December 20, 2008

December 25: Boston Celtics vs. Los Angeles Lakers

December 25 is no doubt a very special day all over the world-- it's the day we celebrate Christmas.

But for the Los Angeles Lakers and Lakers fans all over the world, it's a day that gets circled on everyone's calendar. It's the day the Lakers' long-time nemesis and recent tormentor, the Boston Celtics, will be paying a visit to the Staples Center.

At this point, the Lakers still need to face the Miami Heat, the Orlando Magic, the Memphis Grizzlies and the New Orleans Hornets before they actually play the Celtics. Fine, that's still four games with two major opponents (the Magic and the Hornets), but can't we just skip that and go straight to December 25?

The match-up is much anticipated because the changes both the teams had after the 2008 NBA Finals.The Celtics lost James Posey while the Lakers got Andrew Bynum and Trevor Ariza back into their lineup. The Celtics starters of Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo (called the Fantastic Four as of late) have been stellar, whereas the Lakers have been beating teams on their depth. (If you can afford to put Vladimir Radmanovic as your third-stringer forward, then you gotta be deep, right?)

Finally, it may well be a game of defense versus offense: the Lakers have been defeating teams by outscoring them, the Celtics the opposite. But we all know which way wins championships.

One final note: the game will be played on LA's home turf, and I think will be the X-factor.

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