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NBA Finals, Lakers Celtics Game 2: When it's not Kobe time, it's ugly time for the Lakers

Jun 7, 2010, 10:28 AM EDT

Jackson_Artest.jpgKobe Bryant entered back into the game with 6:16 left in the contest and proceeded to score five-quick points — an and-1 where Ray Allen fouled him near the elbow, followed by another bucket with a spin-to-the-left move on Allen.

Then Kobe — a little tentative with five fouls — couldn’t make a shot, as the Celtics threw every defender they could find at him. Other Lakers needed to step up.

And without Kobe taking over it got ugly. The Lakers showed no poise, they did not look like a team that had won the title.

Andrew Bynum picked up an offensive foul by moving pick. Ron Artest picked up a foul as he tried to do too much despite a cold shooting night. Kobe missed a 13-footer with 3:55 left. He would later miss a three pointer and an 8-footer. There was Artest’s horrible forced post entry pass to Pau Gasol that was stolen. There was Derek Fisher stepping back to take a three and giving Rajon Rondo time to recover and make a beautiful from-behind block.

Then there was the bizarre possession that best exemplified how the Lakers lost all sense of self at the end of the game — Artest dribbling the ball for a dozen seconds while the Lakers were down 8 and needing a quick shot. He called for a pick from Bynum then ran wide off of it. moved from the right side to the left, never giving up the ball until he launched a one-footed, double-pumped leaning jumper that had no chance. The only fitting thing to do — show that possession with the Benny Hill theme music behind it.

Kobe did drain a three after a Gasol offensive rebound on that Artest miss, but that was after the Lakers had blown six ugly possessions in a row and the game was getting out of reach in the final minutes.

Credit the Celtics defense, which put pressure on the Lakers, forcing them to make decisions. They made bad ones. Los Angles looked desperate and out of control.

It was a fitting end for the how the Lakers had played all night. For much of the game the Lakers tried to attack the Boston defense straight off the dribble, playing right into the hands of the Celtics who like to overload the strong side. In Game 1 the Lakers swung the ball to the weakside and quickly attacked off the dribble into a still-rotating defense, but in Game 2 the ball movement went the way of the dodo bird.

That was especially true in the final minutes. The Lakers became jump shooters when Andrew Bynum and Gasol had given them 46 points on 20 shots.

The Celtics pressured and the Lakers lost themselves. They lost their poise.

It’s going to be a lot harder to find it in Boston. But if the Lakers are going to repeat they must show some poise on the road that they did not in Game 2.

  1. Omnius - Jun 7, 2010 at 11:33 AM

    The Lakers just shot poorly, it wasn’t the Celtic defense that really did the trick. Just the law of averages catching up to them after so many good shooting nights. Plus it took a stellar record breaking 8 three pointers from Ray Allen to beat them, he won’t be replicating that feat anytime soon so who will step up next for the Ancient Celtics? Doesn’t look like Garnett is as he is not as explosive as before, Pau was correct on that score. Look for the Lakers Big Men to dominate Boston’s Little Big Men the rest of the way. Kobe will return to being the Black Mamba next game, better believe he’s steamed at himself for not coming through in crunch time. Lakers will win in 6 games!

  2. dapperdon - Jun 7, 2010 at 11:58 AM

    yes,i totally agree ! how kobe goes,so goes the laker!!!!!

  3. Filipe - Jun 7, 2010 at 12:32 PM

    The Lakers had 5:40 minutes without a field goal in the first half which has being somehow forgotten.

  4. EA - Jun 7, 2010 at 1:44 PM

    Basically, any time Kobe started to get hot (beginning of 2nd quarter, mid 3rd quarter, start of fourth quarter), the refs whistled a foul on him. With Kobe out, it becomes a lot easier to play defense against the Lakers. Missed shots by Lakers leads to Celtic offense in transition. This is where the Celtics hurt you. Celtics don’t have reliable half court offense.

  5. jasmmerink - Jun 7, 2010 at 1:52 PM

    LA Lakers = hollywood sets

  6. JeromeMJ - Jun 7, 2010 at 2:10 PM

    The ‘Brown Chipmonk’ was his usual choke self. Even with the refs giving him the benefit of every call they couldn’t help but give him 5 fouls; and every time he drove it was a Celtic foul even if no one was near him. I wonder if Jordan pouted every time he lost a game. Spoiled children running around in their underwear in front of lots of people.

  7. JeromeMJ - Jun 7, 2010 at 2:15 PM

    I think you mean ‘The Brown Chipmonk’. I wonder if Jordan puted after his losses? Uh… times up Kobe is a waste of time and the alltime choke artist. For every good 4th quarter he has there are 10 that no one mentions.

