NBA Betting: Los Angeles Lakers v Boston Celtics (By


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Dec 2, 2008
NBA Betting: Los Angeles Lakers v Boston Celtics


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The Boston Celtics are playing even better this season than they did last but, despite divisions and egos within the squad, Betfair writer, Nick Shiambouros is backing the Los Angeles Lakers to prevail in the big Christmas night clash.

The Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers meet twice a year in the regular season and at 5pm EST on Christmas Day these two historic teams do battle once again.

The Celtics are on an amazing 18-0 winning streak and host the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday night before making the journey to California. At present they are trading at 1.1 to beat Philadelphia which is an indication of how well they are playing.

This current team has tied the club record in consecutive wins which is some feat as the Celtics have had the likes of Larry Bird and Kevin McHale play for them in the past.

In my opinion this current Celtic team is playing better than last year and there is one huge reason for this improvement - point guard Rajon Rondo. This young man is playing at a level I have not seen from him before. Last year everyone was talking about him as the major weakness in the team and the general feeling was that they could not win a title with him.

To say he has proved his critics wrong is a huge understatement. Last season Rondo had a tendency of not engaging in certain parts of a game and tended to let Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce carry a lot of the load when the team was behind. Now Rondo is actively more involved and is rapidly emerging as one of the best point guards in basketball.

If I had to look for a weakness in this team it would probably be the bench. A prime example of this was when the bench blew a large lead against Portland recently and Glen "Big Baby " Davis was chastised by Kevin Garnett and this poor guy literally burst in to tears.
The Lakers come in to this huge game on the back of defeats at Miami and Orlando.

There is no denying that this is a very talented team but, although I have seen some maturity from Kobe Bryant in the last year or so, I still have reservations. Pau Gasol has failed to protect the ball in some very big moments. The same applies to sixth man Sasha Vujacic who has made some very poor shot selections.

As great a player as Kobe is he has yet to convince me that he is both a team leader and a team player for the Lakers. This is very much a team game and he has to trust his colleagues a little more rather than put the fear of God in to them with constant expletives and ranting when things are not going well.

One advantage the Lakers definitely have is that they have a very strong bench so they are able to protect a lead a lot better that Boston can.

This game promises to be the game of the season and in my opinion is more important to LA than Boston. If the Lakers lose, Boston will have a huge psychological advantage over them which could be crucial in the finals, assuming LA make them.

I think this will be a close game and I just favour LA in this one with the handicap. Good luck and happy holidays to everyone.

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