Tag:Ron Artest
Posted on: February 17, 2011 1:17 pm
 

Artest releases mix-tape after loss to Cavs

Artest responds to embarassing loss  to Cavaliers by dropping mix-tape. 
Posted by Matt Moore

Even though NBA players are numb to the grind of the 82-game season, some losses really make you sit down and evaluate your play. For example, the Los Angeles Lakers' loss to the lowly Cavs Wednesday night no doubt inspired a team-wide understanding that such an effort is not acceptable. It probably took the players until today to be able to put that one down.

Or not. 

Ron Artest, surprise surprise, took to Twitter last night following the game to really deal with where the Lakers are at in the season. And by that I mean "to drop a mixtape no one really cares about."  Artest tweeted a link to the promo following the game, then commented on the loss saying he "wished (he) could have helped more." 

But then on Thursday, he actually really focused on improving going into the All-Star Break. Which is why he shared this promo for the party he's holding this weekend! Yeah!

This is just fun and games since these things were planned well in advance of the Lakers' debacle in Cleveland, and after all, it's just one game in February. As always, this team underwhelms when faced with adversity, but in the end, will always have the payroll to provide the talent necessary to make a run for the title. 

Of course, whether or not Ron Ron is a Laker by this time next week is a whole other question. 
Posted on: February 9, 2011 6:20 pm
 

Kobe Bryant compares Carmelo trade to aliens

The Los Angeles Lakers deny interest in trading for Denver Nuggets all-star forward Carmelo Anthony. Posted by Ben Golliver. carmelo-anthony-lakers

Yesterday, we noted a report that the Denver Nuggets and Los Angeles Lakers were engaged in some talks surrounding All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony and big man Andrew Bynum.

Upon further discussion in our Eye On Basketball roundtable, we generally agreed that it didn't make a ton of sense for the Lakers, given the timing, the loss of Bynum from their front line, money owed to Anthony and his questionable fit in the immediate short-term.

Now comes word from the Los Angeles Times that the Lakers were equally skeptical at the notion of the trade.
But the Lakers denied it was on the table in the first place and insisted team executive Jim Buss and General Manager Mitch Kupchak were on the same page as far as trade opportunities.
Coach Phil Jackson chuckled at the rumors in general after the Lakers practiced Wednesday in Boston. “I haven't even entertained it,” Jackson said of trading for Anthony. “My first thought is why are these [media] people interrupting my life with these kind of rumors.”
Leave it to Lakers star Kobe Bryant to deny the rumors with a great one-liner.
“We don't really deal with the unknowns,” he said. “You might as well talk about UFOs, too.”
In related news, extraterrestial sources close to the planet Mars tell me that the Milky Way galaxy has expressed interest in Lakers forward Ron Artest. The galaxy is said to value Artest's defensive intensity and ability to "think outside the Earth."

In case you missed it: today's other Carmelo Anthony headlines...
Posted on: February 8, 2011 12:34 pm
Edited on: February 8, 2011 1:34 pm
 

Report: Lakers step into Melo talks

Are the Lakers in pursuit of a Carmelo Anthony trade?
Posted by Matt Moore



You knew it was only really a matter of time, really. The Los Angeles Lakers don't let opportunities to obtain star players go by unnoticed. That's not what they do. 

ESPN reports: 
The Denver Nuggets have had preliminary discussions with the Los Angeles Lakers on a Carmelo Anthony trade, league sources told ESPN The Magazine's Chris Broussard on Tuesday.

The Lakers' package would be built around center Andrew Bynum. Denver has no interest in Ron Artest and isn't particularly interested in Lamar Odom either, sources said. A straight-up deal of Bynum for Anthony works financially, but there could be other players involved since Denver would look to shed more salary if possible.
via Sources: Los Angeles Lakers, Denver Nuggets have initial Carmelo Anthony talks - ESPN Los Angeles .

Before you ingest this information and get all excited, I'd like to give you this: it's a 12-foot-by-12-foot piece of salt. 

