Monday, May 31st, 2010 at 9:35 am  |  76 responses

Lakers Seeking Revenge Against Celtics

by Marcel Mutoni / @marcel_mutoni

The NBA’s most historic rivarly is three days away from resuming for the 12th time in the championship round. The last time these two storied franchises met in the Finals, in 2008, things did not go so well for the Lakers.

To a man, L.A. says they have wanted to meet up with Boston again, in an effort to exact revenge. Well, now here’s their chance.

Pau Gasol recalls the Laker team bus getting pelted with rocks by Celtics fans following the title-clinching Game 6 of the ’08 Finals; last summer, Phil Jackson personally told Paul Pierce that he wanted the C’s to regroup and meet the Lakers back in the Finals; even Ron Artest (while playing for another team, no less) wanted a piece of the Celtics following their 2008 Finals beatdown of the Lakers.

The LA Times caught up with some of the main characters in the rivarly’s latest chapter:

If the Lakers’ video staff needs any inspiration for the NBA Finals, it won’t be difficult. The guys who put together game video for team meetings this week can insert a wide array of images between clips of the Boston Celtics’ physical defensive front and Rajon Rondo picking apart any number of teams.

In no particular order, they could use: Paul Pierce dancing on the Celtics’ bench during a timeout in the final minutes of the 2008 NBA Finals; the Garden crowd derisively chanting “Where is Kobe?” while the Celtics hovered near a 30-point fourth-quarter lead and Kobe Bryant sat on the bench in the decisive Game 6; the Celtics returning to Los Angeles later in the summer of ’08 for a sports awards show and bragging onstage of “another win in L.A.” after taking the category for top pro team of the year. It’s up to the Lakers whether they want to revisit what happened two years ago, including the 131-92 loss they sustained in the clinching game, the second-largest margin of defeat ever in an NBA Finals game. So far, they seem fine with going there. “I think everybody on our team remembers what happened,” Andrew Bynum said.

The Lakers signed Ron Artest to a five-year, $33-million contract last July with a challenge like this in mind. “Pierce is a very tough matchup,” Bryant said. “He’s one of the few players that has a long ball, that has mid-range game, can get to the basket. I think that makes him tough to cover, but Ron is up to the challenge.” … “It’s something that has been anticipated now for the last couple weeks,” Lakers Coach Phil Jackson said. “So here it is.”

The Lakers got what they wanted all along. Soon, we’ll find out if they’re truly up to the challenge.

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  • Kendrick is God

    ‘up to the challenge’ how the tables have turned, they’re the challenged aren’t they?

  • Rikson

    Sounds more like some 15 year olds playing in the park than some pros!

  • Rikson

    Play for the chip, not revenge…

  • Aaron

    This series is will be so unpredictable… I can’t even call it. Two teams with the biggest appetite for chips (no pun intended).

  • AMG

    I wouldn’t be surprised if LA steamrolled Boston in 4 or 5 games. Kobe is playing right now at the same level that Jordan played in his absolute peak.

  • DSGB

    Y’all obviously must not be ball players deny the effect revenge adds to this serious.

  • http://www.springbored.net letsmotor

    there are valid arguments for either team winning, but has Boston really looked like a team that can be steamrolled? they just steamrolled the teams with the two best records in the league, but OK. also, as a celtic fan, i hate that story about fans throwing rocks at L.A.’s bus. i know they’re fans of the c’s and that means they hate the lakers, but that “hatred” should only be directed towards the lakers as basketball players on the court, not the lakers as people on a bus just trying to get home. it’s not supposed to be personal like that, and it’s definitely not supposed to endanger anybody. whoever threw those rocks is a disgrace.

  • http://www.slamonline.com melvin ely

    letsmotor: agree completely but let’s face it: with the way this series is getting hyped, with all the history of bad blood behind it, it will be a miracle if it ended with everyone going home unscathed. I hope nothing bad happens on or off the court, but this series is really starting to look like people are going to lose it at some point. Again, really hope it doesn’t come to that.

  • andre anglais

    I am not really a “fan” of either team; they’re so damn arrogant and such obnoxious players. That being said, the basketball that they do, when they do it well, is jaw dropping, earthshaking stuff. I can not wait to see this. Kobe is ballin out of his mind right now, and the Celtics look like men playing with boys. This is gonna be epic!

