Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
“I was wide open,” Allen said of that last regulation play. “Paul, as he started dribbling off, both of those guys stayed with him. Paul said he didn’t want to throw the ball. He was kind of in a bad position. I thought either me or Kevin had an opportunity for a good shot.”
Pierce, who rimmed out a 20-footer under pressure from Metta World Peace at the end of overtime, didn’t have the vision last night.
“One of them I didn’t make the pass, the second one I didn’t hit the shot,” he said with a shrug. “I just thought we didn’t get into our sets like we wanted to. I thought we played a little too much random pick and roll basketball. They really blocked a lot of things that we were trying to do. We weren’t able to get to the hole.”
After watching the replay of the final play in regulation, I agree that Ray Allen was wide open… for one second. Paul Pierce has to make that pass in a split second, or not make it at all.
Paul and Ray are about 20 feet apart. At that distance, the pass needs to be a laser because Ron Artest is lurking.
Pierce committed a cardinal sin by picking up his dribble so deep on the perimeter. Once that happened, there was no viable Plan B.
On Page 2, Kobe suddenly has respect for Rajon Rondo.
“It’s always a brawl whenever we fight,” Bryant said. “It’s ugly. It’s physical. I’ve enjoyed competing against them. …We’re old school. Ray, Paul, Kevin. So is Rajon [Rondo]. How they prepare for the game, how much it means to them, the emotion they put into the game. You don’t really that see that much from the young guys out there.”
Nevertheless, Kobe was chatting Rondo up for most of the fourth quarter. Rondo’s a player that so intrigues Bryant. Who wouldn’t want him, but he isn’t available to the Lakers. Everyone knows the Lakers need a point guard, and the price of a top playmaker remains the same: Gasol.
There was one play in this game where Kobe was called for an offensive foul for flattening Rajon Rondo. It was memorable because Kobe immediately helped Rondo off the floor. The moment was a far cry from this exchange two years ago when Kobe scolded Rondo during an altercation.
Being a top 5 point guard gets you respect from just about everyone in the league, including Bryant. Kobe sees hows Rondo is feeding the ball to Ray Allen in all the right spots and says “I want some of that.”
Here’s hoping we never get to witness such a scene.
I have to ask.. did Pau Gasol’s performance last night affect your opinion of a potential swap for Rondo?
The rest of the links:
Globe – Missed opportunity | Nothing to get nostalgic about | Enough forward thinking | CSNNE – Doc: Our execution was terrible | Talking points: LA 88 – Cs 87 | Preview/Review | Bradley day-to-day with sore shoulder | Herald – Lakers beat Celtics at old game | WEEI – Sun begins to set on Celtics, Lakers | Cs fail to execute down the stretch | ESPN Boston – Cs can’t stand up to Lakers bigs | For Pierce, a good week spoiled | KG’s shot no auspicious pose vs LA | Troy Murphy aids Laker triumph |