The Celtics lastly come to the top of their 6 recreation street journey with a recreation towards their oldest and largest rivals, the Los Angeles Lakers. That is the primary of two conferences between these two groups. They’ll meet once more in Boston on January 28. The Celtics lead the sequence general all time 163-133. They path 53-77 in video games performed on the street. The sequence was tied 1-1 final season with every staff successful at residence.
During the last 10 common season conferences, every staff has received 5 of these video games. For the reason that Lakers moved to Los Angeles, earlier than the 1960-61 season, they’ve met 205 occasions and the Celtics lead with 109 wins to 96 for the Lakers. The Celtics are 9-3 towards the Lakers within the Finals. Boston received the primary 8 titles earlier than the Lakers received 3 of the final 4 conferences with the Celtics final title coming towards the Lakers in 2008.
The Celtics are first within the East, 1 recreation forward of the second place Bucks. They’re 10-5 on the street and 8-2 of their final 10 video games. They’re 7-2 towards Western Convention groups, with the losses coming within the final two video games. The Lakers are twelfth within the West, 7 video games out of first place and a pair of video games out of play in place. They’re 6-6 at residence and 6-4 of their final 10 video games. They’re 5-5 towards Japanese Convention groups.
The Celtics are enjoying on the second evening of again to again video games. They’re 5-0 thus far within the second of again to again video games and they’re 4-0 when the video games are on the street. The Celtics might run out of fuel on this one, although. Each Tatum and Good performed over half-hour on Monday, whereas Brown performed slightly below 30. That is the ultimate recreation of a 6 recreation street journey and the third recreation in 4 nights. That is the first residence recreation for the Lakers after closing out a 6 recreation street journey that ended with a win at Detroit on Sunday. That is the primary recreation of a 3 recreation residence stand for them.
Al Horford has missed 4 straight video games within the well being and security protocols and is anticipated to overlook this recreation additionally. I anticipate Blake Griffin to get the beginning as soon as once more. Rob Williams is taken into account recreation to recreation and will return for this recreation or extra seemingly, they might wait till they get residence for his season debut. Danilo Gallinari continues to be out as he rehabs a torn ACL.
The Lakers have had damage woes with Anthony Davis (again) and LeBron James (ankle) every lacking time on the court docket. They’re each listed as possible for this recreation. It seems that each are wholesome sufficient to play on this recreation though listed on the damage report. Wenyen Gabriel is out with a shoulder damage. Juan Toscano Anderson is out with an ankle damage.
When the Lakers are wholesome they’ve performed nicely and so the Celtics can’t take them without any consideration despite the fact that they’re underneath .500. The Celtics have underestimated each the Warriors and the Clippers and haven’t performed with power in both recreation, particularly on the defensive finish. Each the Warriors and Clippers performed powerful protection and the Celtics offense faltered. They didn’t have the defensive identification of final yr and so couldn’t get stops to maintain both staff from operating away with it.
Possible Celtics Starters
2 Means Gamers
Danilo Gallinari (ACL) out
Robert Williams III (knee) recreation time choice
Al Horford (covid) out
Head Coach (Interim)
Possible Lakers Starters
Troy Brown, Jr
2 Means Gamers
Scottie Pippen, Jr
Wenyen Gabriel (shoulder) out
Juan Toscano-Anderson (ankle) out
LeBron James (ankle) possible
Anthony Davis (again) possible
Blake Griffin vs Anthony Davis
Davis has been on a tear in latest video games and is averaging 27.7 factors, 12.4 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.1 steals and a pair of.2 blocks per recreation. He’s taking pictures 59.6% from the sphere and 31.0% from past the arc. I’m hoping to have Al Horford again for this recreation but when not, the Celtics may have their palms full in attempting to decelerate a really motivated Anthony Davis.
Grant Williams vs LeBron James
LeBron is averaging 26.2 factors, 8.6 rebounds, 6.3 help and 1.3 steals per recreation. He’s taking pictures 47.0% from the sphere and 31.9% from past the arc. He has been out and in of the lineup with accidents or for relaxation however when he performs, he makes a distinction for them. He all the time appears to place out further effort when he performs towards the Celtics additionally. The Celtics must attempt to forestall him from getting inside and from getting open photographs.
