Old rivals Celtics, Lakers look just plain old

Paul Pierce and the Celtics will face a Pau Gasol-less Lakers squad Thursday
Paul Pierce and the Celtics will face a Pau Gasol-less Lakers squad Thursday

 

For the last five seasons, the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers have been measured by their losses.

 

They’ve split two NBA Finals matchups and have been threats in the postseason each year.

 

This year is different.

 

No longer is it a surprise when the Celtics or Lakers lose, but when they actually win a game. Okay, it was also a surprise when the Lakers fired head coach Mike Brown five games into the season.

 

Regardless, wins have been few and far between for these two longtime rivals from each coast. The C’s went into Wednesday’s game in Toronto with a 24-23 record, good for eighth in the Eastern Conference.

 

The Lakers aren’t any better. At 23-26, they’re not even a playoff team right now – playing catch up to teams like the Blazers, Rockets, and Jazz.

 

And the good news for both teams – that the Celtics were on a four-game winning streak heading into Wednesday, and the Lakers have won six of seven – can’t even come without major injury news.

 

You already know about Boston’s Rajon Rondo and Jared Sullinger. But the Lakers, too, are dealing with injuries now. Their two redwoods, Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol are banged up. Howard has missed the team’s last three games with right shoulder soreness, and Gasol heard a “pop” in his foot on his fascia in Tuesday’s game against the Nets and it was revealed by CBSSports.com yesterday that he will miss up to six weeks of action.

 

The injuries to both teams have forced the “old reliable” future Hall of Famers of Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Kobe Bryant to take on even larger roles with their respective teams.

 

In the Lakers’ last three games (all wins), Bryant has averaged 18.7 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 5.7 assists. While his scoring is down, his rebounds and assists are up, because that’s what his team needs.

 

The same can be said for Pierce, who has taken on a bigger point-forward role after loss of Rondo. Pierce has averaged 17.3 points, 9.8 rebounds, and 6.3 assists in the C’s last four games, with the latter two stat categories well above his career averages.

So tonight’s game (8 p.m., TNT) isn’t a battle between the NBA’s best. It’s more so a battle between the NBA’s bruised, but not yet beaten.

 

There’s a sense of pride that goes along with wearing each jersey, and that will surely be on display – regardless of record.

 

Follow Metro Boston Celtics beat writer Jimmy Toscano on Twitter @Jimmy_Toscano 



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Mutant worms stay sober, even on alcohol

U.S. researchers have developed "mutant worms" that do not get drunk by alcohol, a breakthrough that could lead to new treatment for people trying to quit drinking

Local

K-9 nose helps capture $150K in cocaine at…

A furry, four-legged security agent helped authorities stop an illegal cocaine shipment from sneaking past JFK customs.

National

Minnesota man asked to leave Southwest flight after…

A man and his two sons were asked to leave a Southwest Airlines flight after the man sent a tweet complaining about being treated rudely by a gate agent.

National

Man sues hospital after surprise penis amputation

An Alabama man who went in to a hospital last month for a circumcision awoke after surgery to find his penis had been amputated, his lawyer said on Thursday.

Movies

Review: Brett Ratner's big 'Hercules' movie is small…

The latest "Hercules," starring Dwayne Johnson as the half-god beefcake of Greek myth, strips its hero and tale of most of its fantastical elements.

Arts

Scientists recreate world's smallest Monet copy

Scientists have reproduced a famous Impressionist painting using nano-printing, to create what has been described as the world's smallest work of art. Reworked at the…

Television

Jerry Seinfeld is ambidextrous, and other Reddit AMA…

See some of the weirder highlights of Jerry Seinfeld's recent Reddit AMA.

Going Out

Grab a pedestrian and start dancing at What…

As a New Yorker, I’ve mastered the art of focusing my gaze straight ahead. Though it occasionally piques my interest, the absurdities that play out…

NFL

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player…

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player rankings

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC announce signing of Frank Lampard

The tease of a big signing Thursday by new MLS side NYCFC ended up being one rumored for weeks. England midfielder Frank Lampard agreed to…

NBA

NBA great LeBron James sends 800 cupcake apologies…

By Kim PalmerCLEVELAND (Reuters) - NBA star LeBron James, whose recent return to the Cleveland Cavaliers in his home state of Ohio sparked a frenzy…

NFL

Jerry Reese confident with Giants, skipping countdown clocks…

Last year, Giants GM Jerry Reese installed a countdown clock in the locker room to inspire Big Blue to play in their own stadium for Super Bowl XLVIII.

Tech

Forget Wi-Fi: Li-Fi could be the future

Li-Fi technology – developed by Mexican company Sisoft – is wireless internet connectivity using specialized LED light.

Tech

Weather app Climendo might be the most accurate…

The wait for a truly accurate weather forecast could finally be over thanks to a nifty new app called Climendo.

Tech

Napkin Table puts focus off the phone and…

Michael Jan, a design student at Tunghai University in Taiwan, has invented a serviette-picnic blanket hybrid called the Napkin Table.

Style

Essie's new Color Boutique

Essie launches high-tech kiosks at major airports and malls across the country.