EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Sports

June 7, 2008

Beat (up) L.A.: If Lakers don't match C's aggressiveness, they'll be in big trouble

Bill Burt

BOSTON — Kurt Rambis says he sick of seeing the Kevin McHale clothesline from 1984 NBA finals. Well, he may get a reprieve because the Lakers are now on the let's-get-physical clock.

Yesterday was an uncomfortable day for the Lakers, and not just because they lost Game 1 on Thursday.

Questioning one's execution is one thing. Questioning one's manhood is another. Yesterday, the most prevalent storyline was similar to old Celts-Lakers issues. The Celtics were tougher and rougher Thursday night.

Ex-Laker great James Worthy was on a Boston radio station saying it. His former teammate, Magic Johnson, said it on a national radio program.

But we are not surprised because this is the Celtics' strength, playing East Coast maul-ball when necessary. The Celtics are noted for their defense (90.3 points allowed per game).

The Lakers, on the other hand, are an offensive dynamo with their "triangle offense," which spreads the floor. They have six players who put up more than 100 3-pointers, compared to four for the Celtics.

"When we shoot well, we are hard to beat," said Lakers guard Sasha Vujacic. "We had a lot of open shots that just missed. We have to make more of them against a team like the Celtics."

Kobe Bryant was buying into Vujacic's theory. That's convenient because he was a miserable 9-of-26 shooting.

Bryant said the vast majority of his misses were due to bad luck than rugged Celtics defense.

"I get those again, I'm foaming at the mouth. I want those looks again," said Bryant.

But Bryant did admit the Celtics were not going to let him drive to the hoop. They want him shooting outside. He knows that. The Celtics know that.

Despite what the league MVP says, maybe the Celtics' interior defense kept Bryant from even attempting to drive to the basket, "settling" for outside shots instead. He was credited with only two shots from in close, a missed lay-up and a dunk.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports

Local Sports Videos
Sports Videos
SI Now: How Lee Jenkins landed the story of the year with LeBron James The World Waits on King James Norm Macdonald: Why LeBron Should Play For The Spurs - @TheBuzzeronFOX Canada excited for Women's World Cup to get underway Up To Speed: Loudon Preview Photographic 'Proof' That LeBron Is Leaving Miami - @TheBuzzeronFOX Lorenzo Fertitta Explains the Cancellation of UFC 176 on FOX Sports Live Brazil brought to tears after devastating loss to Germany Netherlands, Argentina take center stage Klose nets record, Germany rout Brazil 7-1 Samardzija will root for AL, even with NL jersey Morosi: Cardinals/Red Sox talking Peavy trade Johnny Manziel needs to work, even if it is the offseason Big shoes to fill for Brazil ahead of Germany clash Will Messi lead Argentina past Netherlands? Hollins says getting Nets job was "miracle-like" 2014 MLB All-Star Game Snubs 2026 World Cup coming to USA? USMNT's bright future for Russia 2018 Best Major League Soccer players in Brazil 2014
Boston Sports
SI Now: How Lee Jenkins landed the story of the year with LeBron James Victorino 0-for-2 in Lowell rehab game Ross: Nice to give front office 'something to think about' Haggerty: Pastrnak wants to stay in America The World Waits on King James Norm Macdonald: Why LeBron Should Play For The Spurs - @TheBuzzeronFOX Canada excited for Women's World Cup to get underway Up To Speed: Loudon Preview Ortiz outraged over PED accusations Photographic 'Proof' That LeBron Is Leaving Miami - @TheBuzzeronFOX Lorenzo Fertitta Explains the Cancellation of UFC 176 on FOX Sports Live Brazil brought to tears after devastating loss to Germany Netherlands, Argentina take center stage Klose nets record, Germany rout Brazil 7-1 Samardzija will root for AL, even with NL jersey Morosi: Cardinals/Red Sox talking Peavy trade Johnny Manziel needs to work, even if it is the offseason Big shoes to fill for Brazil ahead of Germany clash Will Messi lead Argentina past Netherlands? Hollins says getting Nets job was "miracle-like"