miss you smacking someone in the groin? It's why I almost have to believe that Garnett didn't do it intentionally, even though the video clearly shows that he did.

But Garnett won't be suspended because of it and really, the league is just following through with its normal standard of rules. By rule, Garnett just fouled Frye. He happened to foul him by going to the crown jewels, but it's a foul. And the league I guess figured it couldn't draw the line between intent and and accident.

To me though, this is certainly a suspendable offense. Some are obviously looking at Sunday's showdown between the Lakers and Celtics wondering if the high-profile nature of that game and Garnett's superstar name have anything to do with it. And I'm sure it does in some sense, but really, a flagrant two foul is "unnecessary and excessive contact." I would think a crotch-shot falls under that description. Unnecessary, definitely Excessive? Well, just ask Channing Frye.
Posted on: January 29, 2011 1:11 am
Edited on: January 29, 2011 1:27 am
 

Kevin Garnett ejected after dirty play on Frye

Video of Boston Celtics forward Kevin Garnett getting ejected after a dirty play on Phoenix Suns big man Channing Frye. Posted by Ben Golliver.

The Phoenix Suns were leading the Boston Celtics, 80-69, with roughly four minutes to go in the fourth quarter down in the desert, when all heck broke loose. It all started when Phoenix Suns big man Channing Frye attempted a three-pointer, and Boston Celtics forward Kevin Garnett closed out to defend. As part of the close out, Garnett extended his right hand and contacted Frye fairly lightly in the genital region, and he also slid his right foot underneath Frye, causing Frye's left foot to come down on Garnett's right foot, which led to an awkward landing.

Frye came to the ground without twisting his ankle too badly and initially doubled over in pain, clutching his groin. Soon after, though, Frye got up and got directly into Garnett's face, as Garnett pretended like he didn't know what had happened and why he had been whistled for a foul. Frye clearly took issue with Garnett's action and yelled at him directly, and the two players touched foreheads as they jostled. Suns big man Marcin Gortat and official Steve Javie tried to act as intermediaries to break up the scuffle, but the scrum quickly grew in numbers as members of both teams got in on the pushing and shoving action.

Here's video that shows the post-foul scrum and then multiple replays from different angles of Garnett's foul on Frye.



After everyone settled down, the officials engaged in a lengthy review. The result: Garnett was whistled for a foul on the play, a double technical was called on Garnett and Frye, and then Garnett was issued a second technical foul and was ejected. Celtics center Kendrick Perkins and Celtics guard Nate Robinson were also assessed technical fouls for their roles in the scrum.

The official explanation for Garnett's ejection: he was assessed the first technical for his initial actions in scuffling with Frye and the second technical was for continuing to jaw after the fact.

The Suns held on to close out the home win over the Celtics, 88-71.
Posted on: January 28, 2011 2:57 pm
 

Will it mean more to the Lakers this time?

Posted by Royce Young

After the Lakers took an embarrassing pounding at the hands of the Miami Heat on Christmas Day, Kobe Bryant was candid and open with why he thought his team lost.

He said, "I think these games mean more to our opponents than they do to us." Everyone stopped right there and rolled their eyes. What a pathetic, arrogant excuse. Then Kobe continued and it made a lot more sense.

"And I think we need to get that straight. We need to play with more focus and put more importance on these games. I don't like it."

Well, Kobe, here's another chance.

The Celtics roll into Staples to take on the defending champs Sunday in front of a national TV audience, a game that has all the hype you might imagine.

Surely though, the Lakers don't need to find extra motivation against the Celtics. This is their top rival and the team they played a grueling seven-game series with in the Finals last June. If this game means more to the Celtics than the Lakers, well, then something is seriously wrong.

Still, something about the way the Lakers have played big regular season games lingers here. Something about the way Kobe talked about the team not performing well in these situations sticks. Teams like the Lakers, the Celtics, the Spurs, they know it's just one of 82. This one isn't more important than the next one against the Timberwolves or Wizards. It counts the same amount in the standings.

