Thursday night at 8PM, the Boston Celtics will host the rival Los Angeles Lakers for the only time this season. This meeting may look a bit different than past games as both of these teams have struggled heavily this season and find themselves in the middle of their respective conferences. Injuries have also ravaged both teams this season; Boston has lost star Point Guard Rajon Rondo and rookie phenom Jared Sullinger for the season. The Lakers have lost Pau Gasol, Dwight Howard, and Steve Nash each for sizable chunks of time. Most recently, the Lakers learned Gasol will miss up to 6 weeks with a heel injury. While each team will miss some key players, any time Kobe and the Lakers head to Boston, it's a must watch game.
Heading into Wednesday's game in Toronto, the Celtics have been 4-0 since learning that Rajon Rondo is out for the season. The improved play of their bench during that stretch has been a huge reason. Jeff Green has really asserted himself as a force in the last 5 games for Boston. Leandro Barbosa has seen a huge minutes rise recently and is averaging 10.5 points per game in his last 4 games.
For the Lakers, they enter Thursday's game with Boston without Gasol and maybe Dwight Howard as well who has missed his last two contests with a shoulder injury. LA had a big win in Brooklyn Tuesday night against an upper tier Eastern Conference team in the Nets. Lakers-Celtics always produces something special and this game should be no different.