The historic clash in the NBA will see another episode tonight, but few times have these two proud basketball franchises been both so irrelevant.
Celtics is in rebuilding mode but honestly they were expected to be a little better than their current 5-11 record considering they play in the weak Eastern Conference and also had 10 games at home (3-7). Boston doesn’t really have any weapons aside of Rondo, but Rajon is a player that needs quality around him to maximize his passing abilities. Boston is coming after an overtime home win over Detroit two days ago, a team that the Lakers easily beat on the road this week.
LA has an abysmal 5-14 record (3-6 away) but they are much better than that, the losing record being largely due to the fact that they play in the stacked Western Conference and also have a bad matchup against run & gun teams, like most of the West is. Lakers have been abusing the East so far, winning 4 out of 5, including one over the current top East team, Toronto. Their first loss came two days ago against Wizards, but even that defeat came to show how weak the East is – Lakers played on the road against the current 2nd best team in the East, played a poor match and were still down by only 4 with 2 minutes to go. Look, LA is still not a great team, but surely they would be playoff bound in the East, which Boston clearly isn`t.
The Lakers have been really good to me this season – I picked them 4 times to win, each time against the East, each time I won. I don`t plan on going like this much longer since the bookies are finally giving them some respect and I don`t want to ride Los Angeles blindly until they lose, but these odds to win at Boston are still way too high. LA is the better team between these two, playing better basketball, does not have a bad matchup (actually a great one, will dominate the frontcourt where they usually struggle) and they are much better than their record says.
It remains to be seen how much of an impact home court advantage will have in this massive derby clash, but Lakers to win is my tip, they have at least 50% chances to pull it off. No point in taking the 3,5 spread as far as I`m concerned, the value is on Lakers to win and the spread is not too big. I expect Kobe to have a good one after two weak performances, so that should also be a huge boost for LA. My bet comes with 10 units here. Prediction: Boston Celtics – Los Angeles Lakers 100-108.