Tonight, the Boston Celtics will look to avenge an ugly loss to the Charlotte Bobcats. The Lakers, on the other hand, will be playing to prove that there is nothing wrong with them, and that they can hang with the elite teams in the NBA. Yes, tonight is the rematch between the two most storied teams in the NBA. Well, actually the rematch of the rematch, since the last meeting between these teams was a rematch of last years NBA Finals. Nevertheless, tonight’s match up should answer a lot of questions for the Lakers.
The first question you could ask about that game on the 30th of January is, did Kobe’s teammates let him down, or did Kobe let down his teammates? Kobe Bryant may have scored 41 points, but he had zero assists. Zero. At least score 81 points if you’re not going to pass. On the other hand, can you really blame Kobe? His teammates shot just 38% from the field. So obviously somebody had to score. Now, I’m not going to talk about Kobe Bryant anymore than I have to, because in the past two weeks or so that’s been done to death.
This is a statement game for the Lakers. This is a game that they have circled on their calender. The Lakers are 0 for 5 against the Mavericks, Spurs, Heat, and Celtics. If you want to be the best, you have to beat the best, as clichéd as that sounds. I don’t understand why people continue to use the “just wait until the playoffs,” excuse. If they can’t win in the regular season, why would I believe they can win in the playoffs? Nobody is looking at the Philadelphia 76ers (who are sitting in the seventh seed in the East with a 24-28 record) and saying “you just wait until the playoffs”. They are what they are, and if that excuse works for the Lakers, then it should work for every team in the league. If the Lakers lose tonight, are they still favored to win it all? Will people start to second guess their preseason picks? The Lakers need to win tonight. This is not just another regular season game for them.
For the Celtics, this game isn’t as important. Win or lose, people will still favor them to make the NBA Finals. They’ve proved that they can beat the good teams in the league already. We know that. A loss tonight for the Celtics doesn’t have the same ramifications as a loss would for Los Angeles. That being said, this is still a huge game for the Celtics. Headed into tonight’s game, Ray Allen needs just two three pointers to tie Reggie Miller for the record for all time three pointers made. The Celtics will be running on emotion, from the crowd, and the players, as Ray Allen tries to go down in the record books as the best three point shooter ever. This game is Ray Allen’s opportunity to go down as one of the Celtic greats. In his four short years in Boston, he’s already won a championship and been an All Star, now he can have his name in the record books.
So, could this rematch of the rematch be a precursor to the NBA Finals? Possibly. Although this game may have lost some of the magic from last year, what with Brian Scalabrine and Adam Morrison not playing with the Celtics and Lakers, it should be the game of the night, and be can’t miss TV for NBA fans.
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