The NBA’s most historic rivalry just got a little juicier! Even a year ago, not many fans could’ve imagined the celebrated Los Angeles Lakers–Boston Celtics rivalry would become a matchup of LeBron James versus Kyrie Irving. But, here we are! Get ready for a wild game at TD Garden tonight with our full betting rundown.
Los Angeles Lakers
What hasn’t been written or said about the Lakers these past few days? It appears as though every player not named LeBron could be on the chopping block as today’s trade deadline quickly approaches. And why not? The Lakers have not made as much progress as a group as the King would have liked through 54 games. Los Angeles (27-27) sits in 10th place, three games back of a postseason position. The team’s young nucleus, including Brandon Ingram and Kyle Kuzma, stumbled to a 6-11 mark without Bron in the lineup. It seems like James has seen enough, and wishes to pursue a deep playoff run with a veteran star like Anthony Davis. James is expected to start tonight against the Celtics, the only question is which of his teammates will still be in a Lakers uniform by the 8 EST tipoff?
Speaking of trade rumors and whispers, the Boston Celtics have been in the news as much as their opponent. Boston currently holds the third seed with a 35-19 record, but the team hasn’t performed up to expectations this season. That has rumors swirling around James’ former teammate, Kyrie Irving. Will the PG stay a Celtic for the remainder of the season and/or the long-term? That remains unanswered at the moment, but what we do know is tonight’s outlook. Bovada gives the Celtics a nine-point edge in Thursday night’s biggest matchup. Los Angeles just suffered the biggest loss of James’ career, while the Celtics have won their last five games. And despite the Kyrie circus, the all-star has put up 53 points in his past two games played.
Taking the Celtics with the points (-110) certainly makes a lot of sense. This is one of the NBA’s best home teams, sporting a record of 22-6 at TD Garden. Plus, they’ve won 13 of their last 14 games at home. James and Kuzma are officially game-time decisions, and the group will be without Lonzo Ball. There are more than enough signs that point towards a Boston blowout tonight. But, nothing motivates James quite like doubters. Picture a scenario where the Lakers fail to acquire a superstar before tonight’s game. This will be the group that finishes out the season in Los Angeles. It’s make it or break it time for this unit. Right or wrong, the young core will likely be playing for their 2019-2020 jobs the rest of the way out. We all know James is capable of carrying his team to victory, and that very scenario could play out tonight for the Lakers (-110).