But losing isn't ever acceptable for Kobe so when his team takes beatings like it did on Christmas, he's left wondering why. And one of the reasons, at least in his mind, is that it means more to the other guy.

And you know Sunday, this game is going to mean a whole lot to the Celtics. They are returning to the scene of the crime. They're coming back to Staples, where the last time they were there, they were left walking off the floor as purple and yellow confetti rained down and the Lakers lifted up No. 16.

I'm thinking Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, Rajon Rondo and Paul Pierce remember that pretty well. So if you're wondering if this game has a little extra importance to the Celtics, yeah, it probably does.

Which means the Lakers will have to figure out how to match that intensity. They'll have to find it in themselves to make this game mean something extra. Read Kobe's quote again. We need to play with more focus and put more importance on these games . Yes Kobe, you do. Otherwise you'll be back at the podium wondering what went wrong again Sunday. The Celtics are going to come ready to play. You better have your group prepared to match them.
Posted on: January 28, 2011 2:56 pm
Edited on: January 30, 2011 3:20 am
 

Celtics at Lakers: What it means for Boston

What Sunday's Celtics-Lakers game means for the Boston Celtics in the first rematch since the 2010 Finals. 

Posted by Matt Moore



On Sunday, Boston travels to L.A. for Modern Celtics-Lakers XX.  The 20th time these two have met since the 07-08 season (twice in the regular season for three years, plus 13 playoff games) will still represent what many feel is a clash of the two best teams in basketball currently, as well as the resumption of the oldest and greatest rivalry the sport has ever known. With Los Angeles at 33-13 and the Celtics 35-10, the two look every bit ready to see each other once more in the Finals, even with challengers like San Antonio and Miami in their path. 

This rivalry extends beyond the history and legacies of their franchises, though. There's a genuine dislike between the two teams, even if they share a mutual respect.  The Celtics' brutally tough, bullying defense and marksman like precision clashes organically with the Lakers' smooth ball movement and overpowering height and athleticism run through the Triangle.  Doc Rivers' explosive motivational coaching approach runs in contrast to Phil Jackson's zen-like trust in his players and press-conference tweaking.  And at the end of it, they just don't like one another. 

But as the two meet in the rare regular season game that actually does seem to matter (although afterward the loser will predictably dismiss such claims), what does this matchup actually mean for Boston? 

Just for Kicks

Kevin Garnett has never been one to back down from an opportunity for dramatics. As much as his reputation is for visceral toughness and unbridled intensity, he is also a showman.  While the legitimacy of his stanchion-smashing, cobra-weaving, "Anything is possible" lunacy is up for debate, he does know how to send a message in outright terms. Nothing proves that like the shoes it was announced Garnett would be wearing for the game. Yes, his shoes. Have a look, courtesy of Nice Kicks /Aaron Knows and The Basketball Jones :




On the tongue there? That's the Celtics all time record against the Lakers, 152-120. The shoe is delicately titled "Beat L.A.."  Kevin Garnett had shoes produced for one game.  If that doesn't serve as proof of Garnett's intentions in this game, nothing will. It's just his feet, but in basketball terms, that's as good as wearing a T-shirt that reads "I plan on kicking your face in because that's what my team does to your team."  It's an outright signal of the Celtics' entire attitude, which isn't just "We're going to win" but "We're going to win because we're better than you, our franchise is better than you, and our collective being in every way is superior to yours."

It's why the Celtics don't really respect Orlando, nor do they show real signs of respect for anyone. It's part of their own personal code of conduct. But it's amped to another level with L.A. That will always be part of it as the players seek to carry on the legacy of the game built into the rivalry. But it's even more prevalent because of how things were the last time these two stepped on a court together. 

