One month ago, Celtics-Lakers looked like a cakewalk for Boston. Now it should be a real battle.
On Nov. 13, the Lakers were 2-10 and on a five-game losing streak, while Boston was 10-3, in the middle of winning nine games in a row. It was a far cry from the classic Lakers-Celtics battles of the ’80s or the late 2000s.
Since then, the Lakers have righted the ship, going 9-5 and surviving a difficult East Coast road trip with a 3-3 record. They’re still in 12th place, but they’re just two-and-a-half games out of 8th. Meanwhile, Boston and the “best offense in league history” were shut down in consecutive West Cost games, losing to the Warriors by 16 points and the Clippers by 20. If they lose to the Lake Show, and the Bucks beat the Warriors, Milwaukee would take over first place in the Eastern Conference.
The Celtics will have to deal with a peaking Anthony Davis, who has been putting up huge numbers in the past 30 days. Aside from the game where he left with an illness in the first quarter, Davis is averaging 34.8 points and 15.2 rebounds, plus 2.6 blocks. And the Celtics will have to deal with him without Al Horford, who is out for a very good reason.