The Los Angeles Lakers head to TD Garden to face the Boston Celtics in a Monday night matchup that is sure to be entertaining.
The Lakers are coming off a big 124-115 win against the Houston Rockets, as LeBron James was able to put up 31 points and 12 assists and put another strike in the win column.
The Boston Celtics have been playing poorly recently, coming into this one on a three-game losing streak, most recently getting taken down by the Phoenix Suns 123-119.
The Lakers come into Monday night as close favorites at -1.5. Can Los Angeles steal one on the road, or will Boston get back to winning?
Trying To Right The Ship
The Celtics have hit a cold streak recently, losing three straight games, two of which were at home. On Monday night, they’ll be welcoming the Lakers into TD Garden in hopes that they’ll be able to get back on track.
If you were looking at the stat sheet, you’d wonder why Boston is having so much trouble winning games. The Celtics have an efficient offense led by Kemba Walker and one of the league’s best defenses, so it’s hard to understand why they haven’t been able to capitalize recently.
Injuries have crippled the Celtics in recent games, with Walker and Jaylen Brown questionable in this game against the Lakers. The Celtics could potentially be down two strong scorers.
The last time these two teams played, both squads were very different. Kyrie Irving was still running the show in Boston, and Anthony Davis wasn’t a member of the Lakers yet.
For Boston to come out on top in this one, it will have to play much better defense and hopefully get its two starters back.
Against the spread, the Celtics have been about average, with a 3-2 record in their last five games and the total going over in four of them.
Showing Out In LA
James and Co. have had fun being at the top in the Western Conference, and they’ll look to grab a big win against an Eastern Conference contender.
James has taken over in Davis’ absence, putting up a double-double against the Houston Rockets this past Saturday to bring the Lakers’ record to 34-8. The Lakers have gone 9-1 in their last 10 games, with one very uncharacteristic loss to the Magic.
The Lakers are easily one of the league’s most prolific offenses, averaging 114.21 points per game, as even without Davis on the court, players like Kyle Kuzma and Rajon Rondo have picked up the slack.
Speaking of Rondo, some key Lakers could be out on Monday night, including Rondo, who is still dealing with a lingering finger injury. Davis is still questionable for this one while he recovers from a tailbone injury.
The Lakers have proven to be a team that can cover a spread, with a 5-1 ATS record in their last six games. They’ve done well against Boston as well, going 9-4 in their last 13 against the Celtics.
Pick and Prediction
The Celtics have struggled recently, and I don’t expect the struggling to stop against the Western Conference’s best team. With Walker and Brown both potentially being out, I don’t have much confidence in the Celtics keeping up with a red-hot Lakers team.
The Lakers have played well on the road all year and have a record of 18-2 straight up in their last 20 games. With potentially getting Davis and Rondo back to join James, it’s hard to imagine an injured Celtics team keeping up with the Lakers on Monday night. This one is pretty cut and dry for me. Take the Lakers -1.5.