Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 2/5/13
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.

This article first appeared on NESN.com and was syndicated with permission.

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