Revenge and the Art of Maniacal Maintenance

Losing to the Lakers in the Finals was devastating for the Celtics. Losing a championship series is hard for any player, but these are the Celtics, a group of veterans trying to make good on promises to themselves as well as their fans that they would collect multiple rings once among players of their caliber. Beyond that, though, losing to L.A. creates a sense of failure beyond just disappointment. You've let down the players that came before you, the players who managed to beat the Lakers, who protected that legacy (despite the Lakers having won quite a few of their own throughout the years).  It's the darkest of all places, as Garnett told WEEI this fall about his mindset after Game 7: 
“Very dark, to be honest, dark. ‘Just leave me alone, let me be my myself. I don’t want to deal with anything right now. Let me just be in a dark place.’ Just the way I replay the game over and over in my mind, trying to get a resolution to some type of place to where you can settle with it. I never found it, but that’s what it is. I say it’s fuel to the fire. [Expletive? (Bleeped completely out] .“
via Sports Radio Interviews » Blog Archive » Kevin Garnett Goes To A Dark Place In The Off-Season .

Paul Pierce wasn't in a great place afterward either, when WEEI spoke to him about it: 
How long does it take a competitive person like you to get over a seventh-game loss in the NBA (Finals)? A week? A month? Ever?

“I still haven’t gotten over it. It’s tough. Because you envision back, and say, ‘If we could have done this different, that different in the game, it would have been a different outcome.’ So, it’s hard. You think about the what ifs and all of that. I don’t think you ever forget it.”

What’s the process? Do you go in your bedroom for a couple of days and sleep, and then don’t shave for a while, or don’t bathe, and then finally come out of the shell?

“I didn’t talk to people for a long time. I didn’t watch any basketball for a long time. I sort of kind of did go into a shell. I didn’t want to leave the house. I didn’t even want to go out and eat for a while, because you just felt that bad about the loss. But then as I got back into the gym and working out, I just used it for motivation and just sort of loosened up from there.”
via Sports Radio Interviews » Blog Archive » Paul Pierce on Losing Game 7 .

This is just speculation, but I'm betting Glen Davis' reaction was to eat a muffin. Or a boar whole, or something. Regardless, things were pretty rough for the C's after that loss. 

Nothing will really provide the Celtics with a satisfied feeling of revenge short of winning the championship, preferably over the Lakers this spring.  But this game is a chance to send a message.  It's an opportunity to go into the Lakers' house and show them that they are still every bit as tough as they have been, and even tougher with their improved depth. It's a chance to illustrate that they are the ones in control of this rivalry, even after last spring, and that even though this is just a regular season game, they can dominate at will. 

This isn't about just showing L.A. who's boss, it's about testing themselves. Being 35-10 means little to them because they don't care about beating the Nets, or the Bobcats, or even the Magic or Heat.  They want to show they can beat the Lakers.  Everything else is just a means to get there. 

And in part, the Celtics want the opportunity to show that they're right: Kendrick Perkins was the reason they lost. 

Man Down, Ring Down

Losing Kendrick Perkins before Game 7 hurt .  One of the Celtics' biggest advantages against the Lakers as opposed to nearly every team in the league is their ability to counter the Lakers' length with their own interior defense.  Perkins isn't a behemoth like Andrew Bynum, but what he lacks in height he makes up for in toughness, physicality, and savvy.  Losing him meant the Celtics lost just enough of an edge down low.

At the end of the matchup considerations, though, is this: the Celtics were without a starter for Game 7 of the Finals.  That's enough to prompt anyone to keep an excuse at the back of their minds, even if they'll publicly give the other team credit.  Perkins means a lot to this team, and even in limited minutes now that he's back, you can see what he brings the team.  

Sunday is an opportunity to showcase what they look like at full-strength, should they stay healthy till then (which is far from guaranteed, this is the Celtics, after all).  Even with Shaquille O'Neal nursing an injury and Jermaine O'Neal still struggling through his knee problems, this is the Celtics, at their core.  Sunday provides an opportunity to show the difference in the Celtics with and without Perkins. Perkins wasn't even expected to be available for this game, supposedly out another week.

But of course Tuesday he pops up healthy.  That's how this works. Some, like myself, never questioned that Perkins would be back for this game. This game matters to him. You'll have a hard time keeping him out of a game like this, even in the regular season. Because this is like a dress rehearsal.

Trial Run

There's no way to duplicate the intensity of the Finals, but this will be as close as it will get for a while, at least until the Lakers visit Boston in a few weeks.  And it's a chance to test things for future reference. How will Shaquille O'Neal do against Andrew Bynum?  How will Nate Robinson do as backup against Shannon Brown or Steve Blake?  What can a healthy Marquis Daniels do against Ron Artest

These are the questions that will be in Doc Rivers' mind, as they try and get a regular season win, but also try and figure out some things to rely on should these two meet again.  There's no way to block it out, though they may try. "It's just another game" will likely be a refrain at practice and shootaround. Don't be fooled. This is the setup, the first act of the 2011 chapter of Lakers-Celtics.  Let's draw the curtain, and see what happens.




Posted on: January 28, 2011 2:56 pm
Edited on: January 30, 2011 3:20 am
 

Celtics at Lakers: What it means for Boston

What Sunday's Celtics-Lakers game means for the Boston Celtics in the first rematch since the 2010 Finals. 

Posted by Matt Moore



On Sunday, Boston travels to L.A. for Modern Celtics-Lakers XX.  The 20th time these two have met since the 07-08 season (twice in the regular season for three years, plus 13 playoff games) will still represent what many feel is a clash of the two best teams in basketball currently, as well as the resumption of the oldest and greatest rivalry the sport has ever known. With Los Angeles at 33-13 and the Celtics 35-10, the two look every bit ready to see each other once more in the Finals, even with challengers like San Antonio and Miami in their path. 

This rivalry extends beyond the history and legacies of their franchises, though. There's a genuine dislike between the two teams, even if they share a mutual respect.  The Celtics' brutally tough, bullying defense and marksman like precision clashes organically with the Lakers' smooth ball movement and overpowering height and athleticism run through the Triangle.  Doc Rivers' explosive motivational coaching approach runs in contrast to Phil Jackson's zen-like trust in his players and press-conference tweaking.  And at the end of it, they just don't like one another. 

But as the two meet in the rare regular season game that actually does seem to matter (although afterward the loser will predictably dismiss such claims), what does this matchup actually mean for Boston? 

Just for Kicks

Kevin Garnett has never been one to back down from an opportunity for dramatics. As much as his reputation is for visceral toughness and unbridled intensity, he is also a showman.  While the legitimacy of his stanchion-smashing, cobra-weaving, "Anything is possible" lunacy is up for debate, he does know how to send a message in outright terms. Nothing proves that like the shoes it was announced Garnett would be wearing for the game. Yes, his shoes. Have a look, courtesy of Nice Kicks /Aaron Knows and The Basketball Jones :




On the tongue there? That's the Celtics all time record against the Lakers, 152-120. The shoe is delicately titled "Beat L.A.."  Kevin Garnett had shoes produced for one game.  If that doesn't serve as proof of Garnett's intentions in this game, nothing will. It's just his feet, but in basketball terms, that's as good as wearing a T-shirt that reads "I plan on kicking your face in because that's what my team does to your team."  It's an outright signal of the Celtics' entire attitude, which isn't just "We're going to win" but "We're going to win because we're better than you, our franchise is better than you, and our collective being in every way is superior to yours."

It's why the Celtics don't really respect Orlando, nor do they show real signs of respect for anyone. It's part of their own personal code of conduct. But it's amped to another level with L.A. That will always be part of it as the players seek to carry on the legacy of the game built into the rivalry. But it's even more prevalent because of how things were the last time these two stepped on a court together. 

Revenge and the Art of Maniacal Maintenance

Losing to the Lakers in the Finals was devastating for the Celtics. Losing a championship series is hard for any player, but these are the Celtics, a group of veterans trying to make good on promises to themselves as well as their fans that they would collect multiple rings once among players of their caliber. Beyond that, though, losing to L.A. creates a sense of failure beyond just disappointment. You've let down the players that came before you, the players who managed to beat the Lakers, who protected that legacy (despite the Lakers having won quite a few of their own throughout the years).  It's the darkest of all places, as Garnett told WEEI this fall about his mindset after Game 7: 
“Very dark, to be honest, dark. ‘Just leave me alone, let me be my myself. I don’t want to deal with anything right now. Let me just be in a dark place.’ Just the way I replay the game over and over in my mind, trying to get a resolution to some type of place to where you can settle with it. I never found it, but that’s what it is. I say it’s fuel to the fire. [Expletive? (Bleeped completely out] .“
via Sports Radio Interviews » Blog Archive » Kevin Garnett Goes To A Dark Place In The Off-Season .

Paul Pierce wasn't in a great place afterward either, when WEEI spoke to him about it: 
How long does it take a competitive person like you to get over a seventh-game loss in the NBA (Finals)? A week? A month? Ever?

“I still haven’t gotten over it. It’s tough. Because you envision back, and say, ‘If we could have done this different, that different in the game, it would have been a different outcome.’ So, it’s hard. You think about the what ifs and all of that. I don’t think you ever forget it.”

What’s the process? Do you go in your bedroom for a couple of days and sleep, and then don’t shave for a while, or don’t bathe, and then finally come out of the shell?

“I didn’t talk to people for a long time. I didn’t watch any basketball for a long time. I sort of kind of did go into a shell. I didn’t want to leave the house. I didn’t even want to go out and eat for a while, because you just felt that bad about the loss. But then as I got back into the gym and working out, I just used it for motivation and just sort of loosened up from there.”
via Sports Radio Interviews » Blog Archive » Paul Pierce on Losing Game 7 .

This is just speculation, but I'm betting Glen Davis' reaction was to eat a muffin. Or a boar whole, or something. Regardless, things were pretty rough for the C's after that loss. 

Nothing will really provide the Celtics with a satisfied feeling of revenge short of winning the championship, preferably over the Lakers this spring.  But this game is a chance to send a message.  It's an opportunity to go into the Lakers' house and show them that they are still every bit as tough as they have been, and even tougher with their improved depth. It's a chance to illustrate that they are the ones in control of this rivalry, even after last spring, and that even though this is just a regular season game, they can dominate at will. 

This isn't about just showing L.A. who's boss, it's about testing themselves. Being 35-10 means little to them because they don't care about beating the Nets, or the Bobcats, or even the Magic or Heat.  They want to show they can beat the Lakers.  Everything else is just a means to get there. 

And in part, the Celtics want the opportunity to show that they're right: Kendrick Perkins was the reason they lost. 

Man Down, Ring Down

Losing Kendrick Perkins before Game 7 hurt .  One of the Celtics' biggest advantages against the Lakers as opposed to nearly every team in the league is their ability to counter the Lakers' length with their own interior defense.  Perkins isn't a behemoth like Andrew Bynum, but what he lacks in height he makes up for in toughness, physicality, and savvy.  Losing him meant the Celtics lost just enough of an edge down low.

At the end of the matchup considerations, though, is this: the Celtics were without a starter for Game 7 of the Finals.  That's enough to prompt anyone to keep an excuse at the back of their minds, even if they'll publicly give the other team credit.  Perkins means a lot to this team, and even in limited minutes now that he's back, you can see what he brings the team.  

Sunday is an opportunity to showcase what they look like at full-strength, should they stay healthy till then (which is far from guaranteed, this is the Celtics, after all).  Even with Shaquille O'Neal nursing an injury and Jermaine O'Neal still struggling through his knee problems, this is the Celtics, at their core.  Sunday provides an opportunity to show the difference in the Celtics with and without Perkins. Perkins wasn't even expected to be available for this game, supposedly out another week.