For the Lakers to do this deal would mean surrendering their true biggest advantage, their overwhelming size. Andrew Bynum, Pau Gasol, and Lamar Odom make up a 20'10'' rotating frontcourt. It's the reason they're able to disrupt so many passes, because passing between them is like floating a frisbee through a forest of sequoias. Taking on Anthony removes that element, as Pau Gasol would shift to center, and Odom to power forward. There's no big, physical force down low to guard the beasts or deter drives. Pau Gasol's an able defender, but he's not the same intimidating force Bynum is, even considering his injury issues. 

Furthermore, bringing Carmelo Anthony on would mean a largely decreased role for Kobe Bryant, and the rest of the Lakers. Are Kobe Bryant, Lamar Odom, and Ron Artest willing to take fewer shots? Because that's what it would mean. Otherwise you're talking about bringing on a largely offensive player and asking him not to shoot as much. And Jim Buss, who is heavily involved from the organization's perspective, is notoriously pro-Bynum. Frank Isola of the New York Daily News  reports that Buss shot down such an offer recently .

And that's just from the Lakers' perspective. What about the fact that in this deal, the Nuggets would pick up no pick? The Lakers traded their 2011 first-rounder to the Nets (who ironically had included it in their initial bid for Anthony).  So the Nugggets would not be able to acquire a first-round pick this season in the deal. They would go from the Nets deal (Harris, Favors, three first-rounders) to Andrew Bynum and no pick. That's the bottom of the barrel. Bynum's a fine player, when healthy, and can be a monster as he gets older (when healthy), but I'm not sure he's worth even the proposed Knicks deal (when healthy). Are you getting a pattern yet? 

But on the other hand, the Lakers always have a way of getting their man, and as Masai Ujiri continues to frustrate GMs with his insistence on "more, more, more." By continuing that play, he may set himself up to get less than what he wants.  Adding Anthony would add a fourth All-Star level player to the Lakers, making them not just the most talented team in the league, which they already are, but one of the most talented teams in NBA history. 

There's one more element to consider here. Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak almost never does deals in public. The Pau Gasol trade came out of nowhere. Each deal he does is done very close to the ground and the Lakers' organization is notoriously leak-proof. So if the Lakers aren't the ones leaking this trade, who is?  It may be an effort from the Nuggets to exert more leverage (lost in the Nets breakdown) on their dealings with New York, or it could be Melo's representatives putting pressure on New York to step up. 

The tangled web gets even more tangled. These are the days of our Melo.
Posted on: February 8, 2011 1:12 am
Edited on: February 8, 2011 1:35 am
 

Defense sets the tone as Lakers back on track

Following disappointing losses to the Celtics and Spurs, the Lakers have won two straight after downing Memphis in an ugly slobber-knocker. 
Posted by Matt Moore




It's pretty simple, really, and that's what makes it so frustrating. When the Los Angeles Lakers execute with focus and intensity, they win. That may sound like it could be true for any team in the National Basketball Association, but it's not.  Many teams give the good effort but don't have the talent, don't have the size, don't have the experience. Nowhere was that more evident than in the Lakers' 93-84 slugfest win over Memphis to put the Lakers back on a winning streak headed into Thursday's rematch with Boston. 

Before the game, Phil Jackson commented that despite L.A. having lost the last two to this upstart Grizzlies team, that the key to beating Memphis wasn't about Memphis at all. 

"I'm not so much concerned about Memphis," Jackson said, "as I am concerned about us." 

Nothing new for Jackson, who thrives on undermining opponents and focusing on being the most talented team in basketball, which he's almost always coaching. And after the Lakers bludgeoned the Grizzlies' frontline, Jackson commented that controlling the tempo was a key to taking control of the game after a Grizzlies run in the third quarter. It's really that simple. The Lakers are a superior team, and when they focus, and execute, there's not a team in the league outside of Boston who can stop them. 

