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gameface_one
05-31-2008, 10:42 PM
It's Boston vs Lakers in NBA finals

Agence France-Presse

DETROIT - The Boston Celtics rallied to beat the Detroit Pistons 89-81 Friday, advancing to the National Basketball Association finals for the first time in 21 years.

The Celtics trailed 68-60 to start the final quarter before out scoring Detroit 29-13 in the fourth to win the semi-final series in six games.

The Celtics will face the Los Angeles Lakers in the finals which begins Thursday in Boston.

Paul Pierce had 27 points, Kevin Garnett had 16 points and Ray Allen added 17 points for Boston who have not met the Lakers in the finals since 1987.

Kendrick Perkins had seven points and seven rebounds and also made a crucial shot block in the final minute to help blunt the Pistons' late rally.

Pierce iced the victory by making one of two free throws with 30.7 left to give Boston a seven-point lead.

amdgc82
06-01-2008, 06:36 AM
LA-Boston again
BLEACHER TALK By Rico S. Navarro
Sunday, June 1, 2008
The Freeman

They were bound to meet again in a historical case of de ja vu. As if scripted by the gods of basketball, the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics will be facing off again in the NBA Finals. They have faced off ten times in the history of the NBA Finals with each series always described as classics, and now, they’re at it again. The green against the purple and gold. Both are hands-down, the two most dominant franchises in NBA history whose consistency since 1946 is simply unmatched.

I’m not sure if it’s the age gap or era, but we just can’t help but look back and reminisce at the 80’s when talking about the LA-Boston rivalry. I’m sure that the younger NBA fans out there will contest us on this one, but the today’s rivalry is nowhere near the one we followed in the 80’s. But then again, it just started and has a long way to go.

The 1980s has been described as the second era of the Lakers and Celtics after Boston ’s dominance of the NBA in the 60’s. During this period (1980-1990), eight of the eleven NBA championships were won by either the LA or Boston . The Lakers won five titles in 1980, 1982, 1985, 1987 and 1988, while Boston won three titles in 1981, 1984, 1986. Through all these, they faced off against each other three times in 1984, 1985 and 1987. LA had eight appearances in an NBA Finals in this decade alone while Boston had five. How do you top that? But you can’t win ‘em all. For the record, Detroit won a couple of championships in the same period, while Philadelphia won another. I’m afraid it’s too early to gauge if the Kobe and KG show can top that.

What were you doing in 1987? How old were you then? Do you remember that this was the last time the Lakers and Celtics met in an NBA Finals? The Lakers won their fourth (out of five) championship of the decade, with Magic Johnson named Finals MVP. Do you still remember the proud pronouncement of then Laker Coach Pat Riley that the Lakers would repeat to defend the championship again in 1988 (which they did)?

Or how about 1984? Where were you then? This was the first time that Magic Johnson and Larry Bird would meet in an NBA Finals, some five years after they were drafted into the NBA after outstanding collegiate careers where they played against each other in an NCAA Finals. Boston won this one, with Larry Bird coming out as MVP by “unanimous decision.”

The Lakers made up for the loss in 1984 by coming back to defeat the Celtics in 1985 in a series where Kareem Abdul-Jabbar defied the gods of time by leading the Lakers and being named MVP of the Finals.

Indeed, those were the days! Laker fans went nuts each time Showtime Basketball dominated the wide-screen at “On The Boulevard” where beer flowed each time an NBA game was shown, thanks to the outlet’s satellite dish. The AB and more affluent crowd enjoyed the NBA games in the comforts of their houses which also had hook-ups to either satellite dishes or UHF connections to receive the live feed of FEN intended for the U.S. air bases (mostly in Manila). In a way, we’re thankful for the arrival of cable TV into our homes, but for those with Sky Cable, ambot na lang.

The Laker of the 80’s thrived on the core group of Magic Johnson, Abdul-Jabbar, James Worthy, Byron Scott, Michael Cooper, A.C. Green, Jamaal Wilkes, Kurt Rambis and Mychal Thompson. They were unstoppable especially when their running game was on high gear.

On the other side, the Celtics banked on a slow-down physical style of play behind the leadership of Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, Dennis Johnson, Robert Parish, Danny Ainge and role players like Bill Walton, Cedric Maxwell, Gerald Henderson, Greg Kite, Scott Wedman, Quin Buckner and ML Carr.

Fast forward to today and let’s give credit where it’s due. The Lakers have become more than a Kobe Bryant show with the arrival of Pau Gasol and the support of Lamar Odom, but I’m afraid it will always be remembered as Kobe ’s team. Kobe will be known for his one-on-one moves, but I’ll always root for showtime basketball of fastbreaks, nifty passes and team ball. The Garnett-Pierce-Allen trio have done a good job of keeping tradition, but Bird, DJ, McHale and “The Chief” were a lot simpler in getting the job done despite their being superstars. I’m sorry but I guess it must be the age gap?

Age gap or not, the Lakers and Celtics are back on air, and it’s showtime!


* * *
Time-out: Happy birthday to Mark Calo of Pilipinas Shell. >>> You can reach me at bleachertalk@yahoo.com.

amdgc82
06-01-2008, 06:40 AM
Sunday, June 01, 2008
Pages: Are you ready? It's Celtics vs. Lakers
By John Pages
Match Point
Sunstar Cebu
www.sunstar.com.ph

SINCE the NBA was founded in June 6, 1946, the two have met 10 times in the NBA Finals. For the first eight encounters—would you believe—the Celtics prevailed against the Lakers.

In 1959, when the teams first met and the Lakers were then called the “Minneapolis Lakers,” the Celtics clobbered their nemesis, 4-0. This domination continued for decades—including the 1984 victory at Boston Garden, 4-3, when Larry Bird bested Magic Johnson and emerged as the series MVP.

That’s 8-0 for Boston.

Then, in 1985, the Lakers—named after the state’s nickname, “Land of 10,000 Lakes”—finally escaped from embarrassment and, with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as Finals MVP, captured the title, 4-2.

Next, two years after, in 1987, it was the last time the Green-and-White Team met the Purple-and-Gold Squad in the NBA Finals. The result? In favor of the La-La-Land, 4-2.

So, here we are, two decades and a year from that last memory....

Can you believe this? At the season’s start, did you picture this happening? Can you imagine how huge this is for the NBA? For basketball? For the “young ones” who haven’t seen such a contest in 21 years and, to those who saw plenty of the past, to the “once young?”

Flashbacks of Bill Russell, Jerry West, Wilt Chamberlain and Bob Cousy will rush to mind. Thoughts of Kurt Rambis diving to the parquet floor, James Worthy wearing those plastic goggles and Danny Ainge taunting Michael Cooper will envelop our memories.

The NBA Commissioner David Stern, when asked two weeks ago about the prospect a Lakers-Celtics final, replied, “Never think of it.”

Yeah, right, Mr. Stern. To think that he smiled when he answered that question. That’s because David Stern doesn’t “think” about it, he “dreams” about it.

I saw the last three minutes of each game the past two days. With the Lakers vs. the Spurs, I caught glimpses at the Cebu Country Club with Macky Michael and Angchung Chiu just minutes before we awarded the winners of the 13th Gullas Tennis Cup. Yesterday at the Bar Mixto of the Casino Español, I joined Glenn Loop, Ralph Zuluaga, Vic Torres and Jeffrey Dico as the Celtics won at The Palace.

The question is: Who are you rooting for?

“Anybody but Kobe,” answered Glenn Loop. “I’m for the Celtics because I don’t like Kobe. I think he should be humbled.”

We laughed. The Most Valuable Player, the man whose intensity and will to win is taller than the 10-foot-tall ring, Kobe is still disliked by plenty.

My brother Charlie, whose physique matches a smaller Kobe and one who can mimic many of Kobe’s moves, is the same: He dislikes No. 24.

But while plenty find Kobe too much of a trying-hard-to-be-like-MJ player, there’s no denying that he’s playing his best ever basketball.

Me? Like millions of others, I applaud Kobe. Remember nearly five years ago? When he sat in a courtroom in Colorado, accused of forcing himself on 19-year-old Katelyn Faber? We all thought that moment was the end of Mr. Kobe Bean Bryant.

Now we know how he escaped from that ordeal and persevered. To me, that sorry episode humbled Kobe. Because while none of that cockiness and self-confidence is gone today—if you don’t have those deep-inside, say the champions, then you can’t be No.1—I believe Kobe’s learned from his mistakes.

And so this series will be extra special. If his Lakers win, I’m sure this will be sweeter than his three previous NBA titles. Why? Because this time, no one can say he won it because of Shaq.

As to the TV coverage of the NBA playoffs? I made a mistake. Last Thursday, I wrote saying that, other than Destiny Cable who shows BTV, we can’t watch the games in Cebu. I was wrong. There’s RPN among the local networks and, with SkyCable, there’s channel 44. Thank God I’m mistaken.

For who’d want to miss the 11th Round of this fight between two of history’s greatest rivalries?

Not the young ones.

Not the once young.

(john@pages.ph)

amdgc82
06-01-2008, 06:58 AM
Celtics batok Lakers
ARANGKADA By Leo Lastimosa
Sunday, June 1, 2008
The Freeman

Ang pagsugod sa NBA Finals sa Boston Celtics ug Los Angeles Lakers karong Biyernes (oras sa Pilipinas) mobanhaw sa higpit nga panagribal sa duha ka higanteng dinastiya. Natuman ang pangandoy sa minilyon nila ka fans dihang nilig-on ang Celtics tungod sa panag-ipon nilang Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce ug Ray Allen ug nisulbong ang Lakers ubos ni Kobe Bryant.

Sibaw nang nagkasungi nga mga pangangkon kinsay mamahimong kampiyon. Emosyonal ang lalis. Ang Lakers maoy paborito dinhi sa ato, ug bisan sa Estados Unidos.


* * *
Kaliboan ug usa ang mga hinungdan nganong lahi ang engkuwentro sa Celtics ug Lakers kay sa finals sa Spurs batok Pistons, Bulls batok Jazz, o Lakers batok Kings. Niang pipila:

• Mao ni ika-11 nga finals sa Celtics ug Lakers, walo nay daog sa Celtics, apan ang kataposang duha nasakmit sa Lakers;

• Silay nakakuha sa 30 ka kampiyonato sa lima na ka dekada nga liga (16 sa Celtics, 14 sa Lakers);

• Mao ni labing unang finals ni Kobe nga di na siya sidekick ni Shaquille O'Neal;

• Mao ni labing unang finals nilang Garnett, Pierce ug Allen, nga maoy ganti sa ilang pagbali sa pagtibugsok sa Celtics, 66 ang daog sa 2007-2008 human sa 24 lang ka daog sa 2006-2007;

• Mao ni unang finals sa Celtics human sa 21 ka tuig, kataposang nakaduwa sa kampiyonato niadtong 1987 dihang gipangulohan pang Larry Bird; ug

• Kon makadaog ang Lakers, maangkon ni Phil Jackson ang iyang ika-napu nga kampiyonato, malabwan na niya si Red Auerbach sa Celtics.


* * *
Ang kulbahinam nga finals sa Celtics ug Lakers karibalan lang sa kamabulukon sa panagsangka sa mga nag-una nila:

• Ang pagtumaw sa mga higante sa NBA sa 60’s, silang Bill Russell ug Bob Cousy sa Celtics ug Jerry West, Wilt Chamberlain ug Elgin Baylor sa Lakers;

• Nitumaw ang higpit nga sambunot nilang Bird ug Magic Johnson sa 80’s;

• Nitumaw ang gubat sa korte sa East Coast batok West Coast;

• Karaang tradisyon (Celtics) batok kasuwaw sa Hollywood (Lakers); ug

• Puti (kay puti silang Bird ug kasagaran sa Celtics) batok itom (kay itom silang Magic ug kasagaran sa Lakers).


* * *
Gikan sa 1980 ngadto sa 1988, nakuha nilang walo sa siyam ka kampiyonato: Tulo sa Celtics, lima sa Lakers. Nihupas ang panagribal pagtumaw ni Michael Jordan ug sa Chicago Bulls nga nagtukod og ilang kaugalingong dinastiya uban ang unom ka kampiyonato sa 90s.

Kay sila may labing daogan sa regular season, sa Celtics ang homecourt advantage, sa ilang korte ang Games 1, 2, 6 ug 7, ang Games 3, 4 ug 5 sa Staples Center sa Lakers. Kon pasikaran ang kasaysayan, kutas ang series. Kasagaran sa nangagi nilang finals niabot og unom ngadto sa pito ka duwa.


* * *
Email:leo_lastimosa@abs-cbn.com

coreytaylor
06-01-2008, 11:00 AM
A position-by-position look at the matchups in the NBA finals between the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers.
By BRIAN MAHONEY, AP Basketball Write
http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news

CENTER: Kendrick Perkins vs. Pau Gasol. The Lakers wouldn’t be here without their midseason acquisition of Gasol from Memphis. He’s a good passer for a big man, making him an excellent fit for the triangle offense, and is shooting 53 percent in the postseason while averaging 17.7 points. Perkins made 61.5 percent of his shots in the regular season and had some strong games in the Eastern Conference finals, including an 18-point, 16-rebound performance in Game 5. Edge: Lakers.

POWER FORWARD: Kevin Garnett vs. Lamar Odom. The Defensive Player of the Year, Garnett increased his offensive production in the conference finals, averaging 22.8 points in Boston’s victory over Detroit. His intensity on both ends of the floor is what makes the Celtics go. The versatile Odom was inconsistent against San Antonio in the Western Conference finals, but rebounded from a poor Game 3 with strong performances in the last two games. Edge: Celtics.

SMALL FORWARD: Paul Pierce vs. Vladimir Radmanovic. Finally in the NBA finals in his 10th year with Boston, Pierce is set to face his hometown team. He has shown in the playoffs he can still be a potent scorer, notably in his 41-point effort to beat Cleveland in Game 7 of the second round, and has become an underrated defender. Radmanovic is a good perimeter shooter who doesn’t do much else, and the Lakers need his jumper to be on to soften a Boston defense that held opponents to the lowest field goal percentage in the league. Edge: Celtics.

SHOOTING GUARD: Ray Allen vs. Kobe Bryant. Allen seemed to break out of his shooting slump in the final two games of the conference finals, averaging 23 points and going 8-of-14 from 3-point range. Bryant, a tenacious defender, will certainly welcome the challenge of trying to get that slump started again. And the league MVP has been at his best in the playoffs, averaging 31.9 points to lead all players in the postseason and shooting 51 percent. Edge: Lakers.

POINT GUARD: Rajon Rondo vs. Derek Fisher. Fisher had a fairly quiet series in the conference finals, but his postseason experience, solid defense and courage to take big shots remain a comfort to the Lakers even when his shot isn’t falling. Rondo’s poor jumper was especially off late in the last round, when he shot 10-of-35 in the final three games. The Lakers will make him beat them from the outside. Edge: Lakers.

RESERVES: James Posey, P.J. Brown, Sam Cassell, Eddie House, Leon Powe, Glen Davis and Tony Allen vs. Sasha Vujacic, Luke Walton, Jordan Farmar, Ronny Turiaf, DJ Mbenga and Trevor Ariza. Posey won a title with Miami two years ago and is a key contributor who will help defend Bryant, but tough to figure out what else to expect from Celtics’ reserves. Minutes greatly fluctuated along with their production for most of them during the postseason. The Lakers counter with a much younger bench that tries to increase the tempo and energy when Bryant is resting. Edge: Lakers.

COACHES: Doc Rivers vs. Phil Jackson. Rivers did a great job molding all the Celtics’ new pieces into a 66-win team. But he’s appeared to lose confidence in some of his role players during the postseason, creating some inconsistent rotations. Jackson, the career leader in postseason victories, did one of his best coaching jobs this season on a team that started with the turmoil surrounding a possible Bryant trade and was never expected to be here. He seeks a 10th title, which would break Red Auerbach’s record. Edge: Lakers.

chocoks77
06-01-2008, 05:59 PM
Mods, baka pwede add ng survey para sa series i.e. lakers in 4, 5, 6 or 7 games vice-versa. I'll go for Lakers in 5 or 6 games. LA champion dito

aircanda
06-01-2008, 09:43 PM
Lakers in 6

batangueño
06-01-2008, 11:08 PM
Celtics in 6.


BEAT LA! ;D

mighty_lion
06-02-2008, 12:33 AM
Sa wakas eliminated na ang Spurs! ;D ;D

- from a bitter Suns fan. ;D

ok. ok. back to the topic.

stonecold316
06-02-2008, 01:42 AM
React lang dun sa column sa itaas:

Kobe is not imitating his airness Micheal Jordan. When he was interviewed two days ago, he already clarified this matter because for him no one can replace a Jordan.

Sa mga Kobe haters: I think the guy is already humbled by his (negative) past experiences. During a press briefing in Makati, nakita ko ang pagbabago kay Kobe. Hindi na siya yung dating arrogant na player na nakita natin when he was still starting out in the NBA. Nag mature na siya as a person and a player. What driving him now is to prove to the whole world that he is currently the best basketball player in the world and is ready to lead LA to its 15th NBA title.

For me LA will take the series in five games.

stonecold316

amdgc82
06-02-2008, 06:13 AM
Evergreen or Purple Rain? *
With home-court advantage, Celtics may have upper hand* *
By Rick Olivares
Columnist
www.businessmirror.com.ph

The last time the Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers faced off in the National Basketball Association (NBA) Finals, the best 94-by-50 feet track team in the world ran down a broken team from Beantown into the ground with a 4-2 series win. It was the rubber match of three finals appearances by the two squads, and the Magic Show guaranteed that they were the team of the decade (the 1980s) and that they had put the ghosts of Celtics past behind them.

The history of the two teams, separately and collectively, is almost the entire history of the NBA. And this season, past totems of the two teams have mightily contributed to a dream match-up—the 11th Finals meeting (it’s 8-2, Boston) between the two teams—that could revive the league’s glory days.

The Curse of Len Bias

What a difference one year makes. Two days before the 2006-07 season started, the team’s patriarch, Arnold “Red” Auerbach, died of a heart attack, and it cast a pall of gloom on the team that would last the entire season. It was bad enough that one of the team’s all-time greats, Dennis Johnson, also died of a heart attack earlier in the year after leading the practice of the NBA Development League’s Austin Toros. The New Orleans-Oklahoma City Hornets visited the TD Banknorth Garden for the first game of the 61st season of the NBA, paid their respects, and stomped the Celtics good.

The Celts would finish with the second-worst record in the league, 24-58. It seemed that after years of lording it over the rest of the league, the hex that had been transfixed on Beantown’s hoops team beginning with the death of Len Bias would continue. Twenty seasons and counting. As Larry Bird once said, “People don’t understand. We lost Len not just for next season but for years to come. He was that good.”

Over the last few years, the general manager position of Boston were held by Rick Pitino and Chris Wallace. It was somewhat of an anathema to Auerbach who believed that the position should have been kept in the family, meaning former players. Under the new ownership, Boston Basketball Partners Llc, Danny Ainge, one of the team’s links to its ’80s heyday, was brought back. But instead of steadying the ship, Ainge was criticized as being rudderless, and the Celtic faithful were all ready to hold a new millennium Tea Party by throwing the former All-Star guard into Boston Harbor.

Cut to a huge assist by Ainge’s former teammate Kevin McHale who was, likewise, under the gun in Minnesota. After 12 years, the franchise’s greatest player, Kevin Garnett, was disgruntled, disenchanted and wanted to be disenfranchised. In a trade reminiscent of the deal that sent Charles Barkley from the Philadelphia 76ers to the Phoenix Suns, where several players were swapped for one, Da Kid was now Da Man in Boston. This wasn’t like Dominique Wilkins going to the Green and White at the twilight of his career. Although as a cagey 12-year veteran, KG was still every bit powerful and capable of strapping a team on his back the way Cornbread Maxwell asked the 1984 team “to climb on his back” against the Lakers in 1984.

Of course, Da Man’s moving eastward was preceded by the signing of Jesus Shuttlesworth a.k.a. Ray Allen. And just like that, Boston had its 2K version of the Big Three and were instant title contenders. It wasn’t anything like the signing of Bill Walton in 1986, who was considered damaged goods by the Los Angeles Clippers. They added James Posey and later Sam Cassell, who both brought championship experience to the team. And there was Eddie House, Leon Powe and PJ Brown. The only holdovers from the previous team were center Kendrick Perkins and point guard Rajon Rondo (who has become the NBA’s version of Chicago Bears quarterback Rex Grossman for the constant questioning of his offense).

This was huge because this Celtics team once more reclaimed the title of the single-biggest turnaround in league history (by 42 wins) as Boston finished 66-16. This was huge because it gave the team scoring sock in three of the five starting positions. This was huge because it tilted the balance of power in a watered-down Eastern Conference.

And like the Red Sox brethren who ended the Curse of the Bambino in 2004, these Celtics hope that lightning will strike twice as they hope to finally put behind their own two-decade-long curse.

The Kobe Lake Show

What a difference on year makes, for the Los Angeles Lakers and Kobe Bryant. Between turning down Dr. Jerry Buss in a meeting in Barcelona, trashing general manager Mitch Kupchak in a home video that was posted on YouTube, and demanding that the team’s youthful center Andrew Bynum be traded, the Lakers’ All-Universe guard had become the teammate from hell.

The man who had broken up a dynasty (see the Lakers of 2000-04) was how critics charged Bryant. It was the Colbys and the Carringtons all over again, except that the Los Angeles model was Kobe versus the world.

After a “dream team” summer during the FIBA Americas tournament in 2007, a chastened and contrite Byrant returned to the Lakers. The team was pretty much the same except that it featured a significant not yet old wrinkle in Derek Fisher. In D-Fish, the Lakers had another clutch shooter and someone well-versed in the triangle offense.

If Bryant was the team’s (and eventually the league’s) Most Valuable Player, Lamar Odom was a leading character in the Most Important Play of the season. During the Lakers’ preseason training camp, Odom sat Bryant down and the two forged a partnership to right the ship. And it immediately paid off. After being edged in the home opener, a 95-93 loss to the Houston Rockets, Los Angeles held off the challenges from a tough Western Conference, and led, if not stayed, within striking distance of the Pacific Division leader.

The season-ending injury to Bynum, who emerged as a force in the lane for the Lakers, in some ways strengthened the team. For they soon engaged in their own massive trade that brought in the Memphis Grizzlies’ star Pau Gasol for virtually nothing. Gasol’s trade reenergized the Lakers and was promptly criticized by many quarters including the San Antonio Spurs’ head coach Greg Popovich. But in reality, the deal was good, and if that meant that Tim Duncan finally had someone to guard on the Lakers, then that represented a serious threat to the Spurs’ dynasty.

The Lakers, once more, had their superstar center; a tradition that began with George Mikan, then continued with Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul Jabbar and Shaquille O’Neal. And the net effect confirmed Popovich’s worst fears: the Spurs’ last stand was at the Staples Center, where the Lakers squashed their back-to-back aspirations. And the purple and gold returned to the Finals where standing in the way to their 16th banner is that familiar foe in green and white.

The ties that bind

These aren’t your daddies’ Lakers or Celtics. While the Boston teams of Bill Russell pioneered the fastbreak, Showtime was perfected by Earvin “Magic” Johnson’s famous track team.

As for the current editions of this renewed rivalry, well, they’re both very good halfcourt teams. Phil Jackson’s team runs the vaunted triangle offense, a variation on the total team game that Auerbach’s Celtics’ espoused. While for the Celtics, pundits would exclaim, “What offense? It’s just ‘give the ball to any one of the Big Three and get out of the way.’” Oy!

Yet, interestingly enough, many of the characters on both teams’ casts are directly or indirectly involved in this great rivalry.

Phil Jackson was an assistant coach to Doug Collins when the Chicago Bulls were swept by the Celtics in the first round of the 1987 Eastern Conference playoffs.

Glen “Doc” Rivers was the starting point guard for the Atlanta Hawks when they were beaten by the Detroit Pistons in the Eastern semis. It was that same Hawks team with Wilkins who engaged the Celtics’ Bird in a shootout the following year.

Mitch Kupchak, who was obtained by the Lakers after Magic Johnson pleaded with Dr. Buss to obtain his services from the Washington Bullets, was in the first two Finals meetings between the two teams in the ’80s before nagging knee injuries ended his career.*

Jim Cleamons was on the Lakers’ first title team in Los Angeles in 1972, when they defeated Red Holzman’s New York Knicks in five games. On the Knicks roster was Jackson, who has been his boss dating back to their coaching days in Chicago.

Already, the team’s past stars have come out to show some support. Former great and model for the NBA logo, “Mr. Clutch” Jerry West, awarded the Western Conference trophy to the Kupchak, his much-maligned successor at the front office.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, current Lakers assistant was… well, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

And Pat Riley, who, like Cleamons, played on the ‘72 title team and later coached the Lakers to four titles in the 1980s said, “There was never anything like the Celtics and the Lakers in the Finals. Never.”

Time to throw out the stats?

When the two teams clash, expect the unexpected to happen. Without a doubt, the Big Three of each team—the Celtics’ Paul Pierce, Allen and Garnett and the Lakers’ Bryant, Odom and Gasol—will be the main men. But the bench play is equally important.

It was Gerald Henderson who picked off James Worthy’s errant pass in Game Two of the 1984 title series that sent the game into overtime, which the Celtics won. And, three years later, it was reserve Boston slotman Greg Kite who was escorted to the interview room after scoring zero points yet blocking a momentum-changing shot by Magic Johnson.

When Boston won its last title in 1986, their one big pickup that year was Bill Walton, whose son Luke plays for the Lakers. To overthrow the Celts, LA signed away Portland Trailblazer forward-center Mychal Thompson the following season.* *

And these two teams have a way of getting taking and telling blows on one another. The Minneapolis Lakers of Mikan, Jim Pollard and Vern Fleming were the NBA’s first dynasty, but when Bill Russell came to the league, he ended any notion of extending their reign by sweeping them, 4-0, and sending them packing to LA. When the Lakers got the better of the rivalry in the 1980s, they also broke a cherished Celtics record—snapping their consecutive home wins at 38 in 1987 (see, here, obviously Boston has a chip on its shoulder against Los Angeles).

And for their three finals meeting in the 1980’s, the team that won the season series went on to win the NBA title. And if that held true for today, then it should be known that Boston topped LA twice (107-94 at home on November 23 and on December 30 110-91). But it should be noted that in both games, Pau Gasol was not yet a member of the Lakers.

Here are the numbers in the playoffs so far:

Da Man, the Truth and Jesus average 54.3 ppg versus the 64.3 ppg by Black Mamba, Pau and Lamar.

The Celtics’ starting unit averages 74 ppg while the Lakers’ starters score 82.6, and they can all nail the three. The LA bench mob also trumps the Celtics’ reserves 41.6 to 37.3.*

Both teams play solid defense, and their numbers nearly cancel each other out:

Boston—91.6 points, 39.4 rebounds, 21.1assists, 7.3 steals and 4.4 blocks

Los Angeles—105.9 points,* 40.5 rebounds, 21.3 assists, 7.3 steals and 6.1 blocks

While the numbers certainly aren’t absolute, especially in what is projected to be* a prolonged series, they do provide insights on what they all need to address. Both teams have taken care of business at home, with Boston losing one game to Detroit. Yet, both have shown the capability of stealing games on the road when need be, as the Celts closed out Detroit for the summer and LA shut down the muzak at the Energy Solutions Arena.

And if there is anything that can be gleaned in these playoffs, it’s that home court is a place where tired bodies and injuries mysteriously heal in time for tip-off. So, do we give the advantage to Boston?

amdgc82
06-02-2008, 06:40 AM
Celtics-Lakers: Turning back the clock
THE GAME OF MY LIFE By Bill Velasco
Monday, June 2, 2008
http://philstar.com

It is finished.

Whatever happens in the NBA Finals, David Stern’s marketing dream has come true. The Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers meet in the finals for the first time since the Magic-Bird era. And what makes the rivalry even more painfully, preciously rare is that it can only happen in the finals. And for the Lakers, the question they – at long last – get to ask the Celtics is: what in the world took you so long?

For those of us who only remember the rivalry from the 1980’s and hear our fathers (and grandfathers) talk about the greatness of Bill Russell, the enmity betwen the two franchises began way back in 1959, when the Lakers were still in Minnesota. Because of scheduling conflicts, the Lakers were playing their home games in two venues, the Minneapolis Auditorium and Minneapolis Armory.

The Celtics demolished the Lakers, 173-139, in their last meeting of the regular season. The Lakers were still very strong, bridging the generations with the young Elgin Baylor and Vern Mikkelsen, the last link to the George Mikan squads that ruled the league until 1954.

It was Boston’s third trip to the finals, compared to the sixth for Minneapolis. Bill Russell and University of San Francisco teammate KC Jones (who eventually coached the Bird-era Celtics) led a group that included Bill Sharman, Sam Jones and Tommy Heinson to an amazing 4-0 sweep of the Lakers. Still, it was a remarkable trip for the Lakers, who had the league’s worst record just one season before.

The following year, the Lakers moved to Los Angeles, and began the Jerry West era. The Celtics, meanwhile, won two more championships, beating the St, Louis Hawks in seven games in 1960, and in five games in 1961.

In 1962, Los Angeles finally rose to the top again, winning the Western Conference with a whopping 11-game lead over Cincinnati. It’s the Lakers’ Frank Selvy missing a wide open jumper with the game tied at 100 in Game 7 of 1962. Jerry West stole the ball and Game 2 in Boston, and the Lakers took a 2-1 lead winning on their home floor. But Boston bounced back, and Elgin Baylor set a playoff record 61 points in Game 5, which stood until Michael Jordan broke in two decades later. But the series’ most painful Laker memory happened in Game 7.

With the score tied at 100, Frank Selvy’s shot rolled off the rim, keeping Boston alive and denying the Lakers their first title in Los Angeles. Instead, Boston outscored the Lakers. 10-7, and cemented a trend of beating LA.

In 1963, Boston won two Finals games in Los Angeles, beating the Lakers in six games. The following year, LA missed the Finals, and Boston knocked off the San Francisco Warriors in five games.

Then came 1965. Los Angeles won 14 of its first 20 games, and Jerry West averaged 31 points per game (second in the league), and Elgin Baylor pitched in with 27.1 per game (fifth in the league) This was supposed to be their time. Then Baylor hurt his knee, and couldn’t play in the Finals. The Celtics ran roughshod over the Lakers in Game 1, 142-110, before closing out the series in Game 5, 129-96.

1966 was perhaps the biggest psy-war of the long Celtics reign. Boston had won seven straight titles, and was aiming for an eighth. Red Auerbach, who had built the dynasty with astute recruitment and unparalleled motivation, announced that he would retire as head coach at the end of the season.

Los Angeles scored a huge emotional and psychological boost by winning Game 1 in Boston in overtime, 133-129. Then, in a master stroke, Auerbach announced that he was naming Bill Russell head coach, the first African-American coach in the game, and stealing the thunder from LA. Boston then won the next three games, before LA recovered in the next two. But Boston raced to a big lead in Game 7, then held off LA for a 95-93 victory, and their eighth straight title in Red Auerbach’s last game as head coach.

Since 1959, the Celtics and Lakers had met in the Finals five times, and Boston had won all of them.

The next season saw neither team make the finals, as injuries, age and transition both took their toll.

On Saturday, Wilt Chamberlain joins the fray, and we take a look back at the Lakers and Celtics teams* that won eight of the ten NBA championships in the 1980’s.

On Thursday, June 5 at 9 p.m. ET, the Celtics and the Lakers will be meeting in The Finals for the 11th time, with the Celtics owning the Lakers in eight of the 10 previous meetings. Celtics great Bill Russell earned seven of his 11 championship rings against the Lakers, whereas Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar helped the Lakers take the last two meetings between the two teams in 1985 and 1987.

What does this rivalry, this tradition represent in NBA history? It’s the first Finals sweep as Boston clobbered Minneapolis in 1959.

It’s the Lakers’ Frank Selvy missing a wide open jumper with the game tied at 100 in Game 7 of 1962.

It’s Bob Cousy dribbling out the clock as Red lit his victory cigar.

It’s Cousy and Auerbach getting their final titles at the Lakers’ expense.

It’s Lakers owner Jack Kent Cooke putting balloons in the Forum’s rafters in 1969 for Game 7 and workers having to pluck them out after, because Russell got No. 11 and the balloons never fell.

It’s Russell after that 11th title failing to find the words in an interview with ABC, while Jerry West and Elgin Baylor probably could never find the words to describe why they couldn’t beat the Celtics in six meetings in eight years.

It’s because the NBA changed the way it did business in the Finals. We did away with the 2-2-1-1-1 format after 1984 when you had to fly 2,611 miles for Game 5, then back for Game 6, then back again for Game 7.

It’s Finals at the Fabulous Forum and grimy, gritty games at the Garden.

In the ’80s, it’s “sissies” and “junior, junior” sky hooks, Memorial Day Massacres, clotheslines and towel waving.

It’s Gerald Henderson’s steal in ’84 and Larry Bird finally getting the best of Magic.

One year later, it’s Kareem’s fountain of youth in ’85 and the Lakers finally, FINALLY, beating the Celtics.

