Carmelo Anthony posts up against Boston

Three Things to Know: Lakers vs Celtics - 12/07/21

by Matthew Barrero

The Lakers (12-12) fell short in last Friday’s contest, a 119-115 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers. They enter tonight sitting at .500 and will face their biggest rival for the second time this season when the Boston Celtics (13-11) hit the court. L.A. will look to even the season series tonight at 7:00 p.m. on Spectrum SportsNet and TNT.

Here are three things to know before tonight’s matchup:

MELO OFF THE BENCH
Entering this season, Carmelo Anthony understood his new role as a bench player following his recent time playing in Portland. He revealed prior to the start of this campaign how he was able to adapt to a non-starting position, following 15+ years of being the star.

“This past season coming in, [Portland] said look, ‘This is what we think is best for the team,’ Anthony told reporters. “Listen, I’m cool. Just be transparent with me. I was cool with that decision. I’ve never done it before…but I had to figure out a way to motivate myself and keep going in a different position in a different role.”

Anthony has held up his end thus far, currently the fourth-best points average and the highest 3-point percentage on the team while only starting in three of the 24 games played.

In eight of the last nine games, Carmelo is averaging north of 12 points and three rebounds. In the 15 games played at home, he has averaged 15.5 points, 4.3 rebounds, and is shooting 56 percent from beyond the arc. He has also scored 20+ points in a third of the home games played so far.

Earlier in the week, Melo was questionable with flu like symptoms (non-Covid) but has been upgraded to available.

STREAKY PLAY
On three separate occasions this season, the Lakers have won two games in a row but have lost the third game that followed (excluding a three-game win streak from Oct. 29-Nov. 2).

The good news for the Lakers is while they have lost after consecutive wins, L.A. has won the following game each time, including the aforementioned three-game winning streak.

Consistent play and winning games are a priority for the Lake Show, and while they have faced some difficulties and obstacles along the way, Russell Westbrook believes this team needs to stay the course and commented on what the Lakers can do to counteract any negative elements that take away from their process.

“Adversity is something that I think is great in life in general,” Westbrook said after the win over the Pistons on Nov. 28. “It builds character. It kind of shows who you really are. When things are not going your way, and you can kind of stick through it, the ups and the downs, which I think guys are just starting to figure out. Ultimately at the end, you’ll be happy with the result.”

MILESTONE WATCH (x2)
LeBron James has been sitting on 99 career triple-doubles since he last recorded one on March 16, 2021, a 137-121 Lakers win over the Minnesota Timberwolves. James recorded his fourth double-double this season when he tallied a 23-point, 11-rebound night in the loss to the Clippers. He also added six assists, falling four shy of capturing career triple-double No. 100.

In his career against Boston, James has recorded four triple-doubles (two of which came during his first season with L.A. back in 2018-19). In the four games combined, LeBron has averaged 32.3 points, 11.8 rebounds and 11.3 assists.

DeAndre Jordan is in his 14th season, playing for his fifth team. He played 10 seasons with the Los Angeles Clippers (2008-18), two seasons with the Nets (2019-21), and played for both the Mavericks and Knicks during the 2018-19 season.

Now with the Lakers, Jordan is on the verge of accomplishing what 40 other men have done in NBA history: record 10,000 rebounds in their career.

He currently sits at 9,998 and is the only active player who would join the 10,000 career rebounds club. LeBron is currently the next closest with his 9,819 career rebounds. It would also mark the 10th time a player, who played for the Lakers at one point in their career, achieved the milestone.

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