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.
Every one of the Celtics' key players had a terrific game.
The same can be said of just one of their Laker counterparts: Kobe Bryant. The Mamba did what he could to keep his team in the game, scoring 41 points on 32 shots and committing only a couple turnovers. That he took 32 shots and collected zero assists while the Lakers lost will inevitably drag us into a tiresome discussion about whether he shot too much. No. He didn't.
I'm perfectly willing to rip Kobe when he's not taking the right approach, but it's not fair to do so today. He was the only Laker not getting shut down by the man guarding him. None of his teammates – not the big guys, not Artest, not his supposedly trusty sidekick Fish – was making good moves, getting to the right spot on the floor or proving their ability to be sound with the ball in the face of the Boston pressure.
Did Kobe play a perfect game? Of course not. But if you're making a list of people to blame for this debacle, Kobe's name should be at the bottom.
Is anyone in Los Angeles capable of identifying fool's gold? I found ZERO criticism of Kobe Bryant's offensive dominance. Sure he made some amazing shots, but as I stated in last night's recap, when a star takes 29 shots (11 in the 4th quarter), his teammates stop playing and start watching.
I would agree if Kobe's point came within the flow of an offense. But on several possessions, he was the only guy touching the ball!
While trolling around on The Lakers Nation blog after the game (I couldn't help myself), Fakers fans were so upset with Gasol, the were calling for him to be traded. They want him and Ron Artest included in some imaginary deal for Melo. Hilarious stuff!
Here's some love for Paul Pierce:
But the real key to the C’s offensive attack and the Lakers’ defensive breakdowns was the fact that Paul Pierce just refused to be guarded effectively all game. Ron Artest was completely outclassed by Pierce, who got quality shot after quality shot all night against him. It wasn’t so much that Ron wasn’t contesting Pierce’s shot, it was the fact that he surrendered position so easily and allowed Pierce to get to his favorite spots on the floor. Pierce brilliantly worked the shallow wing and the elbow area all game and found relatively easy 12-15 foot jumpers as his reward for beating defenders off the dribble. And when Pierce wasn’t working in isolation, he was floating around the perimeter, using screens and losing defenders to get up uncontested three pointers. On the day, Pierce scored 32 points on only 18 shots and did an excellent job of carrying the C’s offense when they needed a boost and then deferring to others when his mates finally found their groove.
Yesterday's game was the first time I've watched rtest play this season. Is he injured? Or simply aging overnight? Or both?
On Page 2, the big, deep and efficient Celtics.
All appearances to the contrary, they weren't dethroned Sunday when the Boston Celtics walked all over them in a 109-96 object lesson in who's whom in the pecking order.
We're talking humiliation … Celtics fans chanting "Beat L.A.!" … Celtics fan Matt Damon and friends yukking it up courtside between the Lakers' bench and superfan Norm Pattiz.
Before Sunday's game, the question was whether the Lakers could play at the Celtics' level.
I guess they settled that.
In a backward way, the Lakers' casual attitude gives them a lot of room to raise their game in spring, at least in theory.
The Celtics not only bring it nightly, they play with a ferocity that's scary with their shallow, creaky, smallish team having become so big, deep and efficient…
The Celtics also outrebounded the Lakers, 43-30.
Actually, the Lakers were lucky the Celtics didn't take any of them prisoner and cart them back to Boston.
Enjoyable as this victory was, it is only January. There is plenty of time for LA to regain the "eye of the tiger."
I highly doubt that will happen… but there's time.