Feb 09, 2012; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Celtics small forward Paul Pierce (34) looks for the rebound in the second half against Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard Kobe Bryant (24) and small forward Metta World Peace (15) at the TD Garden. The Lakers defeated the Celtics in overtime 88-87. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
Tonight, an old rivalry will be renewed between the Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers. Neither team has lived up to expectation this season, but each has been on a tear as of late.
The Celtics have won their last five games and the Lakers have won their last three. In the Lakers last seven games, they’ve won six of them. Their only loss game in a game where Michael Beasley decided to show how talented he was. You know, that one time per year where he does that.
Anyhow, these teams have been through similar struggles this year. The Celtics are only two games over .500 and the Lakers are two games below it. The Celtics are the 8th seed in the Eastern Conference and the Lakers are the 10th seed in the West.
Still, even with the records looking the way that they do, games between these two teams will never be considered small time. These are the two best franchises in NBA history. Each team has a remarkable history with some of the best players the game has to offer. One season isn’t going to change that.
As we know, the injury bug is prominent at this point in the year, but its hurt the Lakers all season long. Along injuries to their two top point guards, the Lakers have been battling the bug with their bigs most recently. Pau Gasol is out for tonight’s game and will be out for 6-8 weeks according to Yahoo! Sports Marc Spears.
The good news for Los Angeles is that Dwight Howard will return after a three game absence because of his torn labrum. Howard’s return comes with perfect timing as this is his first game against Boston in a Lakers uniform. It also comes after Kobe kind of urges Dwight to play through it.
Since then, Kobe has kind of backtracked off of that statement and said that he isn’t forcing Dwight to play, but you can see that there is something there.
Either way, Howard is on tap for tonight and the Celtics will have to do everything that they can to stop him.
I think this is going to be a high scoring game with both teams running up and down the floor. The Celtics are going to have to play this way because they aren’t as adept at halfcourt offense with Rajon Rondo out of the lineup.
This will probably be a really close game, but I think Boston will come out on top 103-97.