LOS ANGELES — Kendrick Perkins is the big news of the day here at Staples Center, but there’s still a game to be played tomorrow night. With that we bring you the news and notes from the last practice sessions for the Celtics and Lakers during the 2009-2010 season.
The severity of Perkins’s injury and the gravity of Game 7 would seem to necessitate a heavy mood, but the mood seemed light as the players put in their final day of work before the biggest game of their lives. Lakers players Jordan Farmar, Ron Artest, Adam Morrison, and Sasha Vujacic played “Knockout” from the three-point line as practice wound down. The game was won by Farmar, who was part of a Los Angeles bench that outscored the Celtics bench 29-13 in Game 6. The play of the bench represented a total team effort by the Lakers.
“After losing Game 5, we have been in a position since then that was not very complicated,” said Lakers guard Derek Fisher. “It was pretty simple. You have to win the next game or your season is over, and not over in a way you’d like it to be. You know, as opposed to kind of, I guess, starting to become selfish and kind of bunker mentality … we need to just come together even more.”
The pressure of the game will likely get to some of the players. Shots will be missed — and made — because of it. Celtics captain Paul Pierce said he expects the pressure will work to his advantage.
“I just love the pressure truthfully, man,” said Pierce. “I love the fact that I get to play against the Los Angeles Lakers in a Game 7 on the road. I love the fact that if I don’t win multiple championships that I probably won’t be mentioned amongst the other guys in Celtic history that’s done it before. That type of stuff motivates me. That type of stuff, I think, helps me play at my best when I’m put to that type of test. To win another championship would be the best thing that can ever happen.”
Some highlights from today’s media session:
— Celtics forward Glen Davis on what he wants the outcome of Game 7 to be:
“I want to be on a float taking my shirt off, screaming, celebrating a championship. I want to be on a float next Monday. It’ll be probably Sunday or Monday.”
— Ray Allen on his approach to Game 7:
“I think it’s a whole bunch of those emotions that you throw in the pot and mix them around. As a team, as individuals, I don’t want to be sitting around in July having to ask myself, ‘Did I do everything that I could have done? Have any regrets? I don’t want to be that person. I want to do everything I can to leave it all on the floor.”
— Doc Rivers on Game 7:
“It’s the ultimate players’ game. The one I — unfortunately I’ve coached in a lot of them over the last few years, or fortunately. I’ve always thought Game 7 is the ultimate player game. It’s the game that all the things you’ve worked on all year, you have to do it and execute it and trust and play. You know, there’s going to come a time maybe where a timeout is important and an adjustment may be important. And Chuck Daly always said it’s the make-miss game. The league is a make-miss league. But especially Game 7. It comes down to makes and misses. And on the misses, on their misses, make sure they don’t get another opportunity to have a make, and that’s what they come down to.”
— Rivers on whether or not he has been satisfied with the play of Rasheed Wallace this season:
“Yeah, I’m very happy at this moment that we have signed him, there’s no doubt about that, because we’re going to need him. We’re going to need him big tomorrow. His experience will help. You know, and we’ll just see how many minutes he can go. Him and Baby and Shelden and Scal and Marquis, we’ll figure it out.”