Smack / Jan 3, 2011 / 2:37 am

Lakers get mauled by Grizzlies; Rajon Rondo returns for Celtics

Rudy Gay, Dime #57

Rudy Gay, Dime #57

The last time the Grizzlies played the Lakers at the Staples Center, Rudy Gay quietly tortured Ron Artest while the rest of his team was dominated in every phase of the game. Last night, Rudy dropped buckets on Ron-Ron again, but his teammates backed him up while handing L.A. an embarrassing 19-point blowout loss where the home team got booed … After missing his last game with a stomach flu, Gay (27 pts, 3 stls) was making the Lakers sick on Sunday. He gave ‘em the full repertoire of inside, mid-range and outside shots, then punctuated it in the fourth quarter with transition dunks that hurt the rim. Artest had his hands so full defensively that he only managed to take two shots and was non-existent in L.A.’s offense … The box score says Kobe Bryant (28 pts) shot the ball 22 times and no one else on the Lakers had more than 9 attempts. But that didn’t speak as loudly as Phil Jackson, whose post-game press conference was full of subtle and blatant criticisms of his superstar: (1) “Trying to do too much with the basketball is basically what we’re trying to do. Teams are double-teaming, coming to help, we have to move the ball.” (2) “The game got to a point where we didn’t use our strength, which is our inside players.” (3) “Tonight Kobe screwed up the game by giving his energy to going one-on-one.” Do with it what you will … Rajon Rondo returned to the Celtics lineup against Toronto. Five minutes in, he pulled off his signature behind-the-back fake to freeze Jose Calderon and drop in a layup, and all day Rondo (4 pts, 8 asts) showed the difference between simply passing the ball and actually making plays happen … It also didn’t hurt Boston that Paul Pierce was making everything he threw up. Pierce (30 pts) knocked down three treys and some circus shots, and delivered a double facial on Amir Johnson and Joey Dorsey. Pierce’s only misstep came in the closing moments of the fourth quarter, when he went up for a dagger breakaway dunk and came down limping on his ankle …

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  • BRUCE

    Wzup with the Lakers?

  • BRUCE

    Mike Dunleavy, Josh McRoberts, Jeff Foster and Tyler Hansbrough equal the KKK.

    Jimmy Jackson, Jason Kidd and Jamal Mashburn in Dallas equal TONI Braxton!

  • BRUCE

    PS — Don’t forget Popeye Jones either!

  • BigWill

    I don’t understand what Phil want Kobe to do he was trying to get his team back in the game cause they weren’t doing bleep and he got em back to 2 points and he had to come out and they kept palyin like bleep

  • Rizwan

    Holy shit, that was an awful loss for the Suns. That 4th Q was brutal. I’ve officially been converted to the school of thought = Trading Nash and blowing this up. Hopefully we can score some nice future pieces and Sarver doesnt sell the draft pick.

    I’m at a loss at the Lakers. I dont understand. Yeah, playoffs is where you win or lose but surely last season ought to show that seeding is important as well. If the Cavs or Magic had got through, we might not even be talking about a three-peat. I love Kobe, but dude has to chill. He ought to be second option during the meat of the games and take over down the stretch. Still the favourites to win though.

    Look at that! GM fuck ups Kahn and Wallace did something right. Kahn didnt trade Kevin Love and Rudy Gay was locked up. I know Rudy isnt a max guy but I’d rather be paying him then say AI2. He has been impressive this season.

  • UncheckedAggression

    I think it’s absolutely insane that Kobe still plays like this so late in his career. It’s like he’s incapable of playing team ball.

    “Whatever, he’s got five rings! Shows what you know!”
    –Stop it with these BS comments. Yes, he has five rings. The incredible thing is that those Laker teams won DESPITE his selfishness, not because of it. It looks like this is another season (like Shaq’s last year in LA) that will require Kobe to figure this shit out if he wants to win the championship. So what are you gonna do, Kobe? Go down in a blaze of glory, complaining about having to do it all? Or are you going to finally step aside and admit that the reason this team is built for championships lies in the paint?

  • Bizz

    For those who wanted to see Paul Pierce’s cram.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZBkg2lj9fjA

    FRIGGIN DISGUSTING…worthy of a dunk of the year candidate.