  8. T - Jun 7, 2010 at 2:58 PM

    You know you made it when a bad stat line for Kobe is 21pts 6 assists and 4 steals, despite playing in foul trouble from some ugly calls (a.k.a. the floppers that are the Celtics). They are starting to remind me of the Cavs (Varejao). Granted we have our own flopper in Fisher, but at least he takes a hit when he flops. Not on complete whiffs. It is embarrassing seeing a professional NBA player pretend to get hit in the head and fall to the ground. This happend with both Allen and Rondo, both complete whiff fouls on Bryant, in crucial times.
    And what was the deal with the replay out of bounds call? How do you mess up a replay? That was the tide turner. It was obvious a black hand that knocked the ball out bounds, not the pale white hand of Gasol.
    But in the end the better team won.

  9. KAPP38 - Jun 7, 2010 at 3:00 PM

    You sound like a HATER and a jordan ass kisser to me jeromemj!! The series isn’t over! its just getting started! The LAkers will win… Jordan played against a bunch of has beens and wanna bes the finals. His competition level was mediocre to say the least! Kobe’s competition is superior n I tell you- rondo fondo nor ray allen won that game for the celts…. THE REFS DID!!!!!!!!!!!!! Every time Kobe sneezed it was a damn foul!! That trend won’t continue to bail the celts out! trust me!

  10. Drew - Jun 7, 2010 at 3:42 PM

    Ominous, I agree with you about the law of averages. Some nights you just aren’t going to shoot well, but they missed contested shots which is a big difference.
    I don’t buy the “Well, Ray Allen won’t shoot like that again” argument. First of all, yes, he is capable of doing that again. Had the Celtics not been fouling so much and turning the ball over, those threes would’ve built a 20-point lead, not a 6-point halftime lead. Not only that, they got nothing out of Pierce or Garnett and still won the game. Ray Allen doesn’t need to hit 8 threes for Boston to win again. In case you haven’t been following them over the last three years, a different guy steps up every night the way their offense is balanced.
    As for you, T, you’re complaining about the Celtics flopping? What do Gasol and Fisher do? Don’t Kobe, Bynum, Fisher, and Gasol constantly scream and flail to sell calls? The Lakers shot much more free throws than Boston. They didn’t lose because of “flopping.” You might want to remind yourself of the clean block Big Baby had on Bynum that resulted in two free throws, the clean block Pierce had on Artest that resulted in two free throws, and the phantom “and 1” Kobe had on Ray Allen/Perkins. It was bad officiating across the board. Get over it.

  11. Neo - Jun 7, 2010 at 4:01 PM

    OMFG the sky is falling, the sky is falling. Been there, done that. Let’s see, OKC, Los Suns, where oh where is Kobe. Get real guys, he does it to give the sports hacks something to write about. Now, if the refs keep allowing the Boston thugs to flop and whack anytime with no consequences then that’s it. However, if the replay official gets his glasses next time there might be some changes in the calls. It was pathetic watching the Lakers battling the officials and the thugs in shorts.

  12. [a] proxy - Jun 7, 2010 at 4:35 PM

    Celtics won game 2…BIG DEAL. I actually expected them to win if the Lakers didn’t play harder and more aggressive than game 1. Lakers allowed too many good looks for Allen and only got out hustled in last 3 minutes of the game. The Lakers know what they need to do game 3 and they will execute that plan. This lost at home only means that the Lakers will have to win 2 games in Boston. DONE DEAL!
    P.S. That was one of the worst referrering I’ve seen a Finals on both sides overall. Let’s hope more calls go the Lakers way and refs don’t fall for all the Celtic flops. By the way, give Ray “Jesus” Allen an Oscar for that flop against Kobe.

  13. Tedrick - Jun 7, 2010 at 5:37 PM

    A lot of talk about the refs and it is rightfully so they have had to much of an impact on the series so far. It wont matter this is something that tends to happen early in series and it has me really questioning the integrity of the game at times. With that being said the better team will win. As far as one call you Celtics fans have to be honest once the replay was displayed Big Baby clearly got A LOT of body when he blocked Bynum’s shot and for those who said it was clean lets be honest. If you saw it any other way you need what comes after HD because it was clear on my TV set. LA in 6 or even 7 Boston is a very good foe much respect Bean town but this is our year again.

