The Lakers played "good enough to win, I guess", according to Kobe Bryant in his post-game interview with ESPN's Michelle Tafoya. I whole-heartedly agree with ESPN analyst Jeff Van Gundy who said that the way the Lakers played tonight, it's not good enough to get it done in Boston.

At the start of this series, I said that the Lakers transition offense would play a major factor. Tonight, the Lakers were able to get out and score some baskets in transition, including the big Kobe steal off of Paul Pierce and dunk the other way in the 4th quarter. Here are the first-half fast break highlights, and the Kobe steal at the end of the game,

It's funny, I just posted earlier today about how good defense leads to good offense. That was the Los Angeles Sparks from last night, same thing tonight with the Lakers.


You must stop the ball, rebound it, then outlet,

Mark Jackson says the play below was a gamble, a risky home-run play. I don't really see it that way, Garnett came to set a solid ball-screen on Kobe for Paul Pierce. The only play Kobe really could make from his position of getting screened was to reach around and attempt the deflection, which he did. To me, it was just a smart play by a smart player in the heat of the moment,


Do I think the Lakers can still win this series?? Absolutely. The problem is that the Lakers will not be able to come out gangbusters and get the same kind of early leads they've had in LA. They will probably have to play from behind, which means that they need to take good shots on offense and on defense, they must find a way to stop Paul Pierce's penetration in the lane. The Celtics, meanwhile, may regret not ending the Lakers here in Game 5, but if they can get a big early lead, they have the defense to close out the Lakers at home.

If you're interested in an unique look at the fast break, take a look at Stu Vetter's DVD on the Fast Break. Coach Vetter is the head coach at Montrose Academy (HS where Kevin Durant went to school) and has some great ideas on reducing dribbles when fast breaking. Join the many coaches already talking about their favorite basketball topics at the X's and O's Basketball Forum.