It’s Magic making in Game 6 4 (thanks, Mitchellman, it was late) in ’87 and Bird missing.

This is what it means when we talk about tradition. The passing of these memories from one generation to the next. You may remember them because of the frequency, but more important, you remember these matchups for the quality.

“That’s pretty much what got me started watching basketball, growing up in Los Angeles, watching the Celtics and Lakers,” Paul Pierce said. “I’m going back home to play against the team I grew up watching and it’s a dream come true, man, just thinking about it. I think that rivalry pretty much revolutionized the game of basketball and now I’m part of it.”

This year, the tradition begins anew. For the first time since 1998, the Finals won’t feature a team with either Shaquille O’Neal or Tim Duncan. This will be Kobe Bryant’s first Finals as the Lakers’ main man. For Boston’s Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen, this will be their first Finals.

This old rivalry is new again. The legends have moved to their rightful places in the Hall of Fame. The old Garden’s gone. So is the Forum. There are new buildings in both cities with more seats and suites, but the tradition remains.*


* * *
With a spectacular fourth quarter, the Boston Celtics moved forth into the NBA Finals for the first time in 21 years.

Led by Paul Pierce, the Celtics rallied from a 10-point deficit in the final period for an 89-81 victory over the Detroit Pistons, closing out the Eastern Conference Finals in six games.

The Celtics are in The Finals for the first time since 1987, when they lost to the Los Angeles Lakers. Looking for their 17th title, they again will face the Lakers, who are in search of their 15th championship.

Boston opened the final period by making eight of its first nine shots, turning a 70-60 deficit into an 83-76 advantage. Leading the way was Pierce, the face of the Celtics for a decade who had a three-point play, a jumper and two free throws in a 74-second span, giving the Celtics the lead for good.

Pierce scored 27 points, Ray Allen added 17 and Kevin Garnett 16 for the Celtics, avoided a Game 7 for the first time in this postseason. Pierce, Allen and Garnett all are going to The Finals for the first time in their careers.

Chauncey Billups scored 29 points and Richard Hamilton added 21 – both while nursing injuries – for the Pistons, who were 6-of-18 with six turnovers in the telling fourth quarter.

Detroit has lost in Game 6 of the East Finals each of the last three seasons.*


* * *
The Lakers are headed back to The Finals for the first time in four years.

The defending champs didn’t have enough to hold on to a 17-point advantage as Kobe Bryant erupted for 17 of his 39 points in the fourth quarter to dethrone the Spurs, 100-92, on Thursday and send the Lakers to The Finals for the first time since 2004.

Pau Gasol helped Los Angeles improve to a perfect 8-0 at Staples Center, notching 12 points and a playoff career-high 19 rebounds in Game 5.

Tim Duncan notched his fourth career playoff triple-double, but it wasn’t enough as San Antonio was unable to get stops on the defensive end down the stretch.

Kurt Thomas and Michael Finley were instrumental in helping San Antonio build its early lead, combining for 24 points and 11 rebounds. Tony Parker scored a team-high 23 points, including 11 in the final frame.

amdgc82
06-02-2008, 06:45 AM
Alab:* Lakers o Celtics?
Al S. Mendoza
www.abante.com.ph

Los Angeles Lakers o Boston Celtics?

Tinumba ng Lakers ang San Antonio Spurs, 4-1, para maibulsa ang NBA Western Conference crown.

Tinalo naman ng Celtics ang Detroit Pistons, 4-2, para maiuwi ang NBA Eastern Conference crown.

Mas astig nang konti ang Los Angeles kung iisipin na ang kanilang nilampaso para umabante sa NBA Finals ay ang defending champion Spurs.*

Tandaan na ang mga pambato ng Spurs ay sina Duncan, Ginobili at Parker – ang tatlo sa mga pinakamahuhusay na players ng NBA ngayon.

OK, merong Kobe Bryant ang Lakers.* At Pau Gasol.* At Lamar Odom.

Sa Boston, sina Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett at Ray Allen ang mga atakador.

Kapag nag-init ang tatlong iyan, kwidaw ang Lakers.

Nakakatawa, pero noong bata pa si Pierce, kinamumuhian niya ang Boston.

“Lumaki ako sa Los Angeles at siyempre, Lakers ang koponan ko,” ani Pierce.* “Noon, sa lahat ng NBA teams, Boston ang kinamumuhian ko sa lahat.* Pero heto ako ngayon, nasa Boston at kalaban ang Los Angeles para sa NBA championship!”

Iba talaga ang gulong ng palad. Hindi mo masabi ang iyong kinabukasan.

May 16 na NBA titles ang Boston at 14 naman ang Los Angeles sa 61 NBA championships simula 1947.

Sampung beses na silang nagsagupa at tinangay ng Boston ang unang walong korona.* Ang huling dalawa noong 1985 at 1987 ay nasikwat ng Los Angeles.

Noong 1960’s hanggang ‘70s, ang mga pambato ng Los Angeles ay sina Jerry West, Wilt Chamberlain at* Elgin Baylor, samantalang sa Boston ay sina Billy Russell at mga Jones Bros. (Sam at K.C.).*

Pinalitan sila noong ‘80s nina Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar at James Worthy ng Los Angeles at sina Larry Bird, Robert Parish at Kevin McHale naman ng Boston.

Parehong magaling ang Los Angeles at Boston.* Pero para sa akin, mas magaling ang Lakers.

Sa Biyernes pa ang Game 1 ng best-of-seven series.* Pero ngayon pa lang, prediksiyon ko ay magkakampeon ang Los Angeles.

Isipin na lang na nasa kampo ng Lakers ang NBA MVP sa taong ito – si Kobe Bryant.

Wanakosay.

amdgc82
06-02-2008, 06:47 AM
The 2008 NBA Finals: Kobe’s golden chance for redemption
By Homer D. Sayson
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 03:43:00 06/02/2008

(Homer D. Sayson, a veteran Filipino journalist and writer based in the United States’ West Coast, begins his contributions to the Inquirer starting with the NBA Finals. Sayson will help whet the appetite of Filipino fans on anything NBA with his elegant, factual prose and rich experience in chronicling the world’s greatest cage league. — Ed)

CHICAGO—At 6 feet 7 inches and a lean 225 pounds, he is the NBA’s MVP, arguably the best basketball player on the planet.

He is a blur of perpetual motion on both ends of the floor, averaging 31.9 points, 6.1 rebounds and 5.8 assists in 15 NBA playoffs games thus far this year. Shooting a mind-bending 50.9 percent from the field, Kobe is unstoppable like a woman’s tears.

But as heartbreakingly talented as Kobe Bryant is, he also has more baggage than a cross-country flight. And the heaviest of all those burdens is the expectation to win a championship as the captain, not the sidekick.

Since his divorce from Shaquille O’Neal in the summer of 2005, Kobe has been playing with a chip on his shoulder, carrying an edge, determined to prove that he, too, can scale the NBA’s Promised Land without a 7-foot-1 behemoth doing most of the heavy lifting.

Beginning this Thursday night (Friday morning in Manila), Kobe and the LA Lakers will once again vie for their sport’s ultimate prize. This time, though, Kobe will no longer be just part of the herd. He will be the shepherd, or in NBA-speak, The Man.

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the 2008 NBA Finals.

With Zen Master Phil Jackson pulling one magic string after another, the Lakers are nearly invincible. Entering the Finals, they’ve lit the scoreboard with 105.9 points per game, allowing their foes to score just 99.5 and shoot a dismal 43.3 percent field goal clip.

The scary part is how Jackson’s Five have made it look all too easy. They swept the Denver Nuggets like a junior varsity squad in Round 1. They tuned out the Utah Jazz in Round 2, and they made the defending champion San Antonio Spurs look old and decrepit in a one-sided five-game West Conference Finals.

But don’t call the jewelers just yet, these NBA Finals will be a competition, not a mere coronation. And that’s because there’s a Beast in the East that is determined to quench a 22-year thirst for an NBA title: the Boston Celtics.

Boston and LA are the NBA’s most storied franchises. Boston has won the title 16 times, two more than LA. This is the 11th Celtics-Lakers NBA Finals. And they still hate each other like Iran and Iraq.

Gone are 1980s legends Larry Bird, Kevin McHale and Robert Parish. But Celtic Nation has a new Big 3 to worship: Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen.

Of the wholesome threesome, Garnett is the most potent, a former MVP who leads his team with 21.1 points, 9.8 rebounds and 3.5 assists per.

A 7-foot freak of nature, Garnett leaps like a pogo stick, runs faster than a gazelle, and glides like a dream. With 1.15 shotblocks and 1.25 steals a contest, KG—better than known as The Big Ticket—anchors a stern Celtics defense that has surrendered just 87.3 points per in 20 postseason games.

The knock on Pierce is that he hasn’t met a jump shot he didn’t like. But the Celtics don’t seem to mind as long as their 6-foot-7 star nets 19 points a game and makes 44 percent of his shots. Besides making clutch jumpers PP also collars 5.1 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game.

Early in these playoffs, Allen seemed to have lost his mojo. Struggling mightily against the Hawks and the Cavs, he couldn’t find the ocean from the shore. But in the crucible of the East Finals, Allen carried the Celtics to a pivotal Game 5 win, scoring 29 and swishing 5-of-6 from 3-point range.

Rajon Rondo and Kendrick Perkins round up the Celtics starting 5, while James Posey, Sam Cassell, Leon Powe, PJ Brown and Eddie House provide firepower off the bench. They are coached by Doc Rivers, a respected tactician with 14 years of NBA experience as a player.

The Celtics, they’re a tough bunch indeed.

At the end of the day, however, there’s no stopping Kobe and friends. The Lakers are simply better. Much, much.

No, no, the Lakers aren’t a one-man show. It also parades Pau Gasol, a Spaniard with universal skills, able to score 17.7, grab 8.9 rebounds and pass 4.2 assists per game.

And there’s Lamar Odom, an invaluable 6-foot-11 piece of LA’s pointed triangle. In the Lakers’ romp to these Finals, Odom has averaged 14.7 points, 10.3 rebounds and 2.9 assists.

In other words, the Lakers offense is supremely versatile. And their defense is dangerously intense, filled with a rage that can boil an ocean.

With nine championships rings as a coach, Jackson has once again put together the right pieces necessary to win it all: Derek Fisher, Sasha Vujacic, Vladimir Radmonovic, Luke Walton, Jordan Farmar, Ron Turiaf, etc.

With the risk of sounding immodest, I’ve covered the NBA Finals on-site as a credentialed journalist for seven consecutive years since 2001. Like the others I’ve seen, this, too, will be a gem. Lakers in six.

coreytaylor
06-02-2008, 08:10 AM
Finals are Lakers' domain
By Vincent Bonsignore Staff Writer
http://www.dailynews.com/lakers

To listen to some commentators Friday, the Lakers ended a long, arduous drought by advancing to the NBA Finals "for the first time since 2004."

In some ways, they have a point. By Lakers standards, four years between Finals appearances is an eternity.

Since arriving in Los Angeles from Minneapolis for the 1960-61 season, the Lakers have reached the NBA Finals 23 times in 47 seasons.

To put it in perspective, the Lakers have pretty much played for the NBA title every other season during their stay in Los Angeles.

Maybe that's why the Lakers' postgame celebration seemed a bit quiet after beating the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday.

"You know, this is the Lakers. They're used to winning Western Conference championships," said Kobe Bryant, who is playing in his fifth NBA Finals. "You know, I don't think we will go out on the street or see a riot or anything like that. People will be celebrating and be happy about it. But we play for one thing and one thing only, and that's championships."

The Lakers' 23 finals appearances since 1961 are the most championship appearances for any team in any major North American sport over the same time period. The Boston Celtics - the Lakers' opponent in these finals - have reached the NBA Finals 15 times over that stretch, while the NHL's Montreal Canadiens and baseball's New York Yankees have advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals and World Series 14times each during the past 47 seasons.

When it comes to actually winning championships, the Lakers have been good - but not the best - since arriving in L.A. They've won nine titles, but they trail the Celtics (13titles) and Canadiens (12titles) over the same span.

The Yankees have eight World Series titles since 1961.

Of course, any longtime Lakers fan will cringe at the mention of all those Celtics titles, considering seven came from beating the Lakers. The sting of losing to the Celtics - seemingly every season in the 1960s - and the desperation of squandering chance after chance, is still fresh for many fans who endured those losses.

There is some solace, though. The Lakers have beaten the Celtics in their last two Finals matchups, in 1985 and 1987.

batangueño
06-02-2008, 10:40 AM
Reaction lang sa nakasulat sa column ni Bill Velasco. :)

The old Garden in Boston is definitely gone. It was demolished when the TD Banknorth Garden was already opened to the public. :)

As for the Great Western Forum in Inglewood, California, it is still very much there, standing tall as a monument to the glorious past of the Los Angeles Lakers, who are now based at the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles. Nowadays, the Great Western Forum, aside from being a usual concert venue, is being used by a mostly African-American Evangelical church for their Sunday services. :)

The good old days. The old Garden and the Great Western Forum may have replaced by the TD Banknorth Garden and the Staples Center respectively but the old Celtics-Lakers rivalry is still there. ;)


BEAT LA! ;D

The_Big_Cat
06-02-2008, 10:45 AM
Reaction lang sa nakasulat sa column ni Bill Velasco. :)

The old Garden in Boston is definitely gone. It was demolished when the TD Banknorth Garden was already opened to the public. :)

As for the Great Western Forum in Inglewood, California, it is still very much there, standing tall as a monument to the glorious past of the Los Angeles Lakers, who are now based at the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles. Nowadays, the Great Western Forum, aside from being a usual concert venue, is being used by a mostly African-American Evangelical church for their Sunday services. :)

The good old days. The old Garden and the Great Western Forum may have replaced by the TD Banknorth Garden and the Staples Center respectively but the old Celtics-Lakers rivalry is still there. ;)

BEAT LA! ;D

The Great Western Forum was also the venue where the 1984 USA Basketball team captured the Gold Medal beating Spain in the Finals of the '84 Los Angeles Olympics.

bchoter
06-02-2008, 12:27 PM
React lang dun sa column sa itaas:

Kobe is not imitating his airness Micheal Jordan. When he was interviewed two days ago, he already clarified this matter because for him no one can replace a Jordan.

Sa mga Kobe haters: I think the guy is already humbled by his (negative) past experiences. During a press briefing in Makati, nakita ko ang pagbabago kay Kobe. Hindi na siya yung dating arrogant na player na nakita natin when he was still starting out in the NBA. Nag mature na siya as a person and a player. What driving him now is to prove to the whole world that he is currently the best basketball player in the world and is ready to lead LA to its 15th NBA title.

For me LA will take the series in five games.

stonecold316
He'll be back to his usual self when his team starts losing. He may never be considered best of all time but he's probably the best in another game. The blame game.

They will lose.


Love to hate :D

pio_valenz
06-02-2008, 04:12 PM
I've always prided myself in being an objective basketball fan, but this is the only instance where I will gladly discard my objectivity and act like one of those rabid, overzealous, fanatical basketball followers you see everywhere on the net.

I am a Celtic fan from way back, and I absoutely hate the LA Fakers and their rapist of an MVP. Heck, even if Kobe were a choir boy, I would still hate them. Kobe just gives me a very good reason to hate them even more.

Celtics in six. Avenge the fluke '87 win. ;D

stonecold316
06-02-2008, 04:37 PM
Abdul-Jabbar: I was a Celtics fan in high school
06/02/2008 | 09:50 AM

Email this | Email the Editor | Print | Digg this | Add to del.icio.us EL SEGUNDO, California - Kareem Abdul-Jabbar cheered for the Boston Celtics during his high school days in New York. Honest.

He would later be involved in one of the most intense rivalries in sports, going against Boston three times in the NBA finals as a Los Angeles Lakers star in the 1980s.

Now, that's simply a part of his past.

"I saw my first Celtics-Lakers rivalry game in 1969," Abdul-Jabbar recalled on Sunday, referring to a matchup in the NBA finals a few months after he completed his college career at UCLA. "I never had a hatred for them. When I was in high school, I was a Celtics fan. I got to meet (then-Boston stars) Bill Russell, (John) Havlicek, (Bob) Cousy, those guys, when I was 14."

The teams are about to meet in the finals for the 11th time overall and the first since 1987, when the Lakers beat the Celtics in the third matchup between the teams in a span of four years. The best-of-seven series begins on Thursday in Boston.

The Celtics won in 1984 for their eighth straight victory over Los Angeles in the finals dating back to 1959, but the Lakers broke through in 1985, when Abdul-Jabbar became at age 38 the oldest player ever to win the finals MVP award.

Then came the Lakers' triumph two years later, and the Celtics haven't been back to the finals since that time. Until now.

"For me, it was real intense," Abdul-Jabbar said of the rivalry. "(It was) long ago and far away. I don't hold any animosity."

That hasn't always been the case.

"After he retired (in 1987), Bill Walton and I didn't speak for a couple years," Abdul-Jabbar said. "We laugh about that now. Nowadays, when I get to Boston, I get stopped by people talking about how the game was played at such a high level (in the 1980s). They miss that."

Walton's 28-year-old son Luke is a backup forward with the Lakers, likely making it difficult for the elder Walton to be pulling for his former team. That won't be a problem for Abdul-Jabbar, an assistant coach on Phil Jackson's staff the past three years.

"I'm cheering for the Lakers," the NBA's all-time leading scorer said. "It's not hatred or anything like that. I'd just like to see our guys prevail."

As Abdul-Jabbar pointed out, the game is much different than it was when he played. For one thing, the hard foul committed by Boston's Kevin McHale on Los Angeles' Kurt Rambis during the 1984 finals would have had definite ramifications today.

"I don't think he would be able to get away with that now (without a suspension)," Abdul-Jabbar said. "Kurt could have been hurt for a long time."

Current Lakers star Kobe Bryant said he has vivid memories of the matchups in the '80s despite being 8 years old the last time the teams met in the finals.

"Everything. All the plays, the series just being talked about," he said. "I remember like it was yesterday. I was a big basketball fan growing up, and my grandfather used to send me tapes of the series and the games and I used to just watch them over and over."

Asked if he remembered Rambis being clotheslined by McHale, Bryant replied: "Oh, of course. Who doesn't remember that? That's the intensity of what it used to be. If you do that now, you're suspended for a week. So I doubt you'll see any of that.

"You can't put wood on people like you used to back then. You really hate somebody if they clothesline you. It's just the nature of the beast. And nowadays, you really can't do that too often. Aside from the fact that we all know each other since we were 14, we all grew up with each other, so it's a little different."

When asked if he hated the Celtics in those days, Bryant drew laughter from the assembled media by replying: "Who didn't?"

And today?

"Well, it's obviously a little different," Bryant said. "What they had then was something truly magical. What we're trying to do is set our own mark in history. Hopefully we can continue to perform well as the years go on and continue the legacy of the Lakers and the Celtics. But it's kind of a fresh start." - AP

stonecold316
06-02-2008, 04:45 PM
Celtics' turnaround didn't start on lottery day
06/02/2008 | 09:08 AM

Email this | Email the Editor | Print | Digg this | Add to del.icio.us BOSTON - This is not how the Boston Celtics planned to get back to the NBA finals. The league's luckiest franchise saw its luck run out — again — in the draft lottery last year, coming up with the worst possible pick and no shot at the megastars slotted 1-2. What the Celtics couldn't know at the time was that it was the best thing that could have happened.

"We hit rock bottom with the lottery — as bad as we could do — and then Danny (Ainge) went to work," co-owner Bob Epstein said Sunday. "Not everything is a master plan. A lot of skill in any endeavor is being able to be opportunistic as well."

The Celtics took advantage of their opportunities just fine after the lottery setback, landing Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen in trades that helped them reach the NBA finals for the first time since Ainge and the original Big Three made it there in 1987.

Game 1 against the Los Angeles Lakers is Thursday night.

In a series of interviews over the weekend, the owners who bought the team in 2002 explained the turnaround from 24-58 lottery loser to Eastern Conference champion. It didn't happen that night at the draft lottery, and it didn't even happen during the monthlong trading spree in which Ainge brought in Garnett and Allen to join with All-Star holdover Paul Pierce.

"Everybody wants to talk about the overnight success, but I think that this was five years in the making," co-owner Steve Pagliuca said. "The plan was: draft well, build up chips and build this into a championship team. We had the pieces, and we thought something good was going to happen — this year, next year. It came together very nicely."

The NBA's most decorated franchise, the Celtics were once synonymous with success — winning 16 championships from 1957 to '86. But twice since their last title they've dropped to the bottom of the standings in hopes of landing a big lottery prize, only to see the chances go against them.

With two potential franchise players at the top of last year's draft, Greg Oden and Kevin Durant, the Celtics seemed in good position to pick up a key part of their turnaround. But three teams jumped over them in the lottery, and they wound up with the No. 5 selection.

"It was the worst possible pick we could have gotten, and it felt like the worst possible thing," said managing partner Wyc Grousbeck, who was in the sealed-off room where the lots were drawn and found out about an hour before the TV audience that the Celtics had dropped to the fifth spot.

"I spent 50-55 minutes going, 'This is really terrible. I feel really badly for all the Boston fans who were about to find out.' I just felt really unlucky," he said. "There was no joy in Mudville."

Then came Plan B. And C.

Ainge tried to trade the No. 5 pick and developing big man Al Jefferson for Garnett, but Garnett didn't want to come to a losing team and the Celtics didn't want him unless he'd agree to an extension. So Ainge sent the first-round pick — which, other than Paul Pierce, was his most valuable commodity — to Seattle in a package for Allen.

Suddenly, Garnett was interested. Ainge picked him up from the Timberwolves in an unprecedented 7-for-1 deal and the Celtics were on their way to 66 wins — the biggest turnaround in NBA history — and a return to the finals against their archrival.

Pagliuca was at the team's training facility in Waltham, Mass., watching the lottery on TV when the camera panned around the room and showed Grousbeck, who wore a green pinstriped suit he had made for the occasion as well as a frown he tailored himself.

"Wyc looked like he had been shot, so we knew we didn't have the first pick," Pagliuca said. "We spent a lot of time hoping for the first draft pick, but we knew there would be plenty of players available. Garnett was the No. 1 possibility."

The owners are effusive in their praise for Ainge — not just for making big trades, but also for drafting the "chips" that he cashed in for the All-Stars.

Without picks such as Al Jefferson (15th overall), Gerald Green (18th), Delonte West (24th) and Ryan Gomes (20th in the second round), they wouldn't have been able to acquire Garnett.

"Look at the players he's drafted, down the line, who are going to be fixtures in the league," said Irv Grousbeck, Wyc's father and another member of the ownership group.

Ainge also drafted Rajon Rondo (21st) and Kendrick Perkins (27th), non-lottery players who fill out the starting five of the Eastern Conference champions. Leon Powe and Glen "Big Baby" Davis were second-rounders who've contributed off the bench this season.

"Our strategy was to try to hit the longball, to win a championship, not to sign some midlevel players and get into the playoffs. We had to have the patience to build those chips up," Pagliuca said. "We recognized that time was an asset for us.

"We were younger. It would have taken a little longer, but I think we would have been a contender," Pagliuca said. "The second we got Garnett, we felt there was a legitimate possibility we could contend."

And so did other players in the league.

Once Allen and Garnett signed on, free agents came out of the woodwork hoping to join the team. Eddie House, James Posey, Scot Pollard, Sam Cassell and P.J. Brown all said they were eager to join a winner.

"I don't want to make it seem like this was our master plan. But our strategy was to build assets and remain opportunistic — be looking for what you can do and build, build, build," Irv Grousbeck said. "If you do nothing else over time, you'll build a good team.

"We got lucky in a sense, but we planned to be able to put together a good team," he said. "If we had kept building, it would have taken longer." - AP

dark_seid
06-02-2008, 09:23 PM
React lang dun sa column sa itaas:

Kobe is not imitating his airness Micheal Jordan. When he was interviewed two days ago, he already clarified this matter because for him no one can replace a Jordan.

Sa mga Kobe haters: I think the guy is already humbled by his (negative) past experiences. During a press briefing in Makati, nakita ko ang pagbabago kay Kobe. Hindi na siya yung dating arrogant na player na nakita natin when he was still starting out in the NBA. Nag mature na siya as a person and a player. What driving him now is to prove to the whole world that he is currently the best basketball player in the world and is ready to lead LA to its 15th NBA title.

For me LA will take the series in five games.

stonecold316
He'll be back to his usual self when his team starts losing. He may never be considered best of all time but he's probably the best in another game. The blame game.

They will lose.


Love to hate :D


i'm not a kobe hater nor fan. but that should be how superstars are wired. they are highly competitive.

it's more of the rare kind that you see superstars lose often and they keep tight-lipped about it publicly. case in point is kevin garnett.


and win or lose, phil jackson is the best nba coach ever. i never wanted him to surpass red, much less tie him. and i held on to the notion that he couldn't build a winner as the last hope of denying him the title of best ever after 2002. i cheered when he couldn't control the dysfunctional 2004 team. and i enjoyed it when his career record got "tarnished" by those 1st round exits. but with his achievement this time around, there's no denying it anymore. best ever is phil jackson.

Dark Knight
06-02-2008, 10:08 PM
According to a column in Yahoo Sports by Wetzel or Wajnorski i think, Red accused Jackson of "not building a champion team". Instead, he is taking over a team that is already strong thats why its easy for him to win championships.

MonL
06-02-2008, 10:33 PM
Reaction lang sa nakasulat sa column ni Bill Velasco. :)

The old Garden in Boston is definitely gone. It was demolished when the TD Banknorth Garden was already opened to the public. :)


The good old days. The old Garden and the Great Western Forum may have replaced by the TD Banknorth Garden and the Staples Center respectively but the old Celtics-Lakers rivalry is still there. ;)


BEAT LA! ;D


To Celtics fans, the Celtics homecourt will always be "Boston Garden," just like any aircraft with the President in it will always be called "Air Force One." :)

MonL
06-02-2008, 11:07 PM
Celtics' turnaround didn't start on lottery day
06/02/2008 | 09:08 AM

Pagliuca was at the team's training facility in Waltham, Mass., watching the lottery on TV when the camera panned around the room and showed Grousbeck, who wore a green pinstriped suit he had made for the occasion as well as a frown he tailored himself.
- AP



Tailor-made for the occasion.
:D :D :D

Raging Blue
06-02-2008, 11:24 PM
According to a column in Yahoo Sports by Wetzel or Wajnorski i think, Red accused Jackson of "not building a champion team". Instead, he is taking over a team that is already strong thats why its easy for him to win championships.


I wholeheartedly agree.

Kiinain at nilasap ni Jeproks Phil mga sinaing nina Jerry Krauss and Doug Collins sa Chicago at ni Jerry West at Del Harris sa Los Angeles.

Assuming the Lakers win the NBA championship, would it be something if Phil steps down and takes over as general manager and coach of a bottom rung team like the Timberwolves and rebuild it to be a winner in three to five years. Until such scenario comes true, I would not consider Jackson in the same breath as the late great Red Auerbach, notwithstanding the former may end up with more NBA coaching championship rings.

joelex
06-02-2008, 11:27 PM
According to a column in Yahoo Sports by Wetzel or Wajnorski i think, Red accused Jackson of "not building a champion team". Instead, he is taking over a team that is already strong thats why its easy for him to win championships.


well, without Michael Jordan, Shaq/Kobe, he was just mediocre. I believe he is a good motivator but isnt strong enough on basketball x and o's.

pablohoney
06-02-2008, 11:31 PM
MonL:To Celtics fans, the Celtics homecourt will always be "Boston Garden," just like any aircraft with the President in it will always be called "Air Force One."

Amen to this.
And yes.....

Boston Forever.
There can never be another MJ. :)
Though I never liked MJ, and Kobe, I admit they are good, if not the best in the league today (Kobe), but still that won't be enough to turn me into a "fan". Parang wala silang aura of greatness, hindi katulad ni Larry Legend. :D


stonecold:Kobe is not imitating his airness Micheal Jordan. When he was interviewed two days ago, he already clarified this matter because for him no one can replace a Jordan.

I saw this interview.
And for me, parang defensive (based on his eye contact and body language) ang dating niya when he was asked about his thoughts on being compared to MJ.
Parang asar nga siya (well, understandably). ;)
Para kaseng kahit anong gawin niya, icocompare siya kay MJ and kapag natalo sila ngayon sa Boston sa championship, sasabihin ng mga tao na hindi niya kayang magpa-champion nang team nang walang Shaq. ;D ;)

batangueño
06-02-2008, 11:46 PM
To Celtics fans, the Celtics homecourt will always be "Boston Garden," just like any aircraft with the President in it will always be called "Air Force One." :)

True. :)

The buildings might have changed but it will always be the same "Boston Garden" that is home to the most storied NBA franchise in history. ;)

LION
06-03-2008, 07:30 AM
It will be 4-1 or 4-2 for the Celtics.

LA could not beat the Detroit Pistons. In eliminating Cleveland and Detroit, the Celtics showed that they are the toughest team in the NBA, physically and mentally. The Celtics beat the Pistons twice in the latter's homecourt under playoff pressure.

LA is not known for its defense. How can it stop the Big 3 or the Big 5?

Jeep
06-03-2008, 08:44 AM
just a personal curiosity i'd like to satisfy: does anyone know the standings of these two squads in all their meetings in the NBA finals since they first faced each other back in the 1960s? how many times they've met, and what are their win-loss cards against each other?

amdgc82
06-03-2008, 09:07 AM
^ They played 61 times in the NBA Finals. Celtics won 36. Lakers won 25.

1987 Lakers 4 -2
1985 Lakers 4 -2
1984 Celtics 4 -3
1969 Celtics 4 -3
1968 Celtics 4 -2
1966 Celtics 4 -3
1965 Celtics 4 -1
1963 Celtics 4 -2
1962 Celtics 4 -3
1959 Celtics 4 0

Jeep
06-03-2008, 09:17 AM
^thanks a lot, admgc82! iba talaga ang malakas! ;)

go celtics! beat LA!

Kid Cubao
06-03-2008, 09:25 AM
when we strip the upcoming finals series of all its hype and overdramatization, it boils down to this: can kobe alone carry the lakers against the big three of KG, ray allen, and longtime celtic paul pierce? pag inalat at kinapos si kobe, meron bang kayang mag-dala sa lakers? on the other hand, we've seen in the eastern playoffs just what a three-headed monster can do: pag kinakapos na si KG at si ray allen, nandyan pa rin si paul pierce.

and just when we've written off ray allen as a playoff disappointment, he breaks out and scorches detroit with 29 points in game 6. and KG, well, KG has shown time and again what a well-rounded game he has by focusing on the other aspects when his scoring wanders off.

The_Big_Cat
06-03-2008, 10:00 AM
just a personal curiosity i'd like to satisfy: does anyone know the standings of these two squads in all their meetings in the NBA finals since they first faced each other back in the 1960s? how many times they've met, and what are their win-loss cards against each other?


This will be the 12th time Boston and Lakers will meet in the NBA Finals. Celtics won 8 and Lakers won 3. ;)
Go Beantown!

The_Big_Cat
06-03-2008, 10:03 AM
^includes when they were in Minneapolis from ESPN.

coreytaylor
06-03-2008, 11:01 AM
Pierce, Bryant stick it out and make it to the NBA finals
By JIMMY GOLEN, AP Sports Writer
http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news

WALTHAM, Mass. (AP)—Paul Pierce and Kobe Bryant were playing pickup basketball in a UCLA gym last summer, a couple of frustrated NBA stars trying to sweat away the memory of a disappointing season. Talk soon turned to trades.

Bryant had lashed out at Lakers management for assembling a team that hadn’t won a playoff series in three years. Boston had gone four years, and Pierce worried that he might become the trade bait that kick-starts the rebuilding process.

“I remember being in the gym with Kobe, and me and him were arguing over who was going to get traded first,” Pierce said Monday after the Celtics held their first practice in preparation for the NBA finals.

“He went public about getting traded, … and I was like, ‘Shoot, I’m going to getting traded before you,’ and betting that it would happen. That’s what so crazy, now we’re both here sitting in the finals, where a year ago we were both in the gym.”

No one wound up paying off the undisclosed stakes. Instead, both players stuck with the only NBA teams they’ve ever known and earned the chance to play for a championship.

Game 1 of the best-of-seven series is Thursday night in Boston.

Bryant has already won three NBA titles, teaming up with Shaquille O’Neal to win in consecutive years from 2000-02. They made one more run at it in 2004, losing to Detroit in the finals before O’Neal was traded away; it was Bryant’s team, for better or worse.

The Lakers missed the playoffs the next year for just the second time in almost 30 years, followed by two straight first-round losses that left Bryant wondering.

Then, he snapped.

Bryant called the team’s front office a mess and said he wanted to be traded. Then he said he didn’t. Then he said he did.

In the middle of the hubbub, he found himself sharing a post-pickup swig of water with Pierce

“Both of us kind of being in the same boat—the irony that we’re both in the finals is cool,” Bryant said after the Lakers practiced at their workout facility in El Segundo, Calif., on Monday. “It’s good for both of us to be here. He’s a great guy.”

Pierce had his own problems.

