After a tough Game 2 loss in which the Lakers struggled to execute down the stretch against the Celtics, L.A. boarded a 9 a.m. Monday flight to Boston in advance of Tuesday evening’s Game 3 in Beantown.
The team didn’t practice, but would meet to watch film at the team hotel, to which there was a police escort from the airport (getting to the Finals has its advantages).
Nonetheless, several of the players spoke after Sunday’s game, which sheds some light on the team’s mindset heading into Game 3.
Below are selected comments from Andrew Bynum, Derek Fisher, Ron Artest and Lamar Odom.
Q. How important is it that you’re out there just for keeping other guys in the rotation and Pau at the 4 spot?
ANDREW BYNUM: You know, it’s important for me especially to go out and get easy buckets for us and just protect our rotation and really understand how I can hurt this team going out and getting easy buckets, getting in an open position, shooting over the top. Defensively taking up space, clogging the lane and being able to help out like that.
Q. Talk about what you have to go through in therapy to get into the game, or is it you’re just going to play no matter what?
ANDREW BYNUM: I’m going to play no matter what. I’ve made that decision already. I’m ready to carry out, and I think on Sunday we’re going to come out focused and be able to really withstand the energy that they’re going to come out with because they realize that going down 2 0 is going to be catastrophical (sic). That’s our goal tomorrow, just get that win no matter what.
Q. (On his knee):
ANDREW BYNUM: I am, but it just depends on how much swelling is in there. When I’m limping it’s because the muscles aren’t firing correctly, which is why we want to get this done as quickly as possible, also.
Q. Is it getting worse?
ANDREW BYNUM: It’s getting a little bit more swollen day in and day out. But like I said, the treatment kind of suppresses it and keeps it to a level of where we can handle it.
Q. As far as the second game is concerned, if you play like you practice, you guys are ready to go.
DEREK FISHER: Well, we have to do a few things better than we did at practice today and even in Game 1. We’ll have to be better. But we’re definitely trying to make sure that we’re keeping our eyes on the prize and we’re staying really locked in on the things we need to accomplish out there on the floor. Today we got some good work in. Seems like the air was up a little bit higher so we all got a good sweat and got after it a little bit. It was fine.
Q. It will be a little more physical, too.
DEREK FISHER: I’m sure it will be. The referees will control the game in terms of making sure guys are playing basketball. It’s going to be physical, aggressive. Both teams are going to be really laying everything out there on the line. It’s a very important game. We’re not really resting on what we accomplished in Game 1. All of our focus is on this one game here tomorrow.
Q. How much does the officiating make you adjust as the game goes on?
DEREK FISHER: I mean, completely. The referees aren’t in control of necessarily how I play in terms of your focus, your attention, the things you’re trying to do out there. But if they decide to call a tighter game and make sure things don’t get out of hand, it’s something you have to adjust to and still try to figure out how to be effective out there on the floor, either. You have to trust if you get into a bad situation or you pick up a couple fouls extra that you have guys next to you that can pick up the slack and get the job done.
Q. (On improvements that need to be made):
DEREK FISHER: You know, I think just some of the things that aren’t related to shooting and who is getting the ball and what number a guy is, really I guess what we call the 50/50 balls, where the ball is free and the first team to it, who’s taking charge, who’s boxing out and getting rebounds, who’s setting good screens, all the little things that don’t really show up in the stats sheet but things that add up to success in basketball. I think those are the things you can continue to point to because the talent that lies on both teams, I think you’re going to see good basketball being played, but it’s going to be those little things that make the difference.
Q. How do you expect them to bounce back for Game 2?
RON ARTEST: I think they’re going to play real hard. You know, I think Perkins is going to settle down and adjust to the situation he’s in with the six techs, and I can see them playing better.
Q. How do you expect them to come out and play in Game 2?
LAMAR ODOM: I expect a tough game. I expect the game to be played underneath the basket. I think the referees did a great job of controlling the game, making the calls they needed to make so it didn’t get too out of hand. I expect another fun game.