  • TyMo

    Even if the C’s win, SLAM will put Kobe on the cover or else they would sell no magazines at all.

  • Dutch Rob

    I’m hoping my Celtics take it again this year.
    Gerard where you at?? remember i called the c’s to win it all this year?
    Although after the All Star break i had some doubts.

  • http://www.slamonline.com/ niQ

    Yea, I’m not really a fan of either team. But I find it funny how Kobe names all the good traits about Pierce, and then says that Ron will handle him. LOL

  • heh8meN1

    Smush Parker & Kwame Brown aren’t walking through the door. This isn’t your 2008 Lakeshow (noted Smush was jetisoned before the season; and Kwame’ was traded mid-season).

    Time to reign purple all over the garden’s lawn. No more Posey (who along with RuPaul Pierce, Ray, and Rondo had to guard). No more Powe. No more P.J. Brown. No more home court advantage. No more wheelchairs.

    On To The Next One. Sweet 16.


  • heh8meN1

    No more Posey (who along with RuPaul Pierce, Ray, and Rondo had to guard “THE MAMBA”; yet he still averaged 26ppg).

    On to the next one.

  • Th3_R3al_Chris

    If the Lakers focus so much on ’08 and not this playoff run then their going to find things quite different when Rondo and Sheed and Baby take it to them off the bench. Tony Allen’s defense on Kobe is going to be key. They’ve already contained Lebron and Dwyane Wade. Kobe isn’t much different, aside from the outside jumper. I’m thinking Celtics take at least one in L.A. Hopefully the first one.

  • bobby

    with all this talk about lakers wanting revenge, it appears that the media has once again hyped up the lakers. it seems that the media thinks the lakers are gonna win simply because of revenge and laker fans think that they will win simply because kobe is making shots lol. i honestly would not be surprised if the celts wrap this series up in 5. “revenge” does not win a 7 game series and neither does kobe jacking up shots.

  • http://www.springbored.net letsmotor

    one thing that people predicting the lakers have to realize is that the lakers haven’t faced anyone nearly as physical and tough as the celtics yet (in these playoffs or last year’s), and for all we know, they may still struggle against this type of team just like they did in 08. the one thing that may help them in that area is ron artest, but he has to make sure pierce doesn’t get him in foul trouble, and pierce is great at drawing fouls). still, one could make the argument that the lakers’ front line is still soft (and somewhat injured) and that could really hurt them in this series. @bobby: i agree with you when you say “revenge” doesn’t win a 7 game series, and neither does kobe jump shooting a lot. kobe hasn’t yet proven that he can be driven by the need for revenge the way jordan was. of course, this series would be a great time to prove that. he’s a great jump shooter, but if the celtics force him into tough shots like they did in 08, they have a great shot at beating LA.

  • jbizz

    @thanks man. could’nt have said it better myself

  • The Philosopher

    Shout out to Tarzan Cooper. I’m still laughing at ‘turdburglar’. That is classic!

  • http://www.youtube.com/ The Promise

    I will agree with letsmotor, LA’s front line is soft, and Bynum is nowhere near 100 percent, and he can’t stay out of foul trouble, and I think Pierce will keep Artest in foul trouble, and if not, the Celtics will set up some screens to get Artest off Pierce and maybe mismatch him against Rondo. Perkins is Gonna dominate the boards, and Wallace and Garnett are going to man-handle Pau Gasol, who I think is one of the softest big men in the L. Imma sat Celtics in 6.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    As a fan of neither team but of good basketball in general, I’ma just sit back and enjoy the show. It’s gonna be a hell of a series.

  • Orlando Green

    If Bynum was 100% this would be a 4 game series. I love the fact that Gasol had a bad series against PHX, he will be fierce in this series! The Celtics really have nobody that can stop Bryant, Tony Allen isn’t long enough, so look for him to have a similar series to the PHX one. LAL in 6, maybe in 5 if Lamar comes to play and they get something from Sasha!

    I think Kobe should guard LebRONDO and but fisher on Jesus!

  • http://www.springbored.net letsmotor

    @orlando green: what makes you think bynum would be able to dominate if healthy? i know he’s a talented player, but his playing well could fuel a sweep? really? and the c’s don’t need to stop kobe, they just need to slow him down as a team and make him take tough shots (worked in 08). and i think you’re right about LA’s best bet being Kobe guarding Rondo, but i don’t think it’d be smart to put Fisher on Ray. i’m not sure if he can keep pace with his off the ball movement, but who knows.

