The Los Angeles Lakers have suffered losses to the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Clippers that stand out in regards to overall disappointment. The Bucks and Clippers are two of the NBA’s best, along with the Lakers, with both teams probably standing in the Lakers’ way of a championship. However, all three games the Lakers played against the Bucks and Clippers ended close and could have ended up in the Lakers’ favor if a few different things went there way.
Because of that, those three losses have nothing on the Lakers’ loss to the Boston Celtics on January 20th. It was an absolute beatdown, ending in a 139-107 loss for the Lakers. That game was in Boston, as the Lakers will now welcome the Celtics into L.A. for the teams’ second games since coming back from the All-Star break.
LeBron James and Anthony Davis look to have much better games
The Lakers lost to the Celtics in January for many reasons, with the rebounding and strength from the Celtics being the main one. However, the Lakers’ two superstars had absolutely rough outings before missing the fourth quarter due to the blowout.
Although LeBron James had 13 assists before leaving the game early, he ended with only 15 points on 5-of-12 shooting. Anthony Davis had an even worse game, ending with nine points on only three made baskets. They also had four and two turnovers, respectively.
Look for the two Lakers to have much bigger games this go around. Just on Friday against the Grizzlies, LeBron had 32 points and seven assists while Davis added 28 points, 13 rebounds, and seven blocks.
Key to the game: Don’t let Enes Kanter play like Kareem Abdul-Jabaar
Seems simple right? Apparently not if you’re the Lakers.
Although Jayson Tatum (27), Kemba Walker (20), and Jaylen Brown (20) all scored more points than Enes Kanter, no one might have had a more sneaky, impactful game than Kanter in the Celtics huge win.
He had 18 points on 8-of-10 FGs, but where he really beat up the Lakers was on the boards. He had 11 total rebounds, but what was most impressive were his six offensive rebounds (that led to a decent amount of his points). Although he only got six, it really felt like he had sixty-thousand, as he was beating up the other Lakers’ bigs all-night.
Kemba Walker to miss the game
#NEBHInjuryReport for tomorrow vs. LA Lakers:
Kemba Walker (sore left knee) – OUT
Robert Williams (left hip bone edema) – OUT
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) February 23, 2020
If the Lakers do pull out a win today, it’ll be in part to the absence of Kemba Walker as he misses the second-straight game out of the break for the Celtics. It turns out that Walker may be out for longer than just today’s game, as he reportedly had the knee drained and may opt to rest it in anticipation of the playoffs.
Kemba Walker has knee drained, could get rest in run-up to playoffs https://t.co/sZjwD7ql5b pic.twitter.com/RvfLVE87lh
— Kurt Helin (@basketballtalk) February 22, 2020
Whether or not that happens, the Lakers will take advantage of the Celtics losing their star player. He’s currently averaging 21.8 points per game for the C’s, so the Celtics will definitely be lacking on the offensive end. Marcus Smart will look to fill an even bigger role than he usually does for the Celtics, but his offensive game definitely comes and goes.
Hopefully, it won’t come for the game today, and the Lakers will be able to avenge their worst loss of the season while extending their current win streak to five games.
Tip-off is early for this one, coming up at 12:30 p.m. PST.