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Game #25: Where The Celtics 2012 Season Suddenly Matters..Again.

Los Angeles Lakers (14-11) at Boston Celtics (14-10)
Time: 8:00PM EST, Thursday, February 9, 2012
Game #: Regular Season Game #25, Home Game #17
Venue: TD Garden
Officials: Derrick Stafford, Marat Kogut, Gary Zielinski
The Line: The Celtics have won 5 straight, and 9 of their
last 10. The Lakers are 1-2 over the first 3 games of
a 6 game road trip.

Game Thread | Chat Room

I'm gonna come clean to all of you right now. I've been a terrible fan this season. I have. The lockout left me a bit burnt-out, jaded even. On top of that, the Celtics failed to make a meaningful acquisition at the 5 this off-season, and Jeff Green's heart condition, and Rondo trade rumors and blah...blah....
And that was BEFORE they started losing. After that, I just kind of took on that glassed over look that politicians' wives get at news conferences while their husbands admit they had an affair or something. If I would have had to characterize how I felt about the teams' chances in 2012 I would've said 'uncertain', but after a few cocktails, that would've moved to 'Playoffs?! You wanna talk about playoffs?!'
Then, they started winning games. First the 'big' games weren't so 'big'. A back-to-back against Orlando. A win against a plucky Indiana team that had beaten them earlier. But then, of course, they drop one to a woefully miserable (and, we now know, overachieving in the early part of the season) Cavaliers team, and you get the space to write them off a bit again.
Five straight wins against....well five wins is five wins. Suddenly Seymore, they're starting to look like a quality squad. Only 4 games behind Miami, and the bench looking like they're a heck of a lot more resilient than anyone thought they'd be without Jeff Green or another capable known name center on the roster.
But the fact remains, the Celtics' most impressive win so far this season is against the Indiana Pacers, and while that means a heck of a lot more today than it did at this time last year, it still isn't the equivalent of a 'statement win'.
Oh, but tonight. Tonight, they're facing the Lakers (who are, by the way, in the middle of a 6 game road trip in which they've already dropped 2 of the first 3), and all of a sudden, we got ourselves a stew goin.
The tired, old, hurt, under-staffed, unlucky, and rapidly deteriorating Boston Celtics are suddenly right on the precipice of jumping into the league's top-10, when they started out the first fifth of the season on the outside of the playoffs looking in.
Sam And Dave called, Kobe. They said Hold On, I'm Comin.

Probable Starters
Point Guard: Rajon Rondo ---------------- Shooting Guard: Ray Allen

Center: Jermaine O'Neal

Small Forward: Paul Pierce ------------------ Power Forward: Kevin Garnett

Celtics Reserves
Chris Wilcox
Mickael Pietrus
JaJuan Johnson
E'Twaun Moore
Sasha Pavlovic
Greg Stiemsma
Avery Bradley
Brandon Bass

Marquis Daniels (ankle) day to day
Keyon Dooling (hip) day to day

Probable Starters
Point Guard: Derek Fisher -------------------- Shooting Guard: Kobe Bryant

Center: Andrew Bynum

Small Forward: Metta World Peace -------------------- Power Forward: Pau Gasol

Lakers Reserves
Troy Murphy
Andrew Goudelock
Matt Barnes
Jason Kapono
Devin Eubankes
Josh McRoberts
Darius Morris
Luke Walton

Steve Blake (rib) out

Team Connections
Jermaine O’Neal and Metta World Peace were teammates in Indiana from 2001-06
Troy Murphy played for the Celtics during the 2010-11 season
Matt Barnes, Chris Wilcox and Keyon Dooling were teammates on the LA Clippers during the 2003-04 season
Matt Barnes, Brandon Bass and Mickael Pietrus were teammates in Orlando during the 2009-10 season
Troy Muprhy and Mickael Pietrus were teammates in Golden State from 2003-07
Barnes and Pietrus were also teammates in Golden State from 2006-08
Derek Fisher and Mickael Pietrus were teammates in Golden State during the 2005-06 season
Jermaine O’Neal and Troy Murphy were teammates in Indiana from 2006-08.

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