  • Jose

    This match-up is up in the air to be honest.Flip a coin and whoever wins the flip could win. It’ll end in 6 games either way(LA/BOS) i feel

  • underdog

    I really like Sheed, but I root for the Lakers on this one. I’d love to see Kobe retireing with more rings than Shaq. If I were Phil, my biggest concern would be Rondo. Some of you guys mentioned foul trouble above. Well that could be a problem on both team (Sheed, Perk, Drew, Artest). I’m really looking forward to this Finals!

  • Joey E.

    toss up for me. i have a hard time picking a winner. i could see both winning in 6 or 7

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    Who DOESN’T want this series to get out of hand?! Bring back the physicality and toughness of the 90′s! I don’t want to see anybody getting hurt, but some ‘bows and flagrant fouls and smack talking would be great to have. This is a REAL competition here.
    As neither a Lakers nor a Celtics fan (kind of cheering for the Celtics), I am still pretty excited to get this series started.

  • vongustedt

    wish i had a time machine to see what the laker fan boys were saying bout the finals match up in 08

  • http://Www.slamonline.com Negetivekreep

    Predicting A steamroll is absurd. This is Lakers Celtics. It’s gonna b the best O vs the best D’ and yet both teams can do both. So, who can do both better?… Last time Boston had several advantages: #1 home court. #2 the paint, Boston had a starting center LA did not. Bynum played ok against PHX, that’s all LA needs this time around. (that and Pau growing some balls) #3 No answer 4 pierce…enter Artest. #4 James posey, with LO playing like $hit he doubled on Kobe like crazy and was very effective. And no Rasheed Wallace is no Posey on help D’. The only question is can LA take advantage. I think this series is gonna boil down to rebounds. Baby’s been gettin em’ Rondo is the best rebounding pg in the L & KG is gonna get his. That’s the challenge the Lakers face IMO.

  • Thor

    It’s going to be critical how nate robinson comes into the game. In him they can either get a great rondo substitude like the show he put on in game 6 orl. series. Or he can mess things up by being to reckless. It wasn’t the points I was most intruiged about last game, but his focus on competing. He’ll be an x-factor for or for worse…

  • nastierthanu

    You can’t ask for a more perfect setting than this. You have history in the making. Storied franchises locking horns. Hall famers goin at it and for kobe bryant the chance to, in my opinion place him in the conversation as the equal to michael jordan. This will be an amazing series. K perk and sheed will be the keys to the lakers winning this series, but I see a monumental lapse in judgement from sheed that will cost the c’s the series.

  • Thor

    ‘For good or for worse

  • playa

    whats up with this whole celtics rebounding advantage??? You guys probably live in some alternative world because boston is average to poor rebounding team and they’re horrible at offensive rebounding,maybe if the refs let them pushes&shoves lakers they can grab a few more but no way they’re LA’s equal at it.

  • Yesse

    I got a feeling Boston might win. I hope Lakers win, but Fisher against Rondo doesnt sound good. I hope they put Kobe on him. Also i hope Bynum is 100%.

  • doyouwantmore

    Artest is great at defending athletic shooters, but Paul Pierce is dangerous because of his shot selection and timing. I say that Pierce will come out on top in that matchup. Rondo’s quickness and killer instinct will rattle Fisher, something no one else has done. Perkins and Big Baby might get owned by Gasol if he decides to show up, but I’d bet Gasol will dominate the Celtics frontcourt for a game or two, but eventually wilt like a rare spanish tulip.
    Ray vs. Kobe is the only really serious problem the Celts have. Ray is a great guy and Kobe is an A-hole.

  • ripslam

    LA cannot stop Boston; However, Boston can stop LA. Defense wins championships, Boston in 6.

  • oj

    I laugh at these people who are under the impression that the Celts are gonna get “steamrolled”. Do you really think that after dispatching Cleveland and Orlando in 6 games, the Lakers are going to be THAT much of a challenge? Nobody can stop Boston right now. There’s too much momentum going for them.

  • http://Www.slamonline.com Negetivekreep

    @ doyouwantmore, funny how Paul pierce is “dangerous” because of his shot selection and timing…(becomes the black ginobili insde of the 3pt line) And Kobes an “a hole” haha yeah, very ballanced perception u have son.

