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Game 25/66: Lakers (14-11) @ Celtics (14-10) Open Thread

 

Los Angeles at Boston
TD Garden
8:00 PM
ESPN/CSNNE

Offensive Efficiency
L.A.: 101.5 points/100 possessions (13th)
Boston: 100.3 points/100 possessions (16th)

Defensive Efficiency
L.A.: 98.4 points allowed/100 possessions (11th)
Boston: 94.5 points allowed/100 possessions (2nd)

Probable L.A. starters: Derek Fisher (PG) Kobe Bryant (SG) Not Ron Artest (SF) Pau Gasol (PF) Andrew Bynum (C)

Injury Report: LAL: none. BOS: Sasha Pavlovic, Avery Bradley and Keyon Dooling are out.

THUMBNAIL
The C’s and Lakers are both trying to muscle their way back into the title picture but while Boston’s been getting fat at home, the Lakers have been up and, right now, down, having lost their last two on the road in Utah and Philadelphia.

But, you don’t need me to get you up for this one, right? If you’re not counting down the minutes ’till tipoff, I can only assume you’re one of the many Glasgow Celtic (or is it Celtic FC?) fans who seem to come here by accident. To them I say, stick around mate, it could be a wee classic tonight. Square go!

Here’s a great video I nicked from Forum Blue & Gold, the excellent THN Lakers site. Give ‘em a click if you want to know what the enemy is thinking (the enemy is pretty smart at that site, by the way. Well worth your time.)

PREGAME ANALYSIS
We’ve got some clear contrasts tonight. The Lakers are top-heavy, with the bulk of their production coming from their twin towers and Bryant, who seems to be drinking the same anti-aging elixir as Ray Allen. The C’s have the schemes and wing defenders to keep Kobe from killing them, but if Jermaine O’Neal can’t go/ends up in foul trouble, Boston could surrender a 20-20 game to Bynum. Possibly in the first half.

The Lakers bench is a mess though, and Boston runs at least a dozen deep with contributing parts this season. They falter some nights but if the starters can hold the fort, they’re likely to be able to watch the bench extend the lead.

Three Things To Watch For

1. Kobe’s legs in the fourth quarter. Assume he’ll play long, grueling minutes against a shock of motivated Boston defenders and also do some time against Allen who will run him in circles (if Mike Brown doesn’t switch him onto Rajon Rondo first). Will Bryant be front-rimming jumpers in the fourth? He’ll definitely be taking them.

2. Second chance points. The C’s could get murdered. They probably will get murdered. Danny, please get another center.

3. Running Rondo, Shooting Rondo. Boston’s going to struggle to score in the paint, in the half-court, so pushing tempo is paramount tonight. And if the Lakers do play center field on Rondo, he needs to knock down those mid-range jumpers.

PREDICTIONS
From our 5-on-5 earlier in the day, some predictions, with my own added at the end:

Forsberg: Lakers need it more; Celtics are playing better. Like we saw in the 2010 Finals, it probably comes down to the team that rebounds better. It seems like the road team is always inspired to play in this rivalry, so let’s give the nod to the Lakers, but Boston atones in early March.

Davenport: The Celtics ride their momentum. The two Laker bigs are a huge nightmare, but Kobe will take plenty of shots away from them and the Laker bench will continue to show why it’s largely made up of players who were cut by bad teams. But if the Lakers were in the midst of a homestand instead of their longest roadie of the season, things might go differently: these teams are very even right now. Celtics 94, Lakers 89.

Jackson: Celtics are at home and they’re rolling so I’ll definitely go green tonight. I’ll also predict that the C’s will get killed on the glass, Kobe will have a big scoring game, and the Lakers’ bench will get destroyed.

Robb: The Lakers. With two off-days and two straight losses, the visitors should be motivated and rested enough to end their road trip on a high note. The two-headed monster of Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum will give Boston problems on the offensive glass and Kobe’s frantic scoring from all over the floor should be enough to overcome Boston’s defense. The two squads have played a bunch of tight ones in Boston lately and this should be no different. Lakers take it 87-85.

DeGama: Bynum proves largely unguardable, Gasol proves controllable and Kobe sees a lot of extra defenders between him and the basket, which deters him from shooting in the first half but not the second. The Celtics out-execute the Lakers down the stretch and take this one 95-91.

