Lakers versus Celtics PreviewBy Jonathan K.
Both the Lakers and Celtics will be without key players when these old rivals clash tonight (Feb. 7, 20113).
The Celtics have been playing without Rajon Rondo while the Lakers will be missing both Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard. Gasol is out indefinitely with a foot injury and Howard will be missing his fourth straight game.
The Celtics have been surging since the absence of Rondo. The Celtics have won five in a row as they try to recover from the slump they have been in all season. The Lakers are also trying to claw out of a well covered season long rut, as well. The Lakers are currently 3-1 on their 7 game long road trip. A win against the Celtics will go a long way in giving the Lakers confidence, who are playing without two of their most talented big men.Howard’s absence has been well covered by the Lakers, but without Gasol helping to make up for the loss it remains to be seen how the LA will play without both of their star players down low out with injury.
While it is still a bit early to discuss the playoff race, it is important to note that the Lakers are still on the outside looking in. They are three games behind the Houston Rockets for the final playoff spot left.
Lakers coach, Mike D’Antoni insists that the Lakers new found momentum will not be stifled by these injuries.
“Hopefully we’ll get Dwight back pretty soon and then, hopefully, Pau’s not too bad,” D’Antoni said. “If not, we’ll play.”
Metta World Peace will be returning from injury to help the Lakers if there is a silver lining to be had in all the Lakers injuries.
The Lakers have had plenty of modern successes against the Celtics. The Lakers have came out on top in their last three regular season meetings, and have won four straight regular season games when playing in Boston.
Regardless, the Celtic recent surge and the fact that they are playing at home put them as the favorites in the sports books with a -2 point spread. The money line to bet on the Celtics is -135. The Lakers money line is at +115.