  • FIrst & Foremost

    I say let Kobe make mistakes. He has been through the fire. If he chooses to play like he doesn’t want a 6th ring that is his business.

  • FIrst & Foremost

    On another note, Yao Ming and Greg Oden would be monsters on the paralympic curcuit.

  • IGP

    Black people don’t join frats or something? Or was that just another white person joke?

  • citizen B

    “Danny Granger isn’t on that level yet, but he does kind of own the Knicks.”

    …Who doesn’t?

  • Arno

    Jackson is not the only Laker letting bad things happen till the guys will accept to do what it takes to get out of the hole : Pau Gasol is playing as if he was on strike.

    But Kobe is certainely not the only culprit. Artest is awful and Fisher is tired.

  • QQ

    Lakers really wanting everybody to hate them. Damn… And yeah people are saying they are a crappy team…. because they’re playing like one right now. Can’t blame the peeps.

    Still. I see San Antonio do this before. The Celts last year. Champs aint champs for nothing.

  • karizmatic

    The MO State women only took one shot that wasn’t a 3? That’s the most ridiculous part…lol.

  • karizmatic

    I mean made one shot that wasn’t a 3.

  • http://www.weakshit.org Chicagorilla

    @QQ, While i agree that some champs dont play like it during the reg season, there is a major difference in the way this Laker team is losing vs past champs. All the other teams played like a well oiled machine that needed to work out the kinks by playoff time. This Laker team on the other hand, thanks to Kobes selfishness, looks out of whack. Last season a lot of you were saying that Pau Gasol was the hands down best big man in the NBA. If thats true (which i dont personally believe) then doesnt that make Kobe the biggest a-hole in the L? If Pau does have a post game equal to Kevin Mchale(which he doesnt) like many of u suggested, then he should get at least 20 FGAs per game playing in the triangle offense which is designed to run through the post. Side note: i just saw shannon brown in monicas video…that boy has blown up!

  • That’s What’s Up

    Lakers are taking some brutal beatings on their home court.
    19 points to the Bucks, 16 points to the Heat, 19 points to the Grizzlies… I hope it never ends.

  • http://www.weakshit.org Chicagorilla

    As for the womens game? This is whats wrong with the NCAA womens game, they are way too top heavy… no pun intended. They are essentially AAU teams where the cinderella teams NEVER have a chance of beating the big dogs. Which is why the UCONN record is so whack. I dont think they played Tenn once during that 89 game win streak. That would never happen in any sport where the two top powers dont face eachother for 90 games. Except witg Money May and Pacman lol. And while this Notre Dame team wins by 70pts, the flucked up thing is they would prolly lose by 20pts to UCONN or Baylor. Thats jusu how big the talent gaps are.

  • Rafa23

    The funny thing about Kobe is he gets portrayed as a now more efficient team player. he may trust his teammates a bit more now, but then goes through games where he just wants to get his.
    and for the efficiency part? that’s the #1 reason for me why he isn’t better than Jordan(or Magic and Bird). the guy has NEVER shot over 50% for a season. he is besically a great volume shooter.and we see it again this season.

  • QQ

    @ chi

    I would’ve agreed with you if you said that to me before last year’s playoffs, cat. Before the Celts played and totally destroyed any doubts bout them.

    That Celts team were BAAAAAD in that reg season. Old, no effort, just flat out tired. And I was one of those haters. I mean come on, a squad with tired veterans led by a PG who can’t shoot. Rondo? Seriously? Didn’t you too hate that cat like he’s a Noah clone?

    So there it is. Until I see the Lakers flame out in the playoffs, I wouldnt call them toast. Blame last year Celts for that.

  • Stunnaboy2K11

    @QQ

    I agree 100% fam, the C’s were horrible but when the real season started they just clicked and blew up. The only thing about the Lakers that worry me is the fact that there is some internal beef. Kobe and teammates, Kobe and Phil etc.

    Once again we’ll see what happens in the playoffs.

    If Pierce misses time with this ankle, I’m gonna be PISSSSED.

