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NBA finals, Lakers Celtics: Phil Jackson plays good cop, Kobe Bryant plays bad cop

Jun 14, 2010, 9:26 AM EDT

Thumbnail image for Lakers_huddle.jpgWalking into the locker room after a crucial Game 5 loss, Kobe Bryant could be heard going on an expletive-filled tirade at his team. His comment later to Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski was telling.

“We’ve regressed since Game 1,” Bryant confessed to Yahoo! Sports. “Our defense belongs on milk cartons in the last two games.”

A few minutes after Bryant’s venting to his team, Phil Jackson was in front of the media with a different demeanor. He was trying to be positive.

“They scored 92 points,” Jackson said. “We’ll live with that and we’ll come back and play that game again, regardless of what they shot.”

Welcome to the Lakers good cop/bad cop routine.

Bryant is the fiery one trying to scare his teammates into a better performance. Jackson is the soothing one, coming in afterwards to build up their confidence and ego again. They are on the same page most ways, trying to find a way to inspire these Lakers to do things like get a hand in Paul Pierce’s face or grab a loose ball rather than watching Kevin Garnett get to it.

Game 6 will be interesting. For two seasons now, these Lakers have really only played their very best ball when their backs were against the wall. They saved their best for when pressured.

But in Game 5, when they Lakers should have been pressured, they let the Celtics push them around, out work them, out play them. Will that be different at Staples Center, in front of the home fans? Or will Boston’s bench still bring more energy?

Jackson and Bryant have gone Starsky and Hutch to do their part.

  1. Lion Woods - Jun 14, 2010 at 10:20 AM

    I love this series… it is so beautifully scripted for the ultimate Game 7. The Lakers did what they needed to do and that was to steal a victory in Boston. Coming home it is do or die but I can guarantee a victory for the Lakers and their star studded cast of fans. The Lakers played poorly defensively but it really doesn’t matter. The home court at Staples will be the scene of a lopsided Lakers victory in Game 6. Bynum’s knee is weak and so goes his game. Artest better takes some of his $8 million dollar salary and buy a jump shot. Gasol plays well most times but his lapses are far too many. Wake up Lakers its winning time and for those of you that don’t know what that is… see Magic Johnson circa 1988.

  2. Scott - Jun 14, 2010 at 3:47 PM

    I am a huge Lakers fan and I have to admit that watching my boys last night was sickening!!!!! I am so sick and tired of seeing Ron Artest throw up bricks it’s ridiculous! And where is the fire that he played with in the past to let Rhondo push and talk to him like a punk in front of millions! I WANT THE OLD ARTEST!!!!! To hell with doing the right thing at this point! SHOW UP AND HANDLE PIERCE! I’m sure that’s what Kobe would like to tell him. And earth to Odom….EARTH TO ODOM!!!! The goal is this way my friend! WTH!!!!!! AND PLAY BROWN MORE!!!!!!

  3. 2FarGone - Jun 14, 2010 at 5:37 PM

    I’m slowly losing my love for the NBA, after the calls I have seen during these NBA playoffs. I’m sick. It’s turning into the WWE. I’m not a psychic but I will bet all NBA championships will go 7 games, especially if the Lakers are playing the Celtics. If we all look back at the fouls the officials are calling they are diffidently directing the game. Mr. Stern loves it, because he can say he has brought more money and attention to basketball. But what’s the price. It’s one step away from boxing, and look where boxing is today.

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