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Game 47/82: Celtics (35-11) @ Lakers (33-14) Open Thread

 

Boston at Los Angeles
3:30 PM
Staples Center
ABC

Offensive Efficiency:
Boston: 108.0 points/100 possessions (12th)
Los Angeles: 112.6 points/100 possessions (1st)

Defensive Efficiency:
Boston:
100.1 points allowed/100 possessions (2nd)
Los Angeles: 104.7 points allowed/100 possessions (8th)

Probable Los Angeles starters: Derek Fisher (PG), Kobe Bryant (SG), Ron Artest (SF), Pau Gasol (PF), Andrew Bynum (C)

View from the Opposing Bench: Forum Blue and Gold

Thumbnail: Am I the only one that thinks this game is meaningless?  Maybe I am just subconsciously hedging my bets.  On paper, there is no way Boston wins this game.  The Lakers are at home where they are 18-6.  The Celtics are in the midst of a daunting West Coast road trip that has already included an incredibly physical game (Portland), an emotionally-draining/embarrassing loss (Phoenix) and now they have to face the defending Champs.  To add injury to insult,  Glen Davis is doubtful for today’s contest with a strained left hamstring.  This reality puts the exclamation point on the Lakers’ ex-factor and definitive edge in this game: Lamar Odom. 

Now with Glen Davis out (or otherwise at less than full strength), the man who is primarily entrusted to keep Odom in check, the Celtics are in primed position to be the recipient of a Lamar Odom rebound/dunk/three point shot maelstrom.  The Celtics only chance at salvaging this game from its impending wreckage is to match or surpass the Lakers’ energy level.  Lamar Odom going off today is only slightly more likely than Lamar Odom taking himself out of the game, being lulled into taking long jumpers, and being passive on the glass.  That’s just who Lamar Odom is; the “should-have-been.”

Today’s game may have not been “over before it began” for much of the week, but it has certainly been overblown.  Before the dust of Friday night’s dust-up even settled ESPN Boston’s Chris Forsberg was out in full force with a barrage of coverage, food-for-thought, and other useful/less tidbits.  Matt Moore writing for one of his umteenth blogs (NBA Facts and Rumors) wrote a pretty sweet primer for today’s game but again, in light of the loss on Friday all the coverage seems just way too much.  In all reality, the Celtics are in prime position to get trounced and will in all likelihood.

WHAT THE LAKERS DO WELL:

Offense. The Lakers are the best offensive team in the league right now mostly due to how well they shoot the ball and how well they take care of it.  The Lakers are 8th in the league in effective field goal percentage at 51.3% and only turn it over on 12.8% of each 100 possessions.

Frontline. The Lakers have the most impressive frontline in the NBA with the combination of Andrew Bynum, Pau Gasol, and Lamar Odom.  Due to this personnel, the Lakers are fifth in the league at grabbing available offensive rebounds.  See Game 7 of the NBA Finals for more damning evidence of how good they are in this department.

WHAT THE LAKERS DO POORLY:

DRR. For all their strength on the frontline the Lakers are a below average defensive rebounding team only snagging 72.6% of available defensive rebounds.  This won’t exactly help the Celtics seeing as how the rank 30th in the league in securing available offensive rebounds.

Consistency. The Lakers have been one of the most up-and-down elite teams this season sparking public condemnation from Lakers’ coach Phil Jackson and devolving offensively into Kobe Bryant hero mode when he deems it necessary.  I don’t see him deeming that necessary today.  Today feels more like a “Kobe sits out the fourth quarter” game.

PLAYERS WHO MAKE ME WORRY:

Pau Gasol. Kevin Garnett is probably going to play a lot of minutes and a lot of those minutes could be spent failing to stop Pau Gasol.  The thought is disheartening to say the least.  Not entirely certain, but definitely disheartening.

Ron Artest. He should not be feared by anyone at any time except the Boston Celtics.  After last season’s NBA Finals, he’s now the one guy you know is going to hit a game-icing three.  If you’re a rational Celtics fan, you want Artest being the offensive go-to-guy.  If you’re me, you know he’s going to inexplicably knock down shots.

PLAYERS WHO DO NOT MAKE ME WORRY:

Kobe Bryant. He’s not a clutch performer.