But of course Tuesday he pops up healthy.  That's how this works. Some, like myself, never questioned that Perkins would be back for this game. This game matters to him. You'll have a hard time keeping him out of a game like this, even in the regular season. Because this is like a dress rehearsal.

Trial Run

There's no way to duplicate the intensity of the Finals, but this will be as close as it will get for a while, at least until the Lakers visit Boston in a few weeks.  And it's a chance to test things for future reference. How will Shaquille O'Neal do against Andrew Bynum?  How will Nate Robinson do as backup against Shannon Brown or Steve Blake?  What can a healthy Marquis Daniels do against Ron Artest

These are the questions that will be in Doc Rivers' mind, as they try and get a regular season win, but also try and figure out some things to rely on should these two meet again.  There's no way to block it out, though they may try. "It's just another game" will likely be a refrain at practice and shootaround. Don't be fooled. This is the setup, the first act of the 2011 chapter of Lakers-Celtics.  Let's draw the curtain, and see what happens.




Posted on: January 21, 2011 11:33 pm
Edited on: January 21, 2011 11:36 pm
 

Jerry West: Lakers too old to be good for long

Los Angeles Lakers legend Jerry West says the current Lakers are getting too old to be good for long. Posted by Ben Golliver. jerry-west

Even in retirement, former Los Angeles Lakers guard, coach and GM Jerry West is still regarded as one of the finest talent talent evaluators in the basketball world. When he talks, people listen.

On Friday, West talked, but the franchise he's long been associated with might not like hearing what he had to say.

The Orange County Register reports that West told a business luncheon crowd that the Lakers were getting too old to remain championship contenders for very long and hinted that he would pick LA's chief rivals, the Boston Celtics, to win the NBA title this year.
“I don’t think the Lakers will be good for much longer, ” he said. “You can keep a car running for a long time by changing the tires, etc. You can’t change a player’s tires.”
West said many of the Lakers’ current players are “getting long in the tooth.” 
“If there’s a loose ball now, how often do they get it?” West pointed out to the crowd, which was relishing the sports talk.
“I think Boston is a very dangerous team,” he said of the Celtics. “I would not want to play them every other night.”

In a study conducted earlier this month by Hoopism.com, both the Lakers and the Celtics placed in the top three oldest teams in the NBA when you weight their age by minutes played. As of Jan. 8, the Lakers' average age was 30.87 and the Celtics' average age was 30.48, virtually identical. It's worth noting that Boston's figure should come down slightly once center Kendrick Perkins, who is 26 years old, returns from injury and starts playing heavy minutes again.

Looking into the future, though, it's easy to understand what's troubling West. Guards Kobe Bryant (32) and Derek Fisher (36) are edging close to the twilight of their career. Fisher, in particular, has seemed to be on his last legs for like six years now, while Bryant figures to have a few very productive seasons left in him. But it's not just the backcourt: Lakers coach Phil Jackson is said to be retiring after this season and that likely makes everyone associated with the organization feel like the current chapter is coming to a close.

With that said, it's still too early to panic completely. Los Angeles sports key pieces like Pau Gasol (30), Lamar Odom (31), Ron Artest (31) and Andrew Bynum (23) who are not yet "long in the tooth."  In actuality, Boston may have even more questions in a few years than Los Angeles, with Kevin Garnett (34) contemplating retirement, and Paul Pierce (33) and Ray Allen (35) entering the twilight of their respective careers. 

The big difference between Boston and Los Angeles, of course, is that Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo (24) has already solidified himself as the franchise centerpiece of the future. Arguably the best point guard in the NBA, Rondo will make any rebuilding effort that much easier. The Lakers, however, are left to ride Bryant for as long as possible and then pray that Bynum, who has dealt with knee injuries already in his young career, develops into a premier big man. Backup plan: wait for a dominant free agent to choose to come to LA.

Given the respective outlooks of the two teams, I think most people, like West, would choose Boston's future. Rondo's skill is more than enough to calm the nerves and provide hope.

Hat tip: Pro Basketball Talk

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