  14. zephyr99 - Jun 7, 2010 at 9:13 PM

    Bryant was obviously sulking at the press conference after Game 2. He looked and sounded like a petulant 14-year-old who failed to get what he expected, i.e., a win. Such a pathethic display of immaturity does not bode well for the Lakers in Game 3.

  15. MAMBo - Jun 7, 2010 at 10:08 PM

    Now you sound like Kobe ass kisser and Jordan HATER?
    Enough with the whining with the ref calls, players should always adjust on how the game is called. Calls may be ticky tack but it has been consistent for two games.
    With your argument, it can also be said that THE REFS WON THE GAME FOR THE LAKERS IN GAME 1 where Allen the big 3 was on foul trouble.
    If the refs calls everything on Kobe, he should have been in foul trouble in both games.
    Ray-ray had a lay-up late in the fourth where Kobe “defended” him. There was collision, none was called, if the refs were really hot on Kobe, he was disqualified on that play.
    The team who can adjust, will be champs. Thats why there are 7 games in every series.

  16. KOBE_SUX_BAL^S - Jun 7, 2010 at 10:08 PM

    the fkaers are washed up….no return to LA, this series is done….everyone recognize ur 2010 NBA champions!!!!….BOSTON CELTICS, lets face it CELTS in 5!!!!!

  17. phil collins - Jun 7, 2010 at 11:15 PM

    laker fans are so delusional…the lakers shot 41 field goals (to the celtics 26) many of them on questionable calls that allowed them to withstand getting outplayed much of the game, yet you choose to blame the refs? the refs had nothing to do with the pathetic play of the lakers late in the fourth quarter. they didnt make ron artest make that boneheaded play. they didnt make kobe miss all of those shots.
    furthermore, while ray allen and rondo are unlikely to both have monster games at the same time again, its also unlikely for the celts to get as little offense from pierce/garnett as they did. its basketball folks, different players have big games/off nights every game. bottom line, this should be a great series.

  18. Robert - Jun 8, 2010 at 12:19 AM

    Celtics have many wepons, the conitued outstanding play of Rondo. The re-establishment of Wallace, his length solidifys the interior and his ability to shoot and make passes to Perkins or Davis so they can make shots. Add any good or great performance of the big three… Celtics are tough ot beat, if all (3) are good or great they can’t be beat.

  19. observer,nba - Jun 8, 2010 at 2:16 AM

    So Lakers lost their home court advantage. If they tight their screws in their defence, They can win in Celtics’ court. I mean: to defend the Celtics by eye to eye(their eyeballs telling u what they want to do or which direction they want to move), putting one hand in their faces to interrupt their sight to the basket and use the other one to steal the ball. To their shooters in the paint area, if have to fault, no tick tack fault–fault hard to let them know u mean business. To hard fault can be used to interrupt their best shooters psychologically. This has been used by the Celtics 4 their plays.Call time out to change the momemtum. Do NOT let the momemtum change play out itself. Another important facor is do NOT play like SISES

  20. luffy - Jun 8, 2010 at 4:08 AM

    LOL WTF are you saying?! anyways, still root for the Lakers in 5 games. Great game, now we could really call it a series…

  21. Ares - Jun 8, 2010 at 8:16 AM


  22. Lackers - Jun 8, 2010 at 12:52 PM

    You mean the Lackers will beat the Celtics 3 games in Boston. In your DREAM boy. Hope the Lackers can win just one game in Boston.
    Good luck in your FANTASY world.

  23. Alover - Jun 8, 2010 at 2:08 PM

    You’re clearly a Faker Fan. Allen probably won’t hit 8 3s, but I guarantee you Pierce won’t score 10 pts and have 4 rebounds, nor will KG have 6 pts and 4 rebounds, and Bynum will definitely not have 21 pts and 7 blocks again.
    your bitterness will only increase after the smackdown the Fakers receive tonight. Celtics in 5.

  24. Foul Dwimmerlaik - Jun 9, 2010 at 1:36 AM

    This goes out too to Alover and KOBE_SUX_BAL^S : Hey idiots, what were you saying again? Pierce is not only an actor (remember the movie “The Wheel Chair Project”?) but he is even a better prophet: Yup, no more games in LA. LMFAO! Hey Alover, you were saying about a smackdown… so who’s your daddy, eh? Delonte West? HAHAHAHA!!!

  25. Foul Dwimmerlaik - Jun 9, 2010 at 1:44 AM

    Hey Lackers, after Game 3’s smackdown and Ray’s No Show with 13 misses out of 13 tries, OUR DREAM, YOUR NIGHTMARE!!! BWAHAHAHA!!! So, punk, you were saying?

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