NBA Odds: Celtics-Lakers Rivalry Takes a Strange Turn

The NBA’s greatest rivalry resumes this Saturday when the Los Angeles Lakers host the Boston Celtics, tipping off at 8:30 PM ET on ABC. This game will have a strange atmosphere surrounding it, as both teams are slumping right now. Their woes are in no small part because of issues off the basketball court.

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The Lakers have been in a funk ever since LeBron James lobbied to have Anthony Davis come to LA from the New Orleans Pelicans at the trade deadline. That deal didn’t go through, and now all the young Lakers who were offered up as trade bait are struggling. The Celtics have also suffered since Kyrie Irving waffled on his commitment to pick up his 2019-20 option year with Boston. Rumor has it both Davis and Irving could join LeBron in Los Angeles this summer.

In the meantime, the Lakers have fallen 5.5 games out of a playoff spot in the Western Conference at press time, and they have four players listed as day-to-day: Lonzo Ball (ankle), Kyle Kuzma (ankle), Tyson Chandler (neck) and Lance Stephenson (toe). The Celtics are still playoff-bound in the East, but they’ve slid into fifth place heading into the last month of the regular season.

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