Honorable Point out
Malcolm Brogdon vs Russell Westbrook
Since Westbrook was moved to the bench from the beginning lineup, he has been thriving in that function. He’s averaging 14.4 factors, 5.6 rebounds, 7.6 assists and 1.0 steals per recreation. He’s taking pictures 40.5% from the sphere and 29.2% from past the arc. He’s all the time a risk for a triple double and so the Celtics should stick with him.
Keys to the Recreation
Protection – I can’t say it sufficient that protection is an important key to successful. The Celtics are eighth within the league with a defensive score of 111.1. The Lakers 14th with a defensive score of 111.8. The Celtics have performed good protection in just a few latest video games however they nonetheless should not constant on that finish. They have to keep dedicated to enjoying powerful, lock down protection, particularly towards a Lakers staff with some superb offensive weapons. The Celtics should particularly defend within the paint because the Lakers are third within the league with 56.6 factors within the paint per recreation.
Rebound – Rebounding takes effort and power and the Celtics will want each to out-rebound the Lakers. The Celtics must crash the boards and hold the Lakers from getting second likelihood factors and quick breaks as they’re 4th within the league with 16.5 quick break factors per recreation. The Celtics are averaging 42.7 rebounds per recreation (twenty second) whereas the Lakers are averaging 45.3 rebounds per recreation (fifth). The Celtics should put out further power and energy to beat the Lakers to rebounds.
Be Aggressive – The Celtics should be the extra aggressive staff. They should be aggressive in going to the basket, in diving for unfastened balls, and on protection. They should aggressively crash the boards. They should be the staff that desires it extra. In most of their losses, they’ve allowed their opponents to play more durable and be extra aggressive. They completely can’t let the Lakers be extra aggressive than them in the event that they wish to have an opportunity to win.
Play Staff Ball – The Celtics are at their greatest once they hold the ball shifting and discover the most effective shot. Once they play iso ball and gamers attempt to do an excessive amount of individually, they falter. The Celtics are eighth with 26.7 assists per recreation. Of their loss to the Warriors, they’d simply 17 assists. They should transfer the ball rigorously to keep away from turnovers and they should play staff ball with none participant attempting to do an excessive amount of.
Final Recreation of Journey – That is the ultimate recreation of a 6 recreation 10 day street journey. The final recreation is all the time the hardest recreation to win as gamers are anxious to get residence and sometimes aren’t fairly as centered on the sport. The Celtics want to return into the sport centered, particularly the younger guys who generally battle on the street. They should block out the distractions of enjoying in a distinct area and time zone. The group will certainly be hostile and the Celtics can’t enable them to rattle them. They’ve to remain centered and play their recreation whatever the distractions.
Delight – “Beat LA” is among the most iconic chants in sports activities. This can be a storied rivalry and regardless of the circumstances, the Celtics all the time wish to beat the Lakers and vice versa. The Celtics should concentrate on the sport and on enjoying the precise manner. It’s a matter of delight and the Celtics must get the job achieved and “Beat LA”. However, LeBron all the time has a chip on his shoulder towards the Celtics and LeBron and his teammates are going to offer further effort to beat certainly one of their greatest rivals.
Officiating – The officiating is all the time an x-factor. Each crew calls the sport otherwise and the Celtics should adapt to how the sport is being known as and never enable dangerous calls and no calls to remove their focus. When you doubt that officiating is an x-factor, simply assume again to the final Finals between these two groups. In recreation 7, the Celtics had been up 6 going into the 4th quarter. The refs had known as the sport evenly up till then. However within the 4th quarter, the referees took over and it price the Celtics that recreation. The Lakers took 21 free throws within the 4th quarter alone whereas the Celtics took 6. The Lakers took extra free throws within the 4th quarter than they did within the first 3 quarters mixed. (Sure, I’m nonetheless bitter about this.) Hopefully they name it truthful on this recreation and let each groups play.