The (42-13) Los Angeles Lakers get back to action at the Staples Center by hosting the (33-18) Boston Celtics.

Another chapter in the long history of competition against their historic cross country rivals. Barring a return to the court reminiscent of Willis Reed of the Knicks in game seven of the 1970 NBA Finals, our Lakers will go into battle without Kobe Bryant.

Regardless of the teams records or what building the teams compete in whenever these teams play; it is a must-win game for the Lakers. They needs to continue to play with a sense of urgency and approach this as a Playoff game.

The Lakers are 4-0 without Kobe Bryant allowing him time to rest and heal. The frontline of Pau Gasol, Ron Artest, and Lamar Odom have been playing well by averaging 49.6 points and 33 rebounds in the first three games without the ‘Black Mamba’, but witnessing the starters combine for 88 points against the Warriors was impressive.

Andrew Bynum played well in his return from injury; he pumped in 21 points and grabbed seven boards. Lamar Odom was active on the glass by grabbing 18 rebounds. The trio of Gasol, Artest, and Odom off the bench shot poorly and will need to improve in that area.

As usual Boston again will attempt to be the more physical team and attempt to out-muscle the Lakers, they must be aware that their opponent will use this tactic and need to be prepared for it.

The frontline needs to be aggressive and continuously attack the rim to get the Celtics in foul trouble and have a major impact on the outcome of today’s game. I’m sending a message to the Purple and Gold that it’s time to institute the no ‘lay-ups’ rule and urge everyone to emphatically finish at the front of the rim. There’s no better time then now to continuously send the message to them that the Lakers are the last team they want to see as an opponent.

It would be nice to see the majority of the crowd at Staples sporting the same t-shirt Sasha wore recently that read, “You Can’t Beat L.A., Fool!”

The Lakeshow can beat this team without Kobe by running the triangle offense, using excellent ball movement, and excellent player movement and outworking this team.

The backcourt has played well as evidenced by Shannon Brown’s career high 27 points against the Warriors. His defense on the perimeter has been huge causing several turnovers and giving the team the opportunity to get out in transition. Derek Fisher is six points shy of 9,000 career points which would move him into 17th place on the franchise’s all-time scoring list.

The Celtics, as much as it pains me to write, play the type of style and defense that will keep them in games. The Lakers need to stop the dribble penetration of Rajon Rondo, the guards have to do a good job of keeping him out of the painted area. The Lakers have to extend their defense out to the three point line against this team that jacks up several shots from behind the arc.

Instead of the crowd chanting ‘We Want Tacos!’ at the end of the game, it would be music to my ears to hear the same chant heard during the Lakers FSN post-game show with Bill MacDonald and Norm Nixon.

Tip-off: 7:30 PM PST

Television

  • Los Angeles: TNT
  • Boston: TNT

Radio

  • Los Angeles: ESPN 710 AM (Spero Dedes & Mychal Thompson)
  • Boston: 850 WEEI (Sean Grande & Cedric Maxwell)

Injuries

Lakers:

  • Luke Walton (Pinched Nerve in Back) Out
  • Kobe Bryant (sprained left ankle/avulsion fracture, right index finger) Doubtful
  • Sasha Vujacic (Strained Right Hamstring)

Celtics:

  • None to report.
  • samtlk9

    Where can I get the “You Can’t Beat L.A., Fool!” T-Shirt?

  • drive-for-16th

    LETS GO LAKERS, KOBES OUT BUT LETS PLAY HARD AND BEAT THEM

  • Fearless

    I know we can do it, lets get it done ! GO LAKERS !

  • Richard

    We believe!

    • hey

      Shut up

  • http://57.amklac Charles Barkley

    damn lebronze is shutting down ,carmello!whats mamba doin tonight?

    • http://lakersnation showtime4eva

      looks like k-mart is shutting down your wanna be king and melo is making it clear that he’s second best behind kobe! dude or bitch what ever you are both probly..it must suck!that your lousy team doesnt have a sight,that you have to be on here all the time sharing,your garbage.around here we talk champions not wannabes so go away pee on! go lakers!! oh yeah when you speak i thought i was clear that you always say! go lakers!

    • http://lakersnation showtime4eva

      heyy you little bitch!you see that game winner lepunk missed! kobe lives on making that shot over and over!!! lepunk aint no kobe never will be!! oh kay bye small time! lol! go lakers!!!

      • expo

        He also shot his team out of the game down the stretch with his weak ass 3’s!

  • expo

    I hope Ron punks Pierce before/during the game again!

  • bored

    games are boring without kobe

  • http://57.amklac Charles Barkley

    they are way more exciting to watch without,onenut,………………go lakers

  • http://57.amklac Charles Barkley

    at least lebronze is manning up and playing, kobe still on his period?

    • http://lakersnation showtime4eva

      manning up?lol what are you talkin about? pee-on.. lepunk is not hurt.he just sucks!how dare you! speak the great mambas name at the same time as that nobody wannabe lepunk! be gone! go dance with your wannabe king.pee-on.go stand on a corner get some hand outs an start cincinatti or clevland cavs or whoever you pee-ons are fan site! this is for champs! go away pee-on! go L A K E R S !

  • http://57.amklac Charles Barkley

    go lakers………….forgot.

    • http://lakersnation showtime4eva

      who’s that bitch?your the one all over lepunks nut’s you look like the fag!! go away little hoe!! go lakers!!!

  • Luke makes me Puke

    How about our backcourt tonight! Just what Ray Allen needed – he looks like an all star. He’s ABUSING Fisher. Way to pull your head out of your butt Mitch! Our deep bench looks right on track for the playoffs!

