I often wonder what opposing teams, their beat reporters and bloggers
are saying about the Celtics after playing the Celtics. Here's a dose
of 'enemy chatter' from Los Angeles.
Bryant looked at Artest in the locker room and recounted the start
of the game, when the Lakers and Celtics were already jostling and
trash-talking in the jump circle before tipoff. Artest got the ball in
the post on the first play and was fouled hard by Boston's Paul Pierce — at which point Artest struck the sort of wide-eyed, menacing pose very few non-institutionalized people can.
He stared and seemingly braced himself to fight. Bryant told Artest
he noticed the Celtics' reaction at that precise moment: "They didn't
want any part of this crazy (expletive). I'm telling you. I saw it."
There's very little Bryant wants more for this Lakers team than
Bynum not backing down from contact and Artest being an effectively
"crazy (expletive)." Bear in mind that after the Lakers began this trip
with a loss in Cleveland, Bryant questioned the toughness of his
teammates and looked forward to seeing something different in Boston.
"I didn't say give me one more chance. I said give me the damn ball," Bryant said. "I never really give him much of a choice."
"They smacked us two years ago," Lakers forward Lamar Odom said. "It
was a big game for us. This is a team that's going to be battling to be
coming out of the East."
offensive, two defensive) where Artest made an incredibly difficult
layup to bring us with one, followed by (Ron again) drawing an
offensive foul on Pierce, then Kobe sinking an amazing line drive
jumper with Ray Allen all over him, and climaxing with the Celtics
running a play for Ray Allen and Lamar closing out to contest what
would have been the game winner. Just a fantastic finish to game that
had my heart pounding for the final 5 minutes of the contest.
On Page 2, overreaction to Andrew Bynum's performance.
top defenses. When he got the ball, which wasn't often enough for our
tastes, he powered to the rim with vigor. Gasol had a bad game. There's
no getting around it. Thanks to Drew, it didn't cost the Lakers. It was
impossible to watch the damage Bynum did to the Celtics today and not
wonder how the 2008 Finals might've been different with him on the
Maybe sour grapes are tainting my opinion, but I thought Bynum had a good, and not great, game. Tony Allen also "powered to the rim with vigor." Is he a game-changer? By these standards, yes. Imagine if the Celtics had a healthy TA in 2008 – the finals would have been a sweep.