Any Bench Player That’s Not Lamar Odom. Shannon Brown has the offensive capability to fill it up but if he is the Celtics are either doing something really right or really wrong.  This reality prohibits Brown from being feared.  Matt Barnes is not playing.  Steve Blake is solid but not awe-inspiring. Don’t get me started on the likes of Joe Smith, Theo Ratliff, and Derrick Caracter.

WHAT WE WANT TO SEE FROM BOSTON TONIGHT:

Fire and Passion and Staying Healthy. This game has some nice storylines:  Finals rematch, Kendrick Perkins returning to the scene of the crime, rivalry, history– take your pick.  But in the scheme of things the Celtics staying healthy and energized for the weeks ahead is far more important.  I want more than anything for the Celtics to coast into the All-Star Break healthy and in a good mental state.  Right now the team seems fragile.  A huge win in LA would do wonders for this team’s mental state but it’s not worth sacrificing anyone’s health.

PREDICTION:

Not What You Want To See:  Lakers 110, Boston 95

  • reader

    proof read

  • complexity

    I'm going to cry :(

    I agree with your prediction in my mind.

    I'm going to predict the opposite score to be a contrarian.

  • Chris

    I disagree strongly, this game isn't overblown. Yes, the Celtics may be beat. Yes, the game won't matter in 6 weeks. But as a Celtics fan still hurting from Game 7, ANYTIME we play the Lakers matters.

  • steveb

    Anything is possible!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • LAKERS FAN

    20 Minutes till you guys get spanked again …….. Cahmps over Chumps

  • LAKERS FAN

    *Champs

    • someguyinsac

      Cahumps would be the better word for you.

  • someguyinsac

    X marks the spot on our defense's heart?

  • Rob

    Game 7 second half Deja vu

  • I_Love_Green

    Just a horribly officiated game so far. Honestly its game 7 all over again, refs taking over the game.

    Also I think the Lakers scored on each of their last 25 possessions. Nobody is playing anything resembling a defense, and our offense is crap right now. Rondo is garbage as he has been recently, and Ray is still cooling off. Also doesn't help everyone on our team is in foul trouble, including guys who haven't gotten in the game.

    • Dee

      Here we go…opening minute second half…second chance point 3pointer by Bryant.

  • GreenMachine

    Who was the last Celtic to score 40 points in a game? And who think Pierce can get it today?

  • Mike

    Derek Fisher flopper extraordinaire…

    • Mike

      By the way is Mark Jackson in love with Kobe? tired of listening to him….

  • Eric

    Rondo is a disaster right now. In every aspect of the game.

    • Jmt

      Overreact much?

      • Eric

        No. But he is playing much better this quarter.

        • Jmt

          Yup, he made a few bad plays the first half, but he was still trying to execute some good ideas. His statline right now 10 pts, 14 asts, 3 TOs.

          • Eric

            I was less worried about the bad plays than the hesitation and not making anything happen. He's most useful to the team when he's breaking down the defense, and he's done very little of that lately. Plus his defense has been subpar as far as making bad decisions on switches. Hopefully he's snapped out of it now. The three TOs is very encouraging, as he's had way too many of those lately.

  • Dee

    This last quarter will all be about, heart, rebounds and defense…If ther refs don't start blowing calls, Celts can do this.

  • TedL

    "Take a seat if that's as hard as you wanna play." Yeah, boy.

    Lakers bigs lookin' a little gassed.

  • TedL

    Ray Allen dagger!!

    Kobe Bryant in hero mode, every other Laker standing around.

    I love it when a smart team beats a dumb team.

  • Tom W

    I feel wonderful right now. I know this game really doesn't mean much long term….but I feel wonderful.

    • moxie

      Yes!

  • I_Love_Green

    I applaud you Brendan Jackson for putting on the perfomance of a life time. MVP anit-jinx performance.

  • Batman

    Rondo out of his slump? Great win

  • Glenn

    "PREDICTION:

    Not What You Want To See: Lakers 110, Boston 95"

    Oh ye of little faith…

  • skeeds

    well 34 team assists vs 10 (!!!) team assists pretty much tells the story.

    On a different note, Ray is 13 trays short of the record now, right?

  • celtic

    Man the score was turned around!

  • steveb

    Like I said, ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE !!!!!!!!!!

  • john schaffer

    i cant understand why the fakers come to our forum and say they are going to beat us ,god they suck , boston played like they are capable of , lakers have bryant thats it , they are oler than the celtics , celtics want it more , go green

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