Funny, the Lakers seem to be headed to face that test back on the right track.  After disappointing losses to Sacramento, Boston, and San Antonio, the Lakers have won two in a row and seem to be playing with more cohesion, especially defensively. But the biggest advantage is still their team makeup, which features superb talent wrapped in size and length that's nearly impossible to combat for 48 minutes. 

Versus the previous losses where Kobe Bryant took over the lion's share of the offense and continued to force things, this win featured equal contributions from the entire Lakers' arsenal. But really? It was the three-headed monster of Lamar Odom, Pau Gasol, and Andrew Bynum, a 20'10'' beast that when functioning, swallows opponents alive. Odom, who has been the most consistent Laker this season (if you thought you'd ever say that sentence out loud, please buy yourself an ice cream cone), was huge against Memphis with 15 points, 11 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 blocks, and zero turnovers. It was his three-point play late in the fourth that put the game out of reach for good. 

Jackson commented post game that he had actually decided to draw up a play for Odom instead of just having the ball given to Kobe Bryant and the Lakers watching him dribble around. After the play resulted in a three-point play, Odom remarked that they should draw that play up more, Jackson remarked, laughing. But it cuts to the center of the Lakers' problems this season, and why Jackson has remained calm, cool, and collected throughout the struggle. When they execute, when they have the energy, they are the most talented team in basketball. And no one can match up with their size and length, let alone their versatility. 

Lamar Odom said after the game, however, that it's not their size that really makes the Lakers so tough. 

"We've got so many different lineups we can play, so many guys who can play different positions. The strength of our team is our depth." 

Against the Grizzlies, that was apparent, as the combinations Lionel Hollins employed never seemed to spark a run, and the Lakers used varying combinations to constantly put the Grizzlies off-balance. For example, Pau Gasol started on, and played primarily against Zach Randolph, and Gasol's gangly reach kept the normally surefire offense or Randolph at bay, forcing a dreadful 2-14 performance that sealed Memphis' fate. You will not beat L.A. if you do not get frontcourt scoring, and the Lakers' three-headed beast outscored Randolph, Rudy Gay, and Marc Gasol 43-36, and that's before you factor in an aggressive Kobe Bryant. 

Perhaps most pertinent heading into the more hyped game Thursday was that the Lakers showed a real sense of toughness in a gritty win. There was no flashy burst of offense in this one. It was messy, ugly, and brutal. The Lakers out-muscled and out-worked the Grizzlies at the defensive end.  Ron Artest took a shot to the mouth from Marc Gasol, but the Lakers' bigs spent the rest of the night bullying the younger Gasol and company. 

The swagger is back, even as they have not poured in a consistent blowout effort yet. It doesn't have to be. All this team has to do is play to a reasonable percentage of its potential and they'll be back vying for a top-two seed. And if they don't get it, that's fine, as long as they're in a position to execute as they did tonight. But don't expect the same kind of talkative swagger you expect from Boston about this "revenge game." When asked about what the Lakers hope to do against the Celtics, Jackson cracked that cocky smirk of his and said...

"Hopefully it's not going to snow and we won't get trapped in with the ice and we'll be fine." 