  • http://www.springbored.net letsmotor

    @negetivekreep: a balanced perception means not stating the truth about players? if i say ray allen is deadly from behind the arc, and then say that adam morrison is not a threat, is that an imbalanced perception?

  • hoodsnake

    Celtics in 5. Thats all.

  • larrylegend

    forget it, this are the celtics!

  • http://Www.slamonline.com Negetivekreep

    Letsmotor: Was that over ur head? It’s very simple, People c what they want to c. They like a guy/ team= they c thier positives rather than flaws. Doyouwantmore’s comments were a good example of this. Pdouble like Kobe is a great player (not as great) but great, and if u asked most folks (outside Boston) they’d tell u he’s also, an “a hole” in part because of his actress tendencies, & look for the foul 1st get an and1 approach to his inside game. And then there’s his personality. Im sure this is all lost on you, as u prolly think KG is also ” a great guy” But Perhaps that’s a lil too much perspective. And by the way I’ve been on record as saying Kobe is a HUGE prick, And so is LBJ and so was Jordan…. If u really want to bring up character then be ballanced.

  • http://www.kwapt.blogspot.com KobeWearsAPurpleThong

    Keys to this series IMO:

    1) Celtics having 3 games in a row at home
    2) Celtics’ superior bench
    C’s in 6.

  • Stillballin

    Kobe is gonna be crying again walking off the court. When the celtics end ftue series..celtics in 6!!!

  • Stillballin

    If Kobe dont win this year.. Kobe is gonna remind of Stockton and Malone. When the jazz can’t win with two try agains the bulls.

  • http://www.realcavsfans.com Anton

    I threw those rocks.

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    People forget if not for the 24 point meltdown, series would have been tied 2-2. Lakers won game 5 and lost game 6. It should have been a seven game series. Lakers will win in 5 games. Kobe will produce down the stretch because his teammates will play better. IF Kobe temmates play better, he wins a RING, THAT SIMPLE!!

  • http://www.slamonline.com Jay

    Twitters goin nuts right now, people are saying Allen Iverson is saying he is working on a comeback, why!????????

  • kriz

    if not for a 24 point meltdown? im pretty sure that meltdown falls on the shoulders of the lakers. they werent good enough to hold the 24 pt lead. flukes are crazy game winning shots, but blowing a 24 pt lead is more telling of a team than a fluke

  • Thetdon

    Ray Allen >>

  • http://www.springbored.net letsmotor

    if not for the 24 point meltdown? please. never seen a worse excuse than that. no should’ves, would’ves or could’ves. what happened is all that counts. @negetivekreep: no man, it’s not over my head, just wasn’t very clear the first time you explained it. just thought you meant that he was wrong when he said kobe’s an asshole and pierce is dangerous.

  • http://thephotoriot.com davidR

    i wouldn’t say the celtics D contained wade. he went OFF on them. averaged 33/5/7 on 56% fg & 40% 3s for the first round series? get him some help next year and the heat might go straight to the top

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com/ BETCATS

    I wonder what type of wheelchair Paul Pierce will be riding in this year’s finals.

  • DEC

    Lakers fans need to stop talking about going for banner 16. Try 11. You can’t count the banners from Minneapolis. As someone on one of these threads already said, it’d be like OKC claiming they have a banner because Seattle won one.

  • Kadavour

    @ davidR: that’s what i was sayin, D.Wade was ballin outta his mind. They had NO answer for him. Kobe has a better supporting cast than Wade, so I like his chances better.

  • Fut,

    Wheelchairs get rings. Fact.

  • BostonBaller

    I’m excited about this series. Lakers want revenge from ’08 and The Celtics want our Title back from ’09. Neither matters once the ball is tossed up. You can laugh & make jokes about PDouble all you want, all I ask is that you watch the footage on each of those “injuries” then look at the final score. KB24 is unstoppable but we’re not trying to stop him just beat LA. @DEC Thank you, It was I who brought up Minny’s chips to put titles in perspective. Good analogy w/ the OKC Seattle example. As far as the few idiots who threw rocks, they were probably the grandchildren of the idiots who threw rocks at me when I was on a bus years ago. There are idiot fans everywhere…no factor.