  • Luke makes me Puke

    Why can’t our dumbass guards make a freethrow tonight? Fisher is the paint is ABSOLUTELY PATHETIC! he should be BANNED from shooting in the paint – a F-ing JOKE!

  • Leandro

    Fisher Go Home, please
    No sirve ni para FT: 0-2

  • kblaker4life

    The lakers and celtics game ending was bul$$$HITT… We should have atleast 4 seconds on the last shot, the ref didnt give us enough time.. WERS THE REPLAY REF??? Pau played great but he became too unselfish at the end.. I wish he could have taken the shots when he touched the ball instead of passing it to shannon brown.. I’m tired of the CELTICS player always complaining about a foul specially KENDRICKS. Their whole front court Kendricks, Garnett, and Wallace are always complaining when they get a foul..even if it’s the right call.. WE could have won this game with Kobe where he can take the last shot… Again FISH is off.. Drew missed some layups, and the team missed some free throws… Overall we did okay, I like our effort we were just short at then end and the refs were against us…

    • Pac Div

      Yo those dudes on the Celtics are some weird mutha fukers. Did anyone else see Garnett talking to himself! How come that dude Perkins never smiles or show any expression, it’s like dude it’s just a b-ball game, lighten up sh!t. Also anyone else see Phil lookin at Doc, u could tell Phil wanted to tell that dude to sit down and shut the fuk up!

  • Luke makes me Puke

    Our guards really SUCKED tonight. Airballs, sloppy passes, Shannon couldn’t make a DAMN thing, and Fisher was ABUSED by Ray Allen. Even again in the last few minutes. The offense died after we were up 84 80. Way to keep your thumb up your butt Mitch! GM of the yearj

  • nope

    That Hinrich trade would’ve been real nice…

  • http://TheLakersNation Marwan..

    This game made Boston look bad, win or loss. No Kobe and won by 1 with a healthy team? With hurt Kobe and Lakers beat the healthy Celtics by 1.
    Its all good though. Lakers played well. Sasha played his heart out. What more do you want? Lets hope he can play like this every game.
    FTs hurt the Lakers tonight.

    • Pac Div

      Agree. Yo has anyone else ever noticed that Sasha always plays good against Boston, San An, Utah. I think Phil should’ve let Sasha play the rest of the 4th dude was playing good d & that drive to the basket was nice. Noticed that when Sash played Ray he locked that dude up. I just liked the energy and physical d Lakers played, Lakers backcourt got good looks, but just couldn’t drain em.

    • http://lakersnation showtime4eva

      it served as a good measuring stick for us..but,boston is not what they once were either! that loss looked for like a victory.now we just need kobe to fit with this new look.an make him our missing piece,perfect fit. we’ll see how it works.he woulda won that game!so if the rest of the team plays that way with kobe.we will be hard to beat!just for us to stay confident and execute!will be key. theres also energy out there!the defence has come alive!!! good game! go lakers

  • Pac Div

    Yo this was a great game! The Lake Show could have used Kobe at the end but who gives a fuk! Even though Lakers lost I liked how the froncourt played! Gasol, Drew, LO, Artest all played good as fuk! I liked how the Lakers aren’t letting mutha fukers punk them anymore, cuz honestly if this was 07-08′ Lakers would’ve gotten fukin destroyed tonite, but yet they fukin played physical d! Boston just played their best game of the season, and yet Lakers lost by one with a chance to win, sh!t as a fan I’ll take it! Mamba should sit out until he’s fukin’ fresh cuz with this frontcourt and the #1 assassin, Lakers got this mutha fuker locked!

  • Luke makes me Puke

    Here’s the joke of the year…

    Fisher wants to sign for two more years! With Xsasha, Adam, Puke we have enough dead wood.

    • LGM10

      Where did u hear that? as long as he doesnt start after this season he could be a sam cassel type player that adds more veteran leadership than min. on the court.

  • Marwan Marzina

    What is it with you people and the blaming game?
    You should be proud of the outcome of the game, although a win looks better on the sheet, a 1 point loss with half a Laker team to a healthy Celtics team is a great accomplishment. Whats the big deal?

    • expo

      although it would have been good to get a game up for home court advantage since the cavs lost tonight

  • Jim

    Wow!! Great game from a spectators standpoint, very disheartening loss if your a Laker fan. Not that I’m complaining about their effort (it was a dogfight out there), I’m just disappointed that after being in a position to win a close one without Kobe, we couldn’t find a way to pull it out. That and the fact that it was Boston. I hate those guys with a passion.

    Highlights: Artest throwing it down left handed right in Rasheed’s face, Odom serving up two facials on Perkins and Allen, and Pau’s baseline jam on Wallace.

    Lowlights: Our guards went a combined 8 for 31 from the field. OUCH!!! Now I love Fish, I want him to finish his career as a Laker. He’s a class individual and the value of his leadership on this team is immeasurable. But, given that he was 1 for 8 when the game was on the line, I probably would have set up a play for LO to come around a pick around the top of the key and catch a pass in route to taking it to the rack with the hope that he would at least get fouled.

    Who would of thought that the best guard play of the night would’ve come from Sasha? I’m really proud of the way he responded tonight. But for some reason, Farmar and Shannon allow nerves to take them out of their games whenever they play Boston. I think the magnitude of the rivalry is just too much for them to handle at this point in their careers. In the previous 4 games, both of these guys have played extremely well .

    Oh well, hopefully we get Kobe back for Memphis. Go Lakers!!!!