Same old Lakers.  Except this time, they seem ready to throw a few punches as well as those flashy smiles. 
*******************
Notes:
  • The crowd at FedEx Forum was split evenly between Grizzlies fans and Lakers fans (particularly Kobe Bryant fans as few of the other Lakers received genuine cheers).  The game had the feel of a neutral site game for both teams. 
  • Jackson said he had not yet showed the team tape from the Boston loss a little over a week ago. He planned to do that on the two-day break between games. 
  • Shannon Brown said that the Triangle forces the team concept on the Lakers, and eliminates the drive to get your stats. He also mentioned that his improved shooting wasn't on account of working with a shooting coach, but more reps inside the flow of an offense last summer. 
  • Bryant received treatment on an ankle sore after the game and was walking pretty gingerly in the locker room. 
  • After I promised not to ask Marc Gasol about his brother and the overhyped cliche-fest stories they're always billed around when these two teams meet, Gasol was appreciative, admitting that the questions were "getting a little old." As a younger brother, I completely understood. 
  • Jackson credited Ron Artest from walking away from the confrontation with Gasol, but in reality, it was a little overdramatic. It was an obvious accidental hit, and Artest seemed ready to detonate in a very Ron-Artest way before calming down and heading to the free throw line, bricking both free throws, and coming out to get treatment. Can't blame him for clanking those, though, considering the shot he took.
  • Speaking of clanging free throws, the Lakers missed as many free throws (14) as the Grizzlies hit. 
  • The Lakers refrain was pretty simple as to what won the game. Bryant, Odom, and Artest all said the same thing: the Lakers winning ways begin with defense. 
  • Snoop Dogg and Warren G were both in the house. If you have never seen Snoop Dogg interacting with SuperGrizz, the Grizzlies mascot in a superhero outfit, you have not truly experienced life. 
Posted on: February 2, 2011 4:25 pm
Edited on: February 2, 2011 4:32 pm
 

Ron Artest, agent deny interest in trade

The agent for Los Angeles Lakers forward Ron Artest says his client doesn't want to be traded. Posted by Ben Golliver. ron-artest

Earlier today, we noted an ESPN.com report that asserted that Los Angeles Lakers forward Ron Artest was potentially interested in being traded off the defending champions because he was supposedly sick of being the scapegoat and there are questions about his role in the offense.

While neither Artest or his agent, David Bauman, would comment on the original report, Bauman has offered a denial to the Los Angeles Times.
"Ron is not looking for a trade," Bauman said. "The frustration is there among everyone on the team. But Ron is a Laker, and he just wants to win. Ron is frustrated with the losing, as everybody is."
The ESPN report stressed that it was likely Artest could change his mind given his fickle personality and the fact that his relationship with Lakers Coach Phil Jackson had improved ever since a Yahoo! sports report in December on a confrontation during practice between Artest and Jackson in which Artest voice his  frustrations with Jackson publicly criticizing him. Said Bauman: "Ron and Phil have definitely seen each other eye to eye better."
Lakers.com also reported later Wednesday that Artest offered a denial of his own: "I definitely don't want to be traded."

Many will be quick to write off any denial offered in this situation, as both player and agent are extremely limited by NBA rules in how they can request or demand a trade in public without incurring a fine. 

If you're looking to read between the lines here, I suggest starting with the quote about Artest's relationship with Jackson, because that's the key to this puzzle. It would take a significant personality or philosophical difference for a player in Artest's position -- making a serious run at defending a title -- to hit the eject button. 

That Bauman was willing to specifically address Artest's relationship with Jackson and put a positive, progressing face on it certainly wasn't a mandatory part of the playbook. Agents have all sorts of ways of squeezing around that type of question, offering non-answers, no-comments or vagaries, but here Bauman handled it pretty straightforwardly.

As Royce Young noted earlier today, an Artest trade is a fairly remote possibility even if everyone with the Lakers is on board with it, they'd have to find a taker for his remaining salary and quirky personality. And as long as Artest and Jackson are able to play nice? There's zero motivation to explore getting a deal done.
Posted on: February 2, 2011 12:42 pm
Edited on: February 2, 2011 4:14 pm
 

Report: Ron Artest wants out of L.A.

Posted by Royce Young

The Lakers are reportedly looking to make a trade. General manager Mitch Kupchak said it, Phil Jackson said and even Magic Johnson is talking about it. The defending champs are in the market for some help.

Problem is for the Lakers, they traded away maybe their best asset in Sasha Vujacic's expiring contract and after that, don't have a lot of tradeable assets in the bank. Surely they don't intend to move a key part like Andrew Bynum or Lamar Odom. So after that, who are they going to trade? Luke Walton? Theo Ratliff? I don't think the Grizzlies are going to fall for a second Gasol trade this time around.

