The Boston Celtics meet the Los Angeles Lakers tonight and Kobe Bryant is doubtful with an ankle injury. Here’s the Thursday preview from BroburySports.com.
There is no spread yet due to Bryant’s status. TNT will have the coverage at 10:30 pm ET, right after Denver (+6) at Cleveland.
Los Angeles (42-13 SU, 25-28-2 ATS) has played the last four games without Bryant. You would think that would be a big problem, but they’ve responded at 4-0 straight-up (SU) and 3-1 ATS.
Center Andrew Bynum missed two of those games, but he returned Tuesday night at home versus Golden State. Los Angeles won 104-94, failing to ‘cover’ as big 13-point favorites.
Boston hosted Los Angeles less than three weeks ago. The C’s had a seven-point lead after three quarters and even led by 11 points with nine minutesleft. However, the Lakers made a comeback culminated by a Bryant’ game-winning bucket with seven seconds left. Los Angeles won 90-89 as one-point ‘chalk.’
Los Angeles has now beaten Boston all three times since losing to them in the 2008 Finals. The Lakers ‘covered’ both meetings last year before the ‘push’ this year.
C’s continue grueling road trip
Boston has the fourth best record in the East Conference at 33-18. However, their 19-31-1 ATS mark is one of the NBA’s worst.
Boston got off to a good start to their trip Tuesday night in Sacramento. They happily won 95-92 despite failing to ‘cover’ the 5 ½-point spread. Boston is 0-5 ATS its last five games and 2-11-1 ATS in the last 14.
The C’s problem are almost too numerous to mention. Kevin Garnett’s knee is nowhere near 100 percent and he can be seen limping around most nights. Paul Pierce is dealing with minor injuries and starting to show age at 32.
Ray Allen is a physical specimen at 34, but he’s shooting just 33.3 percent from long range. Allen could be traded before Thursday’s trade deadline, which would have a huge impact on this game.
C’s fans are counting on the continued emergence of All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo and young center Kendrick Perkins.
Perkins does a good job guarding Andrew Bynum in the post, but will it be enough to get a win and ‘cover’ against the hated Lakers?
You decide at BroburySports.com!
Posted: 2/18/10 11:11AM ET