The Boston Celtics handed the LA Lakers a loss less than ten days ago, and tonight the Lakers plan to even the score as they head to Boston in what is a rematch of last years NBA Finals.
Basketball fans will be treated to a game between two of the best and
you can bet it will be a bit personal on both sides of the ball due to LA’s
loss to the Celtics just over a week ago by a 109-96 margin and LA coach Phil
Jackson leveling a shot at Celtics power forward Kevin Garnett, suggesting he’s
a dirty player. That’s like noting
there’s a little bit of dirt in the pig pen but nonetheless, the Celtics will
take umbrage at the remark and rally around one of their own. It should be interesting theater on Causeway
Street Thursday night.
Celtics (38-13 SU, 23-25-3 ATS) are a team that has gotten it done this season
primarily on talent but gutting out the spate of injuries that has plagued the
team this season. At one point they had
to go with their 4th string center, Semih Erden, for 41 minutes
because the other three were on the shelf.
Aside from getting center Kendrick Perkins back in the fold, the
injuries continue to mount with Semih Erden shelved due to a
groin problem, Shaquille O’Neal battling an inflamed Achilles, Jermaine O’Neal
continues to miss time now opting for surgery on a knee injury that would not
respond to rehab, Delonte West still recuperating from a fractured wrist and
finally the vitally important 6th (or 7th) man off the Celtics
bench Marquis Daniels nursing a bruised spinal cord that he suffered during
Sunday’s game against the Magic. The
Celtics will get no pity from the Lakers.
Angeles Lakers (36-16 SU, 22-29-1 ATS) may be looking to pull the trigger on a
trade for Denver’s Carmelo Anthony but whether or not that does eventually
transpire will have no bearing on Thursday’s game against the Celtics, except
maybe in the psyche of Andrew Bynum, the carrot the Lakers are rumored to be
dangling. We’ll be curious to see if the
Melo-drama affects Bynum’s game.
Regardless, the Laker’s got a gritty win on the road Monday night when
they got a big game from Lamar Odom as he added 15 points and grabbed 11
rebounds to contribute to the Lakers 93-84 victory and a comfortable cover as 3 ½
point road favorites.
The Celtics have been sputtering lately due to
their lack of manpower. When they’re
rested and the big bodies have had time to rest and lick their wounds, all is
well. But the same can be said for any
team with the arduous schedule that the NBA presents. The Celtics’ short-handed woes were evident as
they faded in the 4th quarter of their 94-89 loss to the less
The Lakers on the
other hand are looking to dress the fresh wound that was last week’s loss to
the Celtics in front of their home crowd.
Payback may be a bitch but the key to a Laker’s win will be their big
advantage on the glass, averaging over 43 rebounds per game good for 3rd
in the league versus the 29th ranked Celtics with just over 38 as
well as taking advantage of a depleted and battered C’s bench.
My Pick - Watch Kobe and Company exact their revenge on