But what if someone wanted out? It doesn't seem probable because who would want to leave the Lakers, but according to ESPN.com, a prominant player wouldn't mind being the one to move out. Ron Artest.

Now before we get all ahead of ourselves, bear in mind that Artest lives in the moment. It doesn't take a whole lot for him to change his mind and for his emotions to kick up. So in two weeks, he may feel differently.

According to the report, Artest's two major problems are that he's afraid he'll be the scapegoat for any of the team's problems. He feels like he's always the dartboard for criticism and blame. Artest takes and sometimes makes bad shots, but it's easy to forget his stellar defense.

The second is that Artest will at some point pipe up about his role within the Laker offense. Artest has had to take a big hit in his production and usage with the Lakers, but he was willing to sacrifice there, obviously. Artest is averaging a career-low 8.1 points per game and as Artest's brother Daniel said on Twitter, is being typecast to only shooting the corner 3.

Matt Barnes is injured right now but played relatively well behind Artest at small forward. So there is a little depth there if the Lakers want to get serious about this.

In early December there was a public story about Jackson's public, harsh criticism of Artest in practice. Artest reportedly confronted Jackson about it and since then, reportedly are on good terms. It's more about Artest having to watch Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol hog all of the offense more than any displeasure with Jackson by the sound of it.

But with three years and $22 million remaining on his contract combined with the fact he's 31 and putting up career-low across the boards, what's the market really for Artest? Who is going to be interested in a deal like that? That's the question the Lakers are asking themselves right now. It's hard to say if they're actually interested in shaking up a championship team or if this is just a motivational tactic. Whatever the case, on Feb. 2, Ron Artest is looking for an exit.
Posted on: February 1, 2011 1:28 am
Edited on: February 1, 2011 1:29 am
 

Lakers GM open to considering a trade

With Lakers underperforming, GM Mitch Kupchak says he "may have to look into a trade."
Posted by Matt Moore

The Lakers are 1-5 against top echelon teams. Phil Jackson couldn't care less. Kobe Bryant is beyond angry. And General Manager Mitch Kupchak? He's talking T-word. Trade. From the Los Angeles Times:

"Yes . . . I may have to look into a trade, but I'm not saying we have "talked to other teams yet, Kupchak said. "We have not been playing up to our level and I dont know why. Maybe its complacency. Im not sure."
via Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak says hes thought about making a trade - latimes.com.


A trade? By the defending champs? Could this be happening? Even with the measured and cautious words being tossed around by Kupchak, that's a pretty stunning development even if the Lakers are simply considering a trade. This is a team that has looked every bit like a Finals contender, unless they've been facing an elite team this year. It's also a team that's notorious for not taking teams seriously, having gone seven games with a Yao-less Rockets squad in 2009, having a terrible second half last year, and letting the Suns push them in the Western Conference Finals using a zone, for crying out loud. You have to think this is just an emotional quote from Kupchak revealing a frustration with the team's play, or at least a Jackson-like motivational tactic.

