Lakers Need to Get Physical
James Posey Given a Free Lane to the Bucket. AP Photo/Winslow Townson
People around the city are bemoaning about the horrible job the referees are doing in the NBA Finals. One of the more outrageous conspiracy theories involves the refs deliberately calling the game against the Lakers so that the series would go a full seven games.
It’s amazing to hear how far people will go to justify the Laker’s awful play. Take this play for instance:
Or how about Sasha Vujacic taking the last shot of game two?
And let's not forget this Kevin Garnett put-back gem from game one.
These are just the highlights of the Lakers cowering in the corner while the Celtics force their will upon them. Not only is Kendrick Perkins and Kevin Garnett having their way in the paint, but Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo seem to be cutting and slashing the Laker's pitiful excuse of a defense.
It all starts with the Celtic's defense. They have frustrated the Lakers and prevented Lamar Odom and Kobe Bryant from getting into the paint. The Lakers are not able to get the proper spacing which leads to bad-look jump shots. And since no one can block out the Celtics defenders, the Celtics are getting all the boards.
And once the Celtics get in transition, they are getting great spacing with their jump shooters which allow lanes to be wide open. Even I would be able to drive the lane for an easy layup.
The Lakers need to be more aggressive. They need to pick up the tempo and create more screens for the ball handler. And most importantly they need to crash the boards.
The Lakers do deserve some credit in cutting down a 24-point defecit with seven minutes to go in the fourth quarter to four points. They took advantage of a Celtic's team that was playing not to lose and running out the clock.
If the Lakers want to make this series competitive, they just need to remember what got them to this point. Solid offense, swarming defense and a good dose of some aggression. If they do that, then the calls from the refs will come their way too.