The Vaunted Lakers Defense
June 9, 2008

I’ve been driving the Leon Powe bandwagon since day 1… but even I can acknowledge his limitations.  For instance… there’s no way in hell that Leon Powe should go coast-to-coast, untouched, when 3 Lakers are already on the defensive end of the court.

Leon got the ball about 90 feet away from the basket.  Notice where Pau Gasol is after a couple of dribbles.

leon powe

So Pau is just turning around… and he is clearly looking at Leon. 

leon powe

In the time it took Leon to get over half court… Pau has moved 5 feet.  As an added bonus, Sasha Vujacic is on the block.  They should get over to clog that lane… except.

leon powe

Pau moved about 2 feet and Sasha did little more than pivot… leaving Leon Powe to elevate for an easy 2 handed slam.  This might be the most embarrassing, pathetic thing I’ve seen.  Leon is not blazing fast.  He’s a bulky power forward.  Yet he took the ball 90 feet… and Gasol and Vujacic stood there and watched him go by them like he was Clyde Drexler.  In a game the ended up getting cut to 2 points… you can look back on this and say this was HUGE for the Celtics.

The Celtics relaxed in the 4th and LA got ridiculously hot.   The Celtics almost paid dearly for going 7 minutes without playing D.  But the Lakers have paid dearly twice for disappearing on the defensive end.  It’s what we’ve been saying since the Pau Gasol trade happened.  Defense wins championships… he plays almost none… and neither do most of the Lakers.  And I’ll tell you this for sure:  You won’t see another 41 point quarter out of the Lakers in this series.

One other note… we saw “Bad Kobe” for most of the game again last night.  Lots of forced shots… mainly on the perimeter… virtually no passing.  It took him 23 shots to get to 30 points… while it took Paul Pierce 16 shots to get to 28.  No defense plus “Bad Kobe” equals bad… bad things for Los Angeles.

Herald:  Celtics hold Powe-sition  |  Leon’s work helps C’s hold serve  |  Pierce puts hurt to Lakers  |  Little comfort in 2-0 lead  |  Rondo, teammates, offer ample assistance  |  Foul treatment irks Lakers  |  Time is right for Celtics  |  Al Jefferson Perks up  |  Doc, Phil opposing benchmarks of success  |  Max’s famous line a little mis-quoted  | Stern is a fan of this matchup  |  Pierce proving incomparable for C’s  |  DJ’s overlooked deeds a shame  |  Globe: Survivor: Boston  |  Ryan: X marks the spot for Powe  |  2 down, 2 to go  |  Game 2 photos  |  This ‘Wolve joins the pack  |  Knee no problem for Pierce  |  Bryant’s night:  Seething and disbelieving  |  Rivers fires praise Rondo’s way  |  Jackson questions disparity at line  |  Rondo’s Blog:  We’re up 2-0  |  TrueHoop:  Laker Nation vs. Referees  |  Camerato:  Lakers out Powe-red  |  Souza:  Powe-red to victory  |  Megliola:  C’s defend their house, in dramatic fashion  |  SI:  Thomsen-don’t count Lakers out yet  |  Pierce the hero again  |  ESPN Daily Dime:  Surprise Hero  |  Plaschke: Something foul in Boston