LOS ANGELES — In his pregame press conference, which lasted only seven minutes, Phil Jackson touched on what he thought was the definitive reason the Lakers lost to the Celtics in 2008.
“You know, I think some of it had to do with their defensive capabilities, their tenacity, their interior presence on the floor,” Jackson said. “Their momentum swing at Game No. 4 in the middle of the first half that changed the course of the game, I think, convinced them that they were able to beat us. And they carried it home.
“It’s still a very good defense,” Jackson continued later. “You know, they hired P.J. Brown late in the season that year in 2008, which gave them another quality defender with size and this team is a little different obviously with Rasheed Wallace who’s a shooter but yet a quality defender. But not quite as mobile as P.J. was. Obviously (Eddie) House and (James) Posey were tremendous three-point threats that really attacked us in a way that we didn’t recover in Game No. 6, and that was a big difference.”
He also responded with a quip to an L.A. Times article by former Minnesota Timberwolves general manager and Celtic great Kevin McHale, who said the Celtics had the coaching edge in the series.
“McHale gave ’em Kevin Garnett,” Jackson said. “Geez. That’s somebody calling the kettle black.”