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Yea the Lakers play "down" against bad teams and "up" against good teams. They have blown out a couple teams but for the most part their games have ended with a pretty close score. The Celtics on the other hand just play really well no matter who they play. I think their average margin of win is by about 11 points. They just a set a record for most wins before losing their 3rd game. Right now they are the team to beat, they are the reigning champs and have the best record in the league so I think tomorrow game is important for the Lakers confidence. They need to know they can beat the Celtics, especially in LA. While the Lakers will still win the West I think its more of a confidence thing for them rather than just another win to stay ahead in the West.

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I agree with Sammy tho, until they play as hard as the Celtics on both ends of the floor they wont be able to beat them.

that's exactly my point, though. they don't NEED to beat the celtics right now. they're going to make the playoffs, and they're probably going to be the #1 seed at that. why bust your ass in a meaningless regular season game? just to gain some sort of psuedo-mental advantage in case you happen to meet up again in the finals?

i'm not saying the best way to make it through the regular season is to not try. i just don't think this game REALLY means anything, regardless of who wins or loses.

another thing to look at, though, is "playing up/down" to the level of your competition. what's the lakers' record against teams above .500? i'm not sure, but i would venture to guess it's pretty good. their record against teams under .500, as you have seen over the past week or two, is probably not as good as their record against +.500 teams. the point is, the lakers know when they need to turn it on and prove a point.

Because I would argue the Celtics need a little doubt instilled in them. A little voice in the back of their heads reminding them the Lakers can whoop their ass. I think the Lakers need the same voice saying the same thing for some confidence heading in to the playoffs. It could work against both teams best interest though. The Lakers could get cocky and the Celtics could get even more competitive. However, after the whooping the Cs laid on the Lakers in the finals I think the Lakers need to make a statement.

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