Ian Thomsen over at Sports Illustrated breaks down tomorrows looming battle between Boston and LA. For the regular season, it's a big game. These two teams haven't met since Boston lost to LA in LA during Game 7 of the Finals last year. Kendrick Perkins was not on the floor. KG was a shell of who he is this year. Shaq was in Cleveland. Thomsen also points out that LA has seemingly put forth minimal effort this year- they've gone 0-3 against the leagues elite: the Spurs, Mavs and Heat (who could forget that Christmas day beat down?), but still have the third best record in the NBA. He also points out that Boston has remained a powerhouse even with all of the injuries to the roster.
In measuring the importance of tomorrows game, let's take a look at the regular season series outcomes between Boston and LA during Championship years. Thomsen provides this graphic:
2009-10: Split regular-season series, L.A. won Finals 4-3
2007-08: Boston swept 2-0, Boston won Finals 4-2
1986-87: L.A. swept 2-0, L.A. won Finals 4-2
1984-85: Split series, L.A. won Finals 4-2
1983-84: L.A. swept 2-0, Boston won Finals 4-3
It's important to keep in mind that the outcome of the regular season series between two teams is not an indicator for would come out victorious if the same two teams were matched up in the finals. The Celtics and Lakers squads that we'll see facing off tomorrow will not be the same ones we'd see in June, if they were to meet in the Finals again.