Lakers vs. Celtics; not much more needs to be said toss up the ball and let’s go at it. This is a game that the Lakers have had circled on their calendar the moment the schedule came out.

This game will be played with playoff intensity and the Lakers need to play with a sense of urgency on defense and contest every shot & hit the boards hard.

This isn’t just another regular season game; it is never just a game when these two teams meet. This game will be an excellent measuring stick for the Lakers. The Lakers beat the Celtics 92-83 on Christmas Day 2008, aided by a late scoring surge from Gasol.

Pau Gasol has averaged 31 points per game since Bynum’s injury; the Lakers need his scoring. He also needs to continue to attack the basket. The Lakers will raise their level of play and everyone needs to contribute. Motivated by the humiliation of game six of the Finals the Lakers need to go into this game with an ‘Us against the world’ attitude and take it right to the Celtics.

NBA games come down to adjustments, on Christmas day the Celtics decided to double-team Kobe Bryant which wasn’t a surprise and happens frequently but what was a surprise was who Boston decided to leave wide open to help on the double team – Pau Gasol, who went to the front of rim and made them pay.

The Lakers need to get in transition & score quick baskets prior to the Celtics setting up their half court defense.

The Lakers need to use excellent ball movement and player movement & execute their offense. A staple in the Celtics defense is when Kobe has the ball on either the left or right side of the court they’ll have three defenders between him and the basket. When the double team comes, Kobe’s teammates need to be prepared to knock down the open shots because the pass will be there.

The Lakers will need to make adjustments and I would love to see a lineup that includes Kobe & Trevor in the back court and D.J. Mbenga playing center and being a physical presence against Kendrick Perkins or Kevin Garnett early in the game.

Look for Kobe catching the ball at the mid-post, isolated with his four teammates on the other side of the court causing Boston to send a second defender. The second unit has to be a factor.

The team has a size advantage with their taller front line and will win by controlling the tempo, glass, stopping dribble penetration and rotating out to three point shooters.

Tipoff: 5:00 PM PST

Television -

  • Los Angeles: TNT (Marv Albert & Doug Collins)
  • Boston:

Radio -

  • Los Angeles: AM570 KLAC (Spero Dedes & Mychal Thompson)
  • Boston: WEEI 850 AM(Sean Grande & Cedric Maxwell)

Injuries -

Lakers:

  • Andrew Bynum (Knee)

Celtics:

  • Kevin Garnett (Flu)
  • Brian Scalabrine (Concussion)
  • http://THELAKERNATI.COM BrownMamba101

    Lakers 103 Celtics 99

  • go la

    I feel we need to start Gasol as PF and bring in DJ or Chris as center for their size to protect the paint. Chris didn’t do well in the finals, but he wasn’t ready. He has more experience at starting then DJ, but DJ has plenty of strength and size to keep the Celtics from scoring in the paint. Gasol is a great center, but these big centers for Boston push him around and keep him from scoring there. He is much more effective as a PF against this Celtics team on both sides of the game. I think DJ or Chris would do an awesome job defending bc of their size and just use them to play tough defense until they foul out.

  • Lakers!

    I agree with GO LA.
    This will bring a different starting line up then we had against the Celtics in the Finals.
    This will also put Gasol in a great spot to be a real threat like he was on Christmas against this team in a different position.
    This will also bring Lamar off the bench, so we have a different bench then we had in the finals and the same one that we had against Boston on Christmas Day… when we won!

  • Richard

    Kobe & Pau 103 and the Celtics 99.
    That tells you that everyone needs to contribute to the beating that Boston deserves.

  • NY Juilliard Laker Fan

    I’d say put DJ or Chris in to start!
    Lamar does great off the bench and will against Boston tonight. Bring him off the bench so he can help Farmar, Ariza and The Machine get some needed points. He will get his needed rebounds and score more points this way. He doesn’t score much constantly as a starter with this team and although he gets rebounds starting, a big center like DJ won’t let the shorter, fat big guys bully him around to get those rebounds. Gasol will get them too as PF
    We need a big body at Center against the Celtics..not a tall one. love Gasol, but I just want Gasol, who is a huge part of our offense to be effective and he’s much more effective as a PF against this team. Lakers will win with these adjustments. We got this game and we have to come out ready. we will Kobe MVP

  • LA aLL THE WAY

    the way for everyone to contribute at their best potential is with Chris or DJ in as Center and Gasol at PF. This puts five guys on the court for the Lakers in their natural position even if Gasol is a better Center than Chris and DJ..all around Center, Gasol is, but having him at his best at PF and a big man at Center against Boston is better then just a great Gasol Center. the other guys are am, Lamar, is more effective coming off the bench..brings another bench then we had against boston last year…a huge Weapon that does well with this squad. sure he’s a great player to have as a starter, but it’s almost too much talent on the court and he can’t do what he does best…luke is already there to distribute the ball

  • Bostons going Down says New York fan

    WE don’t need Luke, Lamar and a point guard to distribute the great passes to the two main scorers on the floor. sure the lineup Phil has been going with is a good looking one, but when it comes down to it we have three guys out there who really are better at getting other guys going. we don’t need that many out there at once. we need a big center to defend, so put in DJ and Chris to do so!
    Lamar will rebound and distribute and score in the second unit. We don’t have a center who can score like Bynum, but we have two centers with size and strength who won’t let Boston Bully them around. This won’t mess up our lineup. it will allow lamar and the bench to do what they’ve been doing all season, and it will give Pau a better chance at scoring and defending.

