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Coast To Coast

February 08, 2009|Mark Heisler

No, the Lakers' victory in Boston didn't lock up the NBA title. They won't even get a trophy for winning the season series.

However, they did rock the Celtics' world. Paul Pierce noted, "It's not the end of the world," suggesting that was how it felt.

After beating the Lakers to a pulp last spring, the Celtics thought they owned them -- making it dismaying when they don't, with Andrew Bynum out.

Lakers won nothing but Celtics lost a lot

Suggesting how surprised the Celtics were, Kevin Garnett noted ruefully:

"L.O. [Lamar Odom], watching film, he has not been this aggressive in 15, 10 games. That team looked a lot different than they did on film."

Cry me a river

Further suggesting their dismay, the Celtics, who have broken with tradition and become gracious -- off the floor -- were outraged that Derek Fisher got away with riding Ray Allen off course on the final play in overtime.

"The officials say they don't call the game different from the first quarter to the end," said Coach Doc Rivers. ". . . If that's true, Ray should have been on the free-throw line."

This just in: They call it different at the end. If the Celtics lost on a call for something that light, they would go home in ambulances.

The Boston Globe's Bob Ryan wrote that better referees than Leon Wood, Monte McCutcheon and Jim Capers were required.

I'd guess Jesus, Buddha and Moses could have worked the game and this loss would still be on Them.

Who's bad now?

The Celtics, who don't lead the league in technical fouls for nothing, went all out, Garnett jabbering in Odom's face and Rajon Rondo daring to shove Kobe Bryant as Rivers told TNT the referees "aren't letting us play our game" . . . which, presumably, would have been full-contact wrestling.

Afterward, however, Rivers said they were getting fouls for being "the retaliators." That would make the Lakers the aggressors, the greatest compliment of all.

Saturday, the league fined Rivers $15,000 for "verbal abuse" of officials during the game.

I couldn't have said it better

Not to pick on the Globe, which has a great section, but the rush onto the Internet has us all learning as we go.

The Globe's site has video interviews with transcripts produced by voice recognition software, which, readers are advised, may not be completely accurate.

This was Pierce:

"We've got to go out and execute and not turn the ball over and just play our game through all the adversity."

This was the transcript:

"We've got a glove and XQ. Nazi iron bar lower than you know display are against the islanders."

Meanwhile in a real disaster area...

If you think the Phoenix Suns are messed up now, just wait. They're so confused . . . or out of their gourds . . . they're shopping Amare Stoudemire, rather than Shaquille O'Neal or Steve Nash.

This looks like the work of Bob Sarver, who has messed up what Jerry and Bryan Colangelo built up since he bought the team. Sarver led the charge to get Shaq, who fits as well as he does in that TV ad in which he's a jockey, riding a horse that looks like a dachshund under him.

Stoudemire is a head case but he's 24. O'Neal and Nash are 36.

Happily for Sarver, he can soon build his own organization from scratch, or sell it back to the Colangelos.

-- Mark Heisler

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