Boston Celtics vs Los Angeles Lakers

Kyrie Irving and the Boston Celtics take on a familiar foe in LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday, March 9th at 8:30 PM EST at Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA. The broadcast is available on ABC; radio is available via 710 AM ESPN / 1330 AM ESPN DEPORTES and ESPNR, WROR (105.7 FM).

How to Watch

What: Boston Celtics at Los Angeles Lakers

Where: Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA

When: Saturday, March 9th at at 8:30 PM EST

How (TV/Radio): ABC | 710 AM ESPN / 1330 AM ESPN DEPORTES, ESPNR, WROR (105.7 FM)

Boston Celtics (Away)

Head Coach: Brad Stevens {All-Time 261-215 | BOS}

The Boston Celtics are slowly trying to claw their way back into relevance in the Eastern Conference. With a record of 40-26, the Celtics are fifth in the Eastern Conference and are just 1.5 games back from the Philadelphia 76ers who are ranked fourth.

The Boston Celtics are trying to put on a solid win streak, starting with their current road trip. They've already defeated the Sacramento Kings and blown-out the Golden State Warriors and surely look to do the same with the two Los Angeles teams.

The Lakers are in some turmoil themselves, as it seems they are less and less likely to make the playoffs every day. Boston's attack should be too much to handle for the Los Angeles Lakers, but the Lakers' offensive threat is impressive itself. Boston certainly can't be complacent.

Los Angeles Lakers (Home)

Head Coach: Luke Walton {All-Time 91-138 | LAL}

The Los Angeles Lakers are day-by-day creeping back down the rankings in the Western Conference. It seems it was a lifetime ago that the Los Angeles Lakers were a promising team in the Western Conference. With a record of 30-35, the Lakers are eleventh in the Western Conference and a nearly insurmountable 6.5 games out of a playoff spot.

There's nobody to blame for the Lakers other than the players themselves. They seem as if they've given up. Between failures to rotate on defence, in ability to initiate the offence and this absolute oddity:

 

the Lakers are clearly not together in this endeavor to make the playoffs. In fact, rumors are already flying about regarding the offseason, the draft, and the future of Lakers head coach Luke Walton.

If they can't make the playoffs, the Lakers should certainly put up a fight to take down their greatest rival. The Boston Celtics are dysfunctional too, but their team is still winning games and still performing at a respectable level. While there's always a story to be told when Kyrie Irving and LeBron James share the court, for the Lakers their focus must be on regaining their respect as a club.

What's At Stake?

The Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers have the greatest rivalry in the history of sports. Two franchises forever entwined, the Boston Celtics lead the Los Angeles Lakers all-time 105-93.

A win for the Boston Celtics would bring them within a game of the Philadelphia 76ers who are ranked fourth in the Eastern Conference.

A win for the Los Angeles Lakers would break their tie with the Minnesota Timberwolves and set their rank at tenth in the Western Conference.

Questions to answer

What does Hayward have left in him?

Who else is on the Lakers bench?

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.

Gordon Hayward Was Great Against Sacramento

It has been an incredibly difficult season for Gordon Hayward. You could almost forgive him, considering the injury he came back from and the turmoil he walked into. The Boston Celtics just seem to have too much ego to see sense in a lot of their players' performances. But in the last two games of their Western Conference road trip, Hayward has reminded us of his old self.

Against the Warriors, Hayward was a catalyst in the blow-out that ensued. He posted 30 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 steals en route to an impressive Boston Celtics victory. In the next match Hayward was more selective offensively, but in a tie game he took the ball all 94 feet for a fadeaway jumper to ice the game.

It may have been just two games, but there's a lot to take away from the way Hayward has played in recent matches. He doesn't have to be the 25-point a night scorer he was in Utah, but he does have to show efficiency in his offense. The past two games have been good steps for Hayward going forward, and he is coming on at the right time of the year.

The Lakers' Deep Bench Players Performed

Against the Nuggets the Lakers were presented with a very difficult match. It was a historic night for LeBron James who surpassed Michael Jordan on the all-time scoring list, but it was marked by another blowout loss. Fortunately for the Lakers, some bench players came into the game with some real heart.

With the game out of reach, head coach Luke Walton looked to the end of his bench to spell the Lakers' bigger performers. Moritz Wagner, Alex Caruso, and Jonathan Williams are not names that fans come to LA to see hit the court, but they made their impact when they were in the game. They grew and developed with the Lakers G-League affiliate the South Bay Lakers, and their connection was so good that in the fourth quarter Denver's lead was cut to two.

It speaks volumes that the Los Angeles Lakers have young, hungry players on the bench. It goes to show that the complacency that defines the Lakers' season isn't something that consumes the entire squad. These G-League players are looking for an opportunity as much as any other rookie. The Lakers surely hope that the performance of those youngsters will inspire their bigger players to perform with the same passion to close out the season.

Boston Celtics Roster Notes

G Kyrie Irving - 6 Mar 2019 - Day To Day (Left Thigh Contusion) - Irving did not play in Wednesday's game (Mar. 6) against the Kings.

Los Angeles Lakers Roster Notes

G Lonzo Ball - 6 Mar 2019 - Out (Left Ankle) - The Lakers announced that Ball is not practicing with the team yet and will be re-evaluated at the end of the week.

C Tyson Chandler - 6 Mar 2019 - Out (Neck) - The Lakers have listed Chandler as OUT for Wednesday's game (Mar. 6) against the Nuggets.

F Brandon Ingram - 6 Mar 2019 - Out (Shoulder) - Ingram will not play in Wednesday's game (Mar. 6) against the Nuggets.

F Kyle Kuzma - 5 Mar 2019 - Out (Ankle) - An MRI on Kuzma's injury confirmed a minor ankle sprain, and he could miss up to one week, according to Mike Trudell of Spectrum SportsNet.

Head-to-Head: Kyrie Irving (BOS) vs LeBron James (LAL)

Look no further than the two stars of the evening when the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers face off. Former teammates on the Cleveland Cavaliers, both have moved on and have faced extreme adversity leading their squads in 2018-2019. While their teams are struggling, both are the type of player that can take over a game on their own. We'll see if they can make that happen.

Kyrie Irving

Point Guard | 6-3, 193lb (190cm, 87kg) | Duke | Exp. 7 Years

23.4 PPG | 7.0 APG | 4.9 RPG | 1.5 SPG | 0.5 BPG | 2.6 TOV | .495 FG% | .417 3P%

Kyrie Irving didn't play in the Celtics' last match against the Sacramento Kings due to a slight problem with his thigh. Despite that Irving has played well in previous matches, regardless of the result. In the Celtics blowout win over the Warriors, Irving was a maestro on the court, using his offensive orbit to create a number of opportunities for his teammates. Expect Irving to take the same amount of control of the game against a weaker Lakers side.

LeBron James

Small Forward | 6-8, 250lb (203cm, 113kg) | Saint Vincent-Saint Mary (HS) | Exp. 15 Years

27.5 PPG | 8.0 APG | 8.6 RPG | 1.4 SPG | 0.6 BPG | 3.4 TOV | .512 FG% | .349 3P%

LeBron James has been the victim of quite a few lapses in judgment as of late. For a player of James' quality, the concern is that he's resigned himself to the fact that the Lakers may very well not make the playoffs. Overall though James has still been impressive in the boxscore. He is doing what he can to carry his team, but the quality of the squad seems to be too poor to overcome. On the other hand, if anyone can rally a team in a big match it is The King himself.

Boston Celtics at Los Angeles Lakers Predictions and Odds

The odds makers have the Boston Celtics favoured over the Los Angeles Lakers by 4, with an over/under of 109.

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