The Celtics had been accumulating young talent like Al Jefferson, Delonte West, Ryan Gomes, Rajon Rondo and Kendrick Perkins, but they had few wins—24, to be exact—to show for it. When the draft lottery didn’t yield a potential star like Greg Oden or Kevin Durant, the team’s next title seemed far in the future.

“We were at a point where we were frustrated with the moves. The most obvious thing to do was to trade your star player for some young pieces and rebuild from there,” said Pierce, the longest-tenured Celtics player since the original Big Three.

“I pretty much thought it was over. I can’t even explain it. I thought I was going to be a Los Angeles Clipper; I thought I was going to be anywhere but the Celtics,” he said. “All I know is if I wasn’t a Celtic, right now I’d be home.”

Instead, the Celtics built around Pierce, adding Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett in one of the most dramatic overhauls in league history. The team that went 24-58 with a bunch of young players won 66 games this year and put the Celtics in the finals for the first time since 1987.

“I get the pleasure of seeing him play every night, but they could have went a different way,” Garnett said. “I’m glad to see the organization stand behind a guy who has been able to give his all for them, for them to step up and actually give him some players and some help, so that he can reach his goals as a basketball player.

“When you’re a competitor, man, the one thing you want is a chance. They obviously went out and made the right deals. So my hat goes off to them.”

The Lakers made a deal of their own, acquiring Pau Gasol from the Grizzlies on Feb. 1 to help turn around a team that had shown promise before losing five of seven. After Gasol joined them, the Lakers won 12 of their next 13 games and went 28-9 the rest of the way before going 12-3 against Denver, Utah and San Antonio in the playoffs.

That led them back to Boston, archrivals from 10 previous championship series; the Celtics have won eight. Celtics coach Doc Rivers, who watched the Bryant drama unfold from afar, said he wouldn’t want it any other way.

“I was just happy he stayed out West” where he would only face Boston twice a year, Rivers said. “But I’m glad it worked out the way it worked out. Just like Paul Pierce is a Celtic, Kobe is a Laker.”

AP Sports Writer John Nadel contributed to this story from El Segundo, Calif.

coreytaylor
06-03-2008, 11:10 AM
i hate the lakers! but i hate to say this: its hard to beat the la lakers! soo to all my fellow boston fans: would you just shut up and stop make predictions that boston will win it all @ 6! jesus christ! why dont just watch the series and why dont u just shot your mouths and let the la lakers fans do the talking!

LION
06-03-2008, 11:29 AM
Oscar! ;D

Kid Cubao
06-03-2008, 11:43 AM
i hate the lakers! but i hate to say this: its hard to beat the la lakers!

oo nga naman, mahirap talaga kung ikaw lang ang kakalaban sa lakers, kaya ipagpaubaya mo na kina KG, ray allen, paul pierce at sa buong celtics lineup yung paglalaro sa finals.

coreytaylor
06-03-2008, 11:46 AM
i hate the lakers! but i hate to say this: its hard to beat the la lakers!

oo nga naman, mahirap talaga kung ikaw lang ang kakalaban sa lakers, kaya ipagpaubaya mo na kina KG, ray allen, paul pierce at sa buong celtics lineup yung paglalaro sa finals.


another philosopher

Paul of Bataan
06-03-2008, 12:10 PM
i hate the lakers! but i hate to say this: its hard to beat the la lakers! soo to all my fellow boston fans: would you just shut up and stop make predictions that boston will win it all @ 6! jesus christ! why dont just watch the series and why dont u just shot your mouths and let the la lakers fans do the talking!

ah ganun ba? fellow celtics fans, ituloy lang natin ang mga predictions, boston in 5 games!!!!!

Jeep
06-03-2008, 12:11 PM
just a personal curiosity i'd like to satisfy: does anyone know the standings of these two squads in all their meetings in the NBA finals since they first faced each other back in the 1960s? how many times they've met, and what are their win-loss cards against each other?


This will be the 12th time Boston and Lakers will meet in the NBA Finals. Celtics won 8 and Lakers won 3. ;)
Go Beantown!



Thanks, too, TBC! lamang na lamang ang koponan ko! the celtic winning tradition, down through the decades, should be ready and rarin' to go this thursday/friday. the recruits, KG and ray-ray chiefly, feel it like it’s in their blood. it was evident in that father-and-son-like discussion KG had with bill russel about the tradition and the pride whenever he suits up. like hondo always said, this tradition, the newcomers don't understand at first (KG being the exception), but once they get it, they feel it in their blood and in their guts.

i'm confident that with this new batch, celtic tradition and pride are in very safe hands. and red auerbach is probably happily geting his cigar ready up there.

dark_seid
06-03-2008, 12:15 PM
just a personal curiosity i'd like to satisfy: does anyone know the standings of these two squads in all their meetings in the NBA finals since they first faced each other back in the 1960s? how many times they've met, and what are their win-loss cards against each other?


This will be the 12th time Boston and Lakers will meet in the NBA Finals. Celtics won 8 and Lakers won 3. ;)
Go Beantown!



let's just say they have a long history of encounters. that's what always made great rivalries, when teams meet repeatedly and battle each other for the ultimate prize in their sport.



Thanks, too, TBC! lamang na lamang ang koponan ko! the celtic winning tradition, down through the decades, should be ready and rarin' to go this thursday/friday. the recruits, KG and ray-ray chiefly, feel it like it’s in their blood. it was evident in that father-and-son-like discussion KG had with bill russel about the tradition and the pride whenever he suits up. like hondo always said, this tradition, the newcomers don't understand at first (KG being the exception), but once they get it, they feel it in their blood and in their guts.

i'm confident that with this new batch, celtic tradition and pride are in very safe hands. and red auerbach is probably happily geting his cigar ready up there.



that chat - especially the first of the series with bill offering to give one of his rings to kg - was just so eerie and wrong in so many levels.

bchoter
06-03-2008, 12:20 PM
A second the motion for a poll in this thread and I recommend that it should go like this:

1. Celtics will sweep the series
2. Celtics in 5
3. Celtics in 6
4. Celtics the full route

coreytaylor
06-03-2008, 12:24 PM
i hate the lakers! but i hate to say this: its hard to beat the la lakers! soo to all my fellow boston fans: would you just shut up and stop make predictions that boston will win it all @ 6! jesus christ! why dont just watch the series and why dont u just shot your mouths and let the la lakers fans do the talking!

ah ganun ba? fellow celtics fans, ituloy lang natin ang mga predictions, boston in 5 games!!!!!


ah ok. go boston! boston in 5! :)

Hoops McCann
06-03-2008, 12:33 PM
OK guys, poll away!

Raging Blue
06-03-2008, 12:42 PM
i hate the lakers! but i hate to say this: its hard to beat the la lakers! soo to all my fellow boston fans: would you just shut up and stop make predictions that boston will win it all @ 6! jesus christ! why dont just watch the series and why dont u just shot your mouths and let the la lakers fans do the talking!


Di ba kampi ka sa Pistons nung nakaraang Eastern Conference Finals? Welcome to the Celtics bandwagon :)

The_Big_Cat
06-03-2008, 12:59 PM
Boston Celtics in 6 games or at most 7.

If its a close game, the Celtics have the edge because they are the best defensive team in the NBA.
The key for the Lakers is to score 100 pts or more. That is their barometer. If its a high scoring game, Boston can't keep up with the Lakers' offense.

"Defense wins championships". Boston will clamp down the LA offense. ;)

Dark Knight
06-03-2008, 01:13 PM
Congrats to the Los Angeles Lakers for winning the NBA Title against Boston in 6 games............................................. ................ in 1987.* :D

coreytaylor
06-03-2008, 01:23 PM
i hate the lakers! but i hate to say this: its hard to beat the la lakers! soo to all my fellow boston fans: would you just shut up and stop make predictions that boston will win it all @ 6! jesus christ! why dont just watch the series and why dont u just shot your mouths and let the la lakers fans do the talking!


Di ba kampi ka sa Pistons nung nakaraang Eastern Conference Finals? Welcome to the Celtics bandwagon :)


Yes but i realized it wasn't the same detroit pistons 4 years ago. tayshaun prince sucked during the western conf. finals. hell, sheed was like a rookie in that series.

salsa caballero
06-03-2008, 02:28 PM
*Exercising my freedom of expression as well as my right not to stick a barrel down my throat*

I go with the prediction that Boston will take it in six. ;) Red, Len and Reggie will be on hand to see the Celts through...

stonecold316
06-03-2008, 02:33 PM
Derek Fisher thriving in return to Lakers
06/03/2008 | 08:35 AM
Email this | Email the Editor | Print | Digg this | Add to del.icio.us
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. - When Derek Fisher faced a crisis, he had no problem prioritizing. Tatum came first, and everything else would have to fall into place.

Fisher flashed a smile Monday at the mention of his nearly 2-year-old daughter, whose battle with retinoblastoma — cancer in the left eye — drew national attention last spring.

"She's doing great," he said.

So is her father.

Fisher and the Los Angeles Lakers face the Celtics in the NBA finals beginning Thursday night in Boston — a development he couldn't have imagined last July when he returned to the team for which he played from 1996-2004.

"This doesn't come around every season, and there have been hundreds of guys that have played many years in this league and really not gotten this opportunity," he said. "So you have to cherish it and appreciate it, and that's what feels good about it."

Fisher came back to the team that made him a first-round draft choice in 1996 after he asked the Utah Jazz to release him from the remaining three years of his contract so he could find the best medical care for his daughter because it wasn't available in every U.S. city.

Fisher acknowledged he considered retirement before signing a three-year, $14 million contract with the Lakers, which represented a $7 million pay cut from his previous deal.

"For a while, I did ," he said. "I wasn't sure what was required for us as parents."

When it became clear he could continue to play, Fisher was only too happy to have an opportunity with the Lakers.

So was coach Phil Jackson.

"I knew the stability he would bring our team, the leadership he would give us," Jackson said.

That's precisely what the 33-year-old Fisher figured he could do, and he was convinced he could make a difference, which he did.

"When I got traded to Utah (by Golden State), I said maybe I could help us win 6-to-8 more games," he recalled, noting the Jazz went from 41-41 to 51-31 and reached the Western Conference finals. "I had a similar formula coming to this team."

While it certainly wasn't all Fisher, he did his share and more. And the Lakers have gone from 42-40 and first-round playoff elimination to 57-25 and the NBA finals.

"What he does for our team isn't always in the box score, the intangibles he brings," assistant coach Frank Hamblen said. "And he's played terrific. Loose balls are his, he takes charges, and he shoots the ball really well."

Fisher said he realized the Lakers could advance this far during a nine-game road trip that began Jan. 31 — a day before they acquired Pau Gasol from Memphis.

"You're on the road, you spend a lot of time together," he recalled. "We enjoyed that. We cared about each other. I knew that would make a difference."

Fisher said he wouldn't compare this team's chemistry to the Lakers' championship teams of 2000-02 just yet.

"But the camaraderie is very, very high," he said. "That's where we differ from our teams in the past. We truly have fun coming to work. It's a good feeling."

Fisher is the elder statesman on the Lakers — one of only two players on the roster over 30. The other, Ira Newble, joined the team in midseason and hardly plays.

In his first tour of duty, he deferred to the likes of Shaquille O'Neal, Robert Horry, Rick Fox, Karl Malone and Gary Payton.

"He has more responsibility now," said Kobe Bryant, who entered the NBA the same year as Fisher and has played his entire career with the Lakers. "He's the same way now he was back then. I just feel like here, with this team having younger players, they really tend to follow him a lot more and adhere to what he's saying.

"The comments that he makes throughout the game, the spirit, the approach to practice, the preparation and his hard work, I think it rubs off a great deal."

Fisher grew up a Lakers fan in Little Rock, Ark., and is aware of their rivalry with the Celtics — the teams have met 10 times in the NBA finals. He said it's difficult to put the upcoming matchup in the same category as the three he remembers in the 1980s.

"We're talking about some of the greatest players to ever play the game," he said. "By the third time, it was heated, it was personal. Our guys are young, it's hard to compare what happened in those years. To compare this to that is a little far-fetched right now."

Fisher acknowledged this series might become heated before it's over.

"We both stand in each other's way," he said. "I'm sure it won't take long for us to dislike each other a great deal. Both teams want to complete the goal, both teams are four wins away from getting it." - AP

stonecold316
06-03-2008, 02:39 PM
At the end of the day the team who really wants the NBA title will win the crown.

May the best team win!

stonecold316

batangueño
06-03-2008, 02:53 PM
Boston in six. It's Kobe Bryant ALONE (kapag inalat si Kobe, patay ang diskarte ni Phil Jackson) vs the Big Three of KG, Pierce and Ray Allen plus the rest of the Celtics team (e.g. Posey, Rondo, Perkins) ;)

BEAT LA! ;D

patupup
06-03-2008, 03:42 PM
Am a Magic/Jabbar/Worthy fan, pero this time since di ko gusto angas ni Bryant, am rooting for the CELTICS!

Boston in 5 or 7 games ;)

tigerman
06-03-2008, 05:53 PM
It's so ironic that Paul Pierce (a native of Inglewood, California) used to be a Laker fan during the 80's rivalry of Boston and LA. :D

I hate Boston for sending Detroit to an early vacation but I'll go with them in 6 primarily because I hate Kobe. ;D




USTE LO MEJOR!
VIVA SANTO TOMAS!

The_Big_Cat
06-03-2008, 05:59 PM
It's so ironic that Paul Pierce (a native of Inglewood, California) used to be a Laker fan during the 80's rivalry of Boston and LA. :D

I hate Boston for sending Detroit to an early vacation but I'll go with them in 6 primarily because I hate Kobe. ;D


Paul Pierce's Kansas won this year's US NCAA. Maybe, Pierce is the lucky charm for the Celtics.

2006 Miami Heat champs Jason Williams and Udonis Haslem's University of Florida won the US NCAA also in 2006. :)

BigBlue
06-03-2008, 06:07 PM
Paul Pierce's Kansas won this year's US NCAA. Maybe, Pierce is the lucky charm for the Celtics.


tagal namang umubra ng lucky charm, 10 years!

The_Big_Cat
06-03-2008, 06:16 PM
Paul Pierce's Kansas won this year's US NCAA. Maybe, Pierce is the lucky charm for the Celtics.


tagal namang umubra ng lucky charm, 10 years!

Hakeem Olajuwon waited 10 years before he won his first ring. It's worth the wait.

bchoter
06-03-2008, 07:45 PM
It's so ironic that Paul Pierce (a native of Inglewood, California) used to be a Laker fan during the 80's rivalry of Boston and LA.* :D
If you didn't know Kobe (a native of Philadelphia) it would have been ironic for fans of Philadelphia to hate him so much :D

MonL
06-03-2008, 08:29 PM
I don't want to predict how many games it will take, because making the journey is just as good as getting to the destination.

But this I hope I can see and hear again this year: the announcer blurting out:

"And the Boston Celtics are once again the WOOOOORRLD Champions!!!" :)

Dark Knight
06-03-2008, 09:26 PM
Magdilang anghel sana kayong lahat.

MonL
06-03-2008, 10:10 PM
The Curse of Len Bias

The Celts would finish with the second-worst record in the league, 24-58. It seemed that after years of lording it over the rest of the league, the hex that had been transfixed on Beantown’s hoops team beginning with the death of Len Bias would continue. Twenty seasons and counting. As Larry Bird once said, “People don’t understand. We lost Len not just for next season but for years to come. He was that good.”*

He was 6'8', 240 pounds, a superb athlete and a multiposition player. And his death probably hastened the end of the careers of the Original Big Three. They were forced to play extensive minutes in the years that followed. Bias was so good that the Celts would have won another three titles had he lived.




Time to throw out the stats?

When the two teams clash, expect the unexpected to happen. Without a doubt, the Big Three of each team—the Celtics’ Paul Pierce, Allen and Garnett and the Lakers’ Bryant, Odom and Gasol—will be the main men. But the bench play is equally important.

It was Gerald Henderson who picked off James Worthy’s errant pass in Game Two of the 1984 title series that sent the game into overtime, which the Celtics won. And, three years later, it was reserve Boston slotman Greg Kite who was escorted to the interview room after scoring zero points yet blocking a momentum-changing shot by Magic Johnson.


Henderson's steal would have made proud Johnny Most, the gravel-voiced announcer who forever made famous John Havlicek's steal. Gerald later mused of wishing to hear Most make famous his own steal. ("Henderson stole the ball!!!":) )
But Most also made the play-by play for another famous Celtic steal: Larry Bird's swipe of an Isiah Thomas inbound, and a dish off to a cutting Dennis Johnson in the 1987 Eastern Conference Final.



And these two teams have a way of getting taking and telling blows on one another. The Minneapolis Lakers of Mikan, Jim Pollard and Vern Fleming were the NBA’s first dynasty, but when Bill Russell came to the league, he ended any notion of extending their reign by sweeping them, 4-0, and sending them packing to LA. When the Lakers got the better of the rivalry in the 1980s, they also broke a cherished Celtics record—snapping their consecutive home wins at 38 in 1987 (see, here, obviously Boston has a chip on its shoulder against Los Angeles).


It was not Vern Fleming but Vern Mikkelson who was Mikan's teammate. Fleming was a member of the 1984 US Olympic team, the last pure amateur team to win an Olympic Gold medal. His more famous teammates then were Pat Ewing, Chris Mullin, Michael Jordan, Sam Perkins, Wayman Tisdale, Alvin Robertson "and" Jeff Turner (whom Coach Bob Knight chose over Charles Barkley :P). He would later play a solid though undistinguished pro career with the Indiana Pacers.
Pero OT na ako. ;D

MonL
06-04-2008, 12:36 AM
One useless information:* The last black coach who won the NBA Championship was K.C. Jones who led the Celtics to their 16th NBA crown.* Coach Doc Rivers will try to become the third African-American coach to win a NBA championship.


Actually, Doc will attempt to be the fifth.

The first, of course, was Bill Russell.

Bill Russell (Playing Coach, 1968-69)
Al Attles, Golden State, 1975
Lenny Wilkens, Seattle 1979
K.C. Jones (1984, 1986)
Doc Rivers (2008 ;D)

(Edited because I suddenly remembered Al Attles and rediscovered Lenny Wilkens.)

MonL
06-04-2008, 01:34 AM
*Exercising my freedom of expression as well as my right not to stick a barrel down my throat*

I go with the prediction that Boston will take it in six. ;) Red, Len and Reggie will be on hand to see the Celts through...


With DJ calling the plays... :)

Kid Cubao
06-04-2008, 06:00 AM
i still have to come to terms over the passing of dennis johnson.

he is the main argument that in basketball, position descriptions like point guard and shooting guard are as genuine as a randy santiago five-peso bill. the more skills you bring to the table, the longer you play. tingnan mo na lang yung backcourt combo nila ni danny ainge--hindi mo talaga masabi kung sino ang point at shooting guard sa kanila. specialization is for insects, it's got no place in basketball.

rest in peace, DJ.

Dark Knight
06-04-2008, 07:15 AM
Yup, DJ is one of the best PG of the Celtics (aside from Cousy), freckles and all.

LION
06-04-2008, 09:43 AM
The Curse of Len Bias

The Celts would finish with the second-worst record in the league, 24-58. It seemed that after years of lording it over the rest of the league, the hex that had been transfixed on Beantown’s hoops team beginning with the death of Len Bias would continue. Twenty seasons and counting. As Larry Bird once said, “People don’t understand. We lost Len not just for next season but for years to come. He was that good.”*

He was 6'8', 240 pounds, a superb athlete and a multiposition player. And his death probably hastened the end of the careers of the Original Big Three. They were forced to play extensive minutes in the years that followed. Bias was so good that the Celts would have won another three titles had he lived.




Time to throw out the stats?

When the two teams clash, expect the unexpected to happen. Without a doubt, the Big Three of each team—the Celtics’ Paul Pierce, Allen and Garnett and the Lakers’ Bryant, Odom and Gasol—will be the main men. But the bench play is equally important.

It was Gerald Henderson who picked off James Worthy’s errant pass in Game Two of the 1984 title series that sent the game into overtime, which the Celtics won. And, three years later, it was reserve Boston slotman Greg Kite who was escorted to the interview room after scoring zero points yet blocking a momentum-changing shot by Magic Johnson.


Henderson's steal would have made proud Johnny Most, the gravel-voiced announcer who forever made famous John Havlicek's steal. Gerald later mused of wishing to hear Most make famous his own steal. ("Henderson stole the ball!!!":) )
But Most also made the play-by play for another famous Celtic steal: Larry Bird's swipe of an Isiah Thomas inbound, and a dish off to a cutting Dennis Johnson in the 1987 Eastern Conference Final.



And these two teams have a way of getting taking and telling blows on one another. The Minneapolis Lakers of Mikan, Jim Pollard and Vern Fleming were the NBA’s first dynasty, but when Bill Russell came to the league, he ended any notion of extending their reign by sweeping them, 4-0, and sending them packing to LA. When the Lakers got the better of the rivalry in the 1980s, they also broke a cherished Celtics record—snapping their consecutive home wins at 38 in 1987 (see, here, obviously Boston has a chip on its shoulder against Los Angeles).


It was not Vern Fleming but Vern Mikkelson who was Mikan's teammate. Fleming was a member of the 1984 US Olympic team, the last pure amateur team to win an Olympic Gold medal. His more famous teammates then were Pat Ewing, Chris Mullin, Michael Jordan, Sam Perkins, Wayman Tisdale, Alvin Robertson "and" Jeff Turner (whom Coach Bob Knight chose over Charles Barkley :P). He would later play a solid though undistinguished pro career with the Indiana Pacers.
Pero OT na ako. ;D



Tindi mo man! A walking encyclopedia of everything Celtics. ;D

coreytaylor
06-04-2008, 05:04 PM
Rivalry didn’t start—or end—with Magic and Larry
By JIMMY GOLEN, AP Sports Writer
http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news

WALTHAM, Mass. (AP)—Larry Bird and Magic Johnson have had two decades to nurse the memories of their fading rivalry, keeping it alive in their minds because the Lakers and Celtics have had little to compete for on the court.

Largely because of Boston’s unprecedented title drought, the matchup that helped establish the league has been dormant since the Celtics’ last appearance in the NBA finals in 1987. Now they’re back, and the Lakers are again waiting.

It’s Kobe and KG.

Paul and Pau.

East and West.

But, mostly, the Celtics against the Lakers.

“It was just great to be able to be in that heated rivalry for so many years,” Johnson said Tuesday. “The cities disliked each other; the teams disliked each other. But we respected each other because we knew they were so talented of a team, and also well-coached.

“We always wanted to play the best,” Johnson said. “And that was the Celtics.”

Winners of 30 NBA titles between them, the Lakers and Celtics will meet in the NBA finals for the 11th time starting on Thursday night with Game 1 at the new Boston Garden. And with the rekindling of that rivalry, the NBA got Johnson and Bird on a conference call with reporters to talk about the old days.

“It was extraordinary, great competition. It was battles every game,” Bird said. “I just feel very honored being able to be in an opportunity, with the great teammates that I had, to compete against a team either better or on an equal level as we were. It was an extraordinary time.”

Bird said the anticipation of meeting the Lakers each year was so intense that he was actually disappointed when they lost to the Houston Rockets in the 1986 Western Conference finals.

“I know all of us felt down a little bit because we weren’t going to be able to play the Lakers again,” Bird said. “(But) when you think of the Celtics and Lakers, it didn’t start with me and Magic. It goes back to the ’50s and ’60s.”

The teams first hooked up in the finals in 1959, when the Lakers were still in Minneapolis and Boston was on the cusp of a dynasty. The Celtics won that one — and the next seven times they met head-to-head—as they piled up an NBA-record 16 championships.

“It was hard to call it a rivalry because, you know, the Celtics always won,” Johnson said.

And it was hard to keep the rivalry going while Boston kept losing.

The Celtics went to the finals four times in the mid-1980s, but they haven’t been back since 1987. Meanwhile, Johnson made it back to the finals three more times—beating Detroit in 1988, losing to the Pistons in ‘88, and losing to Michael Jordan and the Bulls when Chicago won its first title in ‘91.

The Lakers went through a dry spell before winning three more championships with Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal in 2000-02. The Celtics missed the playoffs entirely nine times in the past 14 years.

“Every great franchise must go through downtime,” Johnson said. “A mark of a true and great franchise is whether they can come back. Both of them have come back, and come back in a big way.”

The Celtics did it all in one year, adding Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen to mainstay Paul Pierce to turn last year’s 24-win team into the NBA leader with a 66-16 record this season. The Lakers didn’t drop as far or rise as quickly, riding Kobe Bryant’s MVP season to the best record in the West.

Now they’re back in the finals again, and facing each other again. But everything else—the players, coaches, even the arenas—is different.

“The intensity is not up to that level right now,” Celtics guard Sam Cassell said. “If we play the Lakers next year in the finals and the year after that, I think the rivalry will become like it was in the ’80s. But right now it’s just two teams who respect one another.”

In the end, Johnson said, it’s not about the rivalry anyway.

“Trust me, when that ball goes up on Thursday, they’ll understand,” he said. “They’ll have their own rivalry because it’s for all the marbles, it’s for everything. It doesn’t matter whether they understand the rivalry or not. They’re going to create their own new rivalry, right, on Thursday night.”

coreytaylor
06-04-2008, 05:05 PM
Bryant the greatest of his generation
By JOHN NADEL, AP Sports Writer
http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (AP)—Jerry West has had a front-row seat to watch the evolution of Kobe Bryant: precocious teenager, three-time NBA champion, angry superstar and beloved MVP.

One of the game’s all-time greats himself, West can relate to some of what Bryant has experienced. And the man known as Mr. Clutch understands what separates Bryant from the rest.

“He’s a Picasso in basketball shoes, absolutely—one of those once-in-a-lifetime players,” West said. “Kobe is the ultimate closer in the game. In all sports you seem to have people who play at a high level when it’s important. You don’t see anyone do it like him today, you really don’t.”

Bryant was the ultimate closer last week when the Los Angeles Lakers beat San Antonio 100-92 to advance to their first NBA finals berth since 2004.

The Spurs scored five straight points to draw within two, prompting a Los Angeles timeout. Bryant then scored 10 of his 39 points in the final 3:32.

“I haven’t seen anyone better than him in that context, as a finisher,” said Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the NBA’s career scoring leader and a Lakers assistant.

Bryant recalled some advice West once gave him.

“He said when the game is on the line, he feels like the shots are actually easier to make,” Bryant said. “It was interesting to hear him say that and try to understand how he views those clutch situations and how I can learn from that and try to be that way.”

West spent more than 40 years with the Lakers as a player, coach and executive. He knew when he watched the 17-year-old Bryant in a pre-draft workout in 1996 that he was in the presence of future greatness.

Bryant is now in the exclusive company of players who dominated their generations: Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, West, Elgin Baylor, Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird and Michael Jordan.

“Kobe had all the intangibles, this spirited way about him, unbelievably sure of himself, that he was the best, even at that age,” West said. “He always expected everyone to be as competitive as him, as gifted as him. There are very few players that have ever been able to match his skill, determination and desire.

“He’s just one of those unique kids who’s been unique from the start, who could dribble the basketball through five men and score. That’s not the way to play basketball.”

That’s a lesson Bryant has learned.

“He finally gets it,” West said. “He has probably been kind of a lightning rod for a lot of stuff. He just wants to win. He expects everyone to want to do the same.”

Bryant, who turns 30 in August, is completing his 12th season. He didn’t mix much with older teammates early in his career. Although he teamed with Shaquille O’Neal to lead the Lakers to three straight championships, the two feuded like crazy.

O’Neal was traded a month after the Lakers lost to the Detroit Pistons in the 2004 NBA finals. Bryant still bristles at implications he had something to do with that.

The other day, as the Lakers prepared for the Boston Celtics in their first appearance in the finals since O’Neal left, Bryant said he was never unhappy in his role as the No. 2 option.

“I’ve never said I want my own team,” he said.

Lakers coach Phil Jackson also left after the 2003-04 season, and later wrote a book in which he called Bryant “uncoachable.” Jackson would return after taking a season off and seems to have had an excellent relationship with Bryant since.

When Bryant demanded to be traded last summer, Jackson served as an ally of sorts. When Bryant won his first MVP award last month, his coach said he didn’t know anybody who deserved it more. Jackson coached Jordan, a five-time MVP, in Chicago and was with the Lakers when O’Neal won the award in 2000.

Bryant has talked all season about his love for his teammates, and they’ve clearly returned the affection. It hasn’t always been that way—far from it.

The return of Derek Fisher this season clearly benefited Bryant on and off the court. The two were teammates with the Lakers from 1996-04 before Fisher left for three years.

“I’ve always felt like the biggest difference is he’s just an adult man,” Fisher said. “You think differently, you emote differently, you’re a man. Growth in your own life will continue to give you a broader and sometimes brighter perspective. Things change when you go from a younger guy to an older guy. You have a responsibility to be instructive.”

West has watched the last year unfold from a distance.

“This has been a unique year because everything started out kind of ugly,” West said. “Probably Kobe looked in the mirror one day and said, ‘Oh, my gosh, we’re better than I thought we were. I’m going to get some help.”’

The help came from several teammates, especially Andrew Bynum until the 20-year-old center was hit with a season-ending knee injury Jan. 13. The Lakers acquired Pau Gasol from Memphis less than three weeks later in what Bryant this week termed a “nice little donation.”

Bryant has called this his best regular season and his most enjoyable. That’s a long 3-pointer from last spring when he challenged the Lakers to upgrade their roster, then demanded a trade. He has opened up recently about how tough last summer was.

“I had bags under my eyes,” he said with a smile, referring to his trouble sleeping. “I think it would have been a much harder summer if we weren’t playing with the USA team. I think that helped me take my mind off a lot of things and focus on the game.

“Once training camp came around, all I thought about was basketball. It was right back to business and doing what I do. Once the season started, I didn’t think about a trade or anything like that. I just buckled down into what I needed to do to get this team to play our best basketball. That’s what we did.”

Dark Knight
06-04-2008, 07:48 PM
Rivalry didn’t start—or end—with Magic and Larry
By JIMMY GOLEN, AP Sports Writer
http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news



“We always wanted to play the best,” Johnson said. “And that was the Celtics.”



“It was hard to call it a rivalry because, you know, the Celtics always won,” Johnson said.







Well sad Magic.......... :)

stonecold316
06-05-2008, 01:53 PM
Lakers and Celtics to rekindle Finals rivalry
06/05/2008 | 08:51 AM
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BOSTON - They're like long, lost fraternity brothers who left college with bad haircuts and wearing those thigh-hugging short shorts that were fashionable during the Reagan years. They drifted to opposite coasts and barely kept in touch.

Well, they've reconnected and are getting back together.

The Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers are going to a reunion in a place they both know so well — the NBA finals.

It's about time, huh?

"I feel like a little kid," said Celtics forward Paul Pierce, who grew up in L.A. and used to sneak into the Lakers' home arena. "Now I understand that, hey, I'm going to be a part of history. This is something I grew up watching, the Laker-Celtics rivalries."

Following a 21-year separation, pro basketball's pillars of power will revive their bitter rivalry starting Thursday night at TD Banknorth Garden for Game 1 of a best-of-seven series drenched in nostalgia and stuffed with enough history to fill every playground hoop from Springfield to Southern California.

The famed franchises, who have combined to win 30 of 61 championships, are squaring off in the finals for the 11th time and first since 1987. These finals figure to deliver a needed jolt of excitement to the league, which began the 2007-08 season entangled in a gambling probe involving one of its referees and whose signature event has strained to recapture the sporting spotlight since the '80s, when Celtics vs. Lakers, Bird vs. Magic was a rite of spring.

Television ratings are expected to jump dramatically thanks to a finals loaded with juicy storylines: Kobe Bryant's run toward a fourth championship ring — and first without Shaquille O'Neal; Boston's Big Three of Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen shooting for their first ones; and Lakers coach Phil Jackson trying to win his record 10th title, one more than Red Auerbach, the Celtics' late legend whose presence hovers over the team like smoke from one of his victory cigars.

On the short list of celebrated rivalries — Hatfields-McCoys, Yankees-Red Sox, North Carolina-Duke, Ohio State-Michigan — Lakers-Celtics stands near the top.

"I think this is a great thing not just for the NBA, but just for sports in general," Lakers guard Derek Fisher said. "I think it's a great thing when the best gets a chance to compete against the best, and whoever comes out on top, they earned it. I think both teams should be proud to be here."

A year ago, it would have been impossible to imagine these hardwood Goliaths in the playoffs, never mind clashing for a title.

The Celtics won 24 games last season, and all the mystique and charm that makes them special had seemingly vanished. Last year, Boston's immediate future looked bleak after the club failed to win the NBA lottery, a devastating blow for a team in full rebuild mode.

But the green-and-white began its rebound on draft night last June, when general manager Danny Ainge traded first for Allen and later managed to land Garnett, a superstar stuck with the Minnesota Timberwolves, and a player, as it turns out, who almost became a Laker.

"We gave a great chase to Garnett last year," Jackson revealed Wednesday before his team practiced. "We put a lot of pressure on the Minnesota franchise and felt like we had the inside track on that, and that we could end up missing out on that opportunity and still be here in this challenge, the finals, is really kind of a great story in itself."

