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What’s extra stunning at this level of the season: The Lakers at 30-34, or the Celtics at 39-26?
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Steve Aschburner: The Celtics. We suspected the Lakers could be a sizzling mess, what with LeBron James’ dominant persona touchdown in a model new tradition and the doubtful roster heavy with veteran, one-year place holders. Combine within the trauma/drama of the Anthony Davis commerce hypothesis and this isn’t such a stunning consequence. However the Celtics had been presupposed to be onward and upward from final spring’s playoff push, basically including each Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving to that freshly seasoned crew. As a substitute, we’ve seen a failure to launch within the extra navigable East. Possibly there was an “different shoe,” Davis-trade impact on this squad, too, with younger Boston gamers questioning about their fates this summer season.And thus far, this has spoken volumes about Irving’s skill to steer and general affect on chemistry.
Shaun Powell: The Lakers. Even with the accidents and taking part in within the Western Convention, posting a dropping document and being on the verge of lacking the playoffs appears uncommon, particularly a number of the video games they’ve misplaced (Hawks, Cavs, Suns, and so forth.). However it’s a detailed name. Each are bewildering.
Ought to the Lakers think about resting LeBron James for the remainder of 2018-19?
John Schuhmann: The Celtics. In the beginning of the season, with the energy of the Western Convention and the dearth of capturing round LeBron James, it wasn’t clear that the Lakers had been a playoff crew. So my preseason self would not be too stunned to see them in 11th place. The Celtics even have a a lot better level differential than they did final season and, as we noticed in Oakland on Tuesday, can play like the most effective crew within the league on any given evening. However they’ve run cold and warm, and too usually, the entire has been lower than the sum of the components. The 4 groups forward of them within the East standings are all superb, however given their expertise, the Celtics shouldn’t be on the backside of that group and, probably, beginning the playoffs on the street.
Sekou Smith: I can actually say that each the Lakers and Celtics have stunned me this season, and never in a great way. The Celtics, nonetheless, entered this season with far better expectations than the Lakers. I figured the Lakers for a playoff crew with LeBron James as their anchor. They’d want for issues to go properly on the harm entrance (they haven’t) they usually’d want their children to make an enormous leap from final season (they haven’t). The Lakers’ season is formally a tire fireplace now. However the Celtics are coping with chemistry points that I by no means noticed coming. Their present predicament is beautiful when you think about the standard and depth on their roster, to not point out the chops of their head coach. I used to be by no means on the Brad Stevens genius bandwagon, however he did a wonderful job making issues work when Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward weren’t obtainable for the postseason final 12 months. You discover out some critically necessary issues about folks when they’re coping with adversity, with exterior pressures and with added expectations. The stunning half for me watching the Celtics is how poorly they’re coping with the entire above. The Celtics are nowhere close to the most effective crew within the East, as they had been solid within the offseason.