Yes, I picked the Celtics to win this series in five games, but never in my life have I been so happy to be wrong. And never have I seen a Laker team play defense they way they did in games six and seven….
After holding Boston to a shocking 67 points in Game Six, the Lakers matched that intensity by holding the Celtics to 79 points in Game seven….
Wow, holding a team with four great players to an average of 73 points, in two games they desperately needed to win, shows how much heart and will the Lakers possess….
Question: Would the Celtics have won Game Seven and the championship if Kendrick Perkins played? Without question, yes. Not only is Perkins their defensive rock and toughest player, he’s also the guy who sets all the picks which free up their scorers. He’s the most underrated player in the NBA and the Celtics desperately missed him….
Question #2: Had Andrew Bynum been 100% healthy, would the Lakers have won this series in five games? Without question, yes. A healthy Bynum gives the Lakers unequaled length and athleticism in the front court. In my opinion, they are unbeatable when he’s healthy….
My point is the Celtics have nothing to whine about, because the injuries to Bynum and Perkins cencelled each other out and the better team won….
I believe this also proves the Lakers would have won the 2008 Finals had Andrew been out there. It wouldn’t have been easy with Luke Walton guarding Paul Pierce, but Bynum would have made all the difference….
Speaking of Pierce and all the damage he did in 2008, how about the job Ron Artest did in the post season? Sure, he didn’t shoot well, but defnesively he was unbelievable. Yes, Pierce had his moments, because he’s a great player and a Hall-of-Famer. But Ron Ron made him work for everything and was the difference this season….
And Artest also saved his best for last, not only holding Pierce to 5-15 shooting, but also contributing 20 points; including a back breaking three-point basket in the final minute which gave the Lakers a six-point lead….
So now it’s 16 championships, including 11 in Los Angeles; which puts them only one behind the hated Celtics total of 17….
Damn, had Bynum been out there in 2008, the Lakers would have passed those miserable SOB’s with this win….
As for the MVP, I personally would have given it to Pau Gasol, because Kobe did not shoot well in the biggest game of the season. Bryant was a miserable 6-24 from the floor, including an embarrassing 0-6 from behind the arc. Yes, he grabbed 15 rebounds, but was awful offensively when his team needed him most….
Gasol, on the other hand, came through with 19 points, 18 rebounds, four assists and two blocks. He was huge on both ends and if Dave Smith had an MVP vote, he would have won….
After the game, Mark Jackson said Kobe had surpassed Magic Johnson as the greatest Laker if all time, but I beg to differ. Yes, Kobe has five titles, but so do Magic and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar….
To surpass them, Kobe needs to surpass them in championships. Kind of like a fighter who challenges for a World Championship. You can’t win the title with a draw, you have to win the fight….
So my order remains the same for all-time greatest Laker:
1) Magic Johnson
2) Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
3) Kobe Bryant
But if Bryant wins one more title, he moves to #1 and is the gretaest Laker of all time….
But he still won’t be the greatest player of all time until he wins his seventh title, surpassing Michael Jordan….
In my opinion, MJ is the better player on both ends of the floor. And I don’t remember him ever shooting 6-24 in a close out game….
As for Phil Jackson, it will be a travesty if he doesn;t come back for his fourth three-peat and unbelievable 12th NBA title….
He is the greatest coach in NBA history and Dr. Jerry Buss needs to reward him with a renewal of his contract….
Don’t be fooled by Phil talking about “retirement.” He desperately wants to return and the only reason he wouldn’t is if Dr. Buss insults him by offering a 60% pay cut….
Rumors say Buss is going to offer the Zenmaster a $5M contract, which would be a $7M pay cut from what he made this season….
That’s insulting for a coach with 11 championshiop, including five in Los Angeles. And you don’t insult the greatest coach in the game’s history….
There’s also the issue of Phil and Jeanie Buss feuding with Dr. Buss and his son Jim, who has been given control of the franchise….
Phil and Jeanie believe that Jackson deserves to the franchises’ decision maker, and rightfully so. But Dr. Buss believes his son Jim is ready to run the franchise and this will be the reason Phil “retires.”….
Jim Buss is a Sunset Strip party boy who has spent his adult life chasing women, training horses to finish out of the money and living off his dad’s money. Meanwhile Phil has won 11 championships and Jeanie is respected as one of the hardest working, well-liked front office people in the NBA….
Sure, she’s great looking and posed for Playboy, but has also cut her teeth in this business and become a great front office executive….
To bypass both Phil and Jeanie for Jim Buss is unacceptable….
As far as off-season moves, the team needs to bring in a solid point guard. Derek Fisher was magnificent in Game Three, but it was his only good game of the series. And the Lakers were better in Game six and seven when he wasn’t playing….
Next season, it’s time for 1) Jordan Farmar to take over the starting role or 2) A new point guard to start….
Put me in the camp of option #2….
If the Lakers can bring in an effictice defender who can also contribute offensively, they might win 75 games….
Finally, how do you think Trevor Ariza feels tonight. His agent turned down a five-year, $30M offer from the Lakers, because he was sure he could get his client at least $8M per year….
Mitch Kupchack threw him out of the office and signed Ron Artest around five minutes later….
Then, Ariza signed a contract with the Rockets, for the excat same money the Lakers were offering….
Trevor should have fired his agent and signed the Lakers deal; but instead now lives in the hellhole of Houston and plays for a lottery team….