Boston Celtics vs Los Angeles Lakers: Predictions, Odds, and How to Watch

WSN Picks: Los Angeles Lakers defeat Boston Celtics

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How to Watch

What: Boston Celtics at Los Angeles Lakers

Where: STAPLES Center, Los Angeles, CA

When: Sunday 23 February 2020, 3:30 PM EST

How (TV/Radio): ABC | ESPNR, 98.5 The Sports Hub, 710 AM ESPN / 1330 AM ESPN DEPORTES

Boston Celtics (Away)

Head Coach: Brad Stevens {All-Time 308-238 | BOS}

Season Record: 38-16

Projected Starting Five: (G) Kemba Walker – (G) Marcus Smart – (F) Jayson Tatum – (F) Gordon Hayward – (C) Daniel Theis

Top Performers:

  • (F) Jayson Tatum – 34.1 MPG | 22.4 PPG | 6.9 RPG | 1.4 SPG
  • (G) Kemba Walker – 32.2 MPG | 21.8 PPG | 5.0 RPG | 4.1 RPG
  • (G) Jaylen Brown – 33.6 MPG | 20.2 PPG | 6.4 RPG | 2.2 APF

The Boston Celtics currently rank third in the Eastern Conference after giving up an early-season lead in the standings to the Toronto Raptors. While they’ve been stout at home, 23-5, they have struggled to reach the same quality on the road with a 15-11 record.

The Celtics are very much like the Los Angeles Lakers in that they like to push the pace. The difference is that the Celtics do it with a smaller lineup at their disposal, outpacing some more lumbering squads.

Boston faces their eternal rival the Los Angeles Lakers with a lot on the line. The Heat have narrowed the separation from them to only three games, while the Celtics face a difficult remaining road schedule. The Lakers being their top competition, the Celtics must prove they are on the Championship level.

Los Angeles Lakers (Home)

Head Coach: Frank Vogel {All-Time 345-303 | IND, ORL, LAL}

Season Record: 41-12

Projected Starting Five: (G) Avery Bradley – (G) Danny Green – (F) LeBron James – (F) Anthony Davis – (C) Javale McGee

Top Performers:

  • (F) Anthony Davis – 34.7 MPG | 26.6 PPG | 9.2 RPG | 2.4 BPG
  • (F) LeBron James – 34.9 MPG | 25.0 PPG | 10.8 APG | 7.8 RPG
  • (F) Kyle Kuzma – 24.7 MPG | 12.6 PPG | 4.4 RPG | .332 3P%

The Los Angeles Lakers have been perched comfortably atop the Western Conference for some time now. Brilliant on the road and at home, the Lakers welcome the Celtics back on to their home court after being blown out by them at STAPLES earlier this year.

The Lakers’ size is their strength, making them incredibly difficult to contend with. They can also run the fast-break with the best of the NBA, due to the athleticism of their big men.

Los Angeles was blown out by the Boston Celtics in their first meeting this season. Los Angeles struggled to score from deep, while the Celtics were brilliant shooting the ball. To bring the season series level, the Lakers will have to improve their defensive effort.

What’s At Stake?

The Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics maintain one of the greatest rivalries in sports. Over the course of 200 regular-season meetings, the Celtics lead the Lakers 107-93.

A win for the Boston Celtics would bring them within a game of the Toronto Raptors.

A win for the Los Angeles Lakers would solidify their place at the top of the Western Conference.

Questions to answer

Can the Celtics overcome their opponents’ big men?

Will the Los Angeles Lakers dominate the paint?

We are going to compare the Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers in an attempt to see who has the advantage in this matchup.

BOS: Movement and Finishing

The Boston Celtics are a team that lacks one clearly defined star on their roster. It is both positive and negative for their side, as they can breakdown teams from any position. Unfortunately, the other side is that Boston can also struggle when bogged down in the half-court.

In their last game against the Lakers, the Celtics’ ball movement was fantastic. They shot 55.9% for the game and assisted on more than half of their field-goals in every quarter. In the third quarter, where they made their run, the Celtics assisted on 11 of their 14 made field-goals.

