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  1. NBA Finals, Lakers Celtics: Slowing Kobe Bryant

    Jun 3, 2010, 10:50 AM EDT

    Against Orlando, the Celtics were willing to let Dwight Howard score. They single-covered Howard so perimeter defenders could stay home on the Magic’s shooters. They thought (correctly, it turns out) that Dwight Howard could not beat them alone, even if he went off for a big night. Try that with Kobe Bryant and he will…

  2. Jerry West on Kobe Bryant: "He's the greatest Laker"

    Jun 2, 2010, 2:10 PM EDT

    Jerry West is a man to listen to. Not a man given to hyperbole. A man of perspective. As competitive an NBA player and general manager as there ever has been (read the book), but a man with an eye for the bigger picture. There are a few people around — Bill Bradley, Bill Russell,…

  3. NBA Finals, Lakers Celtics Game 1: Boston's defense may come as a shock to the Lakers system

    Jun 2, 2010, 1:07 PM EDT

    Orlando thought they were ready — they were a confident team coming off two playoff sweeps, their offense was clicking. Then reality hit hard — Boston’s defense was overwhelming at the start of Game 1 for Orlando. Long arms and quick feet were everywhere. The Magic were coming off a long layoff, and there just…

  4. NBA finals, Lakers Celtics: Los Angeles incentivitzing players to play intelligently

    Jun 2, 2010, 11:14 AM EDT

    The Lakers’ methods of motivating their players to make hustle plays may seem unconventional, but it actually makes a ton of sense. According to Shelley Smith of ESPN Los Angeles, Laker players are compensated for taking charges while they’re also docked money for “illegal defense” (or defensive three-second) violations: Last series, Phil Jackson called his…

  5. NBA Finals, Lakers Celtics: Doc Rivers expects Kendrick Perkins technical, suspension

    Jun 2, 2010, 11:04 AM EDT

    Kendrick Perkins got a stay of suspension last round — the league rescinded one of the two rather ridiculous technicals on him in Game 5 against Orlando. But he lives on suspension row. He has six technicals in the playoffs. Seven and you are suspended for a game. What are the odds that he can…

  6. NBA finals, Lakers Celtics: Top 10 plays in the rivalry

    Jun 2, 2010, 10:19 AM EDT

    When the Lakers and Celtics get together, things just seem bigger and more important. So many amazing plays with titles on the line. The NBA TV folks compiled a Top 10 plays in the series. You can argue it, if you want. But better to just enjoy it and dream of what might be.

  7. NBA Finals, Lakers Celtics: Andrew Bynum's knee, same as it ever was, same as it ever was…

    Jun 2, 2010, 9:08 AM EDT

    Andrew Bynum’s knee is not getting better without surgery. You can drain the fluid out of it, you can give the man painkillers, you can bring in a voodoo priestess and cut the head off a live chicken near it, none of that matters. It is what it is. A torn meniscus. So no shock…

  8. NBA finals, Lakers Celtics: Wallace practices with team on Tuesday

    Jun 1, 2010, 9:10 PM EDT

    9:10 pm: Apparently the Celtics and Doc Rivers have learned something from Bill Belichick. According to reports from practice, Rasheed Wallace did practice with the team Tuesday. So, disregard what Rivers said. And as always, you can assume Wallace will play come Thursday night. 5:39 pm: For the second straight day, Rasheed Wallace sat out…

  9. NBA playoffs, Lakers Celtics: Rajon Rondo not 100 percent, but good enough

    Jun 1, 2010, 9:04 PM EDT

    Rajon Rondo is the Celtics key to this series — his dribble penetration, his ability to get easy points in transition. He is how the Celtics score now, and against the Lakers that will be doubly true as he attacks a defensive weakness. But he is not right, as ESPNLosAngeles.com’s Ramona Shelburne reports. “I’m about…

  10. NBA Finals, Lakers Celtics: Can Bynum make a difference?

    Jun 1, 2010, 6:04 PM EDT

    For all the differences between the 2007-08 Lakers, the 08-09 Lakers, and this year’s Laker squad, one thing remains the same: The Lakers are hoping that they can get a significant contribution from Andrew Bynum, but aren’t sure he’ll be healthy enough to make one.  Bynum missed the 2008 NBA Finals due to knee surgery,…

  11. NBA Finals, Lakers Celtics: Lamar Odom worries Doc Rivers

    Jun 1, 2010, 4:15 PM EDT

    Coaches worry about everything. It’s what they get paid to do. They worry matchups, execution, referees, clashing personalities, injuries, the media, who their daughter is dating, how much air is in the balls, the music played during timeouts, the cost of dry cleaning. Everything. But when a coach singles out one particular worry, as Doc…

  12. NBA finals, Lakers Celtics: Rajon Rondo's defensive impact could be minimized

    Jun 1, 2010, 2:58 PM EDT

    Rajon Rondo should be relieved. After facing a few games’ worth of staggered screens set by Orlando’s bigs, L.A. will assuredly not be employing a similar strategy to wear down Rondo in the finals; running an offense centered around Derek Fisher’s dribble penetration would be both baffling and hilarious, akin to ignoring the finer works…

  13. NBA Finals, Lakers Celtics: Boston big men will play the bully, will L.A. stand its ground?

    Jun 1, 2010, 1:28 PM EDT

    Let the Phil Jackson mind games begin. At least he’s gotten smart about how to avoid the fines from David Stern when trying to plant subconscious messages in the mind of the referees. Jackson was talking Monday about Kevin Garnett’s play in the last series and the L.A. Times Mark Medina recorded it. “He was…

  14. While you were grilling, we were talking NBA finals

    Jun 1, 2010, 10:14 AM EDT

    We know what you were doing this weekend. Putting tri-tip and chicken/apple sausages on the grill, while trying to figure out if that snow cone making machine you bought the kids could be used to make great frozen margaritas. Yes, yes it can. You were not, however, reading PBT. But now that you’re back at…

  15. NBA Finals, Lakers Celtics: Paul Pierce vs. Ron Artest

    Jun 1, 2010, 9:32 AM EDT

    Two years ago, the Lakers tried to guard Paul Pierce in the Finals with Vladimir Radmanovic. Los Angeles might as well have tried to wrap Pierce up in wet toilet paper, it’s about the same deterrent. Pierce did whatever he wanted against the Lakers then starter, got in a rhythm and became almost unstoppable. This…

  16. Ron Artest regrets "bailing out" on Pacers; now in place of redemption

    May 31, 2010, 10:45 AM EDT

    Ron Artest is a complex person. We tend to try to fit players into simple two-dimensional pictures, but some players burst outside those lines. Ron Artest is one of those. He is also a person and player who has matured, but we often dismiss that maturation process in players. Now Artest, dismissed by so many,…

  17. NBA finals, Celtics Lakers: Five keys for both teams to win it all

    May 30, 2010, 12:24 PM EDT

    David Stern is smiling. As always, the Midas touch commissioner got what he wanted. Two years ago the Lakers/Celtics NBA Finals was a ratings bonanza. The two most storied franchises in the NBA. Two large and passionate fan bases (based in large markets). A genuine rivalry renewed on the league’s biggest stage. Plus don’t forget…

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