  • janos

    Hi Haynes, is Janos

    I seen yesterday post mangers ask fan answer question, is very good for fan! Only get answers post make one fan though, many contribut not get reward so i do post now poll, just for fan. below category is, feel free all fan go ahead post your answer talk. my answer post as well, like have talking/share on nba celtics. thank you.

    question poll

    best shoot, score
    best make dunk
    best nice to fan
    best asist
    best rebound
    best coach alltimes
    best coach currents
    best arena
    best web manger
    worst web manger
    most overate alltimes
    most overate currents
    most underate alltimes
    most underate currents
    best game alltimes
    worst game alltimes

    answer poll

    pierce
    blake
    blake
    rondos
    garnet
    aurobak
    doc
    garden
    haynes
    rick
    kireem
    kobe
    dont know
    bass
    bird steals pistens
    lakers 2010 loose

    I look forward reply celtics friend post me, tonight on game or sooner.

  • I_Love_Green

    I can't wait for this game. People saying the rivalry doesn't have the same feeling as the past few years are crazy. I want to beat the Lakers every single time we play them, and tonight is no different. I'd love to see an aggressive Rondo, something like 20 points 15 assists, and we know he's capable of it.

    Look for Threetrus to have 4-5 three balls tonight.

    LETS GO CELTICS!!!

    • CelticsBIG3

      BEAT LA, BEAT LA, BEAT LA, BEAT LA!!!!! I busted out my BEAT LA t-shirt for this game. I have over 100 Celtics t-shirts so i'm never in short supply but this one is crucial for a game vs the Fakers.

  • CelticsBIG3

    Asumming all yall are watching TNT right now (unfortunatley), but how did none of these boneheads choose Pierce as a reserve last week? TELL EM' WHY YER MAD TRUTH

    • CelticsBIG3

      Charles Barkely needs to suck a… Pierce has been phenomenal so screw off Charles

  • CelticsBIG3

    For Janos

    best shoot, scoreRAY ALLEN
    best make dunkBLAKE
    best nice to fanIDK
    best asist RONDO
    best rebound KLOVE
    best coach alltimes AUERBACH
    best coach currents DOC
    best arena DA GAHDEN
    best web manger EVERYONE AT CELTICSHUB
    worst web manger EVERY ELSE
    most overate alltimes ANY LAKER
    most overate currents ANY LAKER
    most underate alltimes DENNIS JOHNSON
    most underate currents BIG AL JEFFERSON
    best game alltimes EDDIE HOUSE LEADING COMEBACK IN 08’ FINALS DOWN 25
    worst game alltimes LOSING GAME 7 2010

    • janos

      Hi Big3, is Janos
      Thank you complete my poll, I forgets Kevin Love, is very good rebound. I think Big Als play celtics trade Garnets, you are right is very underate

      I am very excite watch game tonight!! I am not work tonight! and will witch game on tv (flat screen, hi defs)

  • jonathan

    how was Rondo not an all-star this year???????????

    • Ryan DeGama

      For any that missed it, Paul Pierce was the only member of the C's selected to the all-star team. That's selection #10 for Pierce.

      • janos

        ok, thank you.

    • skeeds

      If he hadn't missed any games, he'd be right there over DWill. Hard to feel bad, especially with deserving guys like Deng and Iggy getting the call. I also feel so sorry for DWill playing that kind of basketball for that awful team, that I'm almost ok with him being picked over Rondo.

      If Dend doesn't play, because of his wrist, Rajon should be called up over Jennings though. Or Ray if they go for an SG…

      • jonathan

        but Joe Johnson over Rondo? I don't think so…

  • YRite

    The Cs offense dries up again. Let's see what Doc is going to do, probably nothing.

  • pam

    I can't believe we are still in the game despite the stinkbomb by pierce tonight. Hope he heats up.

  • pam

    Offensive rebounding!!!!!!!!!! Ahhhhhhhhh cmonnnnnn

  • LStrike

    I'm lost for words at the moment. Kobe is making some ridiculous shots and we just can't score.

  • pam

    Again allowing tip ins! What are you doing kg? This is sooo annoying

  • janos

    night is ruin
    supper – ruin
    poll is ruin

    i should have just gone to the job

  • guest

    This team has gone back to being horrible with this game. I am done. For once the refs weren't the worst fucking thing in this game. They were rushing too many shots, KG kept shooting even though he was bricking and they were terrible on the glass as always. Should of let Peitrus play in over time.

    • Anthony

      Gotta disagree, I thought KG played with a lot of energy. Most of the shot he missed, he normally hits. I can live with that. What I didn't understand was JO getting so many minutes. Why didn't Wilcox play more? Despite Gasol putting up great numbers, Bynum was difference maker.

      Was it me or did Kobe double-dribble twice? One on LA's 1st scoring play and one in OT. All thing considered, ref weren't horrible for once.

      Wasn't too crazy about Rondo's bricks, and Ray's 2 post-up plays on Blake. For the first time this season, I missed not having AB to pressure the ball.