  • Claw

    @Rizwan – Suns game was brutal down the stretch they kept taking 3s and missing them. Nash needs to take over more offensively he is deferring to the new guys but they are just not in the flow on the offensive end. They do look better on D, and Gortat is patrolling the paint but the offense is out of whack.

    Don’t the Lakers do this every year, where Kobe jacks shots, Gasol pouts, Ron Ron gets out of his happy place and Phil Jackson just sits back and smiles.

    Lot of injuries this last week.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mr.brogden MR. BROGDEN

    i aint got nuttin to say of import.

    except.

    JEREMY PARGO SHOULD BE GETTIN’ SOME DIMEMAG LOVE FOR THAT CROSSOVER AND BANG HE JUST DID.

    nuff said.

  • control

    “and came down limping on his ankle…” I’m surprised it doesn’t read “and came down in a wheelchair and wheeled off into the sunset…”. PP is like a rape victim, every time something comes close to reminding him of a previous injury, it’s like he’s reliving it and has a seizure or something. Guy is a douchebag. Some of those bump fouls he got were WEAK. The one on Jose…come on, Jose doesn’t play defense and would even WANT to touch a guy while he’s pretending to play defense…how does he get called for a foul?

    Kobe isn’t on the same level of selfishness that AI was on…but damn he’s getting close lately. He’s gotta take sometime off, heal up and then come back thinking he’s a play maker instead of a scorer. It’s absolutely amazing how Pau isn’t getting 12+ shots a game, every game…and Kobe as the “leader” of the team should see that and ensure whatever needs to be done, gets done.

  • NYK

    it’s time to blow up the lakers and trade kobe to the knicks, gasol to celtics and odom to magic.

    let’s see you win with that, miami!

  • Big Island

    Laker hater here, but they’ll be fine. Kobe is an ass, but they ran Gasol into the ground waiting for Bynum to come back. I’m afraid they’ll hit their stride after the AS break…

    Control – LOL about the PP comment.

  • Spur-Antonio

    @Stunnaboy etc.

    Didn’t the Celtics have an excuse last year, cause they had injuries all year (not that everybody doesn’t), had to work with different line ups and were supposedly resting their players (or at least didn’t want them to come back to soon from their injuries and overexert themselves)?

    What’s the Lakers excuse and reason so far?

    I don’t think it’s the same.

  • JAX

    @Big Island – you hit it brotha. Also, people have to understand that this team has been on constant “must-see” for the past 3 years. Not just on the court but off of it. I believe they’re a bit burnt out. And you have to give credit to the rest of the NBA. In the 80’s, it wasn’t just Bird vs. Magic (though it ended up that way, mostly). There were more TEAMS. That trend seems to be on the way back. The LakeShow needs to get back to understanding that, as far as being a team.

  • K Dizzle

    Memphis?
    LOL!
    Bad loss. I don’t care how it’s twisted. Good thing is that Memphis always plays LA tough so I’ll say they were clickin and the Lakers are just in a “We really don’t give 2 Phucks cuz once the games count, we’ll actually play like we care” mode. NBA’s changed. Old cats/vets don’t really care about leavin it all out there for the fans’ dollars cuz it’s gettin to the stage where these teams wait till the playoffs then turn it on. Nobody shittin on Duncan for lookin average this year cuz he’s smart enough to let Manu, TP and……GARY NEAL do the heavy liftin but ain’t no doubt he’ll be there in May and June.

    Kinda glad Phil cut loose cuz
    1) only Phil can shit on Kobe and
    2) ONLY Phil can shit on Kobe lol

    On to the next…

  • BostonGuy

    @Chicagorilla

    I don’t think Kobe can ever give up the notion that he’s the best player on the team. Yeah. He’ll do it sometimes or for a while (maybe even a year or so) to appease the media and his critics. But (HEY!) a snake, is a snake, will always be a snack right? He is the Black Mamba supposedly after all? Kobe gotta do what a black Mamba do. And that’s strike and kill, again and again and again. It’s just in his nature.

    The problems is, last that I know snakes don’t work in teams. They always strike alone!

  • B-BallMaestro

    @Jax

    I think you hit on a good point.

    A lot of people like to say the NBA is less talented (mmhhh Lebron). But I think it’s the opposite.

