The Lakers (17-25) and Celtics (20-21) both sport unsightly overall records that dip below .500. The Hall of Fame-caliber talent on each roster is either eroding or emoting at the moment, and the ambitious plans put in place at the beginning of the season are unraveling before our eyes. Paul Pierce looks old too often. Kevin Garnett looks a step slow at times. Steve Nash and Pau Gasol can't quite get things on track. Kobe Bryant can't stop making mistakes on defense, and can't motivate Dwight Howard to elevate his game. It's the perfect storm.
Entering action on Thursday night, the Celtics and Lakers are tied for the longest active losing streak in the NBA. Both teams have dropped four straight games, but the Lakers have a better excuse for their failings. L.A. has fallen to the Miami Heat, Toronto Raptors, Chicago Bulls and Memphis Grizzlies in a tough stretch of games played mostly on the road. Meanwhile, the Celtics have squandered winnable contests against the New Orleans Hornets, Chicago Bulls, Detroit Pistons and Cleveland Cavaliers.
It's getting ugly for both teams. The Celtics have fallen to the No. 8 spot in the East, while the Lakers are down to No. 12 among 15 teams in the Western Conference.
Here is a look at the current standings:
|New York Knicks||38||25-13||.658|
|Oklahoma City Thunder||40||32-8||.800|
|Los Angeles Clippers||40||31-9||.775|
|San Antonio Spurs||42||31-11||.738|
|Golden State Warriors||38||23-15||.605|
|Portland Trail Blazers||39||20-19||.513|
|Los Angeles Lakers||39||17-22||.436|
|New Orleans Hornets||39||13-26||.333|