Originally written on NESN.com  |  Last updated 11/7/14
The 2012-13 campaign has been anything but good to them, but the Boston Celtics will forge ahead Thursday, hoping to squeeze any semblance of positivity out of a midseason date with their historic rival, the Los Angeles Lakers. Get NBA odds for the classic matchup at Bovada. With the recent news that not only Rajon Rondo but also standout rookie Jared Sullinger will miss the remainder of the season, it’s getting harder and harder to imagine a scenario in which the veteran Celtics truly contend on the NBA futures. Still, they’re winning games and making the NBA betting community re-evaluate their expectations for the squad. Would a valuable win over a desperate Lakers club be the affirmation that Boston needs to make a run for Eastern Conference supremacy in the second half of the regular season? Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett have made every attempt to keep the C’s relevant despite their setbacks, and the results have reflected those efforts. Not only did the Celtics take care of the Miami Heat at the end of last month, but they also beat the formidable Los Angeles Clippers as recently as last weekend. No wonder oddsmakers are reluctant to drop short-staffed Boston’s futures below its 30-1 mark. With trade rumors flying about Boston selling parts to contenders throughout the league, the franchise will hope to quietly emerge as a contender in its own right. On paper, the C’s may seem like one of the most unfortunate teams in basketball, but that’s not true in the win column. This Thursday, pull up a seat as the Boston vets look to prove once and for all that they’re capable of competing with the best teams on the NBA schedule, question marks or no question marks. These Lakers, it’s worth noting, aren’t exactly the sad sacks they’ve been for much of the season. Winners of five of their past six, L.A. has started to thrive while leader Kobe Bryant takes on the role of club playmaker. In those same six contests, Bryant has averaged 10.3 assists per game. Weigh in on the greatest rivalry in NBA history when the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers, each veteran clubs anxious to prove they’re still contenders, look to live up to their NBA odds. Bet on the NBA at Bovada.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Jay Cutler to start again due to Jimmy Clausen concussion

Aldon Smith was reportedly drinking with Ray McDonald

Johnny Manziel ruled out for Week 17 with injury

Dwyane Wade hopes Heat fans give LeBron a warm reception

Adam Silver: No NBA team is tanking

Penguins having three more players tested for mumps

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Jay Cutler is not the answer for the Titans

Josh Smith released by Detroit Pistons in surprising move

13 amazing NFL stats from Week 16

JJ Watt's bloody face defines 2014 campaign

Dominic Raiola insists he didn't intentionally stomp opponent

Jets call themselves the best 3-12 team in NFL history

WATCH: BYU, Memphis fight after Miami Beach Bowl

FSU sends recruit 75 reasons to play for Seminoles

Dale Earnhardt Jr., girlfriend wear great Christmas sweaters

Brandon Marshall: Raiola mocked my mental illness

Don't mess with Seahawks punter Jon Ryan

Niners OT asked Manti Te'o about his fake girlfriend

Darren Sproles' wife Michel fires back at Eagles critics

Steve Smith expects 'couch quarterback' criticism

WATCH: Tennessee walk-on gets scholarship as bowl gift

Raiders player gives game check to young girl in need

Game of the week: Detroit Lions vs. Green Bay Packers

Yankees pay for education of slain officer's children

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

BYU, Memphis fight after bowl game

FSU sends recruit an eccentric pitch

Brandon Marshall unloads on Raiola

Did Aldon Smith violate probation?

Johnny Manziel ruled out for Week 17

An appreciation for Marshawn Lynch's crotch grab touchdown celebrations

D-Wade: Heat fans should cheer LeBron

Niners OT asked Te'o about fake girlfriend

Sproles' wife fires back at Eagles critics

Game of the week: Lions vs. Packers

'Manny' is the must-watch documentary about Manny Pacquiao

Breaking up the Brooklyn Nets

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.