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Shorthanded Los Angeles Lakers in Boston to Face Celtics

February 7th, 2013 at 2:15 PM
By Brandon Duran

'TD Garden // Boston' photo (c) 2010, Achim Hepp - license:
The Los Angeles Lakers (23-26) are beat-up and tonight they are in Boston to face the streaking Boston Celtics. Yesterday, the Lakers received the bad news of possibly being without PF Pau Gasol for at least six weeks. Dwight Howard, who has missed the last three games with an injured right shoulder, will be a game-time decision and Mike D’Antoni has let it be known that it is Howard’s decision entirely.

“It’s getting better, we’ll see how it’s feeling tonight.” – Dwight Howard on his shoulder following Thursday morning’s shoot around

The Lakers are on a three-game winning streak and have won six of their last seven games. Los Angeles is coming together as a team, despite the numerous injuries they have sustained, and it seems like they are enjoying playing together.  However, the recent spat in the media between Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard is becoming a huge distraction and can become detrimental to the Lakers recent success and the rest of the season.  Bryant, infamous for being a difficult player to play with, has become more trusting of his teammates recently but his messages to Dwight through the media will make his teammates less trusting of him.

Without Howard, Gasol, and Hill, the Lakers will rotate Earl Clark, Antawn Jamison, and Robert Sacre at the power forward and center positions. The Lakers will play small until Dwight is ready to play, putting a much greater significance on shooting from the perimeter.

The Celtics (25-23) have won five straight games, including wins over the Heat and the Clippers, without their star point guard Rajon Rondo. Rondo went down on January 25th with a torn ACL and is out for the season. Boston has stepped up as a team in place of Rondo in the past five games. Kevin Garnett has played especially well since the guard was sidelined. Garnett is coming off a 27 point, 10 rebound performance in Boston’s win over Toronto last night. The win was Celtics’ coach Doc Rivers’ 400th career victory with Boston, making him only the third coach to do so in Celtics history.

The game tips-off at TD Garden at 5:00PM PT on TNT and ESPNLA 710.

Tags: Antawn Jamison, Basketball, Dwight Howard, Earl Clark, Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA, Pau Gasol, Rajon Rondo, Robert Sacre

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