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NBA finals, Lakers Celtics Game 6: For Lakers, it is back to the beginning

Jun 15, 2010, 3:27 PM EDT

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for celticscelebrate.jpgWhat do you do when things aren’t working?

Because things are not working for the Lakers. In a series that was going to be decided inside, Boston is wining the war. The Lakers shot just 47 percent (8 of 17) at the rim last game. That is 47 percent on layups and tip ins. The Lakers had a lot of offensive rebounds (16) but they had a lot of chances. In Game 4 the Lakers had played better defense, but it was the Celtics who grabbed 16 offensive boards.

The result has been a lot of jump shots. Particularly by Kobe Bryant.

So what do the Lakers do?

They go back to the beginning. To the basics. They have to do what got them to three consecutive NBA finals. And that is not Kobe as the ball handler on the pick-and-roll.

First, run the triangle offense. There is a counter in the offense to everything, but it requires people moving off the ball and quick passes from the strong to the weak side. The Lakers have stopped doing that. They have become another pick-and-roll team, and if you do that against the Celtics they will eat you alive with their overload.

Part of that is Pau Gasol making plays. Rambis is right. He seems tired, worn down from the relentlessness and physicality of the Celtics. He has to be the guy who pushes back, gets into the paint, and starts that fast ball movement. He is the guy that makes the triangle go.

Then the Lakers have to defend. That starts on offense — the Lakers misses and turnovers fuel a Celtics running game. Both teams need to run, both teams need easy baskets to win these games, but only Boston has gotten them the last couple of games.

After that the Lakers need to pressure the ball and create more turnovers (then turn that into their own fast break points). Then they have to protect the rim. That is what Andrew Bynum did when he had two working knees, now it has to be a team effort.

Kobe going nova Kobe wouldn’t hurt, but if he doesn’t get some help it’s moot. He is going to draw defenders and hit ridiculous shots, but that has to open things up for Lamar Odom or Ron Artest or Derek Fisher or someone to step up or it is pointless.

One thing these Lakers have shown consistently in the past two years — they really only play their best when their backs are against the wall. It’s not just a December game in Memphis where they don’t put it all together, it’s playoff games as well. They have to be pressed to really focus.

We’ll find out tonight if the Lakers can focus on the basics again, if they can go back to the beginning. Or if they can start focusing on their golf games.

  1. KOBE_SUX_BALS* - Jun 15, 2010 at 6:00 PM

    No chance…..Boston will win today 95-92, mark my words. ray will light it up going 4 for 10 on 3 pointers, KG dominates Pau. Fakers get stuff thrown at them lol!!!!

  2. mick-7-1961 - Jun 15, 2010 at 6:18 PM

    If, by the basics, you mean make a higher percentage of shots than Boston, you’re right…that’s the main fundamental…eveything else is a footnote.
    GO CELTICS (and YANKEES…sorry,it is baseball season too :>)

  3. [a] proxy - Jun 15, 2010 at 6:39 PM

    7 series classic coming up after Lakers win tonight’s game! GO LAKERS! BOSTON SUCKS 4 LIFE!

  4. haroldwhite - Jun 15, 2010 at 7:02 PM

    Up to now the Lakers have looked disapointing and Ive watched them for appox. 35 years of my life and I have never seen them play 3 games in a row bad… Now Ive seen them loss 3 in a row but they never played bad. tonight is a really big test and its not about the Celtics its about are the Lakers ready to play…they are at home and its a must win situation so they must bring it.GO PURPLE AND GOLD!!!!!!

  5. ocgunslinger - Jun 15, 2010 at 7:02 PM

    No chance? And then you pick Boston by 3 points….one basket….one turnover….one possession? If you didn’t sux-bals you might take a stand and predict a 20 point win and stand behind your dumb statement

  6. claudio piedrola - Jun 15, 2010 at 7:14 PM

    i’ve seen the lakers for 25 years also……… i call this the biggest game of my life, the biggest game of the Kobe Era….. and i always thought David got something to do with this thing going to 7 games, lakers are getting the calls down the stretch, there’ll be a game 7, the pressure will be on…….

  7. buttercakes - Jun 15, 2010 at 7:16 PM

    Lakers by 16 tonight ! You celtics fans have no idea whats gonna hitcha tonight ! They are ready ! 2 in a row ! Series over !

  8. markbutter in SoCal - Jun 15, 2010 at 7:33 PM

    It’s either a Laker blow out or close Boston win. If Boston goes up big and the crowd becomes hostile, do the Lakers cave like in 08?
    I agree, the Lakers offense looks horrible. 4 guys standing around watching Kobe, but the biggest thing is confidence. Nobody wants to take a big shot, except for Pau on occassion, afraid they are the ones to get blamed if the Lakers lose. If the Lakers go down big I can see Kobe saying F-it and either shooting his team back in it or out of it.

  9. DK Anderson - Jun 15, 2010 at 8:36 PM

    “light it up going 4 for 10 on 3 pointers”
    Says it all about this staggeringly mediocre Finals…

  10. kwc - Jun 15, 2010 at 11:36 PM

    Open mouth, insert foot, chew vigorously!

  11. DC2 CRUSHER - Jun 16, 2010 at 12:26 AM


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