2 Takeaways from Christmas Day Loss to Celtics

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The Los Angeles Lakers fell 126-115 to the Boston Celtics Monday night in what proved to be a thrilling yet ultimately disappointing outing.

At 16-15 on the season, LA sits just one game above .500 ahead of their Thursday night matchup at home against the 7-20 Charlotte Hornets.

The LakeShow is a mere 2-6 since their In-Season-Tournament Championship, and coming off the loss tonight, let’s dive into two takeaways for what we can expect going forward. 

Slow Starts

A common theme of Laker losses this season has been slow starts. Coming into tonight, the Lakers lost the first quarter by an average of 9.2 points in losses. (25.5 to 34.7.)

In wins, however, they managed to win the first quarter by an average of 1.1 points (29.8 to 28.7.) By getting out ahead early in the first period, the Lakers provide themselves a cushion that they can both rely on and build upon throughout the rest of the game. 

Tonight, LA came out of the gates sluggish. They lost the first quarter 32-23, allowing the Celtics to go 13/26 (50.0%) from the field while only shooting 9/24 (38.0) themselves. 

While the Lakers managed to gain the lead at the start of the second half by a mere two points, their lack of an ability to get an early edge proved critical in their inability to get the victory tonight.

Going forward, the Lakers must prioritize playing strong basketball from the tip to avoid cornering themselves into deficits that are too daunting to overcome. 

LeBron’s Mediocre Day

One half of the Lakers’ future Hall of Fame duo shined bright on the offensive end tonight, as Anthony Davis recorded a 40-point performance on 57.7% shooting.

LeBron James only went for 16 points on 35.7% shooting. This number is a substantial drop from his season average of 25.7. 

The Lakers had a fine day scoring the basketball, with four Lakers notching double digits on a team 47.8% from the field and 40.8% from three; however, with how reliant the Lakers are upon LeBron James and Anthony Davis scoring the basketball efficiently, we can’t expect to win the games where their offensive production is curbed. 

Down games in the scoring category are to be expected by any player.

While it may be hard to believe, LeBron James is still human and is still susceptible to mediocre performances. Coming off a 40-point performance on Saturday, expect James to be back to his regular self by Thursday’s matchup at home versus Charlotte.

Though it’s a shame to lose, especially to the Celtics and on Christmas, the Lakers faithful shouldn’t be too discouraged by this one.

LA will need to pick their heads up and get back to work for their games later this week, where we can expect some more tallies in the win column. 

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