Kobe Bryant Not Surprised By Celtics’ Success

by May 25, 2010

Though the C’s postseason surge has shocked most observers, Bryant tells the media that the team he might once again face in the NBA Finals hasn’t caught him by surprise. From CBS: “For the Lakers, talking about the Celtics  is taboo, to say the least. Andrew Bynum tried it, and Phil Jackson accused him of a brain — um — malfunction. Lakers fans chanted, ‘We want Boston!’ during Games 1 and 2 of the Western Conference finals at Staples Center, and Kobe Bryant chided them for being ‘disrespectful to the team that we’re playing.’ But discussing the Celtics’ surprising blitz though the postseason — evicting LeBron James from the second round and getting his coach fired, and now breezing to a 3-0 lead in the Eastern Conference finals? That’s fair game. So Bryant was asked on the practice floor Monday how much Boston’s ruthless dismantling of the Magic has surprised him. ‘Honestly? Zero,’ Bryant said. And the Cavs? ‘I just thought it was great defense,’ Bryant said. ‘I just wasn’t surprised by it. You give them a series to prepare, and they’re going to be prepared like you wouldn’t believe. They’re going to home in on things that you do and take those things away from you. And if you can’t make adjustments … throughout a series, you’re going to have problems.’ Yes, even when the Celtics were struggling with a .500 record after Christmas, Bryant saw this coming. ‘They started the season off the right way,’ he said. ‘Once they stepped back and let [Rajon] Rondo do what he does, that team started taking off. They’re a great defensive team — defense, rebounding, that’s how they punch their ticket. That’s how they go about doing it.”‘