Even stranger than the idea of the Lakers needing to make a trade is the idea of what trade they would be able to make. Every Laker of consequence with any value, contract or skill-wise, has at least two more years left on their deals. Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol are obviously not even in this discussion. So what are the next options?
  • Lamar Odom- Trade Status: Obscenely unlikely. Odom is the quintessential heart and soul of this club. He's found a home there and has flourished when his head is plugged in. What's more, he's part of the reason for the Lakers' absurd length advantage. When Odom is on, the Lakers are nearly unstoppable. Moving him would garner the best set of assets, but who could they get for him, with nearly $9 million on the books for next season, even with his 2013 salary non-guaranteed at $8.2 million?
  • Andrew Bynum- Trade Status: Pretty unlikely. Bynum has been involved in trade rumors for years due to his inconsistency, rehab work ethic, and injuries. Yet it was his toughness fighting through the Finals last spring on a torn ligament that helped assure the Lakers a title. He's now considered an invaluable part of the offense, and his improving defense, combined with his willingness to give a hard foul, means he's the backbone of what has been a very soft Lakers interior lately. Combine that with the difficulty of getting teams to invest in someone with his injury history, and the near-$15 million on the books for next year and a team option for over $16 million the next, and it's hard to see a suitor for Bynum that would keep the Lakers in contention.
  • Ron Artest- Trade Status: Difficult: From zero to hero to zero again. Artest struggled all last year trying to learn the Triangle, was terrible at times in the playoffs, then hit the biggest hot of his career to help clinch a title for the Lakers (as well as a tip-in in the Western Conference Finals) and was everyone's hero. This year? Back to the doghouse. If anyone's to be moved, it's probably Artest, but that says more about where Ron's sunk to rather than where his value is at. Getting anything for someone who's been such a pain for so many teams with over $21 million left on his contract after this year is difficult. When it's Ron Artest? Even harder.
  • Luke Walton- Trade Status: Ha-ha-ha-ha: Yes, because I'm sure that what GMs with a valuable commodity are thinking is "Oh, we can get the 28th pick in the draft and Luke Walton with over $11 million left on his contract over the next two years? Who wouldn't do that deal?" Walton's contract is slowly reaching movable status after an ill-advised extension, but he's a long ways away from upgrade-bait. 
  • Steve Blake- Trade Status- Limited: Blake's got three years after this one for a combined roughly $14 million, is a serviceable point guard, and fits easy into a rotation. So he's got some value. But in terms of trying to get a major upgrade, he'd have to be packaged with one of the above candidates in order for it to make any sense. He can act as icing on the cake, but even then, having three years left on his deal may make it a little too sweet for most. 
  • Derek Fisher - Trade Status: Laughable: The Lakers would never give up their most veteran leader who everyone came up to and thanked after winning the last title. Bryant would never stand to lose the guy he's been to the playoffs with the most. Not everyone can run the Triangle point guard position... okay, that's a lie. Pretty much everyone can dribble the ball up, pass it to Kobe Bryant, and then go sit in a corner and often get blown by on defense. But Fisher's hit too many huge shots in Laker history to be forsaken. And no one is looking to pay him another $6.8 million for two more years. 
  • Shannon Brown- Trade Status: Intriguing, if unlikely: Brown failed to fetch any significant offers on the open market this summer, so who's going to trade for him now, even in a career year for him? He's got great upside and has looked like a possible building block, but who doesn't when they're running next to this team? Brown's cheap and his contract is flexible, but he's not going to cash in any huge superstar on the open market. 
  • Matt Barnes- Trade Status: Injured: Barnes is injured for a few more weeks, his contract's too low to matter, and the only teams that would be interested in him are contenders, the sort of teams that would never give up valuable assets to the defending champs. 

So while Kupchak may be looking to try and upgrade his team, Michael Heisley and Chris Wallace aren't walking through that door. Even with the Nuggets being dragged slowly towards the inescapable black hole in the reality that they have to trade Carmelo Anthony, and the Sixers wanting to offload Iguodala to make room for their rebuilding project, or the Suns in near full-on blow-up mode, no one's going to be looking to the Lakers to cash in.  The Lakers are on top, and have spent a lot to get to the top. They're loaded with talent, but it's not talent that garners a lot on the market. 

After all, how do you possibly get great return on trading members of the most talented team in the league? Instead, I think the Lakers will take the Phil Jackson approach. Sit back, relax, coast through the next four months, and flip the switch when it counts. They've done it before. They'll do it again. 
Posted on: January 31, 2011 7:54 am
Edited on: January 31, 2011 7:54 am
 

The Shootaround 1.31.11: All Celtics / Lakers

It was one of the biggest regular season games of the year, so here's a full plate of reaction to Sunday's game between the Boston Celtics and Losshootaround Angeles Lakers. The Celtics won, 109-96, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Posted by Ben Golliver. 

