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
McNabb: Two games is not acceptable for me Ortiz, Price Feud Is Upsetting To Children - @TheBuzzeronFOX MLB Trade Deadline Talk: Price, Stanton, Kemp Tony Romo will be a full-go for camp Teammate's Advice For Johnny Manziel & Josh Gordon - @TheBuzzeronFox Helfrich praises Mariota's commitment to improve Hillary Clinton Blamed Bill's Affair With Monica Lewinsky On Abuse He Suffered As A Child Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent First impressions of Giants' new up-tempo offense Athletic Gaines: Where LeSean McCoy, Kenjon Barner, and more prepare for NFL season Jack White's Cub Face How Emmanuel Mudiay Ended Up in China Sterling says he's not trying to block Clippers sale Selig: MLB 'more popular today than ever' Eli, Giants learning new offense Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Longhorns Coach Disses Texas With Compliment - @TheBuzzeronFOX How Will Wiggins Deal Impact Potential Love Trade? Tony Dungy Weighs in on Michael Sam Dareus fails conditioning test, Watkins lifts spirits
Boston Sports
McNabb: Two games is not acceptable for me Ortiz, Price Feud Is Upsetting To Children - @TheBuzzeronFOX MLB Trade Deadline Talk: Price, Stanton, Kemp Tony Romo will be a full-go for camp Teammate's Advice For Johnny Manziel & Josh Gordon - @TheBuzzeronFox Helfrich praises Mariota's commitment to improve Hillary Clinton Blamed Bill's Affair With Monica Lewinsky On Abuse He Suffered As A Child Who will Brady turn to if Gronk can’t stay healthy? Gronkowski cleared to participate in Patriots training camp Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent First impressions of Giants' new up-tempo offense Athletic Gaines: Where LeSean McCoy, Kenjon Barner, and more prepare for NFL season Shaughnessy: Dont count out the Sox just yet Blakely: Projecting the Celtics roster Daopolous: How will NFL cracking down on Defensive holding affect games? Jack White's Cub Face How Emmanuel Mudiay Ended Up in China Sterling says he's not trying to block Clippers sale Selig: MLB 'more popular today than ever' Eli, Giants learning new offense