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Magic wants Lakers to get tougher

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#1 MDI


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Posted December 20, 2008 - 12:29 AM


Magic Johnson says Lakers need to get tougher

The former Lakers great, and current minority owner, says the team will have much to prove in Christmas Day game against the Celtics, who are 'playing better on both ends of the court.'
December 20, 2008

Reporting from Miami and Mike Bresnahan -- Many observers think the Lakers need to show more toughness and shore up their defense.

One of their owners thinks so too.

Magic Johnson, who owns slightly less than 5% of the Lakers, said the onus was on the Lakers to show they could out-defend the defense-minded Boston Celtics in the much-hyped Christmas Day game at Staples Center.

"The Lakers have to prove to the Celtics and to themselves that they can handle the physical play of the Celtics," Johnson said, before referring to Game 6 of last season's NBA Finals. "That last beating that they took by 39 points, that should have left a sour taste in the Lakers' mouth. . . . To me, that was an embarrassment.

"Those guys have got to come out and really prove something to themselves and show the league that they are really ready to challenge the Celtics. Right now, the Celtics believe that the Lakers can't beat them. It's all about the Lakers on Christmas Day."

The Lakers started out among the league leaders in multiple defensive categories, though they have struggled in recent weeks to hold teams under 100 points.

They held the Miami Heat under 100 on Friday night but still lost, 89-87.

The Celtics, meanwhile, are second in the league in fewest points given up (90.3 a game) and lead the league in opponents' shooting percentage (41.3%).

"The Celtics are playing better on both ends of the court," said Johnson, who also works as an ESPN analyst. "You can just tell that they really want to repeat. The Lakers have been struggling big time on the defensive end, so they've got a lot of work to do to come up to where the Celtics are.

"If you break down the Celtics, they only really have one star defensive player in Kevin Garnett, but they play the best team defense that we've probably seen in a long time. Defense has always been in style and it will always be in style if you make a commitment to it if you really want to win the championship."

As for playing on Dec. 25, which he did three times with the Lakers?

"I loved it, and it didn't matter if we were on the road or not," Johnson said. "Just give me the basketball in my hand, and everybody watching me? Oh, man.

"I think, this Christmas Day, you are going to see both teams want each other. Just like back in the day, we wished we played more than two times during the regular season and these guys wish they played more than two games too."

Edited by MDI, December 20, 2008 - 12:30 AM.



Props to sidthekid871

#2 LALDynasty


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Posted December 20, 2008 - 12:32 AM

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Thanks TheBigFish for this great sig

#3 Guest_Chicano_*


Posted December 20, 2008 - 12:37 AM

As guy above me said, we, all Laker fans want it, but do the players want it? They keep insinuating they do, but they sure aren't showing it. Talk is cheap.

If things don't start changing quickly on this road trip, Christmas might get ugly, but on the positive side, IF the Lakers get killed, Odom may finally be gone.

#4 magicmoment


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Posted December 20, 2008 - 12:40 AM

I agree though.
I personally think that our record is muuuch better than what our play shows.
We're getting lucky in alot of our games. We really do need to get tougher.

#5 Guest_Chicano_*


Posted December 20, 2008 - 12:45 AM

Well, we will truly find out what this team is made of come Christmas day. We can lose a few games here & there even before it and of course I'd be pissed, but if the Christmas day game doesn't get these guys up, nothing will.

#6 Maddocks


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Posted December 20, 2008 - 01:04 AM

lakers need to punch teams in the mouth and strike fear. not punch people in the face and then say sorry right after.

I see faith in your eyes
never you hear the discouraging lies
broken is the promise, betrayal
the healing hand held back by deepened nail
follow the god that failed

#7 ILLWiLL20


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Posted December 20, 2008 - 01:04 AM

Hopefully Magic smacks some sense into them!!!

he is like the GodFather of the Lakers seriously :rock:
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#8 popo



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Posted December 20, 2008 - 01:25 AM

They will get tougher when Odom is gone.
Team Farmar

Team Pau

Team Ron Ron

#9 JavierLakerFan16


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Posted December 20, 2008 - 01:32 AM

lol wen i glanced at the title i thought it said "magic" the NBA team. i was about to say oh snaps they calling us out for 2morrows game LOL

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