Sunday, January 31st, 2010
The Jungle – Boston, MA
3:30 PM ET Tip
View on: ABC
I will start off by saying there will be no lack of emotion to this game. If the Celtics take the lead, you better believe they will not stop until that lead is as high as they can get it. You won’t see any 3rd or 4th quarter collapses today. If there were 1 way to turn around the previous 2 losses this past week that were handed to the Celtics, it would be beating the Lakers at home. Not on the road, but at home. There would be nothing to lift the spirts of the teams / fans than to celebrate a victory over LA. That would be A) a confidence builder and B) a step back in the right direction. Expect the Garden to be loud, and expect the Celtics to fight with all they’ve got.
The Lakers come in with the SECOND best record, just behind the Cavs. As you can tell, this is going to be a biased Preview, but then again you are on a biased site. We are not ESPN, Laker fan. I just really hope we don’t see Kobe limping around the court after his little “injury” the other night he received by playing the 76ers. Or maybe we will see him grab his finger from that huge injury he had about a month ago that he had such a strong fight, and determination to battle through games. No but really, what I do want to see is the Celtics beating the crap out of the Lakers, and watching Kobe suddenly turn on his team mates. He seems to be very quick at that. When all is going good he praises his team and this in that. Then when things go bad, its not his fault, its everyone elses. I want to see that side of Kobe today, for if we do, theh Celtics are handing it to the Lakers.
Do I expect the Celtics to win, after their past 2 performances? You bet. Not to make excuses or anything, but the Celtics won the game in Orlando, looked past the Hawks because all they really cared about was this matchup, and will come in focused to todays game. Hopefully the Lakers are set to get a taste of what they are to get an entire platter of come June.
Since I tend to work my Zen, or Xzen, or Xen, or however it is you spell it or whatever it is, I won’t even begin to try and make a prediction as to what the outcome of this game will be. What I do know is, the Lakers have not yet been tested in the atmosphere they will walk into tomorrow. In fact, they have not been tested in a place like what they will see tomorrow in probably about a year. I’m not talking just the fans, but as well the level of intensity and what rides on this game. Of course this win means much more to the Celtics than it does the Lakers. But guess what? The Celtics said that same thing last year and it turns out those 2 losses to the Lakers meant a whole lot more than we had hoped. Specifically, the loss to the lakers on Christmas was like a thorn in the Celtics butt. That was the end of their winning streak, and they struggled mightly directly after that.
When all is said and done, yes it is a regular season game, and yes it only counts for 1 win or loss, just like it would if the Celtics were to play the New Jersey Nets. All of that is very true, yet this isn’t about the win or loss anymore. It is now about the mentality of the fans / team as we begin to look forward. The Hawks, and Magic games mean nothing anymore. This game is the ultimate measuring stick for the Celtics because without question, the Lakers are at the top rung. We’ll look for the Celtics to knock em down a peg and begin to get a glimpse at what it is exactly that they are capable of.
(All Pictures via my.nba.com)