The Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics have one of the biggest rivalries in sports history, sharing their fair amount of battles throughout all these years.
From the Bill Russell, Jerry West and Elgin Baylor era, to “Showtime” with Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar against Larry Bird to Kobe Bryant going up against the Celtics’ big 3 in Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett, and even now with LeBron James and Anthony Davis having battles with Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, these two teams have always been at or near the top of the league.
The Lakers’ 2020 championship tied them with the Celtics at 17 titles, completing a long history for L.A. trying to catch up to Boston. While the rivalry may not be as heated as it used to be, both of these franchises are still looking to capture their 18th championship, which would be the most in league history.
Lakers governor Jeanie Buss is looking to get No. 18 before Boston to honor the late, great Dr. Jerry Buss, who bought the Lakers in hopes of putting them on the top of the food chain, via The Athletic NBA Show:
“Well right now, it’s like LeBron and Steph [Curry], you can’t have them both in the Finals because we are in the same conference. If you think about it, Celtics, Lakers we’re both at 17 and if we do play them, whoever wins gets No. 18. So, you know, when my dad bought the team in 1979 that was his goal, to make the Lakers be able to, you know, hold their place against the Celtics.”
The last meeting in the NBA Finals between the two teams was in 2010 when the Lakers won in seven games, clinching their 16th championship in L.A.
Both the Celtics and Lakers were in the Conference Finals this past season but were unable to advance to the Finals with L.A. losing to the Denver Nuggets in four games and the Celtics losing to the Miami Heat in seven games. A storybook ending would be for these two to meet in the Finals in the near future to compete for that elusive 18th title.
Boston added another offensive weapon in Kristaps Porzingis this summer, giving them another scoring option outside of Tatum and Brown. The Lakers added more depth around their stars with pieces like Gabe Vincent, Taurean Prince and Christian Wood, while retaining Austin Reaves, D’Angelo Russell and Rui Hachimura, so it could very well be a possibility this season.
Jarred Vanderbilt feels Game 2 was Lakers’ best chance in Western Conference Finals against Nuggets
It was a remarkable turnaround for the Lakers making drastic moves at the February trade deadline, going from the 13th seed to seventh in the West Then advancing all the way to the Conference Finals where they were unfortunately swept by the eventual champion Nuggets. Jarred Vanderbilt felt the team’s best chance in that series was stealing Game 2 in Denver, but that didn’t happen and then Denver took control of the series.
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