Lakers Play a Hot Celtics Team
Thursday, February 7 at 8:00 PM ET at TD Garden
LeBron James and the struggling Lakers visit Kyrie Irving and the red-hot Celtics on Thursday night, renewing one of the biggest rivalries in the NBA.
The Lakers are a mess right now. They’ve lost three of their last four games and they’ve dealt with constant rumors involving half of the team getting traded for Anthony Davis. The Celtics, who are also after Davis, are 10-1 in their last 11 games.
LeBron James suffers worst loss of his career
The Lakers are coming off a tough 136-94 road loss against the Pacers last Tuesday, the worst loss by a LeBron James-led team in history.
The Pacers never allowed the Lakers to get within single digits after the first basket of the second quarter. What’s more impressive is that the Pacers did all this despite playing without their star Victor Oladipo, and it was in the second game of a back-to-back games after a four-game road trip.
Indiana scored 33 points off 19 Los Angeles turnovers. They outscored them 25-15 on fast break points while limiting them to just 4 of 21 shooting (19.0 percent) from 3-point range. LeBron James missed three of his first five shots and finished with 18 points, nine assists, seven rebounds and six turnovers. He exited the game with 2:06 left the third quarter.
Celtics win in Cleveland without Kyrie Irving
Kyrie Irving missed the game with a strained left hip. Jayson Tatum stepped up with 25 points to lead the Celtics to a 103-96 road win against the Cavaliers last Tuesday. Gordon Hayward had 18 points, six rebounds and five assists in 30 minutes off the bench. Marcus Smart finished with 17 points and Jaylen Brown added 13.
The Celtics were out-rebounded 47-42 but they limited the Cavs to just 9 of 33 shooting (27.3 percent) from beyond the arc. They outscored them 16-2 on fast break points. Irving, who averages a team-best 23.8 points per game, is expected to play against the Lakers, hours after the NBA trade deadline.
The Los Angeles Lakers are:
2-5 ATS in their last seven games against a team with a winning percentage above .600
4-16-1 ATS in their last 21 games against Eastern Conference opponents
0-4 ATS in their last four games against Atlantic Division opponents
The Boston Celtics are:
4-1 ATS in their last five games following an ATS loss
16-5 ATS in their last 21 home games against a team with a losing road record
37-17 ATS in their last 54 home games
It’s clear that the talented young players of the Lakers have quit on LeBron James and the Lakers. James, and management, only have themselves to blame. They made very public trade negotiations involving half of the team for Anthony Davis.
If this Anthony Davis trade doesn’t go through, James will be stuck with this mess. If a deal is made, who will be on the court for the Lakers?
I don’t see the Lakers scoring enough points to be competitive on the road against a Celtics team that is playing extremely well. Boston ranks third in the NBA in defensive efficiency, allowing 102.8 points per 100 possessions. I like them to control the pace of the game and get key stops.
NBA Pick: Celtics -8.5 (-110) at Jazz Sports
Check odds here: Jazz Sports