The Los Angeles Lakers achieved their most impressive win of the season on Thursday night, while the Boston Celtics suffered what may be their worst defeat yet. With LeBron James and Anthony Davis sidelined due to injury, Austin Reaves and company handed a fully loaded Celtics team their third home loss of the season, 114-105.
Joe Mazzulla benched Jaylen Brown, Jrue Holiday, and Kristaps Porzingis at the start of the third quarter due to the team’s lack of focus, and this could just be a strange result a few weeks before the All-Star break, but it could mean something more for both teams.
Let’s start with LA, which is at .500 despite AD missing only four games and James missing just six. For a group that instilled fear in the Western Conference a year ago and made it to the Conference Finals as a play-in team, this year has been a miserable disaster compared to what was expected of them. The cohesion and chemistry developed during last year’s playoff run should have carried over, but Reaves has not been the player LA expected, even in the last few games. The same goes for Rui Hachimura, who shoots well but doesn’t contribute much else.