Boston's View

  • Boston Globe: "Rondo is the NBA’s best at making the pinpoint pass at the precise moment, but he relies too much on that skill. In the second half yesterday, Rondo made matters simpler for himself and his teammates. Very rarely does Rondo play an entire half, but yesterday he played all 24 minutes and the Celtics shot a mind-boggling 69.4 percent from the floor. And of the 22 baskets converted by Celtics other than Rondo, 15 were assisted by Rondo, including six of the team’s seven 3-pointers. That means he is moving the ball, delivering passes to sweet spots. That means the Celtics are an offensive machine and Rondo is the commander. “I told Rondo in front of the team it was one of his best games of the year,’’ Rivers said. “In the fact that I thought he called an absolutely perfect game. He’s our pitcher. I thought he just called a sensational game, coming out of timeouts, making sure guys were in their spots.’’
  • CelticsBlog: "His numbers don't jump off the page and it wasn't his best game statistically, but maybe that is what made it even better.  We've come to expect this from Big Baby.  This kind of solid, all around game has become the norm, not the exception.  Sure, there are times when Doc strains his last vocal cord because of something Baby does, but those are coming less and less often. In fact, the following thought occurred to me that really made me grin:  Big Baby might be the James Posey type piece of the puzzle we've been missing since 2008." 
  • CelticsHub: "Because the Celtics offense quietly rolled over the Lakers today. Paul Pierce, who you may have heard has scored more points per game against the Lakers than any other team in his career, hit stepbacks from everywhere. He and a few other guys combined for 9-17 from 3. Rajon Rondo picked up 15 assists in the second half, part of a team total of 34. You know all this. So why isn’t anyone talking about the crappy Laker defense?"
  • WEEI.com: "Paul Pierce destroyed Ron Artest: The captain destroyed his antagonist from last year’s finals, scoring 32 points on just 18 shots and sending Artest to the bench in the fourth quarter. There was nothing Artest could do to contain Pierce, who had both his long-range and in-between game working. The Celtics were overwhelming in the second half, but Pierce kept them in position throughout the game in what might have been his best performance of the season."
  • ESPNBoston.com: Paul Pierce: "The thing is, when you win a game here now, it's not for the championship. It's a regular-season game. When we play against the Lakers, it really gets our juices going, because they are our rivals. It's a big game just knowing that we can come into this building and get a win."

Los Angeles's View

  • Los Angeles Times: "We're talking humiliation … Celtics fans chanting "Beat L.A.!" … Celtics fan Matt Damon and friends yukking it up courtside between the Lakers' bench and superfan Norm Pattiz."
  • Orange County Register: "Kobe Bryant gave his team an 'F' for its defense in Sunday's 109-96 loss to the Boston Celtics, a grade teammate Derek Fisher didn't disagree with. ... Ron Artest, usually the Lakers' defensive plug, shrugged off Bryant's failing grade, saying, 'I got F's in elementary school and I still went to college. I also got A's in elementary school and it didn't help me.'"
  • Silver Screen And Roll: "Against the Celtics at Staples this afternoon, the Lakers forced a load of Boston turnovers, went to the free-throw line early and often, shot well on threes and got a masterly performance from Kobe Bryant. It should've been enough. But it wasn't. It wasn't close to being enough."
  • Land O' Lakers: "After the 109-96 loss to the Celtics, Phil Jackson was asked if Ron Artest, who scored just three points on one-for-10 shooting while struggling to check Paul Pierce, "got lost" on the way to Staples Center. "No, he was on time," Phil replied. "(But) he got lost on the court."
  • USA Today: The Lakers shot 44.4%, made four of nine three-pointers (three by Bryant) and had 10 assists. Ten assists? That quantified the lack of ball movement that led to Bryant as the only Laker to score in a nearly five-minute span while four Celtics were scoring. Boston expanded its lead from 91-87 to 107-91. "It's always balance that makes us better," Lakers guard Derek Fisher said. "We're not going to accomplish our goals by relying on Kobe to score 30 or 40 points every game."
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com