For the Lakers, though, nothing trumps what Bryant has done to get the franchise within four wins of a 15th championship. After the club was bounced in the first round of the playoffs last season, a frustrated Bryant challenged the team's front office to upgrade the roster.

By summer, he was demanding a trade while at the same time enhancing his reputation as a selfish, arrogant, egomaniacal player. In truth, Bryant just wanted to win — badly — and didn't want to be on a team that didn't share his drive.

However, in his 12th season, Bryant has matured on and off the floor. He has led by example, mentoring the Lakers' younger players and winning his first MVP award, an honor he probably deserved in the past but never received in part because of his perceived me-first, team-second image.

"He's the captain of this team, and we follow his lead," Lamar Odom said. "Kobe is the first one in the gym, the last one to leave. He's the first one in the weight room, the last one to leave. You try to compete against him and there's no competing against him. If we have a 10 o'clock practice, Kobe is there at 8:45 preparing to be the best.

"And some of that has rubbed off on me and my teammates, and that's the only reason why I'm sitting here talking today."

Beyond Bryant, Los Angeles' acquisition of center Pau Gasol in a midseason trade with Memphis changed the course of its season. The Lakers went 23-5 with the All-Star in their lineup and certainly could have used him in two regular-season losses to the Celtics, who won 107-94 in Boston on Nov. 23 and 110-91 in Los Angeles on Dec. 30.

Jackson isn't putting much stock in those matchups.

"We had Thanksgiving Thursday here, played on Friday. We were full of turkey," cracked Jackson, 9-1 in the finals. "The game in late December was much more reflective of the team. However, we wore those short shorts that night and lost our attitude early. I think the guys got a little tight."

Boston's lack of experience in the finals — none of its starters have played in one previously — could be a factor. But Garnett, who led the Celtics to 66 regular-season wins and an Eastern Conference title in his first season with them, isn't worried about his teammates becoming rattled in their first trip to the big stage.

"At the end of the day, it's just basketball," he said. "You play the way you know. You bring what you bring, play with your heart and soul and play together, play as a team."

The Celtics' Big Three have waited their entire careers for their first shot at history. Bryant knows that to keep them from raising a 17th banner to Boston's rafters, the Lakers will need to be the quicker team, the smarter team, the better team.

"From my experience, you have to execute," he said. "You can want it worse than anybody on the planet, but if you don't have a group of guys or a team that executes well enough to win, you're not going to win." - AP

dark_seid
06-05-2008, 06:53 PM
Yup, DJ is one of the best PG of the Celtics (aside from Cousy), freckles and all.


and according to magic, dennis johnson was the only player that made him turn his back to the basket when bringing up the ball on their offensive sets.

*that might be an hyperbole since i remember him doing it versus michael or scottie in '91

Kid Cubao
06-05-2008, 07:00 PM
yes, because DJ was one of the very few defensive guards at the time who was strong enough to body him up in full-court pressure defense. the other was joe dumars of the pistons.

Dark Knight
06-05-2008, 07:45 PM
This is it guys. 9am tomorrow. The mother of all NBA Finals. I just bought my cashew nuts and a few sodas.

Guaranteed, bottles will be hurled once Boston lose. I'll even kill the taxidermist who stuffed my shrimp in disgust.

But if the Celtics win, ill treat all Boston fans here to a dinner at the Manila Hotel, (at the rear) where a sumptuous "ginisang toge" awaits.

LET THE GAMES BEGIN!!!! :D

http://bojack.org/images/osamakobe3.jpg

The_Big_Cat
06-05-2008, 08:02 PM
Phil Jackson is 41-0 Playoff series record when his team win Game 1.

Boston should come out strong in the early stages to dictate the tempo.
Expect a big game for Boston's Big Three. Attack Lamar Odom and Ray Allen should come out strong to make Kobe defend him to take away Kobe's offense.

marmand
06-05-2008, 08:13 PM
I see both teams coming out flat but will pick it up by the 3rd. Ray and Lamar would be the biggest factors. The one that will deliver will give his team a victory. Kobe/Gasol will offset KG/Paul. The bench will be even so its up to Ray or Lamar.

The_Big_Cat
06-05-2008, 08:18 PM
For Boston's bench, I would like to see if Sam Cassell still has it to contribute to his team's cause.

The bench matchups would be exciting to watch:
Eddie House and Jordan Farmar, Tony Allen and Vujacic, James Posey and Luke Walton, Powe and Turiaf.

cub
06-05-2008, 11:45 PM
the bench support is pretty equal. both are inconsistent. and im pertaining to Vujacic and Posey. same goes to Brown and Farmar. Powe is just inserted in the game when KG or Perk is in foul trouble. while we may see a glimpse of Mbenga or maybe even Mihm in this series because Odom, Gasol and Turiaf will be in foul trouble.

yungha
06-06-2008, 07:56 AM
A second the motion for a poll in this thread and I recommend that it should go like this:

1. Celtics will sweep the series
2. Celtics in 5
3. Celtics in 6
4. Celtics the full route


none of the above. Boston in 3!

MonL
06-06-2008, 11:16 AM
Lakers lead at the half by three, but Paul Pierce makes a four point play in the first five seconds of the 3rd to regain the lead for Boston. He gets hurt and is carried out by teammates, returns later on ala Willis Reed, fires up the crowd and fires back-to-back threes.

Clearly the heart and soul of the Celtics.

The_Big_Cat
06-06-2008, 11:59 AM
Celtics defense: allowing 87ppg (best in the playoffs)
Lakers offense: scoring 105ppg (best in the playoffs)

Boston Celtics take game 1 of the NBA Finals 98-88.
Celtics were right in track limiting MVP Kobe Bryant to 9/26 FG shooting.
Celtics Big Three were terrific.

GO CELTICS!

Raging Blue
06-06-2008, 12:05 PM
98-89. Go Celtics!

We have just witnessed "Kill Phil", part 1, featuring the defanging of the Black Mamba.

nash_bedista
06-06-2008, 12:16 PM
Another Turning Point yng 2 staight 3points ni Paul Pierce and rare 4point play.

Ray Allen Regain his Shooting Touch...

Big Guys like P.J Brown and Leon Powe provide Muscle inside the Paint.

And of Course, the hussle of Kevin Garnett...


Boston @ game1. ;D

MonL
06-06-2008, 12:16 PM
Celts need to be more consistent on the offensive end. I absolutely hate it when the Big 3 pass up on open looks in favor of *needless extra passes. Lakers weren't gunshy at all.

Cassell still has a shooter's mentality but made bad decisions down the stretch. Rondo's insertion stabilized them some. PJ Brown showed why the Celts were wise to sign him when he played solidly down the stretch, earning major minutes due to Perk's injury.

Bryant's poor shooting had an impact on the 46-33 rebounding gap. Assists, steals, turnovers and blocks by both teams canceled each other out.

The_Big_Cat
06-06-2008, 12:24 PM
The Celtics bench outplayed the Lakers reserve.

Cassell hitting timely shots. PJ Brown defended the paint well and grab crucial rebounds. Leon Powe outhustled Turiaf in the offensive boards and James Posey hit clutch threes.

Highlight plays:

* Derek Fisher steal and passed to a flying Kobe for an alley-up dunk.
* Paul Pierce 4-point play at the start of the third quarter to trigger a Boston rally.
* Paul Pierce coming back from an injured leg late in the 3rd and hit two consecutive threes.
* Kevin Garnett saving the ball from going to the backcourt as shot clock winds down and Cassell burying the j-shot.
* Kevin Garnett put-back slam dunk in the last two minutes extending the Celtics lead to 8.

cub
06-06-2008, 12:33 PM
the turning point for me happened when Posey hit that clutch three to give Boston an 8point lead. he's done it twice or thrice this post season. he just scores 3 per game but that three will be the dagger.

Kid Cubao
06-06-2008, 12:37 PM
the celtics big 3 delivered big time. nevertheless, it's boston's defensive game plan that sealed the win for them. what they did was cut off kobe's favorite angles by closing out on the blind side, forcing him to cough up the ball and/or shoot without being squared up. PJ brown did a heck of a job on the defensive glass. and paul pierce showed why he's the latest celtic legend.

for LA, they better get used to the physicality allowed by the refs. no doubt, the series is far from over, but they really need to snatch game 2 before they all fly off to the west coast. kobe may need to take more shots just to get his rhythm going, and it will also help a lot if he can draw more production from the other starters like pau, derek fisher, and lamar odom.

The_Big_Cat
06-06-2008, 12:38 PM
You have to wonder what Phil Jackson did in the late 3rd qtr when Pierce came back from the locker room and into the playing court ("A Willlis Reed"). Phil Jackson called timeout to suppress the Boston fans', who were at that time was about to explode in delight over Pierce's return to the court.

marmand
06-06-2008, 12:45 PM
Pierce did a "Larry Bird". I remember a playoff game in the 80's, Bird left the game because of an injury then came back to lead the Celtics to victory. The surprising thing about Phil was when he kept Kobe in the bench for a long time to start the fourth.

Kid Cubao
06-06-2008, 12:51 PM
sidelights: in case you noticed a big, husky man who looks like rowell santiago stting at courtside in the garden, that's new england patriot linebacker teddy bruschi. his maternal aunt used to be a supervisor in our office ;D

MonL
06-06-2008, 12:55 PM
You have to wonder what Phil Jackson did in the late 3rd qtr when Pierce came back from the locker room and into the playing court ("A Willlis Reed"). Phil Jackson called timeout to suppress the Boston fans', who were at that time was about to explode in delight over Pierce's return to the court.


He ought to know about the effects of that. He was a Knick player when teammate and captain Willis Reed did the same thing at Madison Square Garden in the 1970 finals against LA . LA was blown out of the court.

whiplash
06-06-2008, 01:59 PM
The Los Angeles Lakers in SIX games baby!

The_Big_Cat
06-06-2008, 02:18 PM
sidelights: in case you noticed a big, husky man who looks like rowell santiago stting at courtside in the garden, that's new england patriot linebacker teddy bruschi. his maternal aunt used to be a supervisor in our office ;D

OT: Teddy Bruschi's Filipino roots were reported 4 or 5 years ago by Dyan Castillejo for ABS-CBN.

The Lakers led af the half 51-46. They were handcuffed by Boston in the second half limiting them to only 37 pts.
Now, thats what I call D - F E N C E !!

nastrans
06-06-2008, 02:24 PM
That comeback showing in the third quarter should cement Paul Pierce as the team's heart and soul, not KG or Allen. I guess many are pulling for The Truth to win considering the ups and downs he has been encountering in beantown.

Still, need some consistency on offense for the C's, too many bad shots from the outside, and as veteran as Sam Cassell is, he played like a scared rookie (dinadaga ba).

Kawawa naman si Kendrick Perkins, pagbalik niya sa court after an injury e parang token applause lang nakuha niya, hehehe.

Dark Knight
06-06-2008, 02:28 PM
Since i watched at ch 9, i cant help but laughed at Chino Trinidad's comment that "sinukatan lang ng Lakers ang Celtics sa Game 1". As if hes trying to imply that "nagpatalo ang lakers para masukat ang lakas nila".

Just a reminder, even though i have no stats to show but im pretty sure that the team who won Game 1 went on to win the title. About 90% of the time.

The_Big_Cat
06-06-2008, 02:40 PM
Since i watched at ch 9, i cant help but laughed at Chino Trinidad's comment that "sinukatan lang ng Lakers ang Celtics sa Game 1". As if hes trying to imply that "nagpatalo ang lakers para masukat ang lakas nila".

Just a reminder, even though i have no stats to show but im pretty sure that the team who won Game 1 went on to win the title. About 90% of the time.

Obviously, a Laker fan.

O.T.:
Ang gusto kong makita mag cover ng NBA Finals besides Chino and Quinito are Prospero Pichay and Luis Villafuerte. ;D
Tingnan natin kung gaano sila kagaling sa basketball.

stonecold316
06-06-2008, 03:54 PM
Defense was really the key on why Boston won Game 1. Nahirapan talaga si Kobe sa laro. Anyway, I'm sure Phil will apply some adjustments going to Game 2. May the best team win.

Congrats uli Celtics fans. Maganda ang laro ng Big three. If they are on a roll Boston will be hard to defeat.

stonecold316

bchoter
06-06-2008, 03:56 PM
OT: Ang tibay mo DK. Nasikmura mo si Chino Trinidad. Maski sa PBL naiirita ako pag nakikita ko siya sa stands. Unlike si Butch Maniego na halatang may purpose ang pag ikot nya sa game venue. Si Chino pa cute.

stonecold316
06-06-2008, 03:57 PM
Since i watched at ch 9, i cant help but laughed at Chino Trinidad's comment that "sinukatan lang ng Lakers ang Celtics sa Game 1". As if hes trying to imply that "nagpatalo ang lakers para masukat ang lakas nila".

Just a reminder, even though i have no stats to show but im pretty sure that the team who won Game 1 went on to win the title. About 90% of the time.

Obviously, a Laker fan.

O.T.:
Ang gusto kong makita mag cover ng NBA Finals besides Chino and Quinito are Prospero Pichay and Luis Villafuerte. ;D
Tingnan natin kung gaano sila kagaling sa basketball.


Chino and Quinito we're all blah, blah, blah! Mas mabuti pang naka silent ang TV.

stonecold316

cub
06-06-2008, 04:05 PM
Since i watched at ch 9, i cant help but laughed at Chino Trinidad's comment that "sinukatan lang ng Lakers ang Celtics sa Game 1". As if hes trying to imply that "nagpatalo ang lakers para masukat ang lakas nila".

Just a reminder, even though i have no stats to show but im pretty sure that the team who won Game 1 went on to win the title. About 90% of the time.


i don't believe on what Chino actually says. pronounciation na nga lang ng surname mali, pano pa kaya ung sa game na mismo. i remember him pronounce HORRY and GINOBILI. kung ano ang sulat, siya ang baybay. ;D

stonecold316
06-06-2008, 04:09 PM
Celtics' defense too good for Lakers
06/06/2008 | 01:26 PM
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BOSTON - Coach Doc Rivers vowed he wouldn't change the way the Celtics did anything on defense in the NBA finals.

And why should he? Boston's defense was too good for Los Angeles in the regular season, and it still is so far in the postseason.

The Celtics shook off a poor defensive effort in the first half to contain Kobe Bryant and his sidekicks in the second half, pulling away for a 98-88 victory in Game 1 on Thursday night.

"In the second half, we did our jobs," Rivers said. "We got back on defense for the most part, we contested shots. I mean, that's how we have to play."

Bryant and the Lakers had been rolling offensively in the postseason, averaging 105.9 points while winning 12 of 15 games. Rivers had been asked what kinds of defensive adjustments the Celtics needed to make.

"We don't change as much as people think we do," Rivers said before the game. "That's fine that everyone thinks we do. But we've been pretty much a solid defensive team all year. We're not going to recreate the wheel tonight. We're going to play Celtic defense the way we've played all year."

That defense limited opponents to an NBA-low 41.9 percent, but it took the Celtics a while to warm up on that end after a long layoff since the Eastern Conference finals.

Los Angeles shot 50 percent while building a 51-46 halftime lead, but the Celtics limited the Lakers to 13-of-39 (33 percent) the rest of the way and held them to 41.6 percent (32-of-77) for the game.

"We didn't play any in the first half," Rivers said. "We didn't get back in the first half. We gambled in the first half. We gave them uncontested shots in the first half."

Bryant needed to take 26 shots for his 24 points. Pau Gasol and Derek Fisher each scored 15 points, but they combined for only five in the second half after going for 25 in the first 24 minutes.

Los Angeles, which has been the top-shooting team in the postseason, had its lowest-scoring game of the playoffs.

"We just didn't do a good job of moving the ball in the second half," Lakers forward Lamar Odom said. "In this game, they played the right way just for a little bit longer than us."

The Celtics won the two regular-season meetings by a combined 32 points, limiting Bryant to 32.6 percent shooting. But both meetings came in late 2007, long before the Lakers acquired Gasol from Memphis, so the Lakers felt those games were meaningless.

Turns out, they were a perfect preview for Game 1.

The Celtics led 77-73 heading to the final period, and Los Angeles was still down only four after Sasha Vujacic's jumper with 6:53 remaining. But the Lakers managed only one more field goal the rest of the way, going 5-of-20 in the final 12 minutes.

Bryant was 1-of-6 for four points in the fourth.

"We threw numerous defenders at him," Boston's Paul Pierce said. "(James) Posey, Ray (Allen), myself, and just wanted to give him a different look. We're all different type of defenders."

Bryant seemed to think it was more a bad night, but he's now had three of them against the Celtics this season. His 9-of-26 effort gets added to the 6-of-25 clunker and 9-of-21 outing he had in previous losses this season against Boston.

"He's the biggest catalyst for us defensively for us to make sure that we cover every base on the defensive end. You just can't rest with him," Allen said.

"It's a great feeling to know that as a team we have pretty good concepts, team defense-wise. We went out there and did a job on him where we made him a little bit more uncomfortable than he would have liked otherwise." - AP

stonecold316
06-06-2008, 04:14 PM
Rebounding a problem again for Lakers in Game 1 of NBA finals
06/06/2008 | 01:50 PM
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BOSTON - Rebounding, the Los Angeles Lakers' biggest weakness, cropped up again in Game 1 of the NBA finals.

The Boston Celtics continued a disturbing postseason trend Thursday night for Los Angeles, outrebounding the Lakers by 13 on the way to a 98-88 victory to open the seven-game series.

As one-time Los Angeles coach Pat Riley once said, "No rebounds, no rings." These Lakers would be best-served to heed those words.

The Lakers reached the finals by winning 12 of 15 postseason games, despite getting 51 fewer rebounds than their opponents, an average of 3.4 per game. They got an average of 1.3 rebounds more than their 82 regular-season foes.

In Game 1 against Boston, the Celtics won the rebounding battle 46-33.

"They did a much better job on the boards," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. "That's the difference in the ballgame."

Pau Gasol led the Lakers with eight rebounds and Lamar Odom added six. Kevin Garnett had 13 rebounds, guard Ray Allen added eight and backup forward P.J. Brown had six for the Celtics.

Boston had 12 second-chance points to only four for Los Angeles.

"That was a big minus for us," Gasol said. "We have to do a better job on the boards. Obviously, that's a factor."

Odom said he didn't believe the Celtics necessarily dominated the middle despite the rebounding disparity.

"It is something we have to work on," he acknowledged. "But this game was still for the taking. It wasn't like we got pounded inside. We've got to do a better job of playing the right way throughout the game. To beat this team, we've got to execute on offense.

"We go inside, get some layups, get some stops, we'll be all right. We'll see them Sunday."

No rebound was bigger than one by Garnett, who was left alone to slam in James Posey's miss from 3-point range for one of his four offensive rebounds to give the Celtics a 94-86 lead with 1:32 remaining. The Lakers weren't closer than six points after that.

The Lakers led 51-46 at halftime despite being outrebounded 20-15 in the opening 24 minutes, and fell behind for good by being outscored 31-22 in the third quarter while being outrebounded 14-7.

"A lot of that goes back to our offense," backup forward Luke Walton said. "When we're stagnant, we're not in rebounding position."

Ronny Turiaf said he didn't believe the game was decided on the backboards.

"I think we've managed pretty well as of right now," he said. "Last time I checked, when we played Utah, they outrebounded us by 15 and we won the game. I don't think the rebounding made the difference tonight. It was moving the ball. We did a great job in the first half sharing the ball. The second half was different."

The Lakers were credited with assists on 14 of their 19 first-half field goals, but had only seven assists while making 13 baskets after halftime. Kobe Bryant shot 1-for-6 and Los Angeles went 5-for-20 in the fourth quarter.

"I think our rhythm wasn't there, wasn't what we like it to be," said Bryant, who shot 9-for-26 while scoring 24 points. "Still, we played well enough to almost steal the game."

Bryant shot 15-for-46 in his team's two regular-season games against the Celtics — both losses.

The Lakers' bench, so significant in the team's success, combined to shoot 5-for-15 for 15 points. Boston's bench scored 17 points.

Another factor was the lack of second-half offense from Gasol (three points) and Derek Fisher (two points). The pair combined for 25 points in the first half.

The Lakers trailed by only four points after Sasha Vujacic's basket with 6:53 remaining, but they had only one field goal and scored only six points after that.

"I think we can play much better," Vujacic said. "We missed some easy shots. We'll be OK." - AP

stonecold316
06-06-2008, 04:14 PM
Since i watched at ch 9, i cant help but laughed at Chino Trinidad's comment that "sinukatan lang ng Lakers ang Celtics sa Game 1". As if hes trying to imply that "nagpatalo ang lakers para masukat ang lakas nila".

Just a reminder, even though i have no stats to show but im pretty sure that the team who won Game 1 went on to win the title. About 90% of the time.


i don't believe on what Chino actually says. pronounciation na nga lang ng surname mali, pano pa kaya ung sa game na mismo. i remember him pronounce HORRY and GINOBILI. kung ano ang sulat, siya ang baybay. ;D


Agree ako. Bakit ba kasi sila pa ang kailangan mag cover ng NBA Finals. geeze.

stonecold316

stonecold316
06-06-2008, 04:20 PM
Stars come out for NBA finals Game 1
06/06/2008 | 10:37 AM
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BOSTON - Local troubadour James Taylor welcomed his hometown team back to the NBA finals on Thursday night, singing the national anthem before Game 1 of the Boston Celtics' championship series against the Los Angeles Lakers.

Actors Bruce Willis and Leonardo DiCaprio, who have made the TD Banknorth Garden a second home wile filming movies in town, were also in the star-studded crowd. So were "Grey's Anatomy" star Ellen Pompeo and Chris Tucker of the "Rush Hour" movies.

The court was ringed by members of the New England Patriots — including Randy Moss, Richard Seymour and Rodney Harrison — and Celtics and Lakers alumni from Bill Russell and John Havlicek to Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

The crowd also took time out to send its best wishes to U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy, the Massachusetts Democrat who is recovering from brain surgery. - AP

cub
06-06-2008, 04:24 PM
Since i watched at ch 9, i cant help but laughed at Chino Trinidad's comment that "sinukatan lang ng Lakers ang Celtics sa Game 1". As if hes trying to imply that "nagpatalo ang lakers para masukat ang lakas nila".

Just a reminder, even though i have no stats to show but im pretty sure that the team who won Game 1 went on to win the title. About 90% of the time.


i don't believe on what Chino actually says. pronounciation na nga lang ng surname mali, pano pa kaya ung sa game na mismo. i remember him pronounce HORRY and GINOBILI. kung ano ang sulat, siya ang baybay. ;D


Agree ako. Bakit ba kasi sila pa ang kailangan mag cover ng NBA Finals. geeze.

stonecold316


Quinito is ok for me, i thought he's one of the best sportscasters here. he and maybe Ed Picson should fit the bill.

yungha
06-06-2008, 04:34 PM
the clincher was when perkins caused pierce's injury when perkins helped out guarding kobe - that was a bonehead play by perkins. he shouldn't have tried to block kobe's shot anymore. na-injure tuloy and teammate niya.

"bonehead play?" talk about a bonehead comment. if the celtics would always worry about hitting their teammates they wouldn't be the best defensive team in the NBA.

stonecold316
06-06-2008, 04:49 PM
CUB:

Yes, I also do like Quinito Henson kasi magaling rin siyang sportswriter. Aside from that, mabait pa. It's just sometimes pag sila ang magka tag-team ni Chino sa pagbro-broadcast be it in the NBA or other sporting event, sumosobra kadaldalan niya. Nahahawa ata kay Chino.

stonecold316

The_Big_Cat
06-06-2008, 05:37 PM
O.T.:
Quinito Henson is a must when doing a Philippine broadcast of the NBA. As for the play-by-play analyst, there are a lot of good commentators out there. You can say that Quinito has not worked without Chino. Laging magkasama yan.
Or they can opt for the younger Mark Zambrano and "Mr. Stutter" Potit De Vera. :D
Or Benjie Paras and Jolly Escobar. :D :D

For the Lakers to be successful in game 2. They have to get Pau Gasol assertive in the painted area and not let him settling for those jumpers which he did in game 1. Vladimir Radmanovic was in foul trouble in the second half which forced Kobe to guard Pierce and probably took out Kobe's offense.

batangueño
06-06-2008, 05:49 PM
2008 NBA Finals Game 1: Boston Celtics def. Los Angeles Lakers, 98-88.

My observations and opinions about the game:

Boston Celtics:

* I should say that Paul Pierce was the main man in Game 1. His heroics and that inspiring re-entry into the game after being brought to the locker room to check on his injured leg inspired his teammates and the Celtics faithful at the Garden to fight on and seal the Game 1 win over the Lakers. However, I am concerned about that injury that he got, hoping that he is OK and could continue igniting the fighting hearts of the Boston team.

* After Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett was the next best Celtic in Game 1. His rebounding helped Boston a lot, although it was quite a different story on his offensive side, no thanks to him being double teamed by the Lakers. Still, KG's presence on the court may help in such a way that he gets those crucial rebounds plus he attracts the defense being employed by the Lakers, giving other Celtics like Pierce and Allen the opportunities to score.

* Ray Allen played good basketball in Game 1. Without Pierce and Garnett being defended heavily the Lakers, Allen was the next best offensive option for Coach Doc Rivers. He was able to sink in those much needed baskets but I never liked those errors that he committed, including that behind-the-back pass attempt that Los Angeles stole.

* Rajon Rondo played very well at the point. However, he must improve on his shooting as Coach Phil Jackson seems to be exploiting Rondo's poor shooting.

* Other Celtics worthy of recognition: James Posey, who made Kobe Bryant's life miserable in Game 1; Sam Cassell, who was a quite a surprise on the offensive side; and PJ Brown, that other Celtic aside from Kevin Garnett who took those rebounds in favor of Boston.

* Coach Doc Rivers was very effective in employing defense against the Lakers, with the Celtics dictating the tempo throughout much of the game and limiting Los Angeles to play a slow, low scoring and very physical basketball. However, there were times when Doc Rivers was quite slow to react, making him outsmarted by Coach Phil Jackson.

* Things I think that the Celtics must improve on as the prepare for Game 2: improved free throw shooting (some free throw shots got wasted); minimize errors and turnovers (Boston had more turnovers than Los Angeles, but thanks to the Celtics' defense, those turnovers did not translate much into points in favor of the Lakers); improved basketball smarts (again, related to those errors); and presence of mind (never give in to the mind game being employed by Coach Phil Jackson and the Lakers).

Los Angeles Lakers:

* Although the Lakers lost, I commend Coach Phil Jackson for doing a really good job. He really knew what plays needed to be employed and which players needed to be inserted into the court to react to every play being done by Boston. No wonder he shares with the late Coach Red Auerbach the distinction of being one of basketball's best coaches.

* Well, on Kobe Bryant, Kobe was the usual Kobe that he was. It was just that he had quite a difficult time playing and scoring as the Celtics, particularly James Posey, defend him very effectively. I had to commend him though for some of those unselfish passes that he gave to his teammates like Paul Gasol, Lamar Odom and Derek Fisher.

* Hands down to the depth of the Lakers' bench. Although Kobe Bryant was heavily defended by the Celtics, Los Angeles' offense was carried by Pau Gasol, who was a monster underneath and had some touches on outside shooting; Lamar Odom; Derek Fisher; and Sasha Vujacic.

* I believe that Coach Phil Jackson and the Los Angeles Lakers will do the necessary adjustments as they prepare for Game 2 on Sunday night in Boston.

Still, BEAT LA! Boston in six! ;D

Dark Knight
06-06-2008, 06:13 PM
I never hurled my soda bottle because the Celtics won but i almost swallowed the whole bottle when i saw Pierce in a stationary bike during the game.

First time i saw it, with coverage pa. :D

tigerman
06-06-2008, 10:22 PM
Doc Rivers obviously took a page out of Greg Popovich's playbook by using the same strategy against Kobe - Make him a volume jumpshooter and minimize his trips to the freethrow line. Unfortunately for the mvp, his outside shooting was not there in game 1.



USTE LO MEJOR!
VIVA SANTO TOMAS!

gameface_one
06-07-2008, 07:39 AM
Celtics win Game 1
mb.com.ph





BOSTON (AP) — Big moments have defined the Lakers-Celtics blood feud, and in their first NBA finals in 21 years, a kid from Los Angeles gave Boston one to remember on Thursday.


Paul Pierce, who used to sneak into Lakers games as a youngster, came bounding out of the tunnel from the locker room after leaving with an injured knee and led the Celtics to a tense 98-88 victory in Game 1 of these tradition-soaked finals.

Pierce’s dramatic return after being carried from the court and wheeled down a hallway for treatment will be added to the annals of Celtics-Lakers lore, taking a spot alongside Magic Johnson’s baby sky hook and Kevin McHale’s clothesline of Kurt Rambis.

Kevin Garnett scored 24 points, Pierce finished with 22 – 11 after getting hurt – and Ray Allen, the third member of Boston’s Big Three, added 19 for the Celtics, who are chasing a 17th NBA championship. The trio was making its first finals appearance, and for a short time it appeared only two of them would finish their long-awaited debut.

In the third quarter, Pierce was deep in the lane when teammate Kendrick Perkins crashed into him from behind. Pierce, the 10-year veteran who last summer thought his days with Boston might be nearing an end, had to be carried from the court in extreme pain and was taken to the locker room in a wheelchair.

"When I came down I thought I felt a pop, I thought I tore it," Pierce said.

The sight of Pierce leaving drew gasps from some Celtics fans and coach Doc Rivers’ heart sunk.

"I thought the worst," Rivers said. "When they carried him off, I just though it was the knee."

However, everyone’s worries were soothed just moments later when Pierce returned to Boston’s bench and checked back in with 5:04 remaining. As Pierce jogged onto the court with a black elastic wrap on his knee, Garnett clinched a fist and screamed, "Yes!"

Soon, more than 18,000 others were screaming as Pierce made two 3-pointers in just 22 seconds to give the Celtics a 75-71 lead.

"When I got in the back I could put some weight on it," Pierce said. "I knew I needed to be out there for my team."

Kobe Bryant led the Lakers with 24 points, but the regular-season MVP was just 9-of-26 from the field as the league’s top defensive team kept close tabs on him. Bryant had numerous shots rattle out and spent most of his 42 minutes in the game searching for a rhythm.

Derek Fisher and Pau Gasol had 15 points apiece and Lamar Odom added 14 for the Lakers, who had won the first two games of their previous three series this postseason. Los Angeles will try to even the series in Game 2 on Sunday.

This is the 11th meeting in the finals between the Celtics and Lakers, and the first one since 1987 has been treated like the return of a lost friend by basketball fans aching for the days when Magic Johnson and Larry Bird went sneaker to sneaker.

Game 1 lived up to the hype as both teams challenged every shot, sprawling for loose balls and intensely defending their baskets.

Bill Russell, Bob Cousy, Jerry West and the rest of the greats who made the rivalry special would have been proud.

Kid Cubao
06-07-2008, 09:48 AM
I never hurled my soda bottle because the Celtics won but i almost swallowed the whole bottle when i saw Pierce in a stationary bike during the game.

First time i saw it, with coverage pa. :D

matagal nang ginagawa yan sa NBA, nung 90s pa. that's being done in order to warm fragile muscles and joints, because otherwise those areas will cool down and swell up.

The_Big_Cat
06-07-2008, 09:58 AM
I never hurled my soda bottle because the Celtics won but i almost swallowed the whole bottle when i saw Pierce in a stationary bike during the game.

First time i saw it, with coverage pa. :D

matagal nang ginagawa yan sa NBA, nung 90s pa. that's being done in order to warm fragile muscles and joints, because otherwise those areas will cool down and swell up.

That's correct. I recall seing Dennis Rodman do that in the Bulls-Jazz Finals in the late 90s.

aircanda
06-07-2008, 10:13 AM
I never hurled my soda bottle because the Celtics won but i almost swallowed the whole bottle when i saw Pierce in a stationary bike during the game.

First time i saw it, with coverage pa. :D

matagal nang ginagawa yan sa NBA, nung 90s pa. that's being done in order to warm fragile muscles and joints, because otherwise those areas will cool down and swell up.

That's correct. I recall seing Dennis Rodman do that in the Bulls-Jazz Finals in the late 90s.


I also recall seeing Sam Cassell doing that when he was with the T-Wolves and was against the Lakers in the WCF.. and he has back spasms..

MonL
06-07-2008, 10:16 AM
Philjax getting the psywar going by downplaying Pierce's return and giving a mouthful of skepticism and sarcasm. Celts repond with a "let it begin" retort.



Pierce rests sore knee day after inspiring return
By TOM WITHERS, AP Sports Writer
3 hours, 56 minutes ago

AP - Jun 1, 5:06 pm EDT 1 of 69 NBA Gallery BOSTON (AP)—Paul Pierce’s dramatic return was compelling theater in the round(ball), one of those defining, Willis Reed-type moments.

Lakers coach Phil Jackson, who had front-row seats at both events, wasn’t so impressed.

“If I’m not mistaken,” a cynic and sarcastic Jackson said Friday, “I think Willis Reed missed a whole half and three quarters almost of a game and literally had to have a shot, a horse shot, three or four of them in his thigh to come back out and play. Paul got carried off and was back on his feet in a minute.”