    I think the NBA has a lot more talent now. It’s just spread out amongst different teams. Look at all the good players that play on average or losing teams?

    The problem is, though the talent is good. But because these players are not staying in college anymore, they don’t know how to play and still have to learn the ropes. Therefore (minus a few exceptions) they don’t win right away.

    Nonetheless, though their not winning right away, these teams can beat you any day if your a good team and don’t bring your a game, cause of talent (i.e. Rudy gay, Zach Randolf and Mike forgot his name, who for a game can be as good or better than Kobe, Pau and Derick Fisher).

    The good teams just can’t take days offs against the Minnesota’s, Sacramento’s, Memphis’s, Indiana’s, Clippers, Golden States, etc.

    LA may or may not be able to turn it on come playoffs as many Laker fans feel. I guess we’ll all find out this spring/summer?

  • B-BallMaestro

    On my last post.

    I don’t want to say outright that there’s better overall talent now. But there’s definitely talent across the board and very talented players on average or bad teams today.

    Today there is a definite deficit in big men. The big men today aren’t better than they were in the 80’s and nineties (though the power forwards now are more skilled), cause the centers today are absolutely abysmal. There are none; minus the always hurt Yao Ming and the offensively developing Dwight Howard. Of course there appears to be more great point guards today. And I feel the small forward and 2guard talent is equal.

    Like I said, THE REAL PROBLEM TODAY IS, the league is younger and lot of these guys can’t play and develop their skill or come with developed skills (outside of the big young stars). So instead today, we have bad teams, NOT CAUSE OF BAD TALENT, but because the kids can’t play and don’t know the game and it’s fundamentals as well!!

    But because these bad teams have talent, they can still beat a good team when they execute and play good defense for a game. That’s what separates the good and bad teams today.

    That’s my take.

  • FIrst & Foremost

    Hands Down… this site has the best commenters.

    As for the NCAA womens team that got thoroughly plowed. There is a reason 6 of 7 shots you made came from behind the arc. That 2-3 zone must have been a killer. They were letting them shoot 32 30-footers.

    The difference between past Spurs and present Lakers was that when the Spurs went down, they had no depth. That experience those guys had, George Hill mostly, has now given the Spurs the depth they need.

    The Lakers are shallower that Hal. You make Odom a starter and they have bigs coming off the bench. Blake is aight but the triangle doesn’t focus on the pg spot. Barnes is a more fluid looking Artest.

    Artest CANNOT play football. Have you seen that guy run?

    Final point, Last year every other headline was Lakers rout [insert name] with massive frontline. Bynum & Pau double doubles, Odom with 10-6-4, and Kobe’s 18 to 24 points. FREE PAU!

  • Ian

    control
    at least iverson had the excuse that he didnt have anyone to pass to (not defending ai i think hes madly overrated) kobe fucks up with great teammates. dude should have at least 7 rings by now with the teams the lakers have put around him.

    kdizzle
    no ones shitting on duncan cuz they are winning people are shitting on kobe and the lakers cuz he shooting them outta games.

  • FIrst & Foremost

    Exactly control…

    Honestly, the style of play kobe is doing right now is the same thing that almost cost him game 7. Had it not been for LA’s strength IN THE PAINT Boston would have won easily. 28 shots for 21 points while NO ONE else is in double figures. Playing with someone like that throws off everything. The first time other players get the ball they will shoot it or force something because they might never get it again. So you have role players forcing things because no one can trust the ball movement.

    Sidenote… these Laker slides happened shortly after Pau got his triple double. Someone just can’t share the spotlight.

  • the cynic

    Rudy Gay has been impressive this year, not sure why everyone shits on his contract. So he is a little overpaid; who isn’t overpaid in the NBA?

  • NYC Baller

    Somebody above derogatorily said that Kobe was a volume shooter, cause he has a career 45% shooting percentage and never shot 50% (don’t know if that’s true, but I believe it). 50% career avg is not always possible for a guard.

    How about at least 47, 48 or 49 % for a career percentage, up until this point (until it really starts to decline, if he keeps shooting at this rate the next several years)of his career? And how about 50% in his best years?

