The Celtics host the Lakers this year with some unusual circumstances surrounding the two teams. The winner of tonight’s game will have the most wins in the history of the NBA.considering that both teams only play each other twice a year, it is incredibly coincidental that they would be playing against each other while tied for most wins All-time. This will also be the first game between the Lakers and Celtics post Kobe Bryant. This is actually the first season where the Lakers are without either Bryant, Magic, or Abdul-Jabbar since the 1974-1975 season. The competition between the two teams may not be apparent by the standings this season, but their rivalry runs deep.
Most wins, but not the best win percentage
The Celtics all-time record is 3,252 wins and 2,275 losses, for a win percentage of 58. 8%. The Lakers have 3,252 wins as well, but they only have 2,169 losses, which gives them a 60% win percentage. So, as nice as it would be to have the most wins, the Celtics still have a little ways to go to have won more consistently that LA.
Sending the Coaches to New Orleans
With the victory over Toronto on Wednesday, the Celtics put themselves in a position to send their coaches to All Star weekend with a win tonight. Winning the division was one of the major goals for this Celtics team to start the season. Sending their coaching staff to All Star weekend is a milestone marker that indicates they are on the right path. It also gives the Celtics’ coaches access to the game’s elite players. Access may not result in convincing a top player to play in Boston, but it will garner respect from players around the league.
Avery Bradley will return to action tonight. Or, will he?
Bradley has been working hard to get back on the court on game nights, but there’s no rush to get him back. He looked like he was coming back on Wednesday, but soreness from working out the day before delayed his return. Due to that soreness, it is likely that he will also sit out again tonight. Boston plays the Clippers on Sunday, and then have two days off before heading out for four game road trip. Hopefully he can get a game in before that road trip, which features four games in six nights.
Photo Courtesy of ClutchPoints
A chance to see Brandon Ingram
Going back to the draft lottery, most Celtics fans were hoping for a shot at Ingram or Simmons. The draft was touted as having two top players, and then a drop off to a lesser group. The lottery results left Boston with the third pick and Jaylen Brown instead. We’re now over 50 games into this season, and both Ingram and Brown have had their chances to perform. Ingram has played 1,436 minutes while Brown has only logged 693 minutes. Brown’s has had a relatively short leash with the Celtics, and he’s been forced to refine his game a little quicker in order to get minutes. Ingram, on the other hand, has had a more trial by fire approach to his rookie season.
Ingram’s shooting numbers not very good, and mildly reminiscent of Marcus Smart level statistics. The second overall pick is shooting 35. 6% from the field, and 28% from deep. He’s also shooting only 67. 4% from the free throw line, which is surprisingly low for a player touted as a shooter. Of course, Ingram is still only 19 years old, and won’t turn 20 until early September. So, there’s no hurry in determining how good he will be just yet.
Terry Rozier is going to have a really good game soon
A little more than halfway through his second, Rozier’s confidence level has risen to a very high level. Whether it’s a late game three, or a second quarter mid-range jumper, Rozier has looked confident. He is still putting the pieces together, but the good ole eye test says he’s going to have a good game soon. We’re talking about a 20-24 point night kind of good game too. Rozier is a player that can take the Celtics to another level. Boston has had a lot of kinks in their game this season, and scoring from the bench is certainly one of the bigger ones. A confident, competent, and more efficient Rozier would do a lot for this club.
Default Isaiah Thomas Acknowledgement
Thomas has been playing as well or better than pretty much any Celtics player in team history. Tonight he will get a chance to partake in an effort to bring his coaching staff with him to New Orleans. Isaiah has a mean streak in him which he uses on the basketball court, but he’s a very appreciative guy, as well. I’m sure it would mean a lot for him to have the Celtics coaching staff there with him.