Pierce, who had to be hoisted in his teammates’ arms and taken from the floor in excruciating pain, summoned his strength and returned to Game 1 of the NBA finals despite a sprained right knee and led the Boston Celtics to a 98-88 win in Game 1 of the NBA finals over Los Angeles.

Pierce’s gutty comeback—to some—drew immediate comparisons to a more famous one made by Reed, the Knicks center who dragged himself onto Madison Square Garden’s court for Game 7 of the 1970 finals against the Lakers despite a severe knee injury.

Jackson was there that night 38 years ago in New York. He was Reed’s teammate. And as far as Jackson is concerned, Pierce is no Willis Reed.

“I don’t know if the angels visited him in that timeout period that he had or not, but he didn’t even limp when he came back out on the floor, Jackson said. “I don’t know what was going on there. Was (well-known faith healer) Oral Roberts back there in their locker room?”

The NBA’s well-spaced schedule turned the talk before Game 2 on Sunday to miracle cures, conspiracy theories and MRIs. It also brought out some skepticism about the severity of Pierce’s injury, which initially looked as if it might trim Boston’s Big Three by a third.

Jackson’s doubts about Pierce’s injury—he was out of the game for less than two minutes—were relayed to Celtics coach Doc Rivers, who dismissed them with a smile.

“Oh, I don’t care,” Rivers said. “Aren’t we skeptics anyway now about everything? So what the heck; let it begin. Let it begin. Lee Harvey Oswald did it.”

Boston center Kevin Garnett wasn’t so amused by Jackson’s take on the injury to his good friend, the Celtics’ captain.

“It’s not up to them to approve or disapprove or to judge,” he said. “The man got carried off the court, that’s pretty significant. He looked pretty hurt, came in and finished the game off. I know it don’t look easy and he made it probably look a little easy, but at the same time, they wasn’t over there seeing him grimacing, the massaging and on the bike and ice and that stuff.

“When you don’t know what’s going on the other side, you just make up stuff.”

Pierce, who scored 22 points and made consecutive 3-pointers in the third quarter from the same spot to give Boston the lead for good, reported his knee was stiff and swollen and that he would spend the next two days getting treatment.

If not for the off day, Pierce said he would not have been able to play on Friday,

“I can walk on it, I can bend it, but there’s a little sharp pain on the inside of my knee,” he said.

Pierce said there was a “great chance” he’ll be able to play on Sunday when the Celtics attempt to take a 2-0 lead before the best-of-seven series shifts to Los Angeles. He has no plans to have further testing done on the knee, which he injured when he was bumped hard from behind by teammate Kendrick Perkins, who later forced out with a sprained left ankle.

Rivers often deflects questions about player’s injuries by saying, “Doc is just a nickname.” But he made a point of saying that Pierce had no structural damage.

The Celtics insist Pierce does not need an MRI, and the 10-year veteran said that even if he got one, it wouldn’t matter.

“At this point, what is it really going to tell us? The extent of the injury, but at this point with two weeks left, six games to go, we can figure this out after the season,” he said. “Either I can play or I can’t, regardless of what the MRI says.”

When he crumpled to the floor, Pierce said he immediately thought the worst: that his first visit to the NBA finals was over. He has been fortunate and never had a knee problem, but as the pain darted through his leg, the 30-year-old became frightened.

“Man, I was scared,” he said. “I see it all the time in football, baseball, basketball, guys hurt their knees—it’s not good. And it still could be worse than I’m really putting off.”

Pierce felt slightly embarrassed once he saw the video of him being hauled off and transported down a narrow hallway to the locker room in a wheelchair with a phalanx of doctors, trainers and TV reporters in tow.

“It was crazy,” he said. “I’ve never been carried off the court. I should have just laid there for five more minutes and then got up. Hopefully, it won’t happen again. If I get carried off the next time, there’s no way I’m going to come back.”

While Pierce nurses his sore knee, Kobe Bryant’s shooting touch could use a little tender loving care.

The Lakers’ superstar made just 9-of-26 shots from the field in Game 1, his third straight “off” game against the Celtics, who have held him to 33 percent (24-of-72) shooting this season. Bryant missed fadeaways, short jumpers and drives that usually go down.

After the game, Mr. MVP lamented misfiring on “bunnies,” but failed to mention that most of his attempts came with two, and sometimes three Celtics rushing at him or waving a hand in his face.

Bryant didn’t make excuses. Now, he just needs to make shots.

“I’ve just got to put the ball in the damn hole,” he said. “That sucker didn’t want to stay down.”

He meant his shot, not Pierce.

aircanda
06-07-2008, 10:25 AM
Ganda ng game.. as much as I dont want the Cs to win.. I think they were the better team yesterday.. Give credit to the Big Three.. special mention to Paul Pierce who was like Willis Reed.. haha.. Maybe LA would have taken that game if not that re-entry of Pierce happened.. na-energize buong team..

I think LA should concentrate more on pick n roll plays with Pau and Kobe.. Boston is just clueless whenever this play are being done by the Lakers.. and Boston should be ready for Kobe now that he was wounded.. tatapang lalo yan and he is'nt the MVP for nothing..

I think LA fans here should not worry because guys as you can see.. kaya natin talunin.. breaks of the game lang.. all we need to do is steal game 2 and protect our home court (easier said than done, i know :D)

Hirap ding mag-scapegoat pero ang daming calls na against the Lakers.. yung backcourt call which shouldnt really be a violation because only on of Pau's foot was accross the line and his block against KG which is really a clean block.. Well, tapos na ang game.. maybe LA should just be more careful..

As for the Pinoy broadcast of the Finals.. I remember one time that VIto Lazatin did the commentating job with Quinito and he was way way way batter than Chino.. Ok lang sana kung salitang kanto eh.. like Noli Eala's term na "susmaryosep".. laugh trip pa eh.. kaso nakakainis mga comments ni Chino eh.. Sana may taga-solar na nakakabasa ng request ng karamihang game-facers.. ;D

and sir Quinito is ok with me.. bawasan lang ang konting showbiz ;D

Kid Cubao
06-07-2008, 10:45 AM
chino and quinito irritate the hell out of me. i have this sinking feeling that my IQ points (na mababa nang dati) are spiraling downward when i hear them do color commentary.

to be more bearable, they must:

1. learn not to talk at the same time. give-and-take should be observed at all times, otherwise para silang mga butangerong nasa palengke.

2. appreciate the value of letting the action unfold and speak for itself.

3. leave their biases out the door. many times i had to strongly resist the urge to whap chino in the mug whenever he makes a disparaging comment about the celtics.

The_Big_Cat
06-07-2008, 10:56 AM
chino and quinito irritate the hell out of me. i have this sinking feeling that my IQ points (na mababa nang dati) are spiraling downward when i hear them do color commentary.

to be more bearable, they must:

2. appreciate the value of letting the action unfold and speak for itself.


Chino keeps on talking that you almost can't hear the player introduction kaya lumipat na lang ako sa kabila.

coreytaylor
06-07-2008, 11:00 AM
Boston wins battle of the benches in the opener
By BRIAN MAHONEY, AP Basketball Writer
http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news

BOSTON (AP)—Their reserves have been a strength in the postseason, and were expected to give the Los Angeles Lakers an advantage against the Boston Celtics in the NBA finals.

Instead, Phil Jackson somewhat ignored them in the opener.

The Celtics’ reserves outplayed their counterparts in Boston’s 98-88 Game 1 victory, and Jackson took the blame Friday.

“I really shortened the minutes of the bench last night, so that’s not their fault about not scoring and no productivity,” Jackson said. “The adjustments that our younger players will make, our bench players will be noticeable as we go through.”

Sasha Vujacic, Jordan Farmar, Ronny Turiaf and Luke Walton combined for 15 points on 5-of-15 shooting. Only Vujacic played more than 14 minutes.

“We didn’t produce the way we’ve been doing for most of the year, but I don’t feel that our bench really had the same opportunity that we’ve had throughout the year,” said Walton, who was scoreless. “When we go out there together, we like to make it a point to pick up the pace a little bit and do our own thing, but because of fouls and whatnot we were kind of playing sporadic minutes as opposed to all going in together.”

James Posey, P.J. Brown, Sam Cassell and Leon Powe totaled 17 points off Boston’s bench. Cassell scored eight, and Brown pulled down six rebounds before exiting to a loud ovation late in the game.

“We feel like we have a good bench,” Brown said. “We feel like we have a bench that can match up with most of the teams in the NBA. Are we better? I think that remains to be seen, this is only one game.”

Powe, who played well this season when Kevin Garnett was out with an abdominal strain, agreed.

“We got guys on our bench that can play,” he said. “If you look at the regular season, everyone on that bench had really big games, and when people got hurt, everybody filled in, chipped in and we kept our winning alive. And that’s because of the bench.”

Still, most of Boston’s reserves had been inconsistent during the postseason, with coach Doc Rivers giving them fluctuating minutes. Meanwhile, the Lakers’ second unit had been successful, playing an uptempo style when Kobe Bryant was on the bench and helping Los Angeles become the highest-scoring team in the playoffs.

The Celtics kept the game at their tempo Thursday, which Vujacic said must change, adding that the bench “wasn’t there the way we were supposed to be there and I think we can do a much better job … kind of push the ball a little bit more against them and we’ll be OK.”

PERK’D UP: Celtics center Kendrick Perkins, who was injured in the third quarter Thursday night and did not return, said he’ll be back for Game 2.

“Yeah, I’m going to play,” he said Friday. “You know, there’s going to be pain. It’s the finals, so you’ve got to suck it up.”

Perkins was hurt when he was trying to box Derek Fisher out on a free throw and the Lakers guard fell on his left ankle. Perkins told coach Doc Rivers he could come back and give 60 percent, but Rivers decided to stick with healthy backup P.J. Brown.

Perkins was more concerned about his role in another injury: He collided with Paul Pierce and sent the All-Star forward to the trainer’s room in a wheelchair. But Pierce was back a few minutes later, returning to the game to hit a pair of 3-pointers that gave Boston the lead for good.

“I was really mad at myself,” Perkins said. “You know, I was just trying to help him out and go challenge the shot, and he was probably just in the wrong place at the wrong time. But when he came back I was happy. But man, I was kind of mad at myself for a minute, though.”

HONDO’S HOPES: John Havlicek has seen the Celtics dig themselves out of plenty of difficult situations before, so he had no doubt they would do it again after Paul Pierce was hurt in Game 1.

Havlicek was in the arena Thursday night to see Pierce go down with a knee injury, but the Hall of Famer expected the Celtics to pull through, as they did in their 98-88 victory.

“I think that when it happened, it was a deflation of the spirit somewhat, but then when he came back it was resurrected,” Havlicek said. “But I knew the players on the team when that happened and Doc (Rivers) said, ‘Hey, you’re here for one purpose. A lot of things are going to go your way, a lot of things are going to go the other way, you just have to fight through them.’ And I think that’s what they did.”

Havlicek helped the Celtics win eight NBA titles, half of their NBA-record total, during his Hall of Fame career. He joined fellow alumni Bill Russell, JoJo White and Satch Sanders, along with current Boston players such as Rajon Rondo, Glen Davis and Brian Scalabrine, and NBA commissioner David Stern on Friday for the dedication of an NBA Reading and Learning Center at the Blackstone Community Center.

Havlicek said he sees Russell occasionally at golf tournaments, and joked that they prefer to talk about the old days rather than the struggles the Celtics have endured in recent years before this season’s turnaround.

“I guess the low point was a year ago when they lost 18 straight or something like that,” Havlicek said. “But you know there are cyclical things in sports and they reached rock bottom. Now they’re riding the wave of that championship feeling. So I think you have to go through the good and the bad, and fortunately right now they’re fighting for a championship.”

LOOKING TO REBOUND: Pau Gasol’s NBA finals debut drew huge media attention from his native Spain. He would have liked to give the home fans a better performance.

Gasol scored well in the first half but didn’t rebound, and went to the boards better but had only one field goal in the second half. He finished with 15 points and eight rebounds in the Lakers’ 98-88 loss.

The center seemed most disappointed by his work on the glass, lamenting a couple of times he failed to block out Kevin Garnett.

“First half I didn’t start with the bounce necessary and I did not get my body going to be effective on the boards,” Gasol said. “I didn’t put a body on Garnett.

“The first two offensive boards he got, it was a consequence of me not going after his body and he got a chance to get them both. So obviously that was a sign of me not being with the bounce necessary to be able to go after the ball and get those boards that wouldn’t lead to second-chance opportunities for them.”

A record 27 media members from Spain were among the 280 international media members, also a record, from 35 countries and territories who are on site covering the finals.

The finals will be televised to 205 countries and territories in 46 languages. In 1987, the last time the Lakers and Celtics met in the finals, the games were televised to only 28 countries and territories.

That audience watched Garnett grab 13 rebounds in Game 1, helping Boston to a 46-33 bulge on the boards. Gasol knows he needs to be a bigger obstacle Sunday.

“Hopefully in Game 2, that’s going to change and I’ll be able to help my team a lot better,” he said.

coreytaylor
06-07-2008, 11:01 AM
Job for Celtics PGs: Get the ball to the Big 3
By JIMMY GOLEN, AP Sports Writer
http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news

BOSTON (AP)—Their job is to get the ball to the Big Three, and they could not be any more different in the way they go about it.

Rajon Rondo and Sam Cassell have been the perfect complements at point guard for the Boston Celtics this season—a quiet, second-year speedster in his first playoffs and the trash-talking 38-year-old chucker looking for one more title before he’s done.

“It’s like the yin and the yang,” Celtics guard Eddie House said Friday before the team practiced for Game 2 of the NBA finals against the Los Angeles Lakers. “They both do different things.”

In his first season as the starting point guard, Rondo anchored a team that led the NBA with 66 wins and won the Eastern Conference title.

A big part of that was the Big Three of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen.

But someone had to get them the ball.

Rondo averaged more than 10 points and five assists, while also sneaking away with more than four rebounds per game. The fastest player on the team, and one of the fastest in the NBA, he also had 129 steals with his 147 turnovers, the fourth-best ratio among starting point guards in the league.

“I think everybody is proud of Rondo this year because he’s had so many knocks on what he doesn’t do, versus the things that he does do well. So I’m happy for him,” Garnett said.

“You grow to love Rondo because of his work ethic and his consistency and what he does every day. Like any young guy, he can be a pain just like anybody else, you know, but what you love about him is he continues to work. … He grew up over the season.”

The season began with questions about whether a second-year point guard could lead a team with three All-Stars that was put together to win now.

But Rondo showed his worth as the season went on, and the Celtics were looking for a backup instead.

House was the No. 2 point guard for most of the season, but he was always miscast in the role. A natural shooting guard, he was the No. 5 scorer on the team this season—ahead of starter Kendrick Perkins—and not the passer the Celtics wanted.

So, as Boston cruised through the regular season and headed for the playoffs, general manager Danny Ainge went looking for someone to take over when Rondo was resting.

He found Cassell, languishing with the Los Angeles Clippers.

The 38-year-old, two-time champion virtually begged the lottery-bound Clippers to buy out his contract so he could sign with the Celtics.

“Elton Brand went down. Shaun Livingston went down,” Cassell said. “In the Western Conference, when your two horses go down, you are done.”

But Cassell, who won back-to-back titles as a backup in his first two years in the league with the Houston Rockets in 1994 and ‘95, wasn’t done. So after the Clippers bought him out he quickly signed with Boston for just such as situation as the Celtics are in now.

“Sam has been great in these moments,” Allen said. “Sam has been in these moments his whole life.”

In 17 games with the Celtics, he averaged 7.6 points and 2.1 assists. More importantly, he’s also turned out to be the perfect tutor for Rondo.

“Sam has helped me a lot. He’s been a great mentor throughout the playoffs,” Rondo said. “Sam’s always talking, along with a lot of other veteran guys.”

The message: Don’t start changing what he does just because the games are more important. For Rondo, whose speed is his biggest asset, that means pushing the ball up the court to put pressure on the defense.

But Cassell shook him off.

“Rajon is fine, man. Y’all need to write about something else,” Cassell said. “He’s battle-tested. He’s the starting point guard on the Boston Celtics. This is not November; we’re playing in June.”

Coach Doc Rivers understands that he’ll keep getting questions about Rondo as the playoffs progress because each step is new for him. But he is confident in his point guard, just as he’s been all season.

“The questions will never stop,” Rivers said. “They’ll never stop about Rondo, they’ve never stop about me, they’ll never stop about Kevin, they’ll never stop about Paul, they’ll never stop about our team, and you can’t take it personally. It’s part of it. Just go out and just keep playing, and that’s all you can do.”

coreytaylor
06-07-2008, 11:03 AM
Bryant hopes to get same opportunities in Game 2
By JOHN NADEL, AP Sports Write
http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news

BOSTON (AP)—One sub-par performance can happen to anyone.

Another, perhaps just a fluke.

Could three be a trend?

Nah, not in the case of Kobe Bryant.

“I get those looks again, I’m foaming at the mouth,” the Los Angeles star said Friday. “I want those looks again. I would never be bashful, you know that.”

Bryant’s remarks came in the wake of a horrendous—for him—shooting performance Thursday night, when he went 9-for-26 and scored 24 points in the Lakers’ 98-88 loss to the Boston Celtics in Game 1 of the NBA finals.

Bryant shot nearly 51 percent (169-of-332) and averaged 31.9 points in the Lakers’ previous 15 postseason games. The Celtics did a good job making him a perimeter player, but as he pointed out, there was no scarcity of open shots.

“They’re not going to let me get to the paint from the top of the floor or from a wing screen,” Bryant said. “I’ll be looking for my teammates in those situations. Other spots where I’m posting up or pin-downs, quick catch-and-shoots, things of that nature. That’s what I’ll be looking for.”

Bryant shot 15-for-46 and averaged 25 points in two regular-season games against Boston—both losses. So he’s 24-for-72 (33.3 percent) with 74 points in three unsuccessful matchups with the Celtics.

“Hopefully it just means I’m due,” he said regarding Sunday night’s second game in the best-of-seven series.

Despite Bryant’s shooting problems, the Lakers trailed by only four points after Sasha Vujacic’s basket with 6:53 remaining Thursday night. But they made only one field goal after that.

Bryant, acknowledged to be NBA’s best closer, shot 1-for-6 in the fourth quarter. As a team, the Lakers were a woeful 5-for-20.

“The defense is there,” Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. “He didn’t get to the basket, he didn’t get to the foul line. Foul shots are really important for scoring, and again, they eliminated a lot of his ability to get to the foul line. So there’s some things they did very well.

“But as we all saw, there was a lot of shots there that just didn’t go down for him that were in-and-out. So that’s a matter of understanding his baskets, getting a touch on them and figuring it out.”

Bryant and his teammates spent plenty of time shooting the ball Friday.

“The shots didn’t go in,” Vujacic said. “We had a bunch of in-and-outs.”

The solution?

“You just take extra shots in practice and just make them in Game 2,” Vujacic replied. “The baskets here are different than in any other arena. You’ve got to get used to it and make those in-and-outs. It’s just different.”

Lamar Odom said Bryant’s tough shooting night was part of the game.

“It happens,” Odom said. “You make some, you miss some. We can win with Kobe shooting bad, we’re good enough to win ballgames no matter how bad he shoots. Of course, if he scores 55, if he scores 48, that helps.”

The Celtics realize Bryant could score 55, or 48, at any time.

“Kobe is a great player, so we’re just going to show up again Sunday expecting him to be a great player,” Boston coach Doc Rivers said. “If it was easy to stop him, he wouldn’t be a great player. We expect him to be great.”

Said Kevin Garnett: “I thought team-wise we did a real good job of communicating and setting up our wall, as we put it, in trying to control him. We’re anticipating him being a lot more aggressive in Game 2.”

Ray Allen, the Celtics’ primary defender on Bryant, said he believes his team was well-prepared for Bryant after having to deal with the likes of Atlanta’s Joe Johnson, Cleveland’s LeBron James and several Detroit standouts earlier in the playoffs.

“We definitely have learned a lot of lessons,” Allen said. “I think we’d just like to continue to make our men make tough shots.

“I hope he keeps missing.”

The Lakers need more than a better shooting performance from Bryant. Improved boardwork would certainly help. The Celtics won the rebounding battle 46-33 including 26-18 in the second half, when they outscored Los Angeles 52-37.

The Celtics had 12 second-chance points to only four for the Lakers.

“We like to get up and down, so we’ve got to make sure we rebound the ball,” Bryant said. “Rebound the ball, get a chance to get out a little bit. For us, it’s just about pushing the basketball and getting into our offense early.

“We’ve got to put more bodies on them. I think the team we played against in Utah, they were extremely physical, similar to Boston, in terms of how they put their hands on you and shove you underneath the paint. We’ve got to go back to how we made those adjustments against Utah.”

coreytaylor
06-07-2008, 11:07 AM
Pierce says ‘great chance’ he’ll play in Game 2
By TOM WITHERS, AP Sports Writer
http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news

BOSTON (AP)—Paul Pierce, whose dramatic return from a knee injury lifted Boston to a win in over Los Angeles in the opener of the NBA finals, said Friday there’s a “great chance” he’ll play in Game 2 on Sunday.

Pierce was carried from the floor by teammates and carted to the locker room in a wheelchair in the third quarter Thursday night. However, he returned moments later despite a sprained right knee. After coming back, Pierce made two 3-pointers to give the Celtics the lead for good and finished with 22 points as the Celtics beat the Lakers 98-88.

Pierce said his knee was stiff and swollen. He will not practice over the next two days to get treatments.

The 10-year veteran described his injury as a “sharp pain” in his knee. He plans to put off an MRI until after the season.

“At this point, with two weeks left and six games to go, we can figure this out after the season,” he said. “It’s either I can play or I can’t regardless of what the MRI says.”

Pierce said if Game 2 were Friday he wouldn’t be able to play, and said the break in the schedule should help him get ready. He admitted being frightened by the pain and was embarrassed by having to be lifted by teammates and helped from the floor.

“Man, I was scared,” he said. “When you’re laying there and pain going through your knee, I see it all the time in football, baseball, basketball, guys hurt their knees, it’s not good. Once I felt a sharp pain, I didn’t know what to think. The worst came to mind.”

Pierce isn’t the only Celtics player hurting. Center Kendrick Perkins sprained his left ankle in Game 1, but Boston coach Doc Rivers expects him to play.

coreytaylor
06-07-2008, 11:52 AM
No Offense, But Lakers Blame Themselves
By Dave McMenamin
http://www.nba.com/news/

If you choose to believe Kobe Bryant, the reason he missed 17 of the 26 shots he attempted in the Lakers’ 98-88 Game 1 Finals loss wasn’t the Celtics’ all-league defense designed to stop him, but rather it was just a matter of the way the cookie crumbled.

Or, more like, the way the rim rattled.

“I had some great looks, they just didn't stay down,” Bryant said. “I just missed some bunnies. I just missed some really, really good looks. I'll be thinking about those a little bit tonight.”

If someone was to go collect all those missed bunnies, they’d have enough inventory to open up a pet store.

Bryant started the night 2-for-8 from the field in the first quarter, wading into the offense by attempting midrange jumpshots rather than taking it to the Celtics in attack mode.

He righted the ship, hitting 6-of-12 over the second and third periods and keeping the Lakers within striking distance, down four headed into the fourth. The timing of Bryant’s turnaround from his first-quarter doldrums was critical because the Celtics were riding a dominant run by Paul Pierce who scored 15 points in the third quarter, including seven after emerging from the locker room in a Willis Reed-like return from an injury scare.

But when the fourth quarter rolled around, a quarter Bryant has owned in these playoffs, he couldn’t live up to the nickname Charles Barkley gave him during the Western Conference Finals -- “The Closer.” He did manage to match the last five letters of the moniker, however, going 1-for-6 in the final quarter and picking up his team-high fourth turnover while dropping Game 1 -- “The Loser.”

Derek Fisher, who finished the game with 15 points, six assists and three steals to serve as the Lakers’ lone bright spot, said that the poor shooting performance by Bryant might have more to do with Boston’s defense than the Mamba would like to admit.

“They're not going to give [Kobe] much of an opportunity to break down their defense off of dribble penetration,” Fisher said. “So, he's going to end up in a situation where he's taking more of catch and shoot opportunities when he's coming off of cuts and coming off of screens and catching and shooting the basketball. That's something that he's going to get used to as the series goes on. He's so great at breaking down defenses off the dribble. The Celtics' defense just doesn't allow that type of play.”

On the rare occasion when Bryant got a step on his man to get into the lane and kicked the ball to an open teammate out on the perimeter, it didn’t do much good as the rest of the Lakers shot 3-for-11 from behind the arc.

Bryant hasn’t played this poorly in the playoffs since Game 4 of the Western Conference Semifinals against Utah when he shot 13-for-33 from the field. In that game he tweaked his lower back and was visibly hampered from the injury, falling to his knees in pain several times throughout the contest.

Even with the bum back, Bryant finished with 33 points, eight rebounds and 10 assists, helping the Lakers force overtime before succumbing to the Jazz.

According to Bryant, Thursday wasn’t because of his back and it wasn’t because of how he was being defended, either. It just wasn’t his night.

“I think our rhythm wasn't there,” Bryant said. “Still, we played well enough to almost steal the game. Some balls bounced their way tonight.”

Most of those inopportune bounces ended up in the hands of Boston rebounders, who held a stranglehold advantage of 46-33 on the glass, resulting in a 12-4 lead in second chance points by the Celtics.

Like Bryant, L.A. swingman Luke Walton refused to credit Boston’s play for his team’s demise and placed the blame squarely on the shoulders of those wearing purple and gold.

“We stopped executing,” Walton stated matter of factly. “We stopped moving the ball. When you don’t move the ball their defense opens up on the ball carrier and it makes it tough to score.”

Lamar Odom, whose 14 points on 6-for-11 shooting and six rebounds look better in the boxscore than they did on the court, echoed Walton’s assessment.

“We just didn’t do a good job of moving the ball in the second half,” Odom said. “This game they played the right way, just for a little bit longer than us.”

The Lakers and their 105.9 points per game average on .478 shooting in the playoffs up until Game 1, took responsibility for the loss, but also almost embraced it as a wake-up call. Can some good actually come from an 88-point outing on .416 shooting by L.A.?

Several members of the Lakers think it can.

Bryant said, “It's a good experience for us. Nice little kick in the [butt].” Odom’s take was, “We probably needed that as a team. We were playing on a high horse a little bit.” And Walton added, “We got to soak this in and let it burn a little bit tonight.”

chocoks77
06-07-2008, 01:09 PM
Matagal na akong naiirita kay Quinito. Daldal sobra. Sarap sana pakinggan nung NBA WIRED but he kept on talking and talking and introducing na yan si Doc Rivers and yan si Phil Jackson. Pati Bloodline ng player ireresearch niya para sabihin sa tao, e ano naman pakialam ng mga manonood sa lolo ng tatay ng mga players. Sobrang daldal niyan kahit saang larangan ng palakasan. Pati sa Boxing. Umangal na ako dati sa philippine star pero walang nangyari.

Tatay ko nga kapag nakita daw niya si Quinito tatabihan niya tapos sasabihan niya kung anong nangyayari sa kapaligiran habang magkasama sila. Tapos sasabihan niya na alam mo ba na ganyan ka kadaldal at nakakakainis ka masyado.

Why don't they follow the leads of American sportscasters na simple lang and hindi masyado nagdadaldal pero pag nagsalita effective masyado.

john_paul_manahan
06-07-2008, 10:58 PM
well. ganun talaga si quinito...

kaya preferred ko yung US feed.

coreytaylor
06-08-2008, 09:43 AM
Gasol looks to get more involved in Lakers offense
By JOHN NADEL, AP Sports Writer
http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news

BOSTON (AP)—Pau Gasol scored early and rebounded late in Game 1 of the NBA finals. Unfortunately for the Los Angeles Lakers, the 7-foot center didn’t rebound early or score late.

Perhaps it was simply a matter of opportunity.

Whatever the case, the Lakers would likely benefit from a more balanced effort from Gasol in Game 2 on Sunday night.

“They played tough on the post, and they did a good job trying to force us to go in a different direction,” Gasol said Saturday regarding the Celtics’ second-half defensive performance in Game 1, when he shot 1-for-4 and scored three points. “When we had the ball in the wing, they moved down into the post, so we had to swing the ball on the other side of the court.”

Even then, Gasol said, the Lakers had a difficult time getting the ball inside.

Gasol had eight rebounds to go with those three points after halftime. In the first half, he shot 5-for-7 and scored 12 points, but didn’t get a single rebound.

“It’s how the game goes,” teammate Ronny Turiaf said. “You have to keep in mind that (Boston’s Kevin) Garnett was making a lot of baskets in the first half and there weren’t a lot of rebounds opportunities for Pau.”

Garnett shot 6-for-9 in the first half and 3-for-13 after halftime in the Celtics’ 98-88 victory over the Lakers.

“We didn’t do a good job on offense in the second half,” Turiaf said. “Our spacing was off. We were in the game even with our mental lapses.”

The Lakers led 51-46 at halftime, but were outscored 52-37 in the final 24 minutes.

Gasol said the Lakers look to make a couple basic offensive adjustments in Game 2.

“We want to make sure we establish a post presence and play inside-out a little bit more,” he said. “I think that’s going to help our offense and hopefully also give me a little more (room) in the lane and being aggressive, force them to play a little defense on me.”

Gasol and Lamar Odom, the Lakers’ main post players, both shot 6-for-11 in the opener.

“Yes, I think so,” coach Phil Jackson replied when asked if the Lakers planned to try and get Gasol and Odom more touches down low. “We haven’t focused on that. We think that that’s all part of what we do, and so guys available will do that. That hasn’t been a major focus of what we’re going to do. But we will, there’s no doubt about it.”

That’s all part of the inside-outside game, and perhaps that would give Kobe Bryant more room to operate on the perimeter.

Jackson didn’t sound very concerned about that.

“He usually doesn’t have two games in a row that are bad,” the coach said, referring to Bryant’s 9-for-26 shooting performance in Game 1. “He comes back and plays better. So we anticipate that’s going to be a pattern.”

Bryant said he had to “tweak a couple things here and there and see if I can’t put the ball in the hole a little more” in Game 2.

“A couple mechanical things on the shot, release and arc and things like that,” said Bryant, who made nearly 51 percent of his shots in the Lakers’ first 15 postseason games—12 of them victories.

The 88 points scored by the Lakers were a playoff-low this spring.

“Obviously you’ve got to give their defense a lot of credit,” backup forward Luke Walton said. “Hopefully we’ll make some of those shots we missed last game. We had some shots that normally drop for us that were rimming out.”

Even with those 88 points, the Lakers are averaging an NBA playoff high 104.8 points. The Celtics, meanwhile, are allowing an NBA playoff low 87.3 points per game.

The Celtics outrebounded Los Angeles 46-33 in Game 1, prompting some to wonder whether the Lakers needed to be more physical in Game 2. Bryant wasn’t so sure.

“We had to be physical to beat Utah,” he said. “They’re as tough physically as it gets. We managed to elevate our physical play. It’s not about us being tough or anything like that. You’ve just got to play a little bit harder.”

The Celtics weren’t buying the premise that the Lakers needed to be muscle up, either.

“I thought it was physical last game. I expect it be more physical in Game 2,” forward P.J. Brown said.

“Just because you get outrebounded by (13) doesn’t mean it’s not a physical game,” center Kendrick Perkins said. “I thought it was a pretty physical game. I don’t think Lamar Odom and Pau Gasol get enough credit for what they’ve done, playing physical in these playoffs.”

coreytaylor
06-08-2008, 09:44 AM
Allen, Garnett won’t force if Pierce is limited
By BRIAN MAHONEY, AP Basketball Writer
http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news

BOSTON (AP)—If Paul Pierce is sidelined or ineffective in Game 2 of the NBA finals, don’t expect the remainder of the Big Three to go hunting for big nights.

That’s not the way the Boston Celtics do things.

Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett said they will play as they always do, counting on their teammates to help carry the load, rather than trying to carry them.

“No, that doesn’t mean I score more. That definitely doesn’t,” Allen said Saturday. “I just have to play the same, attack. The ball might be in my hands more if that was the case. It might not be, who knows.”

Allen said players can get in trouble when they feel a need to do too much, reminding teammates there are other ways to pick up the slack besides scoring.

“I’ve always told guys when somebody’s out, I said, ‘You should be flirting with triple-doubles. Try to get more rebounds, you have more opportunities to pass the ball,”’ he said.

Pierce, the Celtics’ leading scorer, expects to play Sunday night when Boston tries to take a 2-0 lead over the Los Angeles Lakers. He has been getting treatment on the right knee he injured during the third quarter of the Celtics’ 98-88 victory Thursday night.

Pierce returned less than two minutes after his injury to hit a pair of big 3-pointers and finish with 22 points. There is no guarantee he would be that effective even if he does play Sunday, but Celtics coach Doc Rivers said there would be no pressure on Garnett or Allen to revert back to their pre-Boston days in that case.

“I would assume the ball will find them more, but I don’t want to, again, change who we are and how we play if, let’s say, Paul was not effective or couldn’t go,” Rivers said. “We’re going to play our same game, we’re going to move the ball the same. Different guys will just have to touch the ball.”

