One of sports greatest rivalries, the Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers are once again at the forefront of the NBA. Here’s why the Houdini thinks the rivalry is back.
It’s been roughly a decade since rivalry between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics felt like the most important story-line in the NBA. Following LeBron James‘ decision to form a superstar trio with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, the east was dominated by the King.
Granted, the Celtics were very much part of the picture during his years in South Beach, having played the Heat in the 2011 and 2012 playoffs. The 2012 Eastern Conference Finals still stands as one of the great modern seven game series, with James’ game six outburst the stuff of legend.
That said, they were the doormat of the “king” in his eight-year run of winning the Eastern Conference championship. To their credit, they were at least competitive.
The Lakers have had a far rougher decade since the two teams met in the 2010 NBA Finals. In 2011, the Lakers were unceremoniously swept in the second round of the west playoffs. 2012 brought a similar result, with the Lakers falling to the Thunder in just five games.
That was the last playoff action that Kobe Bryant ever saw and an injury depleted 2013 Lakers team couldn’t muster a single victory against the San Antonio Spurs. Since that series, the Western Conference playoffs have been without the second most historically dominant franchise in NBA history.
Now, though, the tide has turned. If/when the season returns, both the Lakers and Celtics will be back in the playoff picture, with the possibility of once again squaring off in the Finals realistically on the table.
With both teams winning once again, it is safe to say that the rivalry is back. Here are three reasons why that is the case: