An LA Litmus Test

30 12 2007

LakersCelticsBoston head to LA tomorrow in what will be a litmus test for both teams. 

LA are on a roll, with 4 wins on the trot, and playing the best basketball in the post-Shaq years.  They have one of the best ever offensive players in the game, and a young roster just beginning to believe in themselves. 

But Boston has Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen & Paul Pierce… an all-star trio that has only allowed a league-leading 3 losses thus far this season. 
Make no mistake: Boston are the best team in the league at the moment.  But 28 games in, there’s still the specter of “who have they played?”  The only teams they’ve played that could seriously be considered ‘contenders’ thus far would be Detroit & Orlando.  Despite Toronto’s promise, and the presence of LeBron at Cleveland, neither can be called thus. 
With a pair of games against the Magic, they’ve split… and the only match-up against Detroit was a loss on their home court.   They head to LA to face a Lakers unit that would have to believe that they can beat them.  The Los Angeles Lakers have forged themselves through an off-season that many predicted would have them in complete disarray by this point in the season.  Instead, we find LA competing with the very elite of the Western Conference, something no-one would’ve believed possible as he threw out trade demands during the Summer.

Andrew Bynum versus BostonWithout a doubt, this is not the same LA that Boston beat by 13 points on November 23rd.  Andrew Bynum goes from strength to strength… Jordan Farmar is becoming the point man that he was at UCLA… Derek Fisher is looking like the Fish of old… Trevor Ariza has been a pleasant surprise – acquired for an expiring contract and playing with promise that was hidden in shadows at Orlando… and Kobe?  Well, Kobe’s simply Kobe.  And that’s meant in the best possible way.  He’s been one helluva team-mate thus far this year, and leads by example.

The odds are stacked against LA against Boston tho’. 
Paul Pierce has finally found two true soul-brothers in Garnett & Allen.  The threesome have been phenomenal thus far, and have lead a roster that has played above itself.  Beyond the 3 amigos tho’, this roster is very thin. 
Rondo’s learning as he goes, and is doing well – but he’s no-where near the calibre of those he plays with.  
Kendrick Perkins roughin’ up…Very few would be foolish enough to suggest that Kendrick Perkins could even start with most teams within the NBA, but with the defensive presence that the Big Ticket provides, Kendrick gets the job done.

So – Boston’s star power versus the depth of LA… and quite frankly I’m amazed to be saying that about the Lakers given the Summer they *ahem* ‘enjoyed’.

But… the game should be a tight contest, and maybe it’s just the evil side of me that wants to poke out my tongue at the Celtics… but I see LA winning this by 8 points.

Another take from Kurt at Forum Blue & Gold And one from the opposite side of the scorer’s table – Celtics Blog

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31 12 2007
Celtics 24/7 » Blog Archive » Today’s Links 12/30

[…] Deseret Morning News     Despite win over Jazz, Celts hard on themselves     With Malice   An LA litmus test     SacBee   24 seconds with Doc Rivers    Press Telegram   Celtics visit […]

31 12 2007
chris

“Sunday’s game between Boston and LA is the second and final matchup for the regular season. The Celtics notched a 107-94 win over the Lakers on November 23 this season at TD Banknorth Garden, but Los Angeles has won three of four and seven of the last 10 meetings.
Boston has lost four of its last five at the Lakers.”

Cant wait to watch, Lakers are playing really well right now, before thier mid season break down. 🙂

It will be a tough game though. The Celtics beat the Jazz 104-98 where as the Lakers won 123 to 109. Not that it is any indication of what is gonna happen today. Still good moral victory.

Lets go Lake Show…..

Chris
LA Lakers fan!

31 12 2007
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1 01 2008
Chris

Celtics!

1 01 2008
withmalice

Yup. Congratulations to the C’s.
This was a comprehensive beating. 19 points isn’t even close, and proves that the Lakers still have quite a way to go before they’re ready to match it with the elite. Whether that means that the current roster needs to ‘grow’, or if it means another ‘piece’ needs to be added, only time will tell.

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