On Saturday, the Los Angeles Lakers will host the Boston Celtics for their final matchup of the regular season. The last time these two teams faced was probably the last time Lakers fans can say they felt joy while watching their team. I remember it like it was yesterday.
After coming out of the locker room sluggish, the Lakers make a run in the fourth quarter that ended with a game-winning buzzer beater from Rajon Rondo. I screamed so loud that my newborn puppies ran out of the room I was in.
That’s because, at the time, there was a lot to look forward to.
The Lakers were a game above .500, the injury report only had one name on it and Reggie Bullock — who the team acquired at the NBA trade deadline — was inbound. It was supposed to be the start of an exciting playoff run. That was last month.
Since then, the Lakers have gone 2-8 and have fallen 6.5 games back of the eighth seed in the Western Conference. Currently, they’re tied for the 10th-worst record in the NBA.
Things weren’t all bad, though. In the midst of all of that chaos, Brandon Ingram was playing the best basketball of his career. Through nine games in February, the 21-year-old forward averaged 21.3 points per game on 50.4 percent shooting from the field — and 38.9 percent shooting from behind the arc — to go along with 5.8 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game.
Then, on Saturday, Ingram was ruled out for the remainder of the season with Deep Venous Thrombosis (DVT), better known as blood clots. Moments after that announcement, Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reported that Lonzo Ball would also likely miss the rest of the season.
I could talk about how the Lakers matchup against the Celtics or how they have the chance to sweep Boston in the regular season series for the first time in five years, but what’s the point?
The season is over. We all die one day. Tip-off is at 5:30 p.m. on ABC.