    But damn! 45%? Kobe ain’t nothing but a volume shooter, that gets bailed out by Shaq, Pau, Bynum (only cause of his size on defense & penetration) and Artest (last year)!

    Let’s be honest! Kobe is a chucker!

  • NYC Baller

    Kobe should be in the Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen phase of his career, where numbers and always being the DeFacto man is unimportant to winning! Those guys get it and have a whole lot less championships than Kobe. But the guy never learns. He always wants to be Da Man is seems!!???

    Kobe is lucky enough that he plays with such great size and skill (Pau,Odom) and size (Bynum) that very few NBA teams can match up. Kobe just cleans up the rest and the mess!! I didn’t even include Shaq several years ago either.

    The man definitely wins. But he’s not a winner!!

  • http://n/a Heaven is a Playground

    Why are people hatin on Kobe? The guy dropped 81 points in a game and served up Dirk and Mavs 63 points in 3 quarters before Phil Jax sat him for the entire 4th quarter. Kobe had more points then the Mavs team by the 3rd quarter. Sheet I dislike Kobe but damn give the man the respect he deserves.

  • QQ

    Kobe is an ass right now, I have to admit. But seeing these comments…. damn.

    I wont even defend Kobe… But these were the same comments bout Rondo and the Celts last year. Same hate. Same poison. I didn’t hate Rondo, but I certainly thought the Celts were toast.

    Then Rondo led his team to a Finals. Then the vets became HOF players again.

    Then… everyone was silent.

    Lesson learned: I will shut up now, and talk later… WHEN IT MATTERS.

  • UncheckedAggression

    QQ-I don’t think you’re getting the point. The point is, Kobe is playing now like he always has. He’s never adjusted well to anything (yet people insist he has a “high basketball IQ”. And now when he clearly isn’t even the best player on his own team, he won’t change to give his team a better chance at winning. He lucked out last year because the Lakers were so much better than everyone else, which came from the fact that they dominated the paint. This year, it might not be enough. He may need to take on a lesser role for himself if he truly wants to win another championship. But Kobe has never demonstrated that he will make any sacrifices that will affect his legacy (at least in his mind). From watching Kobe throughout his entire career, this is what I think: he would rather take a chance at glory and lose than give another player on his team a chance to have that glory and win. And that’s just sad.

    So no, QQ. The Lakers were good enough last year to win despite Kobe’s serious flaws. Maybe it’s the same situation this year. But the only way he could make us all look stupid is if he won the championship by adjusting to the role that gives the Lakers the best chance at winning. Otherwise it’s just the team carrying him, not the other way around.

    Also, has anyone noticed that the Lakers do better with Kobe off the floor than when he’s on? Look it up on 82games. Then look at what happens when Gasol is sitting.

  • Ian

    unchecked
    ived noticed that everytime kobe sits didnt they win all their games last year that he missed?

    so dizzle i forgot to mention the reason why td is taking a back seat is because he knows he isnt the best spur anymore and he wants to win same thing d robinson did. now kobe doesnt get that gasol should be the one taking 80 shots. before gasol hater start to talk bs with how did gasol do with the grizzs well let me tell you that he did as well as kobe with the shaqless lakers.

  • QQ

    @ 41: The only point is… I dont want to hate on a champ. The Celts made me look like a fool last year, and I learned my lesson.

    About Kobe…. I’m a Kobe fan, and I have to admit, he’s being this selfish prick right now. I mean, I wouldn’t even argue bout that.

  • K Dizzle

    “The man definitely wins. But he’s not a winner!!”
    Could this get some kinda award for dumbest quote ever?

    @ Ian – Understood. No lie that when the Lakers were killin early on, Pau was the league mVP. Problem is he ran outta gas. I was sayin for weeks that Pau playin 40+ minutes a game is not a good look. His decrease of production was happening way before Kobe started throwin up shots. I’m not mad at Kobe cuz this is all he knows. When the team is strugglin, he goes into Kill Mode and shoots us to wins. Unfortunately, he’s not 28 anymore aand it’s not 2006 so those crazy 50, 60 , 81 point games aren’t coming. He’ll figure it out like he usually does. Laker Fan Panic Mode? Probably about a 5 outta 10