From Wondahbap, Silver Screen and Roll: When Lamar Odom isn’t living it up scripted reality style or selling unisex colognes with his wife, Khloe Kardashian, he’s been spending his time playing superb basketball. Consistently. Twelve seasons in, Lamar Odom is having the best season of his career. There could be many reasons. It could be his summer spent helping Team USA win gold at the World Championships. Or the the comfort of having a new contract and two NBA Championship rings. Or happiness in his personal life and new found celebreality fame. Personally, I think Lamar has fully embraced what it means to be a professional. To give fans his best effort night in and night out. That’s not to say he wasn’t professional before. The difference is that, now he’s more in the spotlight. Thanks to the Kardashians, he has a slew of new fans to impress. He’s loving the fame and performing his best because there’s tons of people turning on the Lakers to see him play. He’s a star now, and he’s playing like it. It could very well be that simple.
From Mike Trudell, Basket Blog: Following Wednesday’s practice in Boston, the Lakers didn’t talk much about the Boston Celtics. But that’s only because many of the questions from reporters centered around a trade rumor involving Andrew Bynum, which didn’t mean much to Phil Jackson. “I haven’t given any second thoughts, I haven’t even entertained it,” said L.A.’s Coach. “My first thought is, why are these (media) people interrupting my life with these rumors?” Jackson was being at least somewhat facetious, as he followed that remark by explaining that the Lakers are very much used to dealing with trade rumors, even as he acknowledged that it’s “still something that we have to consider all the time to make sure (the players are) focused.”
From ESPNLA: The Los Angeles Lakers can’t turn on their laptops or open up a newspaper without seeing the team in the news. Trade rumors, tough losses to top teams, critics — from near and far — saying they’re too old. But it’s clear how Kobe Bryant feels about the season and the current makeup of the team. “Come on now, you know me. We’ll be ready,” Bryant said on 710 ESPN Wednesday afternoon. “Trust me. What we’re going through right now, it will make it that much sweeter.” The Lakers have the second-best record in the Western Conference — behind the San Antonio Spurs — heading into TD Garden to play the Boston Celtics on Thursday.
From Jeff Mezydlo, Yahoo.com: Boston got the best of the Lakers in Los Angeles in their NBA finals rematch last month. However, based on their recent regular-season play at TD Garden, the Lakers have a good chance to split the season series. The Lakers hope to avenge that defeat with a third straight regular-season road victory over the banged-up Celtics on Thursday night. Behind 32 points from Paul Pierce, Boston shot a road season-high 60.3 percent in a 109-96 win over the Lakers on Jan. 30. It was the Celtics’ first trip to Staples Center since their 83-79 loss there in Game 7 of the NBA finals June 17. Though the Celtics claim last season’s near-miss wasn’t a motivational factor for their latest matchup, Pierce couldn’t help but look ahead to what might lie down the road for both clubs.
From Broderick Turner, LA Times: It does not matter where the Lakers and Boston Celtics play each other. ??That’s because the rivalry between the Lakers and Celtics, the two teams with the most NBA championships, is so intense and historic. ??They will square off Thursday night at the TD Garden, but the venue is not important.?? Each team has won recently on the other’s court.?? The Lakers won here in the regular season last season, and they won Game 3 of the NBA Finals here in June. And the Celtics defeated the Lakers, 109-96, at Staples Center on Jan. 30 and won Game 2 in the Finals in Los Angeles last year.??” If we were to play a game in the park against that team, it would be hard-core and [trash] talking,” Lamar Odom said after the Lakers’ practice Wednesday. “It’s always going to be intense when you respect a team. You don’t have to disrespect a team to want to kick their [butt]. You have that much respect for them, which intensifies the game.”
From Steve Bulpett, Boston Herald: The standings in tomorrow’s paper will reflect the result of tonight’s game, but in a more metaphysical sense, the Celtics cannot lose. In light of their many wounded, they are now bullet-proof when staring down the barrel of an elite team such as the Lakers. The Celts can, and should, still take abuse for failing to put forth a reasonable effort while falling to the Bobcats in Charlotte Monday. But as long as the intact starting five plays its game tonight, the final score can be accepted. Of course, seeing that this is their job and everything, that’s not how the Celtics are looking at this annual visit by their friends from the warm .?.?. er, west coast. Doc Rivers wasn’t ready to take the available excuse that all will be fine, win or lose.