An “Artest”ament to Greatness: Best Laker Defense Ever?

June 20th, 2010 by Ryan Skolnick Leave a reply »
When you think of the great Laker teams in history, you think of Jerry West's unbelievable court vision and Wilt Chamberlain's routine 30-40 point games. Magic Johnson's "Showtime" offense with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar also comes to mind. The early 2000s also comes to mind, where an overwhelming post presence in Shaquille O'Neal paired with the high-flying Kobe Bryant overwhelmed the opposition.

None of these teams however were noted for their dominating defense.

The 2010 Lakers could score, that was for sure, They had the best player in the NBA in Kobe Bryant, the premier power-forward in the NBA in Pau Gasol, a steady backcourt mate in Derek Fisher, and the best sixth-man in the NBA, sans Manu Ginobli, in Lamar Odom.

But when their usually high-flying offense was shut down against the brutish defense of Doc Rivers' Boston Celtics, the Lakers showed a side that I personally did not know even existed.

They beat the Boston Celtics at their own grind-it-out style.

Kobe Bryant took Rajon Rondo out of the game for long stretches at a time, while Pau Gasol and a crippled Andrew Bynum did a great job frustrating the Celtics' big men ...

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