Where: Crypto.com Arena, Los Angeles, CaliforniaWhen: Monday, December 25, 5 pm ET
The Christmas schedule in the NBA is always explosive, and there won’t be any difference this year. The Los Angeles Lakers host the Boston Celtics in another chapter of the NBA’s biggest rivalry. These two franchises are the most successful in history, and their previous contests have shaped the league as we know it today. The Celtics are favorites, playing high-quality and consistent basketball, unlike the purple and gold. However, LeBron and the boys won’t back down, especially in their own home.
Los Angeles Lakers vs. Boston Celtics Preview
Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers are near .500, and as time goes by, it seems that they aren’t one of the title contenders. Yes, they did win the NBA in-season tournament, becoming the first team ever to lift this trophy, but overall, many agree that the Lakers are underachieving.
Darvin Ham’s unit had a nasty period midway through December when they dropped four games in a row. We understand them losing on the road against the Timberwolves and the Bulls, but on the other side, suffering a defeat at home against the sorry Spurs is an alarming situation.
LeBron is playing excellent basketball, averaging over 25 points per game while adding more than seven rebounds and assists each. Anthony Davis is one of the best rebounders in the league, with 12.6 boards per night, but somehow, this isn’t enough for the Lakers to have a better record.
Celtics are in a completely different situation, with them leading the division and the conference. They are perfect at home, yet on the road, Boston’s record is slightly above .500.
Many wondered whether they made a mistake when trading Marcus Smart for Kristaps Porzingis. For the moment, this turned out very well. The big fellow averages nearly 20 points while shooting almost 53% from the field.
We need to say that Jrue Holiday’s games are slipping under the radar, with one of the best defenders in the league contributing massively and not getting the credit. He is known as one of the most rational point guards in the NBA, and so far, the Celtics look very sharp with him in the lineup.
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LA Lakers and Boston Celtics Possible Lineups
LA Lakers: Russel, Reaves, James, Hachimura, Davis
Boston Celtics: Holiday, Brown, White, Tatum, Porzingis
* at the time of writing these lineups were relevant
LA Lakers vs. Boston Celtics Head to Head
The previous two meetings played last season ended in Boston’s favor after overtime. The first game at the Crypto.com Arena saw the visitors triumphing 122-118. The second one, at the TD Garden, finished 125-121 for Boston.
LA Lakers vs. Boston Celtics Predictions
The Celtics are 4.5-point favorites. Even though they had to deal with the Clippers shortly before this matchup, we would still bet on their victory against the purple and gold. They have a deeper roster with much better defenders than the Lakers. Also, the hosts aren’t in particularly good shape; therefore, we are picking the Celtics.
Our verdict: Boston Celtics win
LA Lakers versus Boston Celtics Odds
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