March 11, 2012 Leave a comment
After squeaking out a comeback victory in Minnesota (minus Kevin Love) on Friday, the Lakers come home to Staples Center to take on the Celtics in a matchup of the NBA’s biggest rivalry. Here are 5 pre-game story lines for today’s nationally-televised game in Los Angeles:
Rondo, Celtics eating up Boston Chatter
Boston comes into Staples just four days prior to the NBA trade deadline as Rajon Rondo for Pau Gasol trade rumors continue to fly. While both Bynum and Gasol have been the subject of numerous trade scenarios, almost everyone on Boston is reportedly on the market. The Celtics are actively trying to move Rondo, Ray Allen and Jermaine O’Neal’s expiring contract and have even warmed to the idea of dealing Paul Pierce. Like Gasol however, the Celtics veterans have all played quite well through the rumors.
Green Day at Staples Center
The Celtics and Lakers matchup at 12:30pm PST today on ABC. Despite beating the rival Heat handily last Sunday on national TV, the Lakers typically don’t play well in these Sunday day-game time slots. Kobe and the Lakers also wear their alternate white uniforms on Sundays, another bad omen for Los Angeles. Luckily the Lakers do have their own 5-Ring Clover in Bryant to counter the unlucky leprechauns.
Rivers, What’s up Doc?
While the Lakers have the Masked Black Mamba, the Boston Celtics have an x-factor of their own. Yes, Lakers Coach Mike Brown is a fine coach. Especially defensively. But you’ve got to give the coaching edge to 2-time NBA champion Doc Rivers in this particular matchup. Unlike Brown, Rivers is a master of making adjustments both in-game and at halftime. This could be key if the Lakers build an early lead up like they’re known to do.
Celtics no match for Lakers’ Jolly Green Giants
Green will be all over Staples Center on Sunday. Green uniforms for Boston, green beer for St. Patrick’s Day and of course the Lakers’ Jolly Green Giants. Without a legitimate big man like Kendrick Perkins and Shaquille O’Neal to man the paint, Boston has been forced to use Kevin Garnett, Brandon Bass and even Chris Wilcox at center. The Green Giants of Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol should eat the smaller Celtics front line alive if they get enough touches. After all, our Lakers bigs like Boston chowder too.
Lakers a pot of Purple & Gold at Home
Perhaps the biggest pot of gold (and purple) for the Lakers today is the fact they’re at home. The Lakers are 17-2 on their home floor, compared to a horrid 7-14 record on the road. One of those losses was against the Chicago Bulls in a game the Lakers gave away and the other one was an ugly loss to the Pacers in which the Lakers led late. In other words, the Lakers almost never lose at Staples Center.
Lakers fans — do the Lakers get the victory today at Staples to go 2-0 against the rival Celtics? Do you think all of the trade rumors surrounding Rondo and Gasol will affect them and if so, who more?