  • BostonBaller

    BTW I’ve always hated this 2-3-2 format. I know it cuts down on travel but these guys fly on private jets and stay ion the best hotels, they are pro athletes that are in shape. Travel should not be much of a factor. I love 2-2-1-1-1 b/c it creates serious anticipation/excitement for fans and every game is heightened b/c you know you are going on the hostile road soon. Just my jaded old school opinion. GREEN for 18 !!!

  • T-Money

    2-3-2 is not for the players but for the media flying from all over the world.

  • topo

    it seems a lot of you boston fans and kobe haters are in for a surprise in a couple of days, i want to see the comments in here after the celtics get a taste of their own medicine

  • Scully

    Firstly, I am not a lakers fan but how can they not claim 15?! They are the same franchise. Hell, the name ‘Lakers’ makes no geographical sense in LA. Does that mean a franchise can’t claim any prev success if they move to a new arena? The Thunder rebranding was a joke, but it is still the same franchise. It’s not like they folded and a new team was created instead with an expansion draft etc.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    Why is is not reasonable to count Minneapolis Lakers’ championships with the Los Angeles Lakers’ championships? The Lakers never changed their team name, and George Mikan is as much a part of the Lakers organization as Jerry West or Elgin Baylor. Minneapolis Lakers were still the LAKERS.
    With the Sonics, they pretty much erased the team name from the existence of the NBA. That’s just the way I see it…

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    Yep, we said the exact same thing Scully. hahaha.

  • http://Yahoo.com 323 356 9658

    Lakers in six. Everybody is saying Fisher is gonna get killed by Rondo but what happened with all the good point guards Fisher faced they lost the only match ups I’m worried about is Gasol vs Garrnet. The celtics bench isn’t deep though and Sasha is about to explode

  • Severus

    would much rather watch any series besides lakers vs celtics..seriously is anyone else sick and tired of watching these teams play!

  • http://joeloholic.wordpress.com Joel O’s

    Absolutely no idea how this is going to play out. But will likely be one of the ages.

  • rafael

    Celtics in 6!!!!! we will beat LA with no problem!!! I’m bringing A1 sauce to Kobe beef cookouts! The C’s will always be above the Lakers. Cleveland-gone, Orlando-gone, Lakers will be…soon enough!!! Oh let me guess this was supposed to be their year! Lakers got lucky last year due to Celtics injuries but not this time around. Rondo was a rookie when they won in 08, not this time! He is a beast. Makes me laugh when Kobe try to guard him and can’t keep up!!!! We will run thru the Lakers with a speed boat!!!

  • Slam_Reader

    I want to believe Lakers will be able to do that, but they gotta be very careful. They need to enforce Boston their own game, if that happens L.A’s got an advantage. That’ s definitely a great challenge for Kobe but how the hell else there could be that superior feeling of the accomplishment of his whole LIFE!!!

  • Slam_Reader

    Lakers in 7 in Los Angeles in presence of Magic Johnson and Jack Nickolson!

  • http://hoopistani.blogspot.com Hoopistani

    it almost sounds like the Lakers are NOT the defending champs. Protect your championship, LA. Forget 08.

  • rikson

    I like the Cs way more than the fakeshow, but LA in 5! Bynum, Artest and no Posey will kill Boston…

  • truthteller

    Everybody just loves to hate the Lakers! I love it! Go lakers!!!

  • http://thephotoriot.com davidR

    yup kadavour. if kobe can stay on fire the way he did against phoenix, boston might be in trouble (provided some of his teammates decide to show up)

  • riggs

    please do NOT underestimate the celtics who has thoroughly beaten two of the top teams in the league and doing it in good fashion.

  • vtrobot

    the hype for the lakers before the 08 finals was hilarious. all these guesses about how many games this will go are just that. none of us know. better rondo – pj brown + sheed x bynum’s knee divided by nate = ??????? for the record, i think the C’s have a better chance of steamrolling than getting steamrolled. C’s could sweep, but i don’t think they could get swept. i bet the C’s take one of the first two in LA and then try to close it out at home. maybe it ends up going to six or seven. probably not, but who the hell knows. i can’t wait. it should be amazing.

  • jv

    funny how people think fisher will get killed in this series…. the same people who thought fish will get killed against westbrook, deron williams and steve nash lol.

    one can argue that the teams LA faced previously were not as good as the celts defensively but it sure did help prepare LA against a good pg like (rondo) in the finals

    its gonna come down to rebounds and if the C’s wont be able to drop some of those 3s from allen/PP/wallace then LA will win in 5 or 6