EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Sports

December 24, 2008

L.A. Fakers are back at it again

BOSTON — Up until a couple of weeks ago, this Christmas clash was a bit more palatable.

The Boston Celtics would be making the cross country trip to play the Los Angeles Lakers for what would be the most eagerly anticipated regular season game since, well, the Celtics and Lakers played nationally televised games the entire 1980s.

The Lakers had won their first seven and 14 of their first 15 games. The Celtics were right there, on their heels, with only two losses.

The Lakers weren't going to be shoved around like they were last June, particularly in Boston.

But it won't be so extra special now, despite the ad nauseam marketing attempts by ABC and ESPN.

Don't blame the Celtics. They kept their end of the NBA marketing bargain. They've picked up exactly where they left off last spring. With last night's 19th straight win — a 110-91 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers — Boston is 27-2, officially the best start ever for an NBA franchise.

The problem is the Lakers. Despite last night's 100-87 win over New Orleans, they've reverted to their 2007-08 roots.

Center Andrew Bynum, who was supposed to give the Lakers some beef in the middle, has not picked up where he left off when he injured his knee last January. He is scoring less than he was a year ago (as of yesterday he was averaging 12.4 points per game this season vs. 13.1 last year) and his rebound totals are down (from 10.2 to 8.5) as well.

The bigger enigma is power forward Lamar Odom, who lost his starting position to another no-show during last June's NBA Finals, Luke Walton. Odom is averaging only 8.6 points and 6.3 rebounds this season, a drop from 14.2 and 10.7 last season.

Of course, Kobe is still Kobe. He has led the team in scoring in 25 of the Lakers' 28 games. He is averaging 26.1 points per game and 31 over the last seven games, including last night.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports

Local Sports Videos
Sports Videos
Can Buckeyes fill Miller's void? Manziel mature enough to start? Ditka Blames 'Politically Correct Idiots' For Redskins Controversy - @TheBuzzeronFOx Redskins show solidarity with Ferguson protesters Is Taney a team of destiny? Taney Dragons wins in walk-off comback fashion Coach Rice has full confidence in Davis vs. Nevada SNC Minute: Maclin tweaks hamstring; Phils lose Bottalico: Giles 'has the makings of a closer' McCarthy and Stairs recap Phils' 3rd straight loss Training Camp Central: Eagles brave the weather in Foxborough Shady and Chip on 2000 yard season 3 takeaways from Eagles' joint practice in Foxborough Checking for Charity Hockey Tournament begins August 14th What are Eagles' options if Maclin goes down again? Mosher: Maclin disappointed after tweaking hamstring Boomer: Johnny Manziel still has a lot to learn College Football Preview: Breaking down the ACC Boomer: Are training camp fights good for a team? Luis Suarez's 4-Month Ban Upheld ... Reality Bites! - @TheBuzzeronFOX
Boston Sports
Brian Westbrook: I wouldn’t hand the Browns over to Johnny Football’ Farrell 1-on-1: Biggest lessons learned from 2014 Can Buckeyes fill Miller's void? Manziel mature enough to start? Ditka Blames 'Politically Correct Idiots' For Redskins Controversy - @TheBuzzeronFOx Redskins show solidarity with Ferguson protesters Farrell: Bradley, Jr. sent to ‘maintain adjustments’ Farrell: ‘A ‘neighborhood play’ is not a reviewable play’ Bogaerts: ‘I knew he was safe if they replayed it’ Fans Excited For Patriots Preseason Kickoff Curran: Brady, Mallett & Garoppolo expected to play tomorrow Pedro Martinez on Lester: “I would like to see him come back’ Greeting from Foxboro: What to look for in Patriots-Eagle preseason game Pedro, Clemens and Nomar on the honor of joining Red Sox Hall of Fame Boomer: Johnny Manziel still has a lot to learn College Football Preview: Breaking down the ACC Boomer: Are training camp fights good for a team? Luis Suarez's 4-Month Ban Upheld ... Reality Bites! - @TheBuzzeronFOX Volin: Eagles vs Patriots may be a Superbowl preview Curran: Breaking down the Patriots Camp battles