The Celtics don’t have much experience playing without Pierce, who missed only two games this season, both in April when Rivers was trying to keep his three stars fresh for the playoffs.

But they’ve had to deal with longer absences to both Garnett and Allen, and came through just fine.

Boston went 7-2 when Garnett was out with an abdominal strain leading into the All-Star break, getting a big lift from rookie Leon Powe. The Celtics also won six of the seven games Allen missed because of injury or illness.

“Just guys just getting an opportunity and doing it as a team and getting it from everybody that plays. That’s how we look at it,” said reserve James Posey, who likely would play a much larger role if Pierce struggles.

“We have confidence in the guys that we have on this team and we have shown that during the course of the season as well.”

They did in Game 1, when starting center Kendrick Perkins also was hurt. P.J. Brown took most of his minutes and finished with six rebounds, and likely would be a key Sunday if Perkins is still troubled by his sprained ankle.

Garnett was Minnesota’s leading scorer for years, but he’s always been known as—and even criticized for—an unselfish teammate who tried to get others involved rather than look for his own offense. He accepted a lesser offensive role along with the rest of the Big Three this season, one he expects to fill Sunday no matter who is on the floor with him.

“I think anybody that comes in and fills those positions, whether it’s Pose or whether it’s Leon or whoever, P.J., it obviously falls on everybody,” Garnett said. “But to make plays and put guys in positions to where they can be successful is part of the responsibility for us with Ray and our playmakers.

“Whether (Pierce and Perkins) play or don’t play, I think the mind-set needs to be consistent with myself and some of the other guys who make plays for others, and that’s the way it is.”

coreytaylor
06-08-2008, 09:45 AM
Pierce will 'definitely' play Sunday
By TOM WITHERS, AP Sports Writer
http://sports.yahoo.com/nba

BOSTON (AP)—In the past two days, New England’s most celebrated right knee — and to this point, the focal point of the NBA finals—has been encased in ice, undergone electrical stimulation therapy, even had lasers fired at it.

Paul Pierce’s knee has been primped, prodded and pampered like never before.

It’s not 100 percent, but it’s good enough.

Pierce, who sprained his knee and made a dramatic return in Boston’s series-opening win over the Los Angeles Lakers after being carried off the floor in the second half, said Saturday that he will “definitely” play in Game 2 on Sunday.

“Once those lights come on and the popcorn starts popping, I’ll be ready,” declared the Celtics’ All-Star forward and captain.

Wearing a black elastic brace and white sleeve over his injury, Pierce reported that his knee was less swollen. He’s still not able to bend it the way he’d like, but Pierce feels with another 24 hours of rest and treatment that he’ll be able to start.

How effective he’ll be is another story.

“Knowing my threshold of pain, to go out there and play shouldn’t be a problem,” said Pierce, who only planned to shoot free throws and walk through some plays on Saturday. “It should be something I should be able to do.”

Celtics center Kendrick Perkins also expects to be in the starting lineup after spraining his left ankle in Game 1.

Following his news conference, Pierce walked gingerly toward the court in TD Banknorth Garden with only the slightest sign of a limp. When he finally joined his teammates on the floor, Pierce grabbed a ball and was soon being playfully guarded by teammate Sam Cassell, who jammed his forearm into Pierce’s back and dared him to shoot.

“You gonna talk all day?” Cassell chirped, “or are you gonna ball?”

Pierce’s playing status, and skepticism about the severity of his injury, have been the dominant topics of conversation in the renewed rivalry between the Lakers and Celtics, who are meeting in the finals for the first time since 1987.

On Friday, Los Angeles coach Phil Jackson raised a few eyebrows by wondering if Pierce had been overly dramatic about the injury.

Moments after he was lifted from the floor by teammates and placed in a wheelchair, Pierce jogged back out of the tunnel to a thundering ovation and quickly made consecutive 3-pointers as the Celtics took control and went on to a 98-88 win. Jackson dismissed comparisons between Pierce’s comeback and one made by Willis Reed in the 1970 NBA finals, and even joked that noted faith healer Oral Roberts must have been in Boston’s locker room to perform a miracle.

Jackson said he had not received any negative feedback about his pithy comments, which he hoped were being taken in the proper vain.

“Well, we really should have a lot of fun about this; this is sports, after all,” Jackson said. “These are fun and games. “I kid the NBA about taking the fun out of the finals, but this is still fun. We try to make this fun.”

Fun? The Lakers and Celtics? They’re supposed to feud and fight, right?

Back in the 1980s during the height of their rivalry, the idea of laughter and any good-natured kidding between the clubs would have been greeted with a sharp elbow to the ribs. But these days, the league’s signature franchises aren’t nearly as blood thirsty as their predecessors.

Gone are the days when the showers in the visiting locker room at the old Boston Garden dispensed only cold water, and Lakers players no longer have to worry about being turned away at local restaurants because of their affiliation to the purple-and-gold.

“Beat L.A.” remains this city’s rallying cry. The hatred, though, seems to have been replaced by a kind of harmony.

“I’ve heard stories in the past of them coming here and not getting room service and stuff like that,” Kobe Bryant said. “I mean, my room service is cool. I got the nice apple pie with the ice cream on top, a la mode. I didn’t even ask for the ice cream, but they hooked me up.

“I’ve heard horror stories in the ’80s when the guys came here. It’s not like that. There’s a healthy competition, and they obviously want to win, the city wants to win, but it’s not like, ‘I hate your guts.”’

Boston fans would show more love for Bryant, if the superstar continues to struggle with his outside shot.

He went just 9-for-26 in Game 1 and has only made 33 percent (24-of-72) of his attempts in three games—all losses—against the Celtics this season. It would be hard to imagine Bryant having another clunker, and Jackson wouldn’t even consider the possibility.

“He’s been an unstoppable force in this game,” Jackson said. “He usually doesn’t have two games in a row that are bad. He comes back and plays better. So we anticipate that’s going to be a pattern.”

The Celtics, too, are expecting a more consistent effort from Kevin Garnett, their defensive leader who may have to carry more of the offensive load if Pierce is slowed by his bad knee. Garnett started strongly in Game 1 and finished with 24 points and 13 rebounds. But he was only 3-for-13 in the second half, missing nine consecutive shots in one stretch and went only 1-of-6 from the floor in the fourth quarter.

Garnett has promised to make amends for his poor finish, and Pierce is sure the ultra-intense KG will keep his word.

“He’s so hard on himself. He wants to play the perfect game,” Pierce said. “We’re all like that in our ways. And if a bad game is 24 and 13, I can’t wait until he has a good game.”

Dark Knight
06-08-2008, 01:12 PM
from Yahoo Sports

http://d.yimg.com/a/p/sp/tools/med/2008/06/ipt/1212879984.jpg

DJ. Magic called him his greatest defender.

Bird called him his greatest teammate.

http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news;_ylt=Alo7q039GOq5S9L6bvoh0We8vLYF?slug=aw-dennisjohnson060708&prov=yhoo&type=lgns

sonpudong
06-08-2008, 01:32 PM
well. ganun talaga si quinito...

kaya preferred ko yung US feed.


Meron naman sigurong taga solar na nandito hane?

The C/S telecast is clearer here than the BTV one.

Can those 2 be told to SHUT UP when the player introductions are made?

tawkytawny
06-08-2008, 03:14 PM
One useless information:* The last black coach who won the NBA Championship was K.C. Jones who led the Celtics to their 16th NBA crown.* Coach Doc Rivers will try to become the third African-American coach to win a NBA championship.


Actually, Doc will attempt to be the fifth.

The first, of course, was Bill Russell.

Bill Russell (Playing Coach, 1968-69)
Al Attles, Golden State, 1975
Lenny Wilkens, Seattle 1979
K.C. Jones (1984, 1986)
Doc Rivers (2008 ;D)

(Edited because I suddenly remembered Al Attles and rediscovered Lenny Wilkens.)


Thanks, I completely forgot Lenny Wilkens. I didn't know that Attles was black though.

Hopefully, Doc will be the 5th.

stonecold316
06-09-2008, 02:08 AM
from Yahoo Sports

http://d.yimg.com/a/p/sp/tools/med/2008/06/ipt/1212879984.jpg

DJ. Magic called him his greatest defender.

Bird called him his greatest teammate.

http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news;_ylt=Alo7q039GOq5S9L6bvoh0We8vLYF?slug=aw-dennisjohnson060708&prov=yhoo&type=lgns


Nakakamiss si Dennis Johnson. Without him in the line-up, baka nahirapan Boston manalo ng three crowns during Bird's time. Iba rin kasi ang contribution na binigay niya eh. Won't you agree Boston fans?

stonecold316

BigBlue
06-09-2008, 11:26 AM
is it just me, or are the Lakers ALLOWING Leon Powe to score at will??? Leon friggin' Powe!

Also, Rondo is proving his worth as a top-flight PG. So far,he's already got 15 assists.

JonarSabilano
06-09-2008, 11:45 AM
Don't look now, but the lead is down to three. Arrrgh! >:(

batangueño
06-09-2008, 11:52 AM
Game over. Boston def. L.A. Lakers, 108-102. :)

MonL
06-09-2008, 11:55 AM
Celts defense save the day, and they escape 108-102. 2-0 na. They have themselves to blame as they allowed LA to comeback through lax defense on the 3 shooters and through bonehead plays on their own offensives, resulting to a 20+ point LA run.

It could have been Memorial Day Massacre II, but they escaped a *catastrophic defeat through stifling defense which carried them all throughout the *regular season when they turned it on.

stonecold316
06-09-2008, 11:56 AM
Ang sakit sa ulo nila chino at quinito. Kapag mali or di naka-shoot, wakwak ang LA kapag tama ang ginagawa wakwak ang Boston. Isa pa ang dami nilang mali mali sa facts/commentary. grrr.

Anyway, great game by Boston and LA. Defense won it for the Celtics. Pero LA prove na my puso sila by staging a comeback late in the fourth quarter. Kapos nga lang sa oras.

Games 3, 4 and 5 will be played in LA, I hope this time they get the job done.

stonecold316

cub
06-09-2008, 12:06 PM
that comeback by the Lakers will surely help them coming to games 3, 4 and 5. that will serve as a confidence booster for them specially for Radmanovic who played so-so earlier. a win by the Celtics at the Staples center will mean bye-bye for the Lakers for they will not win in the Garden in game 6. :)

stonecold316
06-09-2008, 12:14 PM
Celtics hold off Lakers to take 2-0 Finals lead
06/09/2008 | 12:06 PM

BOSTON - Banner No. 17 is halfway to the rafters. The Celtics are two wins from another NBA championship. And maybe a little lucky to be there.

Paul Pierce, darting around the parquet floor with ease, scored 28 points, Boston's defense mobbed Kobe Bryant long enough and unknown Leon Powe scored 21 points as the Celtics held off a remarkable Los Angeles rally for a 108-102 win over the Lakers on Sunday night. The Celtics have a 2-0 lead in these trip-down-memory-lane NBA finals.

The Celtics had to work every second to get the win.

The Lakers trailed by 24 with less than 8 minutes to go, but pulled to 104-102 on two free throws by Bryant with 38.4 seconds left. But Pierce made two free throws, then blocked a jumper by Sasha Vujacic, and James Posey made two free throws with 12.6 seconds left to ice it for Boston. - AP

The_Big_Cat
06-09-2008, 12:15 PM
Bench points was the big factor for Boston breaking away in 3rd quarter.
Powe's performance reminds me of what Corliss Williamson did for Detroit in the 2004 Finals.

If its a high scoring game it favors the Lakers but if its a low scoring game, Boston will be favored because it is defense oriented team.

2 down 2 to go!
Go Boston!

stonecold316
06-09-2008, 12:17 PM
I still believe that LA got what it takes to beat Boston at the Garden.
They just have to believe in themselves that they can win there.
:D :D :D

stonecold316

batangueño
06-09-2008, 12:24 PM
2008 NBA Finals Game 2: Boston Celtics def. Los Angeles Lakers, 108-102. Celtics lead series 2-0.


Another great game by the Celtics and the Lakers. Defense won the game for Boston but I never liked the idea that they relaxed during the fourth quarter after mounting a 20+ point lead, allowing the Lakers to make a run that placed them a basket away from Boston in the dying seconds of the fourth quarter.


My thoughts and opinions on the game:


Boston Celtics:

* Again, defense was the key as to why the Celtics won Game 2. Kobe was well-defended, denying of him of some opportunities. The Celtics were also able to draw fouls from the Lakers. However, I never liked the idea of Boston relaxing their defense after mounting a 20+ point lead, again causing Los Angeles to capitalize on the situation by staging a comeback.

* Well, the Big Three- Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce- delivered as usual. Rajon Rondo was again good at the point. PJ Brown and James Posey stepped up their defense against their counterparts from Los Angeles. However, if there was one standout amongst the Celtics tonight, that would be Leon Powe, who played the greatest game of his life Sunday night by scoring 20+ huge points and getting those crucial rebounds.

I hope that Powe would continue to be the beast that he was in Game 2 when the games move to Staples Center in Los Angeles starting Game 3.


Los Angeles Lakers:

* While the Lakers were able to mount that comeback during the fourth quarter (which I admired a lot actually), they still sucked throughout much of the game. The Lakers were out of focus, lacked defense and simply committed error after error after error.

* Kobe Bryant was, again, well defended and was not able to deliver for the Lakers. He dumped the triangle offense and tried those ill-timed shots. He always wanted to get the ball but then things still came up short as far as he was concerned.

* Other Lakers who, I think performed well on Game 2 were Pau Gasol, Derek Fisher, Lamar Odom and Vladimir Radmonovic. Sasha Vujacic did quite well but then his outside shooting was not that good in Game 2.


Another one comment about Game 2: the controversial officiating by the referees. It seemed like both the Lakers and the Celtics fell victims to the trigger-happy attitude of Game 2 officials.

dioning
06-09-2008, 12:26 PM
may konting tulong sa ref kaya nakahabol lakers

Dark Knight
06-09-2008, 12:27 PM
Complacency at its best. What the hell was Boston thinking after establishing a 24 point lead? Have they forgotten that this is the same Lakers team that rallied from 24 to beat the Spurs in their Western Finals encounter? If theres one team that can overhaul a 100 point lead, its LA. *;D

I heard Chino saying, and this time i believe him, that Boston has a little arrogance when it comes to banners. Boston only hang World Championship banners. The Celtics never hoist Division titles or Conference Titles (unlike other teams). *

Only the World Championship banner counts thats why we only see 16 up at the Garden's rafters. If they include other minor titles, the Garden's ceiling will look like having a "fiesta" having all those fabrics up there.

Look at the Spurs court. *:D

Now, can the Celtics steal one at Staples center? They did it once this year. If not, Boston will find themselves trailing 3-2.

Dark Knight
06-09-2008, 12:30 PM
may konting tulong sa ref kaya nakahabol lakers


Yes, just what Crawford did against the Spurs when a non call was made against Fisher on Barry attempting a 3. had it been called, Boston might be facing San Antonio instead of the lakers.

Kid Cubao
06-09-2008, 12:34 PM
dark knight, not really complacency, but more like they played not to lose a bit too early, after they posted a 24 point lead. sana hinintay muna nila yung senyales ni phil jackson--as it was, kobe was still on the floor, playing good defense, handling the ball a lot and looking to feed the 3 pt shooters on kickout plays. let it be a lesson for the celtics that the only time to let up is when the opponent signals "surrender" by pulling out its marquee players. hangga't nandun pa, they should continue riding the crest of their scoring and defensive momentum.

dioning
06-09-2008, 12:39 PM
si kg nag mo-morph into a-rod pag crunchtime na. hindi agresibo. di nga makakuha ng rebound atsaka parang tentative to take the ball to the hoop. parang ayaw humawak ng bola. mahina kumpiyansa. buti nalang si pierce may animo

MonL
06-09-2008, 12:47 PM
Complacency at its best. What the hell was Boston thinking after establishing a 24 point lead? Have they forgotten that this is the same Lakers team that rallied from 24 to beat the Spurs in their Western Finals encounter? If theres one team that can overhaul a 100 point lead, its LA. *;D

I heard Chino saying, and this time i believe him, that Boston has a little arrogance when it comes to banners. Boston only hang World Championship banners. The Celtics never hoist Division titles or Conference Titles (unlike other teams). *

Only the World Championship banner counts thats why we only see 16 up at the Garden's rafters. If they include other minor titles, the Garden's ceiling will look like having a "fiesta" having all those fabrics up there.


Now, can the Celtics steal one at Staples center? They did it once this year. If not, Boston will find themselves trailing 3-2.


Dark, to the Celtics, the season is a failure if they dont win the big one in the end. That's tradition talking.

Lakers had it easy in their conference playoffs. Boston had to pass through several wringers to get here. Celts proved that they can win on the road, in the regular season and in the Eastern Final. They can win one there. And then some more. ;D

Bruticus
06-09-2008, 12:49 PM
Did you guys hear Quinito's comment on Leon Powe. *Baka maging susunod na FPJ, at tapos may comment pa na kaano-ano niya si FPJ? Corny talaga, nakarinig lang ng Powe eh...... ::)

aircanda
06-09-2008, 12:50 PM
cmon lakers! sweep the 3 games on you floor..! WE BELIEVE!

great game sa celts! hands down! great defense!

Kid Cubao
06-09-2008, 12:56 PM
Did you guys hear Quinito's comment on Leon Powe. Baka maging susunod na FPJ, at tapos may comment pa na kaano-ano niya si FPJ? Corny talaga, nakarinig lang ng Powe eh...... ::)

sumakit ang ulo ko sa hirit nyang yun. good thing i can now swing to BTV after i shifted to destiny in time for the NBA playoffs ;D

they should have dispatched vitto lazatin and andy jao instead. at least, kaya ko pang sakyan yung mispronunciations and malaprops ni boss andy, because what you get in return is high-grade basketball analysis.

MonL
06-09-2008, 01:07 PM
Did you guys hear Quinito's comment on Leon Powe.* Baka maging susunod na FPJ, at tapos may comment pa na kaano-ano niya si FPJ? Corny talaga, nakarinig lang ng Powe eh...... ::)

sumakit ang ulo ko sa hirit nyang yun. good thing i can now swing to BTV after i shifted to destiny in time for the NBA playoffs ;D

they should have dispatched vitto lazatin and andy jao instead. at least, kaya ko pang sakyan yung mispronunciations and malaprops ni boss andy, because what you get in return is high-grade basketball analysis.


Thank goodness for btv.

"Basketbol abab ol." :D

john_paul_manahan
06-09-2008, 01:17 PM
if there is a gtg for team green, it's the truth. remember game 7 vs team lebron.

he proved it again. big 3 played very well. but when you have a guy like leon powe scoring 21 pts and rajon dishing 16 times, then....

The_Big_Cat
06-09-2008, 01:19 PM
I think DJ Mbenga would be the best matchup for Leon Powe.
I'd like the way Pau Gasol started strong in the first quarter. Posting and attacking KG's defense. It somewhat got lost in the second half

stonecold316
06-09-2008, 01:30 PM
Pierce hurts Lakers once more in Game 2 of NBA finals
06/09/2008 | 01:06 PM
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BOSTON - This time, Paul Pierce picked up his teammates.

One game after being carried off the floor following a scary — but ultimately insignificant — knee injury, the Celtics forward scored 28 points to help Boston beat the Los Angeles Lakers 108-102 and take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven NBA finals.

"I felt pretty good," Pierce said. "I didn't really think about the injury, because once I step on the court, it pretty much goes out the window. You hear the crowd; the adrenaline is going.

"I probably feel a little bit better now after the game now that I'm kind of winding down. But during the game it felt good."

Pierce hit a pair of free throws with 23 seconds left after Los Angeles cut a 24-point deficit to just two points, 104-102. The Lakers tried a quick 3-pointer, but Pierce partially blocked Sasha Vujacic's shot to protect the lead.

Walking back down the court, he finally let loose, slapping hands with the fans in the courtside seats — including actor Donnie Wahlberg — and pumping his fists in celebration.

Game 3 is Tuesday in Los Angeles.

"We did our job, we held home court, and now we can break it back with another win in Game 3," Pierce said. "We're not settling on a 2-0 lead. We want to go out there and win two games in L.A. That's our focus, and that's what we want to go out there and try to do."

Pierce hit a 3-pointer to make it 44-37 with 3:22 left in the first half, scoring seven points in a 13-5 run that pushed the Celtics lead into double-digits for the first time. In the third, the Lakers cut it to nine points before Pierce hit consecutive baskets to start a 15-2 run that turned a 68-59 game into a 22-point lead.

In all, Pierce was 9-for-16 from the field — hitting all four 3-pointers — while adding eight assists and four rebounds in playing 41½ minutes.

"I thought before the game he felt great, he looked great," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. "So I liked what he was going to do."

The captain and longest-tenured member of the team, Pierce crumpled to the court in the third quarter of Game 1 after colliding with Celtics center Kendrick Perkins. After writing in pain for a few minutes, he was carried off the floor by his teammates.

Pierce rode a wheelchair the rest of the way to the locker room. But, once he got there, he realized he wasn't that hurt after all.

Coming back into the game — he missed only 1 minute, 45 seconds — he drained back-to-back 3-pointers to give the Celtics the lead for good as they coasted to a 98-88 victory.

Lakers coach Phil Jackson did everything to call Pierce a faker but ask for a note from the doctor, wondering aloud whether famous faith-healer Oral Roberts had visited the Celtics locker room and mocking Pierce's ride to the locker room.

But in the game, the only people hurt were the Lakers.

With an extra day off between games thanks to the TV schedule, Pierce had time to ice his knee, massage it, have electro-stimulation therapy and treat it with lasers. He came onto the floor with a white sleeve on his right leg and a brace covering the knee.

"If he was able to play," Celtics forward James Posey said, "he was going to be out there." - AP

cub
06-09-2008, 01:34 PM
I think DJ Mbenga would be the best matchup for Leon Powe.


Mbenga can't match up Powe. he's a 7foot-slow moving center and will be a liability in the offense for the Lakers. even the much quicker Walton cannot guard Powe. nobody in that Laker team can guard Pierce and Powe because they are 6'8 small forward who has a decent post moves and can attack the lane.

stonecold316
06-09-2008, 01:36 PM
Bryant, Lakers run out of time in Game 2 loss to Celtics
06/09/2008 | 01:29 PM
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BOSTON - Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers ran out of time Sunday.

Perhaps their amazing fourth-quarter comeback was enough to give them hope in a most difficult situation.

Bryant scored 13 of his 30 points in the last 7:40 as the Lakers erased all but two points of a 24-point deficit before losing to the Boston Celtics 108-102 in Game 2 of the NBA finals.

"It's something we can take from, absolutely. Understand we played harder," Bryant said. "We played with a sense of desperation and more aggression, and I think that's something for us to take home and learn from. They took care of business at home, and we've got to go home and try to do the same thing."

Only three teams have ever recovered from the 2-0 deficit Los Angeles faces to win the finals, but the teams play the next three games at Staples Center, where the Lakers are 8-0 in the postseason and have won 14 straight since last losing March 28.

"We've come too far to really sweat being down 2-0," Bryant said. "We're going to go home and handle our business."

Bryant, who shot 9-for-26 and scored 24 points in a 98-88 loss in Game 1, shot 11-for-23 Sunday night, and also had five of his eight assists in the final period.

The Lakers had only themselves to blame for falling so far behind. They were within nine points before being outscored 27-12 to finish the third quarter and start the fourth, mainly because of a sieve-like defense. It was never more flagrant than when unheralded Leon Powe, who scored a career playoff high 21 points in less than 15 minutes, cruised down the lane for a dunk early in the fourth quarter. There was simply no resistance.

Bryant appeared animated at times during timeouts. When asked what he was telling his teammates, the MVP replied: "It was beep, beep, beep, 'Eddie Murphy Raw' times 10."

The Lakers were plagued by foul problems all night, and it was reflected at the foul line, where the Celtics shot 27-for-38 while the Lakers were just 10-for-10.

"I didn't notice," Bryant said sarcastically with a slight smile.

The Lakers' bench was abysmal at times, but came alive to score 18 points in the final period including six each by Jordan Farmar and Sasha Vujacic.

"I think we played together more (down the stretch)," Farmar said. "We made the passes we were supposed to make and hit some shots."

Vujacic had a chance to bring the Lakers within one point with about 15 seconds left, but his 3-pointer was blocked by Paul Pierce.

"I had an open look, he kind of jumped out of nowhere," said Vujacic, who made two 3-pointers earlier in the fourth quarter. "I took the shot, I felt good about it. He blocked it. It could have gone in or gone out. He blocked it."

Pau Gasol disappeared offensively in the second half for the second straight game, scoring only four of his 17 points. He had just three of his 15 after halftime in the opener.

"Sometimes I just can't control where the ball goes," he said. "All I do is try too play hard, and when I get the ball, try to be aggressive and help my team. In the second half, things didn't go that well, especially in the third quarter. Like I said, I don't make the calls."

Lamar Odom picked up his fifth foul in the final seconds of the third quarter. He scored eight of his 10 points in the first half and didn't play in the final period.

"I guess we've got to play a little less physical," he said dryly, a reference to those who said the Lakers needed to be more physical after being outrebounded 46-33 in Game 1 as well as the foul situation.

Lakers coach Phil Jackson said he was more struck by Powe shooting more foul shots than his entire team in limited minutes than he was about the difficulty his team had in scoring points in the first three quarters or its fourth-quarter rally.

"I've never seen a game like that in all these years I've coach in the finals. Unbelievable," Jackson said. - AP

stonecold316
06-09-2008, 01:38 PM
"The Lakers were plagued by foul problems all night, and it was reflected at the foul line, where the Celtics shot 27-for-38 while the Lakers were just 10-for-10."

It's safe to say Boston also won because of so many free throw attempts.
;D ;D ;D

stonecold316

cub
06-09-2008, 01:43 PM
because Boston is attacking the basket aggressively.

stonecold316
06-09-2008, 01:48 PM
because Boston is attacking the basket aggressively.


Umaatake rin naman an LA its just that hindi rin nila nakuha ang ibang calls. Anyway, bawi na lang ang LA sa Games 3, 4 and 5. Hopefully this time they win... and win big.

stonecold316

john_paul_manahan
06-09-2008, 01:49 PM
stat freaks:

has anybody won all 3 middle games?

nastrans
06-09-2008, 01:52 PM
Another reason is probably Boston played the last five minutes just to protect the lead instead of winning the game and there you they almost blew the game away.

But overall, great performance by the Celtics, Pierce was having another splendid game and Rondo played with his usual game instead of being tentative and struggling against the Lakers defense while Leon Powe well he's had an easy time getting inside the lane.

And now the tough task for Boston it at least get one from the Staples Center, which will most likely be the scenario.

cub
06-09-2008, 01:54 PM
stonecold:

if you noticed kobe's ft attempts vs. the Spurs, he shot only eleven in five games. this means, the Lakers' opponents are trying not to foul Kobe and let him take those shots. IMO, only Kobe attacked the basket aggressively and that occured in the 2nd half alone.

JPM:
the detroit pistons in 2004 and miami heat in 2006 did that.

john_paul_manahan
06-09-2008, 01:55 PM
if i am not mistaken, both teams did that at home, right?

The_Big_Cat
06-09-2008, 01:59 PM
if i am not mistaken, both teams did that at home, right?

Yes. All home wins.
Detroit after stealing the first game of the 2004 Finals at LA, won 3 consecutive at the Palace.
Miami after game 1 and game 2 defeats at Dallas in the 2006 Finals came back with 3 consecutive wins at Florida.

cub
06-09-2008, 02:09 PM
the Lakers also did that vesrus the Sixers at the First Union Center in 2001.

slight OT:

this marks the first time since the Jordan-led Bulls that the East had the HCA in the Finals.

MonL
06-09-2008, 02:31 PM
Shutout club

Teams that lost via 4-0 shutout in the NBA Finals:

Minneapolis Lakers, lost to Boston in 1959
Baltimore(Washington) Bullets(Wizards), lost to Milwaukee in 1971
Washington Bullets, lost to Golden State in 1975
LA Lakers, lost to Philadelphia in 1983
LA Lakers, lost to Detroit in 1989
Orlando magic, lost to Houston in 1995
New Jersey Nets, lost to LA Lakers in 2002

Three times that has happened since the 2-3-2 series format began in 1985.

Next?* ;D

stonecold316
06-09-2008, 02:45 PM
stonecold:

if you noticed kobe's ft attempts vs. the Spurs, he shot only eleven in five games. this means, the Lakers' opponents are trying not to foul Kobe and let him take those shots. IMO, only Kobe attacked the basket aggressively and that occured in the 2nd half alone.

JPM:
the detroit pistons in 2004 and miami heat in 2006 did that.


Yes, I do noticed that but I felt may contact din na hindi natawag when Kobe was driving hard to the basket. Anyway, sana nga mas umatake ang Lakers para makapunta rin sila sa free throw line.

stonecold316

stonecold316
06-09-2008, 02:46 PM
Pow! Powe delivers early knockout punch to Lakers
06/09/2008 | 02:09 PM
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BOSTON - Phil Jackson mispronounced Leon Powe's name Sunday during his postgame press conference. The Lakers coach apparently didn't hear the fans chanting it properly a few minutes earlier.

Powe — rhymes with toe, not "Pow," the way Jackson mistakenly said it — was the surprising star of Game 2 of the NBA finals, coming off the bench to score 21 points in Boston's 108-102 victory over Los Angeles.

"We feel like we can go to the guy," Paul Pierce said. "He's proven throughout the course of the year once he posts up, get him the ball. And we've developed confidence that he can get the job done."

Pierce and fellow All-Stars Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen get most of the attention up in Boston, but Powe outscored the latter two, and for most of the game was even outscoring Kobe Bryant, who admitted that the Lakers were "just a little" surprised by Powe's performance.

"He played a great game," Bryant said. "I mean, he came in and did what he had to do."

With starting center Kendrick Perkins playing with a sprained right ankle, then getting into early foul trouble, the Celtics went to Powe early in the game. He aggressively went to the basket, shooting nine free throws in the first half and finishing 9-of-13 at the line.

He also made his first six shots before missing his final attempt.

"We made a concerted effort to get him the ball in the post in that one stretch in the first quarter, and when he came in the second quarter he responded," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. "So it was great."

Powe played well during a nine-game stretch when Garnett was sidelined with an abdominal strain before the All-Star break, but the minutes have been sporadic during the postseason. Chances are he earned plenty more with his performance Sunday.

And chances are people will get his name right from now on. Powe said some teachers have mistakenly called him "Pow," but he made a name for himself in Game 2.

It doesn't really matter to me. I've got a job to do for this team, and like I said, whenever Doc calls on me, it's my job to go out there and produce, be a constant professional," Powe said.

"Even if he doesn't call on me that day, get in the gym and see what's going on out there on the floor. I'm not worried about people not pronouncing my name right. I ain't tripping on that."

___

BABY IT'S COLD INSIDE: The old Boston Garden didn't have air conditioning, so it could be a sweatbox at times, especially during the NBA finals in late spring.

In Game 5 of the 1985 finals, for example, when the temperature hit 98 degrees indoors, Boston's Larry Bird was the hottest player in the building, getting 34 points and 17 rebounds in a 121-103 victory for a 3-2 advantage. The Celtics lost Game 6 in Los Angeles before winning Game 7 at the Garden 111-102.

Nowadays, in the TD Banknorth Garden, which opened in 1995, it's anything but warm. In fact, some of the Lakers were bemoaning the cold of the past few days.

"During my short time here, this building was always on the cold side," said Chris Mihm, who played for the Celtics during the second half of the 2003-04 season. "It was cold today. But I've never felt it the way it was yesterday at practice. I was waiting to see if I could see my breath during warmups. It was unbelievable."

Mihm said he was jumping up and down just to stay warm before Friday's practice despite wearing a long sleeve cotton shirt over his jersey.

Ronny Turiaf described the building as "supercold" during the Lakers' shootaround several hours before Sunday night's game.

"Today was even colder than the first day," he said, referring to the shootaround before Game 1.

___

NOT SO LUCKY: Another injury for the Celtics, this one to their mascot, Lucky the dunking leprechaun.

Damon Blust, the stilt-walking, T-shirt-throwing, high-flying mascot who entertains the crowd during breaks at the Celtics games, had to cut the trampoline-enhanced acrobatic dunks from his routine on Sunday night because he was hurt.

Spotted underneath the stands during the first quarter, Blust said he had a labral tear in his right shoulder.

Too bad, because part of Blust's act is to pull a celebrity out of the front row to hold the ball for one of his dunks, and on Sunday there were plenty to choose from. Among them: Red Sox stars David Ortiz and Jon Lester under one basket, Patriots Richard Seymour and Vince Wilfork under another and Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling sitting next to the Lakers bench.

___

GINO FOUND: All season long, the Boston Celtics have been celebrating victories at home with an American Bandstand dance video that has become the modern answer to Red Auerbach's victory cigar.

The disco-era video of a man with a thick black beard swiveling to the beat and wearing a shirt saying "Gino" draws cheers whenever it appears on the screen, because it usually signals that the game is well in hand.