While it’s easy to say, “move the ball”, the real key lies in moving the Lakers’ big men. McGee and Davis are fantastic shot-blockers. By making them rotate around the perimeter, rather than patrol the paint, the Celtics’ can only help their cause.

LAL: Involve the Big Men!

The Los Angeles Lakers pride themselves on their uptempo style of play and flash in the full-court game. What brought them down against the Celtics was not only their inability to convert from deep but their passive involvement of their bigs.

LeBron James will always get his, but the play of Dwight Howard, Javale McGee, and Anthony Davis is what has fuelled their success this year. In their loss to the Celtics in January, Howard and McGee combined to shoot 11-14 from the field off of easy drop-offs and put-backs.

When compared to Anthony Davis, who was 3-7 in the loss, the two Centers might be the model for their success next time out. A more pragmatic approach to Davis’ involvement, whether in the post or off a screen, in the game opens up opportunities for the rest of the Lakers’ cast.

Boston Celtics Roster Notes

(G) Jaylen Brown – 13 Feb 2020 – Day To Day (Calf) – Brown did not play in Thursday’s (Feb. 13) game against the Clippers.

(C) Robert Williams – 8 Feb 2020 – Out (Hip) – The Celtics are aiming for Williams to return at the beginning of March, according to Darren Hartwell of NBCsports.com.

Los Angeles Lakers Roster Notes

(C) DeMarcus Cousins – 1 Jan 2020 – Out (Knee) – Cousins is starting to work out and the team has not ruled out that he will return to action this season as he recovers from a torn ACL, according to a report from Brandon Robinson of Heavy.com.

Head-to-Head: (G) Marcus Smart vs (G) Danny Green

Two of the NBA‘s best wing defenders face off when the Celtics and the Lakers meet. Marcus Smart is all over the court on the defensive side of the ball, representing the Celtics’ bulldog mentality. On the other side, Green is more understated. But his efficiency and versatility are more than productive on the court.

(G) Marcus Smart (6-3, 227lb (190cm, 102kg) | Oklahoma State | 5 Years)

 

 

SeasonAgeTeamGamesMPPTSREBASTFG%3P%
19-2025BOS4331.612.53.64.7.383.353

 

Marcus Smart will be tasked with guarding the one through five position in this match due to the nature of Brad Stevens’ defence. He’s shown the ability to lock down the strongest centres and the fastest point guards, so we shouldn’t expect any drop in quality. What’s more important is his contribution on the offensive end, as he’s alternated shooting over and under 40% in his last four games.

(G) Danny Green (6-6, 215lb (198cm, 97kg) | North Carolina | 10 Years)

 

 

SeasonAgeTeamGamesMPPTSREBASTFG%3P%
19-2032LAL5225.08.63.51.3.422.378

 

Danny Green is a rock for the Los Angeles Lakers. While he is shooting below his career average from three, 37.8% to 40.2%, he has still been incredibly consistent in wins and losses. After a minor slump to close out 2019, Green looks back on track in 2020 as his usage rate has increased month-by-month along with his true shooting percentage. Breaking the Celtics’ paint-packing defence is his first job.

Boston Celtics at Los Angeles Lakers Predictions and Odds

The odds will be updated as they are made available.

Why the Boston Celtics Will Win

The Boston Celtics can take this game if they can rotate the Lakers’ big men out of the paint and convert efficiently outside or at the rim. Considering they stifled Los Angeles’ big men last game, they’ll need to do more of the same on what will surely be a more concentrated effort.

Why the Los Angeles Lakers Will Win

The Los Angeles Lakers won’t deviate from their game plan. They will push the break while looking for easy opportunities. When it comes to the halfcourt though, the Los Angeles Lakers will have to be pragmatic and efficient at the rim to take this game.

WSN’s Pick

WSN Picks: Los Angeles Lakers defeat Boston Celtics

Los Angeles Lakers vs Boston Celtics Odds

The latest odds for Lakers vs Celtics are provided by William Hill NJ, DraftKings Sportsbook, and 888Sport NJ.

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SportsbookLakersCeltics
William Hill NJTBATBA
DraftKings-278+195
888Sport NJ-278+195

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