Celtics/Lakers: 3 Things We Learned


No execution
Tonight it truly looked like the Celtics had just met for the first time and decided to play a game of pickup basketball.
Where were the plays?
There certainly didn’t appear to be any – at least any that worked – late in the fourth quarter or in overtime. Far too often the Celtics settled for off-balance jump shots or three pointers. There was too much holding on to the ball and not enough movement.
Blame Doc Rivers partially, but don’t be afraid to hand some of it over to the players who looked as if they wanted the ball to move itself.
“I thought our execution the whole game was terrible,” Rivers said. “I thought this was an awful game, except for they won. If we had won it, it would’ve been an awful game that we had won. That’s how I felt. So, just thought our execution was off all night. You know, give them credit: some of it was defense. I thought a lot of it was self-inflicted. We’ve been very good at just running the floor, ball movement, second and third options, second and third picks. Today the ball just was not – it was no fun to watch.”

Inside presence? Nope!
What did the Celtics need to do in order to win the game?
Establish a post presence, which, if you read the above on lack of execution, you already know that that didn’t happen on the offensive end. Not only did they not establish anything down low, they rarely attacked the hoop. What’s one way we know this? They took just five (five!) free throws the entire game, and zero in the second half. The Lakers took 20 and made 15, so there’s your difference in the game right there. Also, take a look at second chance points: Lakers 24, Celtics 13. A lot of that has to do with two things, positioning and effort. On the rebounding side, Andrew Bynum ripped down 17 boards (seven offensive), Pau Gasol, 14.
“The Lakers defense had a lot to do with the play,” Paul Pierce said. “They clogged the lane especially if we don’t fast break. It gets into a half court battle to where they sit there in the lane and force you to shoot jumpers.”

Lakers Big Three wins
Give it up for Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, and Andrew Bynum Thursday night. Those three players outplayed Boston’s Big Three all across the board. Pau Gasol gets player of the game for scoring 25 points and grabbing 14 rebounds. But perhaps his biggest play of the game was the last one – when he blocked a Ray Allen put-back attempt that would have won it for the Celtics.
Bryant was Bryant, hitting 11 of 24 shots for a game-high 27 points. All in all though, it was an offensive struggle for both teams – which can be attributed some to great defense and poor offensive execution.

Two Bonus Kobe quotes:

On Rob Gronkowski (of Patriots): “I told him the Eagles need a tight end. I’m recruiting! He’s a freak athlete. He shouted at me, I shouted back. ”

 To Doc Rivers after game:  “I told him his son got some big cajones! He should be very proud.”


Ex-Bitcoin official to plead guilty to Silk Road…

Bitcoin entrepreneur Charlie Shrem has reached a plea deal to resolve U.S. charges that he engaged in a scheme to sell over $1 million of…


China's army changes tactics to prepare for war…

Chinese President Xi Jinping has said China will spur military innovation and called on the army to create a new strategy for "information warfare" as…


California passes 'yes-means-yes' campus sexual assault bill

Californian lawmakers passed a law on Thursday requiring universities to adopt "affirmative consent" language in their definitions of consensual sex, part of a nationwide drive to curb sexual assault on…


Syrian refugees top 3 million, half of all…

By Stephanie NebehayGENEVA (Reuters) - Three million Syrian refugees will have registered in neighboring countries as of Friday, but many remain trapped by the advance…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…


Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.


Criterion's new Jacques Demy box mixes the light…

Jacques Demy, the most effervescent of French New Wave filmmakers, gets a Criterion box all to himself, with classics like "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg."


Comedian Joan Rivers, 81, rushed to New York…

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Acerbic comedian and fashion critic Joan Rivers was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York on Thursday after she reportedly…


3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.


NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.


Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.


Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.


Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…


4 healthy ingredient swaps to make your meals…

When it comes to eating well, everyone knows they could be doing better. But cooking in an apartment on a busy schedule is a recipe…


Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…