Lakers face must-win games as NBA Finals moves to Boston

By: 06.08.10  •  58 Comments

Lamar Odom (photo. Tim Tadder)

Trust, you won’t find anybody on the Celtics complaining about the NBA Finals 2-3-2 format. With a squad of veterans who probably need to play up-tempo every game to win this series, a long stretch at home is just what they need. It’s especially huge for Kevin Garnett, who struggled in L.A. (11.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg), but with a week’s worth of sleeping in his own bed and eating some home cooking, should see an improvement. And apparently the Celtics left Mike Finley behind in Boston for those first two games, so they can dust him off now … As for the defending champs, everybody is making this trip about Kobe and his legacy, but what they really need is for Lamar Odom and the bench mob to step up. As good as L.O. was in the conference finals, he’s been a non-factor against Boston. Odom is too talented to let Big Baby Davis become the most effective backup forward in this seriesPaul Pierce is just trying to create bulletin-board material, isn’t he? First there was the “We ain’t coming back to L.A.!” line he dropped in Game 2, then afterward he gave Ron Artest ammo in case he needs a chip on his shoulder. “I think I struggled offensively. I think I rushed a lot,” Pierce said about his 2-for-11 shooting effort. “I don’t think it was too much about what Ron did.” … Not like the Lakers leaders need any extra motivation. Kobe and Derek Fisher were there in ’04, when L.A. went to Detroit and dropped three straight on the road to lose the championship, and in ’08 when the Lakers went 0-3 in Boston … Kobe didn’t want to talk to anybody after Game 2, but did say it’s all about playing better defense. If you’re Phil Jackson, do you keep Kobe on Rajon Rondo and risk Ray Allen going off again, or stick Kobe on Ray right away? … The Cavs are interested in Tom Izzo, so much that they’re reportedly ready to offer him $30 million over five years to coach. Cleveland’s owner is a Michigan State alum, so there’s that connection. But honestly? If the Cavs don’t re-sign LeBron, Izzo might have more talent on the Spartans next year than he’d have in Cleveland. He should probably stay home; they’re gonna build a statue of him in East Lansing someday … With Tom Thibodeau off the board, Avery Johnson has jumped to front of the line for the Nets coaching vacancy. If somebody out there at NBA TV is reading this, can we PLEASE get a camera in the room when Avery sits down to interview with Mikhail Prokhorov? Is there an interpreter out there who can handle Russian and Country? … Major League Baseball had its draft yesterday, with 17-year-old catcher/outfielder phenom Bryce Harper going No. 1 overall to the Washington Nationals. Harper has been called the LeBron James of baseball after he left high school following his sophomore year, got his GED and played at a community college before entering the draft. The Nationals also had the No. 1 pick last year, taking pitcher Stephen Strasburg. Do you think the NBA should adopt MLB’s format of the top pick automatically going to the team with the worst record, or do you like the current Lottery system? … We’re out like Izzo in Cleveland …

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