LOS ANGELES -- It wasn't that the Celtics were doubling Kobe Bryant that was newsworthy. No, it was whom the Celtics were leaving open to double-team Bryant after their halftime adjustments that was newsworthy.
Having your defender leave you can be as much of an insult as an intentional walk when you're on deck in baseball. Both statements mean: we don't think you can beat us. And that was the message the Celtics were sending to Pau Gasol.
Gasol is an All-Star and happens to be the Lakers' most accurate shooter this season, at 56.7 percent. But he also became the symbol of the Lakers' fall against the Celtics in the NBA Finals last season: the scapegoat for angry Lakers fans, the willowy center who was punked by the Boston big man combination of Kevin Garnett, Kendrick Perkins...