      • skeeds

        With you on every point, except playing Wilcox. Dude, Bynum has 5 inches and maybe 50 pounds advantage on Wilcox. He killed him in the 1st half. Him and Pau were making putbacks over his head. It was just an awful matchup. JO at least held him to 6/15…

        • Anthony

          Just like Wilcox's energy. He's only an inch shorter than JO and the team was running alot more than when JO is in the game. Bynum only scored 7 in the 1st half and it was all on JO. The game winner was on JO. Pau got on a hot streak when Bass was on him.

          I've mentioned many times on this site to try and get Josh Smith. I know thats a longshot and a wish list but what about another name that i've mentioned several times…Jason Thompson. Not as good offensively as Demarcus Cousins or JJ Hickson but still has a lot of upside. Sacramento cant possibly keep all three of them.

          Wish we had Ibaka on our team… 9 blocks is 3 quarters!

          • skeeds

            alright, I kind of exaggerated about his size. Point is, JO is our only guy who can stop Bynum from backing him up all the way to the rim, and he contested his every shot. Not saying he was adequate, he obviously blew it a couple of times, he is still by far our best defender against strong bigs like Hibbert, Bynum and Howard…

            I'd take any of the names you mentioned in a heartbeat. Ibaka? god that guy and Rondo would be soaring over everybody… I just hope we don't keep imagining these kinds of scenarios, and actually get an athletic big soon…

    • Anthony

      Also, two plays that went un-noticed. End of the 1st quarter, instead holding the ball for last possession, Bass rushes a shot with 21sec left and LA comes and knocks down a three. Could've been a 7pt lead going into 2nd qtr.

      End of 2nd qtr, JO doesn't block out and Bynum get offensive rebound, and gets an and-1. Should've went into halftime leading by 5pt.

  • ElRoz

    why is anybody surprised by this loss? Boston has no big men and no quality rebounds when they need them – JO is a waste…KG is not that interested in being a good low-post guy; Doc doesn't play Wilcox enough…Bass is small compared to most PFs, especially to Gasol …

    but another major problem is that all these years into the NBA and RONDO STILL CANNOT SHOOT..

    • janos

      Hi Elroy, is Janos
      I am susrprise loss because am true fan NBA CELTICS so dont come site say rondos no good, rondos awesome. go take chill pill this site true fan not day fan .

    • skeeds

      Oh enough with Rondo's shooting man! We get it allready, he's a bad jumpshooter. He still picks his shots more wisely than everyone else.

      He was 7-13 from the field.
      Pierce was 7-18
      KG 6-23
      Ray Allen 9-20

      We lost cause we have no frontline, especially on offense. And against the best frontline in the league, that's what you get. With the game on the line, all we could do was chuck up jumpers, because we couldn't even go near the paint. 5 free throws for the whole game, and 1 was a technical. The fact that we could've won is only a testament to how bad those Lakers are.

  • I_Love_Green

    Fuck this week….

    • CelticsBIG3

      Last play sucked. should have found ray

      • I_Love_Green

        After this game, I'd be shocked if Danny doesn't go out and get us another big.

        • skeeds

          Remember in December when Ainge and Doc were saying "we're not worried about the center position", and "really, there aren't many real centers out there", well, yeah, I was screaming at the screen then, now I'm just shaking my head.

          • Ryan DeGama

            Yep. I rolled my eyes at that one too.

  • Anthony

    what forum, may i ask?

    Obviously preferred a win, but I'm ok with the lost. They had many opportunities to win. If they lose this way in March or April, then it would be a problem. They still played pretty good defense and can only get better as they get to know each other more. Ubuntu!!

    Loved the Rondo to KG alley-oop! Havent seen that in a LONG time.

  • onecowboytoo

    Typical Celtics losing a game they should win.

  • LACelticFan

    Hey this is one loss I can actually take. Yeah it always hurts to lose to the Lakers our number one rival, but this loss is NOTHING like losing to Cleveland on a layup by a rookie. The Lakers do have the longest frontline in the league and that excellent guy they call Kobe. And for most of the game we matched them and even outplayed them, but it came down to the one thing they do well, and we do terrible….Rebound. Their bigs rebounded and got way too many tip ins. our 6-10, 6-11, and 7-0, matched theirs on paper but not on the floor. We do need another 7-0 that is ready to contribute mightily, but alas none is on the horizon. We have still won 9 out of our last 11, nothing to sniff at, and if we keep it we can catch Philly before allstar break. Great game tonight but it really means nothing unless we are playing the Lakers in the finals.
    Oh one more thing let's stop trying to trade Rondo away. Dude played 14pts, 3 tos, 7 assts, 2 rbs, in 45 minutes. Are you really ready for Bradley to be playing those 45 minutes? DA just needs to find a way to pry Kaman away from the Hornets.

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