A collection of thoughts on Lakers-Celtics Game 5:
- Ron Artest and Derek Fisher were a combined 4-18.
- Let’s just let that one sit for a minute.
- And what’s even more stunning, Artest my have actually played worse than his shooting line indicates. At one point, he pulled off another I made the comment during the game that Rondo in this game was like Marty McFly during “Johnny Be Good“. He’s trying just to bring the intensity but ends up looking a little foolish. Of particular note was the play where he attempted to go behind the back on a baseline dribble, only to find, well, the baseline. Many of his transition passes were a little too flashy and his teammates couldn’t get a handle on it because he was too many steps ahead of them. His seven turnovers were painful, but it was a much better result than the hesitant, invisible Rondo that’s appeared at times in this series.
- Lamar Odom just… wasn’t.. there. You know? Another of those games, the kind he’s had for the majority of the series, and all this with Glen Davis checking him for a significant portion of the time. The Lakers so desperately need wing help, Jackson has turned to Luke Walton twice in this series, once to a fantastic result (Game 3), and one to a terrible turnover that benched him for the rest of the contest.
- This thing is lightyears from being over. The Lakers, if they ever decide to pull their head out, can use their length and talent to execute their offense, their whole offense, which can overcome the Celtics’ phenomenal defense. But more importantly, they’ll have to get back to the defensive principles that got them to the Finals. And that means protecting the rim.
- The Lakers have come back from adversity consistently this postseason, but haven’t faced an elimination game this year. It’s time to find out what kind of team they are.
D'Angelo Russell wants to play with Karl-Anthony Towns. Towns’ Timberwolves were reportedly interested in Russell last summer.
Why did Russell join the Warriors instead of Minnesota?
Russell, via Chris Hine of the Minneapolis StarTribune:
“I thought the opportunity here was amazing … ” Russell said after Warriors shootaround Friday. “It was definitely something I was considering very strongly. But then when this opportunity came, the weather is way better, so that helped me.”
“I did my first winter in New York and that was tough,” Russell said. “So to get the opportunity to go somewhere where it’s warm again, I think that played a major part in my plan.”
I don’t blame him one bit.
Russell grew up in Kentucky then finished high school in Florida. He spent his first couple NBA seasons with the Lakers.
He also played collegiately at Ohio State and a a couple years for the Nets. In other words, he spent enough time in cold-weather locations to know how miserable they can be.
This is an issue that will always hinder teams like the Timberwolves. It doesn’t mean they can’t attract free agents. It’s just a disadvantage.
There will always be players who don’t have multiple max offers. Minnesota can separate itself with money, playing time and other considerations.
But good for Russell for playing himself out of that group and earning a max contract in the Bay Area.
Kyrie Irving missed the Nets’ win over the Bulls on Saturday.
He’s not healthy enough to play the Pacers tonight.
Nets public relations:
Kyrie Irving (right shoulder impingement) is OUT.
Brooklyn (5-7) lags behinds Indiana (7-6) in the Eastern Conference’s middle morass. The Nets must try to catch up in the playoff race without their best player.
But it’s a long season. Brooklyn has plenty of time to gain ground. Spencer Dinwiddie is capable in relief, and the unselfish Nets can create ball movement while Dinwiddie rests.
I’m more concerned about next week. A segment of Brooklyn’s schedule:
- Nov. 24 at Knicks
- Nov. 25 at Cavaliers
- Nov. 27 at Celtics
That’s the team Irving spurned in free agency, the team Irving requested a trade from and the team Irving just left after pledging to re-sign. Those are juicy matchups. Hopefully, Irving is healthy enough to play in all three.
Ray Allen left the Celtics on bad terms in 2012. He finished his career with the Heat in 2014.
But Allen apparently could have come back with Boston in 2016… if Kevin Durant signed there first.
Allen, via Darren Hartwell of NBC Sports Boston:
“I had a conversation with (Ainge) and I told him this was my last-ditch effort. I would’ve went back,” Allen said on WEEI’s “Ordway, Merloni & Fauria” radio show.
“This was when Kevin Durant was a free agent. He was thinking about going to Boston. And I said, ‘Hey, if you guys land Kevin, I would certainly look at lacing them back up one more time and try to make something good happen here in Boston.’ “
This is a fascinating “what if?” – for the Celtics on the court and for Allen’s legacy in Boston.
But it also probably didn’t come close to happening. Durant said his top two choices in 2016 free agency were the Warriors and Thunder. Even Allen himself said he never neared a comeback.
Still, it’s interesting – after all the animosity – Allen even spoke to Celtics president Danny Ainge about returning.
Remember Luigi Datome? He spent a couple seasons with the Pistons and Celtics.
He makes an appearance in this wild video featuring Fenerbahce coach Zeljko Obradovic (warning: profanity):
A partial transcript the best I could muster:
YOU’RE GOOD GUYS. IN YOUR EYES, YOU’RE GOOD GUYS. F— YOU, EVERYBODY! F— YOU, OK!
F— YOU, GIGI DATOME. OK? SHAME ON YOU. AND YOU…
Festivus isn’t for another month, but someone is already ready for the airing of grievances.