Countdown to LA: Let's do this
--WHAT TO WATCH FOR: CELTICS VS. LAKERS--
The Celtics and Lakers will be against each other Sunday, but ESPN Boston and ESPN Los Angeles joined forces to preview the matchup with a focus on Boston's success despite injuries, the Lakers losing in patches, Shaq's return to Hollywood, and predictions about Sunday's blockbuster. A sampling: "Boston has the emotional edge, but I think the Lakers are also sick of the whispers about lacking a true 'statement win' against the NBA's elite."
--A 'BIG'-TIME MATCHUP FOR CELTICS AND LAKERS--
Just more than seven months ago, the Boston Celtics lost Game 7 of the NBA Finals in Los Angeles. What's the biggest adjustment they've made since then? Adding three centers who each stand darn near 7 feet tall. The Celtics return to L.A. on Sunday to play the Lakers for the first time since being outrebounded by 13 and spending the postgame locker room drenched in salty tears rather than spraying champagne.
--LAKERS IN SEARCH OF FIRST BIG WIN--
There have been hundreds of highlights and big moments. There have already been plenty of big games. It's what hasn't happened for the Los Angeles Lakers this season that's becoming a little alarming: big wins. Oklahoma City Thunder? Eh … New Orleans Hornets on the road? Not bad, still eh … Those are good teams, not great ones. Those are teams the Lakers must keep down, not climb over.
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Play Podcast Grantland's Bill Simmons discusses the state of the Lakers, Phil Jackson's future, the perception of Rajon Rondo, Doc Rivers' impact on the Clippers and more.
Play Podcast Buster Olney discusses a possibly serious injury to Kris Medlen with David O'Brien, and chats about where Ervin Santana will land with Jerry Crasnick and Brendan Kennedy.
Play Podcast Buster Olney chats with Jayson Stark about Ken Griffey Jr.'s uncomfortable interview with Linda Cohn and the value of spring training. Plus, Mike DiGiovanna on the Angels and Derrick Goold on Matt Carpenter's negotiations with the Cardinals.
Play Podcast Red Sox manager John Farrell talks about whether he expected his team to make such a turnaround in one season, his relationship with his players, fans' expectations for the squad and more.