Lakers Still in Playoff Chase, Celtics Could Be Primed for Run (Podcast)


Kevin Garnett Dwight HowardWith almost 60 games in the books for most NBA teams, two of the league’s most storied franchises find themselves fighting for their playoff lives.

The Celtics have ripped off an 11-4 run since losing All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo, but they now enter a brutal stretch that includes road games in Indiana, Oklahoma City, Memphis and New York, as well as a game against the Heat at TD Garden and a pair of home tilts against Atlanta — which poses a tough matchup for the boys in green this year.

Though Boston currently has a hold on the No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference, the three teams tied for fourth place sit just two games ahead of the Celts, which should make for a frantic final two months of seed shuffling. The No. 4 seed and home-court advantage in the first round is certainly within the Celtics’ reach, but with the winner of the No.4-No.5 matchup all but assured to face Miami in the second round, a sixth or seventh seed may be in Boston’s best interest.

Over on the West Coast, the much-maligned Lakers reached the .500 mark for the first time since Christmas with a 99-98 win over the Hawks on Sunday and are just 2 1/2 games out of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Nine of L.A.’s 14 games the rest of this month are against lottery teams, and with six of the eight playoff spots in the West very much in flux, the Lakers have a chance to make some noise down the stretch. NBA editor Ben Watanabe joined Zack Cox on the podcast Monday afternoon to discuss how the rest of the season will play out for the two teams, and also touch on whether we will ever see LeBron James in a dunk contest.

Listen in the player below, or subscribe on iTunes to download it there.

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