Get ready for an explosive showdown between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics, two of the most successful franchises in NBA history. Their fierce rivalry has greatly impacted the entire game and continues to bring incredible basketball moments to fans worldwide.
The league knows how to create an exciting Christmas schedule, which we’ve seen in the past, and now. There is no need to explain that the clash at the Crypto.com Arena will highlight Monday’s program.
Let’s closely examine both teams as we gear up for this highly anticipated matchup.
LeBron Still Showing His Dominance
The Lakers find themselves hovering around the .500 mark, which isn’t what they and the fans expected. While the purple and gold did manage to secure the NBA in-season tournament title, overall, they have been underachieving. All the talks about Larry O’Brien aren’t realistic with the current record.
A rocky stretch in December saw LA drop four consecutive games, which raised some concerns. While losses on the road against tough opponents like the Timberwolves and the Bulls can be excused, the Lakers’ defeat at home against the struggling Spurs is the reason for setting the alarm off.
LeBron James continues to showcase his brilliance, averaging over 25 points per game, alongside seven rebounds and assists. Anthony Davis remains a dominant force on the glass, pulling down an average of 12.6 rebounds per game, but it seems that the rest of the crew isn’t following the leading duo properly.
Boston’s Good Form
The Celtics, on the other hand, find themselves in a completely different situation. They currently lead their division and conference, showcasing the ability to consistently win games. While their home record is impeccable, Celtics’ performances on the road have been slightly above average.
Austin Reaves talks about growing up a Kobe fan and hating LeBron 😂
“When I need some peace and quiet I put my phone on LeBron mode.. no rings” 😭😭💀 pic.twitter.com/Hj7jd3FNRQ
— NBALakersReport (@NBALakersReport) December 24, 2023
Questions arose when the franchise traded Marcus Smart for Kristaps Porzingis, but it seems to have paid off so far. Porzingis has been a valuable addition to the team, averaging nearly 20 points per game while maintaining an impressive field goal-shooting percentage of almost 53%.
We must acknowledge Jrue Holiday’s contribution, which often flies under the radar. As one of the league’s top defenders, Holiday’s presence on the court greatly benefits the Celtics. His intelligent playmaking provides stability and sharpness to the team’s performance, while defense covers up Smart’s departure.
Celtics VS Lakers Head to Head
In their previous two meetings last season, the Celtics emerged victorious in both games, with one of them going into overtime. The first matchup at the Crypto.com Arena resulted in Boston winning 122-118, while the second game at the TD Garden saw an intense battle ending with a 125-121 victory for the Celtics.
By the way, the Celtics and the Lakers have met 12 times in the finals, with Boston winning nine clashes and the Lakers only three.
Celtics VS Lakers Predictions
The Celtics enter this matchup as 4.5-point favorites. Despite facing the Clippers shortly before this game, we anticipate Boston won’t have any trouble regarding fitness and health. Joe Mazzulla’s gang has the upper hand with a deeper roster and superior defensive capabilities. Meanwhile, the Lakers are grappling with inconsistency, making it difficult to rely on their current form. Therefore, our prediction leans towards a Celtics victory.
Here are the BetXchange odds for this and other NBA matchups.