Los Angeles Lakers: 8 Reasons They Will Beat the Boston Celtics Tonight

Brian MurtaughAnalyst IFebruary 10, 2011

Los Angeles Lakers: 8 Reasons They Will Beat the Boston Celtics Tonight

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 30:  Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers drives to the basket over teammate Andrew Bynum #17 against the Boston Celtics in the second half at Staples Center on January 30, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. The Celtics defeat
    Jeff Gross/Getty Images

    The last time the Lakers and Celtics met, the Celtics came away with one of their biggest victories of the entire 2010-11 NBA season as Boston took down L.A., 109-96.

    Los Angeles will be looking to split the season series with the Celtics tonight as the Lakers will travel to TD Garden with revenge on the mind.

    These are eight reasons why the Boston Celtics will fall to the Los Angeles Lakers tonight.

No. 8: Kobe Bryant

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 03:  Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts to his defense during a stop in play against the San Antonio Spurs during the first half at Staples Center on February 3, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.  NOTE TO USER: User
    Harry How/Getty Images

    Every basketball fan knows that when the Lakers do something great, Kobe Bryant is usually in the mix of things.

    Bryant dropped 41 on the Celtics when both teams met shortly after the Christmas holiday, but that wasn't enough to slow down the Celtics offensive barrage.

    Bryant should have an easier time on defense, however, as Paul Pierce is still struggling with injury.

No. 7: Shaquille O'Neal

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    PHOENIX, AZ - JANUARY 28:  Shaquille O'Neal #36 of the Boston Celtics during the NBA game against the Phoenix Suns at US Airways Center on January 28, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona.  The Suns defeated the Celtics 88-71.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledg
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Shaquille O'Neal will be out of the lineup tonight against the Lakers, which only helps the L.A forwards.

    O'Neal still has a physical presence about him in the middle of the paint and the Celtics always seem to struggle with rebounding and blocking out when he is out of the lineup.

    Plus, the Shaq vs. Kobe matchup will no longer be a factor or distraction for L.A.

    This will be O'Neal's fourth straight game on the sidelines and his return is very much up in the air.

No. 6: Andrew Bynum

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 30:  Andrew Bynum #17 of the Los Angeles Lakers is defended by Kendrick Perkins #43 of the Boston Celtics in the second half at Staples Center on January 30, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. The Celtics defeated the Lakers 109-96
    Jeff Gross/Getty Images

    Andrew Bynum is seemingly playing for his Lakers career after being a hot topic in trade discussions over the course of the last few days.

    So far this season, Bynum has posted a little over 11 points and eight rebounds per game.

    Although he is not a huge difference-maker on any given night, the seven-foot, 285-pound Bynum should have a great size advantage at TD Garden.

No. 5: Celtics Injuries

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    BOSTON, MA - JANUARY 21:  Semih Erden #86 of the Boston Celtics dunks the ball in the fourth quarter against the Utah Jazz on January 21, 2011 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.  The Celtics defeated the Jazz 110-86. NOTE TO USER: User expressly a
    Elsa/Getty Images

    Jermaine O'Neal, Delonte West, Shaquille O'Neal and Semih Erden are all out of the lineup for the Celtics tonight against the Lakers.

    In fact, the Celtics will only dress 10 total players which can cause some serious matchup problems in the later part of the game and also if anyone should get into foul trouble.

    The Celtics are expected to play a center-by-committee system while Semih Erden and Shaquille O'Neal are both out.

No. 4: Road Warriors

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 03:  Pau Gasol #16, Andrew Bynum #17, Kobe Bryant #24 and Derek Fisher #2 of the Los Angeles Lakers head to the bench after a time out trailing the San Antonio Spurs during the second half at Staples Center on February 3, 2011 i
    Harry How/Getty Images

    The Lakers have one of the best winning percentages on the road in the entire NBA.

    With a current record of 17-8 on other teams' turf, the Lakers know how to win close games away from L.A. and keep the momentum going.

    The Lakers are also averaging slightly better numbers on the road as far as points per game and rebounding are concerned.

No. 3: The Lakers Have Done This Before

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 21:  Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant laughs with the championship trophy while riding in the victory parade for the the NBA basketball champion team on June 21, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. The Lakers beat the Boston Celtic
    Noel Vasquez/Getty Images

    The Lakers have been forced to play at TD Garden quite often over the last few seasons as both L.A, and the Celtics have made championship runs.

    Playing the Celtics on the road can be intimidating for some Western Conference teams but the Lakers have won there before and know that the Celtics are depleted due to injury.

    The Lakers match up better against the Celtics tonight as it is widely known that the Celtics will be forced to run their game through Paul Pierce.

No. 2: Pau Gasol vs. Kevin Garnett

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 01:  Pau Gasol #16 of the Los Angeles Lakers drives around Chuck Hayes #44 of the Houston Rockets in the first half at Staples Center on February 1, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. The Lakers defeated the Rockets 114-106. NOTE
    Jeff Gross/Getty Images

    Pau Gasol plays his best basketball when he is up against the best competition and he gets that competition every time he sees Kevin Garnett.

    Garnett vs. Gasol is becoming one of the best matchups in the history of these two teams in addition to Bryant vs. Pierce.

    The winner of this matchup should go a long way towards winning the game as rebounding and second-chance points are key.

No. 1: Recent Trends

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 11:   Head coach Phil Jackson and Pau Gasol #16 of the Los Angeles Lakers laugh before the game with the Cleveland Cavaliers at Staples Center on January 11, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.  The Lakers won 112-57.  NOTE TO USER:
    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    Sometimes you can't argue with history and despite a Celtics win earlier this season, the Lakers have gotten the better of them recently.

    The Lakers have won four out of the last five meetings, outscoring the Celtics by an average of seven points per game.

    With a win on the road tonight, the Lakers can improve to 8-2 over the course of their last 10 road games.

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