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The Christmas party ends tonight

Boston (41 – 9) vs.
LA Lakers (39 – 9)
8:00 PM ET, TNT

Three things to watch for tonight:

  • The Lakers will be playing their fifth game in a six game road trip that has zigzagged across the country with stops in Minnesota, Memphis, New York and  Toronto. Not exactly an ideal traveling schedule. The good news for the Celtics is that besides the Lakers playing their 2nd game of a back to back, coming off a win last night in Toronto, they will be playing their fifth game in seven nights. The competition has not been challenging, with LA picking up wins against all four opponents so far — all sub .500 teams. However, none of the wins have been true blowouts until the end of the games with the starters logging major minutes in all of them, especially Pau Gasol who has averaged 43 minutes a game since Andrew Bynum went down. Knowing this, it won’t be surprising to see the Celtics have their foot on the gas from the beginning of this game with Rajon Rondo to try to run on and wear down what is likely to be a tired Lakers team.
  • As noted earlier, Gasol has seen increased playing time since Bynum went down and has been sure to reap the benefits posting huge lines averaging of 31 points and 14.5 rebounds in his last two games. It should be a different story in Boston tonight as Kendrick Perkins should make life tougher for Gasol down low. It will be interesting to see if the Celtics give any help to Perkins down low, and if a well rested Kevin Garnett will match up with Gasol at all when Lamar Odom, (who was inserted into the starting lineup at PF once Bynum got hurt) is out of the game. Gasol killed the Celtics down the stretch on Christmas Day, making several clutch plays down the stretch off of feeds from Kobe Bryant to wrap up that game for the Lakers. With Bynum not in there to clog up the lane however and take some attention off of Gasol, it will be intriguing to see how effective he is.
  • Who guards Kobe? The likely answer is a mix of Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, and Tony Allen, who in particular has always been a pest to Kobe when the two teams have matched up. Kobe has clearly taken more of the offensive burden once Bynum went down, attempting 28 shots last night after going for 61 points Monday night in MSG. It will be interesting to see if the Celtics try to double or trap Kobe or instead let him get his 30-35 points and key on shutting down the rest of the Lakers offense.
  • Laker Nation

    awfully quiet in here…

  • An increasing body of academic analysis implies that gaming strengthens imagination, decision-making and perception. The particular benefits are large varying, from superior hand-eye control in surgeons to imagination adjustments that increase night driving a car potential.People who played action-based video and computer online games conducted decisions 25% faster as compared to some people without affecting exactness, according to a report. Without a doubt, the most skillful game players could make decisions and act on all of them up to 6 times a second—four times quicker compared to the majority, other experts found. Additionally, practiced video game competitors will pay focus on more than 6 issues immediately without getting overwhelmed, compared with the four that somebody can typically remember, claimed University of Rochester researchers. The studies were conducted by themselves of the businesses that provide video and computer video games