Boston fans have been snapping up replicas of the shirt and a modern incarnation that says, "Gino Time." Although the shirt is from a 1977 tour by Italian-Canadian singer Gino Vannelli, the dancer was unknown.

Until last week.

The Wall Street Journal, working with the American Bandstand producers, identified him as Joe Massoni, a greater Los Angeles-area resident who died in 1990.

___

I'LL BE HERE ALL WEEK: Maybe Phil Jackson should hold his news conferences in front of a brick wall.

Once again, the Los Angeles Lakers coach made like a standup comic during his pregame media gathering, and for the second time he got his biggest laughs while commenting on Paul Pierce's dramatic departure and return in Game 1.

Pierce was carried from the floor by his teammates and then had to be transported to the Celtics' locker room in a wheelchair.

Jackson was asked if the Lakers' coaching staff had had any discussions about the Celtics' injuries to Pierce and Kendrick Perkins, who sprained his left ankle in the series opener.

"None," Jackson said. "We haven't discussed it at all. We discussed the wheelchair a little bit, but that's the only thing. First time I think we've ever seen it."

On Friday, Jackson voiced skepticism about Pierce's injury and wondered if noted faith healer Oral Roberts had performed some kind of miracle on the Celtics' star in the locker room.

___

IDOL SIGNING THE ANTHEM IN LA: David Cook will perform the national anthem Tuesday night, just across the street from where he won the American Idol competition last month at Nokia Theatre.

Cook has the honors for Game 3 at Staples Center, becoming the latest American Idol winner to sing it at the NBA finals. Kelly Clarkson, Ruben Studdard, Carrie Underwood, Taylor Hicks, and Jordin Sparks all previously did so.

Jeffrey Osborne will sing the national anthem on Thursday night before Game 4, and that could be a good omen for the Lakers. He also performed in the 1985, '88 and 2002 finals, and Los Angeles won all those series. The first victory came over Boston. - AP

tawkytawny
06-09-2008, 02:54 PM
stat freaks:

has anybody won all 3 middle games?


DETROIT PISTONS

Raging Blue
06-09-2008, 02:54 PM
The completion of "Kill Phil, Volume 2" in Boston has nearly been derailed by the sudden inclusion of the return of the Black Mamba in the script. Critics like the Yen Master have already been panning the film for extreme violence shortly after the release of this POWErful feature film worldwide.

The Boston-based producers hope to complete the remaining two installments of the quadrilogy in Hollywood. They are in the process of carefully planning to craft the script, including a cameo role by the Alien, to ensure a box office blockbuster.

Celtics in five!

dark_seid
06-09-2008, 03:17 PM
Yes, I do noticed that but I felt may contact din na hindi natawag when Kobe was driving hard to the basket. Anyway, sana nga mas umatake ang Lakers para makapunta rin sila sa free throw line.

stonecold316


regarding the calls, an aggressive and physical defensive team will always get the benefit of the doubt. check out how many whacks pau gasol got in the lane without a whistle blowing.

kobe's two offensive fouls in the 1st half were bonehead plays by him. i guess i can dub ray allen as "kobe stopper" for he got kobe out of the game.

pio_valenz
06-09-2008, 05:24 PM
the Lakers also did that vesrus the Sixers at the First Union Center in 2001.



The 1990 Pistons and the 1991 Bulls also swept games 3-5 on the road, the Pistons against Portland and the Bulls against the Lakers.

pablohoney
06-09-2008, 05:39 PM
I think Rondo should be more aggressive.
If not, I'd rather see Doc Rivers try Eddie House and Sam Cassel for longer stretches.
House will probably have better luck against Derek Fisher, than he did with Chauncey Billups.
Sam Cassel has proven he can outpower Fisher in the paint.

Yun nga lang, mejo babagal ang Celtics.

Kid Cubao
06-09-2008, 05:42 PM
^^ i think it's the lakers who should be doing all the adjusting, after all, they're behind the count at 0-2, di ba?

dark_seid
06-09-2008, 06:08 PM
rondo played awesome. he was controlling the game as a point guard should do. and on defense, he wasn't a disadvantage.

an observation of the discipline on defense by the celts. on a play, kobe broke free of a double team above the 3pt line and attacked the basket driving to his left. it was a laker advantage on numbers but a 3rd celtic rotated and covered kobe. this occurred while the 2 players who got beat automatically ran to cover the other lakers who were momentarily left open. the result of the laker play was a contested shot from outside. great defensive team discipline.

Jeep
06-09-2008, 06:58 PM
O.T.:
Ang gusto kong makita mag cover ng NBA Finals besides Chino and Quinito are Prospero Pichay and Luis Villafuerte. ;D
Tingnan natin kung gaano sila kagaling sa basketball.


eh di junket na naman yan! gagamitin na naman ang pork barrel nila para gumimik pagkatapos ng game.* ;)

pablohoney
06-09-2008, 08:24 PM
Kid Cubao[/b] ]
^^ i think it's the lakers who should be doing all the adjusting, after all, they're behind the count at 0-2, di ba?


Yes, the Celts may be ahead, for now. :)
Just imagine if Rondo manages to stretch the Laker's defense with his long bombs,
then the Celts can even sweep the Lakers. ;)

tigerman
06-09-2008, 11:43 PM
Phil decided to bench Odom during that crucial 4th quarter run. He used Radmanovic instead, who from my recollection did consecutive blunders on both ends of the court during the Celtics' run to end the 3rd quarter.

I won't be surprised if Odom gets traded after this season. Phil may have given up on him.




USTE LO MEJOR!
VIVA SANTO TOMAS!

batangueño
06-09-2008, 11:46 PM
Actually, I do not see anything wrong with the Celtics (they have lots of room for improvement actually) except that they suddenly relaxed during the fourth quarter, which was capitalized by the Lakers and erased the 20+ lead that Boston built over Los Angeles. ???

cub
06-10-2008, 12:02 AM
Phil decided to bench Odom during that crucial 4th quarter run. He used Radmanovic instead, who from my recollection did consecutive blunders on both ends of the court during the Celtics' run to end the 3rd quarter.

I won't be surprised if Odom gets traded after this season. Phil may have given up on him.



correct observation. Odom should be traded in the off season. primarily because Bynum will be back so that moves Gasol to his real position(PF) and Odom will be forced to come off the bench when that occurs. trade Odom to a defensive minded small forward. Shane Battier and Andrei Kirilenko comes to mind.

a line up of Bynum, Gasol, Battier/AK47, Bryant and Fisher would be the easiest pick to win it all next year.

LION
06-10-2008, 07:34 AM
Lessons so far:

1.* LA is really overhyped.* LA favored over Boston? The basketball "experts" completely lost their minds there. Kobe vs. Big 3/Big5?* *

2.* In game 1, Phil Jackson and Kobe refused to give credit to Boston's superior defense.* Malas lang daw si Kobe nung game 1.* We all know what happened in game 2.* Malas din si Kobe?* *:)*

3.* Lakers has the advantage in coaching? Yeah right.* Phil Jackson's coaching philosophy is to get the ball to the team's superstar and all others should get the hell out of his way.* Walang pinagkaiba nung panahon ni Jordan.*

That, in summary, is Phil Jackson as a coach.* If Paul Pierce is no Willis Reed, Phil Jackson is no Red Auerbach, either.* Jackson may have won more championships than Red but how he won those trophies is another good topic later on.* *

4.* Boston has the superior firepower reinforced by a far more superior defense.* The only way LA can beat the Celtics is for Kobe to score more than 40 points and for the rest of the Lakers to really play extremely good defense.

Early on, I voted for a 4-2 win by the Celtics.* After 2 games, I am convinced that 4-0 is highly possible.

Back to reality, LA.

The_Big_Cat
06-10-2008, 07:49 AM
Lessons so far:
1. LA is really overhyped.
4. Boston has the superior firepower reinforced by a far more superior defense. The only way LA can beat the Celtics is for Kobe to score more than 40 points and for the rest of the Lakers to really play extremely good defense.

OT: Parang Ateneo. :D

I have to agree with your number 4. LA has to put up large numbers, a high scoring game to be successful.
I think Phil Jackson has never been swept before. I see the Lakers winning at least 2 games at their home floor.
Remember the 2006 Finals, Dallas beat Miami convincingly after the first 2 games in Dallas before losing 4 straight.
But Boston is the better defensive team over Dallas. The Celtics has all the tools right now to go all the way.

LION
06-10-2008, 08:09 AM
^ OT: Ateneo as a team is not overhyped, in my opinion. Tinatalo tayo ng Ateneo and our win against Ateneo in the Filoil tourney was hard earned.

Kung may overhyped man at this point, mga rookies yun. And what is overhyped is not their talents/skills but their potential contribution this coming season. Mga bata pa yan and no matter how good they are, they will need at least a year of experience to settle down and fully comprehend what collegiate ball is all about. Salva and Buenafe will eventually rule the UAAP. That is a given. Their time will come. But I am not convinced though about Justin Chua and Vince Burke.

Ok. Back to the topic. :)

mighty_lion
06-10-2008, 08:19 AM
TV ratings is up by 38% from last year. I just hope Stern will not do anything here to extend the series. Just let the teams play thier game.

For me this series will define Phil Jackson's quality as a coach. The last team who sent Phil to the ground in the Finals is also defensive minded team, the Pistons.

The_Big_Cat
06-10-2008, 11:35 AM
^I think Phil Jackson has never been down 0-2 in the playoffs before.

MonL
06-10-2008, 12:18 PM
Lessons so far:


4. The only way LA can beat the Celtics is for Kobe to score more than 40 points and for the rest of the Lakers to really play extremely good defense.



Can the Lakers out-defend the Celtics?

If the Celtics were able to get past Detroit, they can take anything the Lakers can throw, even the kitchen sink.
And the Celtics can throw back an even bigger sink. ;D

Kid Cubao
06-10-2008, 12:34 PM
classic example of that celtics defense: that shot block by james posey on a three point attempt by clutch laker derek fisher that would have given LA the lead in the last 20 seconds of regulation. man, if that 3-pointer went in, tiyak llamado ang lakers pagdating ng game 3.

erichubert
06-10-2008, 05:26 PM
I think people were blinded by the Lakers' stroll through the Western Conference since it is supposed to be the stronger of the two conferences that is why they were favored over Boston. Remember that Boston was the best team in the regular season in the whole league and they are no. 1 in defense so they are hardly the underdogs, add to that the fact that they have the home court advantage.

Kobe is doing his best to keep the team alive, the others should step up and help him, Fisher, Odom and Gasol need to play better and I think its time to bench Walton and let Vujacic play more minutes with Kobe, he can guard Allen and shoots better than either Luke or Vlad Rad.

dark_seid
06-10-2008, 05:57 PM
Lessons so far:

1. LA is really overhyped. LA favored over Boston? The basketball "experts" completely lost their minds there. Kobe vs. Big 3/Big5?


2. In game 1, Phil Jackson and Kobe refused to give credit to Boston's superior defense. Malas lang daw si Kobe nung game 1. We all know what happened in game 2. Malas din si Kobe? :)

3. Lakers has the advantage in coaching? Yeah right. Phil Jackson's coaching philosophy is to get the ball to the team's superstar and all others should get the hell out of his way. Walang pinagkaiba nung panahon ni Jordan.

That, in summary, is Phil Jackson as a coach. If Paul Pierce is no Willis Reed, Phil Jackson is no Red Auerbach, either. Jackson may have won more championships than Red but how he won those trophies is another good topic later on.

4. Boston has the superior firepower reinforced by a far more superior defense. The only way LA can beat the Celtics is for Kobe to score more than 40 points and for the rest of the Lakers to really play extremely good defense.

Early on, I voted for a 4-2 win by the Celtics. After 2 games, I am convinced that 4-0 is highly possible.

Back to reality, LA.


with the way the lakers beat up on the spurs and the way boston struggled mightily against atlanta and cleveland, it was definite to pick lakers as the favorite over the 66-win team.

regarding ... pjax as no red ... well that i would like to disagree with. as i've written before, i never wanted pjax to tie red's 9 rings. and i wanted pjax to lose lots of games in the playoffs, much less make it. but then, the way he handled the development of the young players to become an effective unit (even before gasol was gift wrapped to them) says much to the last critique of red. pjax has finally demonstrated his coaching acumen in helping players find their most efficient and effective form. that's why even if pjax loses out and stays at 9 rings, i grudgingly accept pjax as the best coach of the nba.

but let's get back to talking about the game. the almost-collapse of the celts should make them up and attentive for game 3. instead of an over-confident bunch after a blowout win, these guys will be focused to come and play game 3. and this is scary.

Jump_Shooter
06-10-2008, 06:36 PM
^I think Phil Jackson has never been down 0-2 in the playoffs before.

He has. Versus the Knicks in '93. The Bulls went on to win the next four games. I'm hoping history doesn't repeat itself.

He was also down 2-0 versus the Pistons in '90 and the Knicks again in '94. In both series, the Bulls lost Game 7 on the road.

gameface_one
06-11-2008, 07:38 AM
Ticket frenzy in Finals
SPORTING CHANCE By Joaquin M. Henson
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
philstar.com


LOS ANGELES – The hottest thing in Tinseltown is a ticket to the Finals at the Staples Center.

The seating capacity is 18,997 and every spot is sold out for Game 3 this morning (Manila time). The cost for a courtside seat is $56,000 compared to $30,000 at the TD Banknorth Garden in Boston.

In Philippine terms, a courtside ticket will set you back P2.4 million–the price of a luxury car and a high-class studio condo. You cough up the dough for a few hours of basketball entertainment.

That’s not all. You can’t buy a courtside seat, one at a time. The seats come in pairs so if you’re thinking of joining Jack Nicholson’s row, you’ve got to be prepared to plunk down $112,000.

The cheapest ticket is going for $400 at the top of the arena. A midcourt seat has a $7,000 price tag. A skybox with 44 seats sells for $50,000.

Scalping is outlawed but in dark corners within the Staples’ immediate vicinity, there are hawkers buying and selling tickets with little regard for face value prices.

“I’ve seen nothing like this in the nine years that we’ve opened,” said Staples general manager Lee Zeidman, quoted by Dana Batholomew in the Los Angeles Daily News. “Because of the history of these two teams, the demand is phenomenal.”

Since Minneapolis moved the Lakers to California in 1960, there have been nine Finals between Boston and Los Angeles. The rivalry is clearly the fiercest in NBA history, featuring Bill Russell against Wilt Chamberlain, John Havlicek against Jerry West and Magic Johnson against Larry Bird.

The last faceoff came in 1987 when the Lakers beat the Celtics in six. After 21 years, Boston and LA are back in the Finals, stirring a fan frenzy that has driven TV ratings way over what San Antonio and Cleveland delivered last season.

* * *

The Celtics’ unlikely hero in Game 2 was sophomore pro Leon Powe who was Denver’s second round pick in 2006. He compiled 21 points and two rebounds with no turnover in 15 minutes. Powe shot 9-of-13 free throws. As a team, the Lakers were 10-of-10 from the line.

Lakers coach Phil Jackson threw a sharp jab at the referees when he said it was “ridiculous” for Powe to shoot more foul shots than the entire Los Angeles team in only 15 minutes. Jackson also showed a bit of disrespect for Powe by calling him “Pow” like he didn’t figure in the Lakers scouting report.

“What did he call me, Pow?” said the 6-8 Powe. “That’s what my teachers call me sometimes and I let them get away with it.”

Powe, 24, survived a tough childhood and basketball was his way out of poverty. As a boy, he was homeless for several years when the house his family lived in burned down in an Oakland ghetto. Then, he was taken from his mother and placed into foster care in middle school. Bernard Ward became his guardian in the sixth grade. His mother died a few days before Powe played in a high school state title game in 2003.

Ward continues to look after Powe. Last Sunday, he was in a special section 25 rows from the court to watch his “son” play the game of his life.

* * *

New England Patriots football star Tedy Lacap Bruschi was in the TD Banknorth Garden cheering for the Boston Celtics in Game 1 of the NBA Finals last Thursday.

Bruschi’s mother Juanita Lacap is pure Filipina. His parents divorced when he was five. His father Anthony is an American of Italian descent. Bruschi said he uses Lacap as his middle name to show respect for his Filipina mother’s family. His sister Natalia and brother Tony also use Lacap which some American writers said was a “unique” middle name.

Bruschi’s mother married professional tennis player Ron Sandys after her divorce. Bruschi was raised by his mother and stepfather. He is married to his campus sweetheart Heidi and they have three sons. Three years ago, Bruschi suffered a mild stroke that led to partial paralysis but recovered to continue playing in the National Football League in an inspiring comeback. He turned 35 yesterday.

gameface_one
06-11-2008, 07:39 AM
Pierce, Celtics brace for rivals home surge
By Joaquin Henson
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
philstar.com


LOS ANGELES – Leaning on a 2-0 cushion hardly makes the Boston Celtics comfortable as the Los Angeles Lakers are set to host Games 3 and 4 and if necessary, 5, in the NBA Finals.

Since the NBA adopted the 2-3-2 format for the Finals in 1985, only one team has come back from a 0-2 deficit to win the championship. Miami did it, trouncing Dallas in four straight after losing the first two games on the Mavericks homecourt in 2006.

When the NBA used the 2-2-1-1-1 format, two teams recovered from a 0-2 hole to bag the title –Portland over Philadelphia in 1977 and Boston over Los Angeles in 1969.

Boston’s consolation is of the 11 teams that built a 2-0 lead in the Finals the last 22 years, only one–Dallas–failed to clinch the crown. The Celtics, obviously, like the odds but there’s something that muddles the equation–Los Angeles is unbeaten in eight playoff games this season.

The Lakers realize that Boston could end the series at the Staples Center in what would be a nightmarish climax at Los Angeles. The Celtics need to win just two more to get it done and they’ve got three chances at the Staples.

“We’re not settling on a 2-0 lead,” said Boston skipper Paul Pierce. “We want to go out there and win two games in LA. That’s our focus and that’s what we want to go out there and try to do.”

Game 3 is scheduled here this morning (Manila time) and will be shown live on Solar’s C/S Sports RPN channel. Replays will be on Solar’s Basketball TV channel in the Global Destiny cable network.

Pierce was born in Oakland and grew up in Inglewood cheering for the Lakers. When he joined the Celtics as Boston’s first round pick in 1998, he switched loyalties. Pierce has been a huge thorn on the Lakers side in the Finals. He hit 22 points in Game 1 and 28 in Game 2.

For Pierce, playing against the team he idolized as a boy isn’t a problem.

“It’s a dream for me to go home and play in a place where I grew up, against a team I grew up with, the Celtics, with the opportunity to win an NBA championship” he said. “It couldn’t have been scripted any better.”

Pierce said the key in the Finals so far has been the bench.

“Our bench has been pretty much overlooked all year,” he said. “Nobody really talks about our bench. We know what the Laker bench can bring but we feel like we have the better bench in this series and Leon (Powe) went out there and proved it in Game 2.”

Powe, a California native like Pierce, fired 21 points in 15 minutes to power the Celtics bench which outscored the Laker reserves, 35-23. In Game 1, the Boston relievers also had more points, 17-15.

James Posey, P. J. Brown, Sam Cassell and Powe come off the bench for Boston while the main Laker relievers are Sasha Vujavic, Jordan Farmar, Ronny Turiaf and Luke Walton. Trevor Ariza’s former UCLA star who played previously for New York and Orlando, entered the Los Angeles rotation in Game 2 but failed to score in seven minutes.

The Lakers will try to defend their homecourt, capitalizing on the momentum they generated in trimming a 24-point deficit to two in the fourth period before losing by six in Game 2. The Celtics’ lead was down to two with 38.4 seconds to go but the Lakers ran out of clock to turn the tide.

Home cooking is the Lakers recipe to break into the win column in the Finals. They’re unbeaten in the playoffs at the Staples and the Celtics, a lowly 2-7 on the road, are in for a rude welcome on hostile soil.

stonecold316
06-11-2008, 11:35 AM
73-70 na. LA. kapit bayan.

stonecold316

bchoter
06-11-2008, 11:37 AM
Pare wag mong pakapitin ang bayan kasi maka Celtics ang bayan... sasama ang loob mo niyan ;)

stonecold316
06-11-2008, 11:47 AM
Pare wag mong pakapitin ang bayan kasi maka Celtics ang bayan... sasama ang loob mo niyan ;)


At least I know dito sa gameface majority talaga Boston fans pero outside this forum madami rin LA fans.
:D :D :D

Anyway, win or lose LA fan pa rin ako. Kung Boston mananalo di congrats na lang.

stonecold316

Vujajic hits a three, 81-76. two minutes.

stonecold316

stonecold316
06-11-2008, 11:48 AM
Fisher hits two free throws, 83-76. Boston calls time-out with 1:33 left.

stonecold316

bchoter
06-11-2008, 11:51 AM
gameface = bayan :D

Salamat sa updates pre...

stonecold316
06-11-2008, 11:53 AM
gameface = bayan :D

Salamat sa updates pre...


Kobe hits back-to-back shots to negate the five points scored by Boston's Garnett and Pierce. Ayos!
under 40 seconds left, LA leads 87-81.

stonecold316

stonecold316
06-11-2008, 11:55 AM
Celtics fans, huwag ninyo ako kuyugin. hahaha.

Si Odom tanga talaga. Trade na dapat!.

LA wins Game 3, 87-81. Hay salamat. At least walang sweep!

9-0 na LA sa play-offs.

Manong: no problem. Tama ka, Gameface - bayan.

stonecold316

stonecold316
06-11-2008, 11:59 AM
Daming artista at personality na nanood ng Game 3.


Nicholson in his traditional courtside seat at NBA finals
06/11/2008 | 10:29 AM

LOS ANGELES - Actor Jack Nicholson was in his familiar courtside seat wearing his traditional sunglasses Tuesday night, cheering on the Lakers in Game 3 of the NBA finals.

It was a scene reminiscent of the 1980s, when Nicholson supported the Lakers at The Forum in Inglewood in their three finals matchups with the Celtics.

Actress Dyan Cannon, another fan dating back to the Magic Johnson-led "Showtime" Lakers, was also on hand as was soccer star David Beckham, a Staples Center regular since joining the Los Angeles Galaxy last summer.

Actors Denzel Washington, Dustin Hoffman, Timothy Hutton, Ben Affleck and Matt Damon and actress Penny Marshall were others who showed up along with director Spike Lee and Playboy boss Hugh Hefner and the Girls Next Door.

Former Lakers standouts Rick Fox and A.C. Green, ex-Celtics Jo Jo White and Bill Walton, tennis star Maria Sharapova and European soccer players Didier Drogba and Darren Bent were in attendance. Boston's Kevin Garnett got the tickets for Drogba and Bent. - AP

stonecold316
06-11-2008, 12:01 PM
After going 0-4 against Boston, LA finally won against their nemesis. Sana ma carry-over nila ang momentum sa next three to four games and who knows, maybe, they might win the NBA finals.

Sa mga LA fans na narito sa Gameface (kung meron pa) keep the faith guys.

stonecold316

bchoter
06-11-2008, 12:02 PM
Wala bang tiga Laguna Lakers? :D

stonecold316
06-11-2008, 12:08 PM
Wala bang tiga Laguna Lakers? :D


Manong, some members of the UST WVT LA fans. hahaha. di nga lang member ng gameface.
Iba dun from Laguna.
;D ;D ;D

stonecold316

stonecold316
06-11-2008, 12:11 PM
The Lakers, especially, Kobe Bryant were aggressive going to the basket resulting to fouls being committed by Boston. Bad trip nga lang kasi most of LA's free throw attempts did not go in. Dissapointing si Bryant at Paul Gasol sa free-throw line. I'm sure more than 15 free throws ang na miss nila. Kung napasok lang nila ito lahat, di na sila nahirapan pa sa laro.

Anyway, good game between the two rivals. Sana nga pla si Kobe bawas-bawasan ang angal sa refs. Nakakairita na.

stonecold316

JonarSabilano
06-11-2008, 12:20 PM
Wala bang tiga Laguna Lakers? :D


Idol ko si Rolly Basilides. ;D

The_Big_Cat
06-11-2008, 12:43 PM
Wala bang tiga Laguna Lakers? :D


Idol ko si Rolly Basilides. ;D

OT: Chris Clay and Rudy Hatfield were two of the better players from the Laguna Lakers.

Good win for the Lakers. Both teams struggled offensively as Garnett, Odom, Pierce and Gasol shot poorly from the field. It was a low scoring game because of the poor shooting and the excellent defense showed by both squads. The impact player for this game has to be Sasha Vujacic, scoring 20 pts off the bench. With the way some of the Lakers starters struggling in offense today on their own floor, I see Boston taking 1 win from the Staples Center.

pablohoney
06-11-2008, 01:26 PM
It probably was better if Doc Rivers stuck it out with Eddie House instead of putting Rondo back in the 4th.
After all, when Rondo went down with a sprain, it was House who orchestrated a Celtic comeback.
When Rondo went back in, the Lakers took the lead and led til the final buzzer.

And KG should drive strong to the basket, instead of settling for those low percentage jumpers.

Well, anyway as expected the Lakers came out strong, at least in the first few minutes of the 1st, it was evident that they were the more aggressive team at both ends of the court.

But I'm sure the Celtics will be back, and they just want to end the series by winning the chmapionship AT HOME. ;D

RockLobster
06-11-2008, 01:30 PM
^^Di ba Laguna Lakers din si Jeffrey Flowers... at si Winnie Arboleda, who was carried over when FedEx bought out the Shell franchise, right?

Anyway, stonecold316, I'm not exactly a fan but I'm routing for LA. And you can't win the championship if you're down 3-2... Joke lang pablohoney ;)... Uy, teka, sino yung bumato?! Uy, muntik na yun ha?! Teka, tago muna ko! ;D

The_Big_Cat
06-11-2008, 01:33 PM
^^Di ba Laguna Lakers din si Jeffrey Flowers... at si Winnie Arboleda, who was carried over when the FedEx bought out the Shell franchise, right?


OT: Yes. Flowers and Arboleda were part of that Laguna team.

If you're the Boston Celtics, you have to be happy because it is a low scoring game and that's their game.
Medyo inalat lang si Pierce at KG sa umpisa ng laro.

erichubert
06-11-2008, 01:53 PM
You could say a lot of things for both sides, for Boston they controlled the tempo of the game, it was a defensive, low-scoring game like they wanted but still they lost. Their two main stars had the worst games of this play-offs yet they kept it close so that is a plus.

But for LA, you could also say that only Kobe and Sasha showed up and played well yet they won, Lamar, Pau and Derek Fisher will eventually play better so this win is big for them.

AnthonyServinio
06-11-2008, 02:36 PM
^^Di ba Laguna Lakers din si Jeffrey Flowers... at si Winnie Arboleda, who was carried over when FedEx bought out the Shell franchise, right?

* * *FedEx brought the Tanduay franchise to enter the PBA in 2002.

* * *Wynne Arboleda left the Laguna Lakers after his original two-year pact expired at the end of 1999.* He found his way to Pop Cola until the Panthers dealt him to Tanduay for the 2001 season.* In a twist of fate, he was reunited with his old MBA boss (his father-in-law) when Tanduay was sold to FedEx!

Now we can see the similarities between Arboleda and Coach Phil Jackson. Both men love the daughters of their boss.

coreytaylor
06-11-2008, 03:52 PM
Nicholson in his traditional courtside seat at NBA finals

LOS ANGELES (AP)—Actor Jack Nicholson was in his familiar courtside seat wearing his traditional sunglasses Tuesday night, cheering on the Lakers in Game 3 of the NBA finals.

It was a scene reminiscent of the 1980s, when Nicholson supported the Lakers at The Forum in Inglewood in their three finals matchups with the Celtics.

Actress Dyan Cannon, another fan dating to the Magic Johnson-led “Showtime” Lakers, was also on hand as was soccer star David Beckham, a Staples Center regular since joining the Los Angeles Galaxy last summer.

Actors Denzel Washington, Dustin Hoffman, Timothy Hutton, Kristin Davis, Hilary Duff, Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Eddie Murphy, Sylvester Stallone and Tobey Maguire were others who showed up along with directors Spike Lee, Steven Spielberg and Penny Marshall, along with Playboy boss Hugh Hefner and his girlfriends, the stars of the reality show “The Girls Next Door.” Kanye West, too, made an appearance.

Former Lakers standouts Rick Fox and A.C. Green, ex-Celtics Jo Jo White and Bill Walton, and European soccer players Didier Drogba and Darren Bent were in attendance. Boston’s Kevin Garnett got the tickets for Drogba and Bent.

stonecold316
06-11-2008, 04:43 PM
Pau Gasol hits back at soft tag, plays tough in decisive stretch
06/11/2008 | 02:38 PM

Email this | Email the Editor | Print | Digg this | Add to del.icio.us LOS ANGELES - Spaniard Pau Gasol responded to accusations of softness with a gritty performance as the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Boston Celtics 87-81 in Game 3 of the NBA finals Tuesday.

Unable to find the ball in the second halves of the first two games of the NBA finals, Gasol went out and got it Tuesday when it mattered most.

Gasol scored only nine points, but five came during the decisive stretch of the game, helping the Lakers to an 87-81 victory that cut Boston's lead to 2-1.

"I knew what I had to do was muscle and fight," Gasol said. "That was my job."

The Lakers' lead was down to three midway through the final quarter when Gasol tipped in a missed shot for a 75-70 lead. He then went up strong to grab the rebound of another miss and put it back in, making it 77-70 with 4:18 remaining.

After a basket by Paul Pierce, Gasol cut hard to the basket and was fouled. His free throw boosted the lead to six points and the Lakers stayed ahead from there.

"Offensively we did some things down there at the other end," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. "Pau got a tip-in, we got some second opportunities."

Gasol averaged 16 points in the first two games of the series, but most came early in the game. He was limited to three points in the second half of Game 1, then had only four in the final 24 minutes Sunday.

Worse, he had been hearing the "soft" criticisms again, but he played tough in Game 3, grabbing 12 rebounds and helping contain Kevin Garnett, who shot just 6-of-21 from the field.

Gasol seemed frustrated after Game 2, noting that he can't always control where the ball goes. But there seem to be times where he can put more effort into going after it.

The Celtics finished with an 83-69 rebounding advantage in the first two games. But Gasol and the Lakers played them even Tuesday, with Boston ending up with only a 45-44 edge.

"They're going to challenge you physically, but we stepped up and put bodies on people and were able to control the boards pretty well," Gasol said. "We didn't give them many second-chance points and we kept them to shooting 35 percent, so that's pretty good."

Gasol never won a playoff series until this season, when the Lakers acquired him in February from the Memphis Grizzlies.

But in the most important game of the Lakers' season, he stood up just fine against the supposedly tougher Celtics.

"It wasn't pretty, but we fought and we battled and that's how we got the win," Gasol said. - AP

stonecold316
06-11-2008, 04:44 PM
Slovenian Sasha Vujacic unlikely star as Lakers beat Celtics
06/11/2008 | 03:32 PM

Email this | Email the Editor | Print | Digg this | Add to del.icio.us LOS ANGELES - Sasha Vujacic, of all people, came to the aid of Kobe Bryant where his more prominent teammates failed and they combined to lead the Los Angeles Lakers to a key victory in Game 3 of the NBA finals Tuesday.

Vujacic, a sharpshooter from Slovenia, came off the bench to score a career playoff high 20 points including a crucial 3-pointer with a little under two minutes remaining, and the Lakers beat the Boston Celtics 87-81.

The victory trimmed Boston's lead to 2-1 in the best-of-seven series. Only three teams have come back from a 2-0 deficit to win the finals, but no NBA team has ever rallied successfully from a 3-0 deficit in any series.

"We just played with heart," Vujacic said. "We didn't play a great game. We didn't play not even good. We were just fighting, and that was the key."

Bryant, of course, led the Lakers with 36 points capped by two crucial baskets after Vujacic's decisive 3-pointer. Vujacic was the only other Los Angeles player to reach double figures. The other four Los Angeles starters combined to shoot 7-for-28 and score 22 points.

"The open shots he got, he made," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. "His defense was good for us tonight, and we couldn't have won the game without his help."

The 24-year-old Vujacic, a first-round draft choice in 2004, shot 7-for-10 including 3-of-5 from 3-point range. He scored eight points in the fourth quarter, and had four rebounds and an assist.

"My teammates gave me open looks and we played team basketball on offense," he said. "I live for those shots. It's the NBA finals. I was dreaming about that all my life, to win the NBA championship, and now I have the opportunity."

The Celtics scored four straight points to draw within two in the fourth quarter before Vujacic missed a 3-pointer. But after a Boston miss, the ball came to the fourth-year pro open in the left corner, and he fired away without hesitation. The ball went in with 1:53 remaining, the Lakers had a five-point lead, and Boston didn't pose a serious threat after that.

"Those are the shots I live for, honestly," he said. "I love the last five minutes of the game, last two minutes, last possessions of the game. Lamar got the ball and he found me in the corner and I was wide open. I had the opportunity to make a shot, I made it, and we got a 'W.'"

Vujacic's confidence has never wavered. He's played more and more as his four-year career has progressed.

"He's a little bit of a rockhead," Jackson said. "That's what we call him. He believes in himself very sincerely that he's going to make the next one, and you have to be that way if you're going to have the guts to go out there and do it. Sasha is always going to make the next shot."

Vujacic laughed when told of his coach's description of him.

"I'm stubborn, so probably that's what got me where I am now," he said.

Vujacic, who averaged 8.8 points during the regular season and 8.1 points in 17 previous playoff games, scored nine of his team's 23 points in the second period, making four field goals without a miss.

"He was huge for us tonight," Lakers forward Luke Walton said. "He's a confident shooter. He made a couple free throws to get him going. He was a big-time player tonight." - AP

stonecold316
06-11-2008, 04:45 PM
Kobe Bryant leads Lakers to 87-81 win in Game 3
06/11/2008 | 12:01 PM

Email this | Email the Editor | Print | Digg this | Add to del.icio.us (Updated) LOS ANGELES - On his floor and on his game, Kobe Bryant revived the Los Angeles Lakers — and the NBA finals.

With his team one loss from having to make an impossible climb, Bryant was close to MVP form, scoring 36 points on an assortment of spins, drives and jumpers and reserve Sasha Vujacic added 20 points as the Lakers beat the Boston Celtics 87-81 in Game 3 on Tuesday night.

A change of time zones, jerseys and attitude did wonders for the Lakers, who staggered home from Boston in an 0-2 hole and couldn't afford to fall any further behind in the first best-of-seven matchup between the league's marquee teams since 1987.

No team in NBA playoff history has ever overcome an 0-3 deficit.

Bryant made sure the Lakers won't have to.

And this time, the superstar got some help.

Vujacic, the self-proclaimed "Machine," made three 3-pointers, including a crucial one from the left corner with 1:53 left that gave the Lakers an 81-76 lead. Pau Gasol finally flexed his muscles with two inside baskets in the fourth quarter and Derek Fisher, who took an $8 million pay cut to come back and play for the Lakers, made two free throws with 1:33 remaining as the Lakers held on.

"We just wanted to play," said Bryant, whose only flaw was an 11-of-18 night from the foul line. "I don't think anyone was feeling desperate."

Game 4 is Thursday night at the Staples Center, where the Lakers are 9-0 in the playoffs and unbeaten in 15 games since March 28.

But it took everything they had to keep that streak alive as the Celtics, two wins from their 17th NBA title but only 2-8 on the road in this postseason, made the Lakers play a more physical, Eastern Conference-style game and nearly walked away with a win.

Ray Allen scored 25 points — 15 on 3-pointers — for the Celtics, but only one-third of Boston's Big Three showed up.

Kevin Garnett scored 13 points on just 6-of-21 shooting and Paul Pierce, playing a short drive from his childhood home, had only six points, missed 12 shots and was in foul trouble all night.

After Garnett's dunk brought the Celtics within 83-78 with 1:28 to go, Bryant made sure that it was he who took L.A.'s next shot. He drove on Allen to get some space, pulled up and drilled the kind of jumper he has practiced tens of thousands of times.

Eddie House, who gave Boston big minutes when Rajon Rondo went out with an injury, countered with a 3-pointer, and suddenly the Lakers' glitzy crowd, which included Jack Nicholson in his familiar courtside seat, grew uneasy.

But Bryant calmed their twitching nerves quickly.

On the Lakers' next possession, Bryant backed down in the lane and dropped in a short jumper to make it 87-81.

House missed for Boston, both teams committed silly offensive fouls in the closing seconds, and when the final horn sounded, the Lakers could finally relax.

Los Angeles is trying to become the fourth team to come back from an 0-2 deficit, and with two more games at home, they've got a chance to turn this renewed rivalry around.

Celtics coach Doc Rivers figured Bryant would take over the series at some point, but he didn't expect Vujacic, who scored a combined 16 points in Games 1 and 2, to be such a factor.

"Kobe was fantastic but I thought Vujacic was the key to the game," he said. "I said before we are going to have to win a game when Kobe Bryant plays well. We know that. But when that happens, we have to shut off the other avenues."

This game won't be remembered as one of the better ones in the storied Lakers-Celtics rivalry, but it did have a few moments of the physical nastiness that defined their matchups during the 1980s.

"It was not a beautiful ballgame," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. "That's a transition game from East Coast to West Coast. But we'll have a day to catch up tomorrow and hopefully both of us will play better basketball on Thursday night."

With the Lakers down two and running out of time in the fourth, Bryant took a pass from Luke Walton at the top of the key. Knowing he was about to try a shot that could have lasting importance, Bryant gathered himself, measured the rim and let fly with a 3-pointer that gave Los Angeles a 69-68 lead with 6:55 left.

Fisher made two free throws and Bryant, who had missed seven from the line, knocked down two more foul shots as the Lakers went up 73-68.

Pierce grew up in Inglewood, Calif., where he learned to play in the shadow of the Fabulous Forum, the Lakers' former home where Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and "Showtime" had an extended run of championship seasons.

But Pierce's finals homecoming was homely.

The Celtics' star forward, who came in averaging 25 points in the series, went just 2-for-14 and missed all four 3-pointers.

Despite his struggles, the Celtics were only down six early in the third quarter when Rondo went down with a sprained left ankle. As he laid on the floor, his teammates rushed over to check on Rondo, who limped off the court without aid — or a wheelchair — like Pierce famously needed after hurting his knee in the opener.

House, who hadn't played a minute in the series, replaced Rondo and drilled a 3-pointer and Garnett scored underneath before finally making a jumper as Boston took a 51-49 lead. Moments later, Allen stuck a 3-pointer that sent Boston's bench bounding onto the floor when the Lakers had to call a timeout.

The Lakers didn't have to endure the deafening chants of "Beat L.A." Instead, they warmed up to Randy Newman's "I Love L.A" and Los Angeles fans screamed "Boston (Stinks)" every chance they could.

Unlike Game 2, when so much of the pregame attention was on Pierce's sprained knee, the chatter before tipoff included uneasy discussions about past officiating.

The league was again having to deal with allegations made by former referee Tim Donaghy, who claims in court documents that NBA referees rigged the 2002 playoff series between the Lakers and Sacramento Kings.

Commissioner David Stern reiterated the league's stance that Donaghy acted alone and feels his lawyers were using Game 3's platform to help their client.

After Game 2, Jackson, Bryant and a few other Lakers had made pointed and sarcastic comments about the lopsided whistles. But if they were worried about there being any favoritism toward Boston, they were mistaken as the Lakers attempted 14 free throws — four more than in all of Game 2 — in the first quarter.

Los Angeles took 34 free throws to Boston's 22.

With Vujacic and Bryant doing most of the damage, Los Angeles built an 11-point lead in the second and the West's best moved the ball better on the offensive end than in either game in Boston. The Lakers were up 10, and everything was going according to plan when Bryant got slapped with a technical for complaining about a non-call.

The Celtics then closed the half with a short burst, capped by Allen's 3-pointer and were within 43-37 at the break despite getting just 2 points apiece from Garnett and Pierce, who shot a combined 2-for-16. Garnett's only basket came on an alley-oop dunk.

Notes:@ Informed that Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling, who sat courtside and within a few feet of the Lakers bench in Game 2, blogged about Bryant criticizing his teammates, Jackson said he wished fans were further back. "I've been against that for as long as I've been coaching," he said. "Those people don't belong there, somebody is going to get hurt. But that becomes part of what the NBA is about, being close to the action and close to the scene. We have to suffer the consequences because of it." ... American Idol winner David Cook sang the national anthem. - AP

RockLobster
06-11-2008, 06:28 PM
FedEx bought the Tanduay franchise to enter the PBA in 2002.

Wynne Arboleda left the Laguna Lakers after his original two-year pact expired at the end of 1999.* He found his way to Pop Cola until the Panthers dealt him to Tanduay for the 2001 season.* In a twist of fate, he was reunited with his old MBA boss (his father-in-law) when Tanduay was sold to FedEx!

Now we can see the similarities between Arboleda and Coach Phil Jackson.* Both men love the daughters of their boss.

Thank you for the correction. And thank you too for confirming that I was still on-topic in injecting Arboleda in the Lakers-Celtics discussion. Hehe. :D

Not exactly the best game of the series, I would think. Only two players from each team scored in double-figures. Pierce's nine points didn't help the Celtics' cause. I think when they called them Boston's Big Three, they really meant that they should be big night-in and night-out, otherwise it becomes a problem. Then again, more than Pierce, Garnett, and Allen, it's their bench that spelled the difference in the first two games And it's the absence of the Celtics bench today that gave the Lakers a chance to win.

Having said that, despite the win, Los Angeles still have their work cut out for them. Vujacic and Gasol hit timely baskets, but the bench still have to prove themselves worthy of this finals appearance. They were hardly a factor in the first two games. They still were today. A win is a win and you still have to give props to Bryant for again leading the team, but I have to admit, the Celtics sort of gave them a bit of an opening.

bchoter
06-11-2008, 06:36 PM
Makes them two of the smartest players/coaches around ;)

BTW, Pao Gasol played like LAguna Laker's Jefrey Flowers. Tough around the basket in crucial moments (gusto lang maisingit ang LAguna Lakers :D)

nastrans
06-11-2008, 07:04 PM
Good thing Gasol was making big tip-ins and putbacks when needed - in the fourth quarter - instead of the first quarter.

How about that three by Vujacic, backbreaker ang tres na yun, C's opted to double Kobe and left the Slovenian open in the corner. But the factor also was that missed shot by House prior, instead of either of the big three taking the tying shot.

Not the best game by Pierce obviously, a bit tentative to drive to the lane and also got into foul trouble, but good thing Allen and for some point KG was doing well on offense.

MonL
06-11-2008, 11:17 PM
Good win for the Lakers. Both teams struggled offensively as Garnett, Odom, Pierce and Gasol shot poorly from the field. It was a low scoring game because of the poor shooting and the excellent defense showed by both squads. The impact player for this game has to be Sasha Vujacic, scoring 20 pts off the bench. With the way some of the Lakers starters struggling in offense today on their own floor, I see Boston taking 1 win from the Staples Center.


Sasha merely took up the scoring slack of Odom and Gasol. Celtics missed about 15 points from their captain and that told in the end.* *
Stealing one game is inevitable, stealing two is a high probability. Though the Celtics lost, I felt that their defense was still solid.* It was their shooting woes that did them in. KG is a better post up player than he has shown in this game. The shooters were knocking down their shots and that should have been KG's cue to post up instead of taking jumpers himself.

I don't think Boston will have poor shooting nights twice in a row. But, guaranteed, their defense will still be there night in and out. The series can still end on Laker turf. I feel good about the Celtics chances to end it out west. Can the Lakers put up just as good a defense next game as they did today? Probably not. Celts came roaring back from a 12-point deficit but failed to sustain it. The Laker defense was buckling inspite of Boston's sub-par offense.

As with LA in Game 2, the Celts simply fell short this time around. But don't count on it happening again.

reforms
06-12-2008, 01:34 AM
Speaking of Lakers, that is Laguna Lakers.. Nasan na ung Biboy Simon? Diba malupit un sa MBA? Parang kobe ung sa MBA e- scoring wise. Iniisip ko kung bakit di nakapag-PBA un?

Congrats sa LA. Bawi tayo Celtics!

stonecold316
06-12-2008, 11:59 AM
Boston's Rondo skips practice with ankle injury
06/12/2008 | 08:31 AM

Email this | Email the Editor | Print | Digg this | Add to del.icio.us LOS ANGELES - Rajon Rondo side-shuffled down the floor during the Boston Celtics' off-day stretching drills Wednesday, lagging behind the teammates he usually sprints right past.

When the time came to jump, Rondo stood in place, unable to participate because of the ankle injury that left him on the bench for most of the second half during Game 3 of the NBA finals.

The speedy point guard said he has no intention of missing Game 4 against the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday night, but he left open the possibility that he wouldn't be effective enough to help his team.

"Nobody in this league is 100 percent, but I'm sure I'll play," he said during the media availability period before practice at Staples Center. "There's no way I'm going to miss the game, probably. I don't want to hurt the team and go out there and not give it my all, but I think I'm sure I'll be playing tomorrow night."

Wearing a hard plastic brace on his left ankle — and, when talking to reporters, no shoes — Rondo described the injury as a bone bruise. He felt less pain after treatment with ice and a night of rest, and he expects to feel even better with another 24 hours to heal.

"I can walk on it," Rondo said, adding that he wouldn't be able to wear that brace during the game. "I made a walk around the hotel and I was limping a little bit, but the farther I walked the better it got."

On Wednesday, Rondo was on the floor for the stretching drills, but he took part in about half of them and appeared to be going at about half-speed. The rest of practice was closed to the media, and the Celtics were not planning a shootaround on Thursday morning.

"He's very important to this team. He's a big reason why we win," forward Kevin Garnett said. "He's the anchor of our defense. He's totally matured over the course of the year."

Rondo rolled his ankle early in the third quarter on Tuesday night, when the Lakers won 87-81 to trim their deficit in the best-of-seven series to 2-1. He returned in the fourth quarter for 3 1/2 minutes and made a basket to give him eight points in the game.

"It felt pretty good, but I was just running off adrenaline," he said. "After the game it swelled up a little bit, it got a little tight. But other than that, like I said, it's just time. It's going to be all right."

In Game 3, the Celtics made up for Rondo's absence with backups Eddie House and Sam Cassell. Coach Doc Rivers said he would also consider using Tony Allen at point guard because of his success covering Kobe Bryant during the regular season.

"It's the finals. I don't want to hold anything back," Rondo said. "If I'm going out there at 50 percent, I don't want to hurt the team. Eddie and Sam do a great job of running the team, so I'll let them have it."

All of the possibilities offer something.

Cassell is a fearless shooter who has won championships before. House had the long-range shooting touch that would keep the Lakers from double-teaming Garnett in the lane. Allen is a tough defender.

"Everybody brings something different to the table," Garnett said. "We shouldn't miss a beat."

But none of them have Rondo's speed.

"And he's the one pure point guard on our team that has the ability to make plays, and that's what we would lose," Rivers said. "I'm concerned because if Rondo can play but he doesn't have speed, then that's a concern."

If he can't play, Rivers said, he'll find some other combination.

"I don't worry about guys (being) out; I just don't. That's why we play them all," he said. "If a guy is out, somebody else has to step up and play. That's what we've done all year.

"Having said that, Rondo's value is extremely important to the team. We understand that. He gives us speed; he gives us great point guard play. He has the ability to pressure the ball. But if he can play, it's going to be great. But if he can't, we're not going to use that as a crutch, I can tell you that." - AP

stonecold316
06-12-2008, 12:00 PM
NBA finals ratings up from last year
06/12/2008 | 08:41 AM

Email this | Email the Editor | Print | Digg this | Add to del.icio.us NEW YORK - Game 3 of the NBA Finals drew the highest television ratings of the series.

The Lakers' 87-81 win Tuesday night earned a 9.2 rating on ABC, the network said Wednesday. That's up 44 percent from the 6.4 last year for Spurs-Cavaliers.

It was the highest rating for a Game 3 since Lakers-Pistons in 2004 drew a 10.5.

Game 1 on Thursday night earned an 8.7, and Game 2 on Sunday night had an 8.5.

The rating is the percentage watching a program among homes with televisions. - AP

stonecold316
06-12-2008, 12:03 PM
Home > Sports > Top Stories True or not, ref's charges linger over NBA finals
06/12/2008 | 11:04 AM

Email this | Email the Editor | Print | Digg this | Add to del.icio.us LOS ANGELES - If Tim Donaghy's latest allegations are true, Kobe Bryant won his last championship with the help of an NBA conspiracy. And Scot Pollard is still ringless because some guys in suits determined it would be that way.

Even with Bryant chasing another title in a marquee NBA finals matchup between the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics, the league still can't escape the Donaghy mess, now nearly a year after learning the former referee bet on games he officiated.

And the people who thought the spotlight would be theirs alone are pretty fed up.

"The whole Donaghy thing just makes me sick, if you want me to be honest," Boston coach Doc Rivers said Wednesday. "Paul Pierce got injured and we questioned him, but we believe Donaghy? When you think of the logic of that crap, it really ... I'm not going to go any further, but our league is a great league, and that stuff bothers me a lot. It really does."

In a letter filed Tuesday in New York, Donaghy's attorney made a series of allegations about officiating corruption and misconduct within the NBA. The most damning accusation centered on the 2002 Western Conference finals, when the Lakers rallied from a 3-2 deficit to beat the Sacramento Kings.

Donaghy said two referees known as "company men" worked the controversial Game 6, when the Lakers shot 27 free throws in the final quarter and scored 16 of their last 18 points at the line in a 106-102 victory.

The injured Pollard, who now plays for Boston, was on Sacramento's team, while Bryant and Derek Fisher played for the Lakers squad that went on to sweep New Jersey for its third straight championship.

"I don't know how you determine the game was rigged," Fisher said. "Obviously, I was there in the game. I don't remember any moment thinking, 'They're helping us out a little bit.' A lot of things change from game to game. Different officiating crews call games differently. I can't comment on it. You still have to win the next game (Game 7). I'm not going to give my ring back, I know that."

Pollard was angry when he heard the complaint and acknowledged believing it was possible at first, but dismissed the idea of a conspiracy among referees because it's too big a secret to keep for this long. And much like NBA commissioner David Stern a night earlier, he portrayed Donaghy as a criminal willing to say anything to save himself.

"For a guy that wasn't at that game, didn't ref that game, to come out and say that, and in the situation he's in, I guess you could kind of say you could equate that to Charles Manson saying something about the Boston Strangler," Pollard said. "He's in the business, but he doesn't really have a lot of credibility. He wasn't there."

News that the FBI was investigating Donaghy broke last July, shoving Bryant's long-awaited first appearance with the U.S. national team out of the basketball headlines. Now the case has overshadowed the NBA finals' return to Los Angeles.

Bryant dismissed Donaghy talk with a couple of one-word answers, invoking the name of the Patriots coach Bill Belichick — who knows a little about conspiracies from the Super Bowl videotaping scandal.

"I'm sorry to be Belichicky, but we don't think about it too much, to be honest with you," Bryant said. "It's not something we focus on as players. I think it's more talked about outside of our circles more than it is inside. We know whatever legal proceedings they have going on, they'll get to the bottom of the situation, and for us as players, all we can do is play."

Both coaches said they had no questions about the integrity of the referees, though the Lakers' Phil Jackson said perhaps it would be best to have someone other than the league office govern the officials. Players' association director Billy Hunter said no players have asked the union to investigate charges of referee corruption.

"To raise the issue of whether or not the games are set up and the outcome has already been dictated, I haven't heard anybody raise that alarm or question," he said.

Hunter added that he felt bad for the league, knowing that Donaghy's accusations, though lacking specifics, will be accepted as the truth by some skeptics.

"Clearly it feeds to that whole psyche, folks believe that there's a series of conspiracies and the outcome is dictated and that it's almost a show," Hunter said. "The last thing you want to do is to take on the aura of world wide wrestling.

"I think people want to believe that the winner is based on merit and the best team wins in a given circumstance and that there are no prerequisites. It's not being staged. So what it does is it impacts the integrity of the game. So to that extent, yeah, I would be concerned, not just for the players, for the entire operation." - AP

bchoter
06-12-2008, 12:07 PM
Speaking of Lakers, that is Laguna Lakers.. Nasan na ung Biboy Simon? Diba malupit un sa MBA? Parang kobe ung sa MBA e- scoring wise. Iniisip ko kung bakit di nakapag-PBA un?

Congrats sa LA. Bawi tayo Celtics!
I think Biboy Simon had a brief but injury-marred PBA stint. Some say he was only effective in the MBA and can't make it in the PBA, which is hogwash considering how PJ Simon and Gary David managed to make a huge impact in the PBA.

And the post before me? As long as it's against Kobe I believe it :D

Go Bryant...




Punzalan

The_Big_Cat
06-12-2008, 12:08 PM
The Boston Celtics are 30-0 all-time when winning games 1 & 2 in a best-of-seven series.

RockLobster
06-12-2008, 01:43 PM
^That's heavy... 30-0 all-time... so much going against the Lakers...

erichubert
06-12-2008, 03:46 PM
Well there is always a first. :D But I really think that LA would still face an uphill climb even after winning Game 3. I think what makes Boston tough is their defense. Even if they struggle offensively, they still have their defense to rely on and that's going to make it hard for LA to get into their offensive groove.

Kid Cubao
06-12-2008, 04:20 PM
come to think of it, i really felt LA will do everything in its power to stave off a third straight loss, and they did. problem was, you get this feeling that the game 3 victory was the best they can muster against a celtic team whose big guns were off. question: how will the lakers defend against a fully-charged celtics down the series? my point is that, as previously mentioned by erichubert, the difference between the two teams is this: the celtics can win with both offense and defense, while the lakers can't--sa opensa lang talaga.

erichubert
06-12-2008, 05:13 PM
The only way LA can win this series is if they get back their offensive rhythm and play the way they did in the earlier rounds. The difference with Utah, San Antonio and Boston is that Boston is playing the Lakers very physical, and the softies of LA like Gasol and Odom are having a hard time adjusting. During their run to the Finals, I have been wondering if the absence of Bynum would ever take its toll on LA, and I think at this stage it finally has.

stonecold316
06-12-2008, 05:16 PM
Lakers, Celtics look to play better in Game 4
06/12/2008 | 03:42 PM

Email this | Email the Editor | Print | Digg this | Add to del.icio.us LOS ANGELES - Maybe the NBA finals should book an appointment with one of Southern California's finest plastic surgeons.

After a shabby, sluggish Game 3, featuring enough air balls and air-headed plays for seven games, the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers could use a few nips, tucks and lifts. Another good night's sleep or afternoon nap might help, too.

"It wasn't the prettiest game," said Celtics center Kevin Garnett, who missed two dunks and seems to have left his shooting touch back in May.

For two franchises that have combined for 30 titles won by a Who's Who of Hall of Fame hoopsters, it was indeed a night to forget.

But playing in front of Jack, Denzel, Hef and the rest of their celebrity-laden crowd in Staples Center, where they're 9-0 in the postseason and perfect over the past two months, the Lakers, despite missing 13 free throws, pulled within 2-1 in the reborn rivalry series with an 87-81 victory Tuesday night.

Boston, for its many warts, which included a 35 percent shooting performance, still had a chance win.

As the teams practiced for Thursday night's Game 4, several players blamed the six-hour flight from Boston to Los Angeles for the sloppiness.

"I think most of the players out there struggled physically," Lakers center Pau Gasol said. "You could tell the travel and Game 2 and 3 being so tight together, going across the country pretty much is an overseas trip. It was like going back to Spain. I think that was a factor."

Celtics coach Doc Rivers, too, noticed players may have been feeling the affects of jet lag and fighting fatigue.

"This was the first game that I had four or five different players during the game signal to pull them out," he said. "I had to blow a timeout, one that I didn't want to use late. I thought it was a very tough turnaround and I think rest is very important."

One guy seems refreshed. Kobe Bryant soared as usual.

The Lakers' superstar scored 36 points, and showing why he's the league's MVP, did what he had to do to get his team back into the finals. Bryant went 12-of-20 from the floor, dropping jumpers, hanging in the air to sink floaters and drawing double teams to set up his teammates.

However, only one of them — Sasha Vujacic — matched Bryant's production. The 24-year-old came off the bench and scored a career-high 20 points, but "The Machine," as he dubbed himself, was the only Lakers player besides Bryant to rise to the occasion in the must-est of must-win games.

Los Angeles' other four starters — Gasol, Vladimir Radmanovic, Lamar Odom and Derek Fisher — combined for 22 points on 7-of-28 shooting. For the second straight game, Odom was plagued foul trouble, which forced Lakers coach Phil Jackson to distribute the forward's minutes to others.

"I have to stay aggressive," Odom said, "but it's hard to when you're not out on the floor."

The Celtics have their own problems, like getting Garnett going and hoping that Paul Pierce, who had a horrid homecoming in Game 3, doesn't choke under the pressure of playing in front of folks from his neighborhood in nearby Inglewood.

There's also the playing status of point guard Rajon Rondo, who injured his left ankle early in the second half of Game 3 and was kept out of practice on Wednesday.

Rivers said if the speedy Rondo is slowed by the injury that backups Eddie House and Sam Cassell would see more time. Rivers also may use Tony Allen, who hasn't played in the series but did a solid job of guarding Bryant during Boston's two wins over Los Angeles during the regular season.

Cassell is one of the few Celtics with championship experience. He won two championship rings with the Houston Rockets and has been trying to tell his teammates to relax and not be overwhelmed by the enormity of the finals.

"It's the same game, it's just a bigger stage," Cassell said. "You're not at your high school auditorium any more. This is Carnegie Hall."

And so far in the series, Garnett hasn't appeared ready for it.

The Celtics' inspirational leader has displayed his usual intensity and has been his customary force on the boards. But he's just 22-of-62 (36 percent) and missed 15 shots in Game 2. Without Garnett as an offensive threat, the Celtics have to count on Pierce and Ray Allen to carry the scoring load.

"We've got to get Kevin going, clearly," Rivers said. "He's shooting below 40 in the series, and that's something he doesn't do. Paul, I honestly never worry about a lot offensively. He's a great offensive player. He had a tough night, and he'll get it going."

Pierce admitted feeling nerves in his return to L.A., and his stats line: 2-for-14 from the field, 0-for-4 on 3-pointers, six points in 32 minutes, reflected it. He said he wasn't bothered by the sprain knee he suffered in Game 1, but the strain of being home may have been too much.

"I was probably a little more anxious than normal being that I'm at home in front of more family and more friends," he said. "I've got to block that out and go out there and leave it on the court. I've done it in the past, I've been out there and played and played well, and it's time for me to do it again." - AP

MonL
06-13-2008, 07:22 AM
Celtics have "ubuntu" as their team motto, thanks to Doc Rivers, who adopted it for Boston.

http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news;_ylt=AtpePErVbRrH5xgwqjYu7iWezIx4?slug=ap-celtics-ubuntu&prov=ap&type=lgns

Pero pang long term ito.


For the season about to close, pwedeng "End The Long Wait in 2008."

Parang "End 28 at 82."* ;D

It "sings," so it will be. ;D

MonL
06-13-2008, 10:30 AM
Lakers leading by a sizable lead at halftime, after threatening to make it a full-blown blowout midway in the second.

This game is full of aberrations:

-Lakers outstanding on the offensive end. Odom having an unusually outstanding offensive game, hitting almost all of his shots. Radmanovic and Vujacic hitting their 3s. Even Farmar hoisted and sank a desperation three at end of the second. Talk about the comforts of home.

-Trevor Ariza the x-factor with his energy off the bench, making great defensive plays and even sinking a 3.
*
-Celtics offense flat, with nothing from Garnett. Rondo's injury hurting the Celtics playmaking. The set-ups to shooters Allen and Pierce practically dried up, and with it the threes that come as a result. Plus the injury slowed him down on defense, causing Fisher to blow by him. Cassell and House not up to the task of running a team.

The Celts to their credit brought the lead back down to 12 pts though LA countered in the last seconds of the half to bring the lead back up.

I'dlike to see the glass as half-full. No lead is a safe lead. The third quarter will be critical for Boston. If they can bring the lead down to about 6-8 points, they can take care of business in the fourth.

The_Big_Cat
06-13-2008, 10:33 AM
^ I smell a huge comeback. ;D

sa_pula
06-13-2008, 10:43 AM
http://ronan.pcriot.com/text!/ginebra.php

ok to live na live ang bilis pa mg buffer.. ;D

MonL
06-13-2008, 11:10 AM
^ I smell a huge comeback. ;D


You smell it like I did? ;D

LION
06-13-2008, 11:41 AM
Even tasted it! ;D

bchoter
06-13-2008, 11:45 AM
Can I taste it too? toungue-to-toungue :D

Any updates guys?

LION
06-13-2008, 11:49 AM
Ala George Estregan? ;D

LION
06-13-2008, 11:52 AM
Let's finish it in game 5.

yungha
06-13-2008, 11:53 AM
BOSTON WINS! WATACOMEBACK! tameme si jack nicholson, hehehe!

RockLobster
06-13-2008, 11:54 AM
Celtics had just taken game 4. They could possibly take the title in game 5, given how the Lakers played today. But it's probably sweeter to win it at home.

cub
06-13-2008, 11:55 AM
what a comeback for the Boston Celtics. Posey and Ray led the comeback in the 3rd and the rest is history. those timely baskets by KG and House sealed the win for the Celtics.

for the Lakers, Odom played his best game in the finals but is not enough for he was silent in the 2nd half. kobe had a bad shooting day or was it because of ray and paul's defense?

Celtics in 6. ;D

The_Big_Cat
06-13-2008, 11:57 AM
I told you Boston would come out big in the 2nd half and they did.

The Boston defense was just awesome. Limiting the Lakers in third quarter to 19 points and the 4th to only 14 points.
The Big difference was the Boston bench who outscored LA 35-15. You have to give credit to Doc Rivers for moving Pierce to guard Kobe at the start of the third quarter and it worked big time for the Celtics. Boston started the comeback late in the third with a 21-3 run to cut the lead to 75-77.

No team has comeback from a 3-1 deficit in NBA Finals history.
Where the heck was Fisher when LA needed some stability and poise from the Boston rally?
I like the play in the last minute when Allen left Vujacic in the dust to score 2 to extend the lead.

Go Beantown!

MonL
06-13-2008, 11:58 AM
Comeback complete. Celts took care of business in the fourth to win, 97-91.

Ray Allen played without rest, and made big plays down the stretch with Pierce, Garnett, Posey and Eddie House. Posey showing championship poise by knocking a big 3 near the end to overcome the hump. House provided the shooting to keep LA interior open for KG posts. Pierce has been an underrated defender, showed how he can do the job by guarding Bryant. He also brought the ball down to make point forward plays

It all summed up to one of the greatest turnarounds in playoff history and adds to the Celtic lore.

It eclipsed the turnaround they also did vs New Jersey in 2002 because of the impact it did and because it was held on the big stage.

Wow.

coreytaylor
06-13-2008, 11:59 AM
Sarap manalo!! Go Celtics!! ;D

coreytaylor
06-13-2008, 12:21 PM
Celtics storm back, beat Lakers 97-91 in Game 4
By TOM WITHERS, AP Sports Writer
http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/recap

LOS ANGELES (AP)—In their comeback season, the Celtics saved the biggest one of all for the NBA finals.

Boston rallied from a 24-point deficit and beat the Los Angeles Lakers 97-91 on Thursday night to take a commanding 3-1 lead in this history-rich series and move within one victory of a 17th championship that seemed impossible a year ago.

A rivalry between the league’s two most storied franchises—with some of the game’s biggest names and biggest moments—now has its biggest rally.

No team had ever overcome more than a 15-point deficit in the first quarter, and although the league doesn’t have a record for the largest rally in a finals game, the Celtics staged one that will forever be remembered in the annals of Celtics-Lakers lore.

When the final horn sounded, Paul Pierce, an L.A. kid playing in front of family and friends, doubled over in exhaustion and exuberance. The Celtics, the team he stuck with through 10 years, including a 24-win season in 2006-07, had done the impossible.

“We sucked it up,” Pierce said. “We said we weren’t going to back down.

“At the end of the third quarter I looked up at the scoreboard and told the fellas, ‘We just have to go out there and compete and let the chips fall where they may.”’

Pierce scored 20 points, Kevin Garnett had 16 points and 11 rebounds and Ray Allen had 19 points as Boston’s Big Three, thrown together last summer by general manager Danny Ainge to revive a franchise accustomed to hanging banners from the rafters, put the Lakers on the brink of a summer vacation.

It took an epic comeback to do it, and now the Celtics can reclaim their place atop pro basketball with a win in Game 5 on Sunday night in Los Angeles.

No team has ever recovered from a 3-1 deficit in the finals.

“It can always happen. We aren’t counting on that statistic,” Pierce said. “We want to take care of this on Father’s Day.”

Kobe Bryant scored 19 points on 6-of-19 shooting but the league’s MVP couldn’t rescue the Lakers when they needed him most. Lamar Odom had 19 points— 15 in the first half—and Pau Gasol, whose addition in a midseason trade was supposed to give the Lakers their final piece to complement Bryant, had 17 points and 10 rebounds.

Trailing by 18 points at halftime and seemingly done when they fell behind by 20 with 6:04 left in the third quarter, the Celtics outscored the Lakers 31-15 in the third quarter to pull within 73-71 going into the fourth.

The remarkable rally was reminiscent of what Los Angeles did in Game 2, when the Lakers trimmed a 24-point deficit to two in the fourth quarter before the Celtics regrouped to open a 2-0 lead. But Boston had another 12 minutes to finish off theirs, and the green-and-white did.

Boston’s comeback included a 21-3 run over the final five minutes, fueled by two 3-pointers from Eddie House, who was getting more playing time because of Rajon Rondo’s tender left ankle. The Celtics were still down by double digits with 2 minutes left in the third but closed the quarter with a 10-1 run, capped by P.J. Brown’s dunk—a slam that could be felt all the way back to Boston’s North End.

The Celtics finally caught the Lakers at 73-all on Leon Powe’s jumper in the lane with 9:05 remaining, tying the score for the first time since it was 2-2 in the first minute.