  • Ethdude

    I’m going to predict celtics shoot 38 free throws tonight. 22 in the first half.

  • T.A.

    I am going to predict KG blows out his knee and is out for season

  • gugy

    If the LAkers play with will and revenge mind set. We might have a shot.
    The WHOLE team needs to step up to the challenge. Not just Kobe and Pau. We need to make a huge effort on D.

    It’s going to be damn hard, but we have a shot winning this. We just need the above.

  • Farmars_inner_Jordan

    I predict a Farmar facial onto garnett.

    We need a near perfect game here, since we know we aren’t going to get any calls in Boston. hopefully, no one ate their chowda before the game.

  • mr.laker19

    Ahite now, its time to go get it guys. Like Obama said “Yes we can”, we can play defense, we can get back to the finals, we can beat the celtics without bynum, we can be tough. WE WILL WIN THIS GAME TONIGHT. LETS GO LAKESHOW!!!

  • kobe8

    i’d like to see Pau get the ball a lot so that he can put Garnett in foul trouble early and also REBOUNDS, we need to outrebound them to win this game.

  • lakers2000

    I predict a knock out drag out game. I also predict that the Celtics will try to be punks as usual. Kobe will be on fire tonight and bring the team with him. Trevor will kick azz tonight! Let’s go Lakers!!!!!!! Show them we will never forgive or forget. Boston will eat a fat dizzle!!!

  • 85

    I predict Paul Pierce hurting his pinkie and Celtics calling the ambulance and taking him out of the game on a wheelchair. 2 minutes later he will be back on the court and next day in the papers he will say “I was really scared I thought I was out for the season”

    LET’S GO LAKERS!!

  • lakers2000

    P.S. They will get smoked like Phelps!!!!!

  • lakerschamps09

    lakers 95 celtic 90…..

  • showtime

    This will be the last time the lakers play the celdicks this season. Celdicks won’t get past Lebron this year. Its going to be a Lakers Cavs finals this year. No doubt about it.

  • KobeHaze24

    I agree with everybody who says Pau should start at PF. Mbenga over Mihm. Chris can’t elevate anymore. Going to be a great game. I think other than X’s and O’s one of the biggest factors tonight will be crowd noise. Boston fans suck, but are some of the loudest. If the young guys handle it, the Lakers will be fine. Ariza will have a huge impact. Boston sucks. LET’S GO LAKERS!

  • trdsol23

    gasol at power forward, powell at center

    i know powell is giving up 40 lbs to perkins, but they are both about the same height and powell is one tough dude that plays with energy

    ariza needs to start

    Fisher, Kobe, Ariza, Gasol, Powell

  • trdsol23

    lol at 85,

    i predict pierce dislocates one of his finger, carried off in a stretcher with a neck brace, into the ambulance, rushed to er, then comes back with a dramatic performance, only this time, his dramatic performance will be his facial expression once ariza dunks on him

    lakers by 13

  • http://yahoo.com mark

    this is not the same finals match up last year..

    healthy ariza against spierce or gay allen..

    no more pusey to play dirty d on mvp kobe..

    celts are lucky if they stay close to the lakers!!

    wooooooooooooooootttttttt lets go lakers!!

  • http://myspace.com/sonicussj Whatsa

    Lol.

    I bet if we win, the Celtricks are gonna be like “wel kvn grnet iz sik n we wulda w0n w/ him”
    :)

  • Bostons going Down says New York fan

    that a boy Phil. We got Josh down there at enter and Gasol at PF.

  • Juilliard Laker la forever

    lakers got this. i’m glad we got our other centers in there and keeping Gasol at PF. This is what we need against teams like this. we are more effective with gasol at pf against teams like this

  • kobe8

    the Celd!ciks LOST HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA..

  • Dave

    The green garbage is flushed into the sewer. Paul Pierce’s goatee looks like pubic hair. Suck on that, beatches!

  • LAKing

    OMG, What an INCREDIBLE VICTORY!!!!!!! Lakers played a horrible game but they still came out victorious and without Bynum. Cleveland, you’re next!!!! KOBE IS THE REAL MVP!!!!

  • Juilliard Laker la forever

    their way go LAKERS! love seeing Gasol at PF against Boston and having some tough centers to step in Bynum. Kobe MYV. look where he has his team…stats don’t matter look at the nd wins he has..he’s lead this team to grab rebounds to share the ball and he can score anytime he wants…he can get rebounds if he needed to and it prob would be a lot easier if he wasn’t a guard…those assist would come all day long if it weren’t a triangle, but everyone shares the ball and the lakers get the wins! this is Laker ball and this team is winning these big games bc of their most valuable player Kobe Bryant. MVP

  • Juilliard Laker la forever

    .my bad on the spelling.. SO EXCITED MVP KOBE BRYANT GOLAKERS