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PRO BASKETBALL / BRESNAHAN'S TAKE

Celtics are struggling, but he picks them to win anyway

Lakers beat writer Mike Bresnahan ties up loose ends

January 31, 2010

Mike Bresnahan covers the Lakers for The Times and ties up loose ends on the day of his self-designated "Lakers game of the week." The Lakers play today at Boston.

There's something about Boston fans that's just so . . . intense.

I remember being there a few years ago, and TD Banknorth Garden was going nuts because the Celtics had just reacquired Antoine Walker.

I mean . . . Antoine Walker?!

They might be nuts for an entirely different reason at today's game. The Celtics are struggling. Badly.

The Atlanta Hawks just completed a four-game season sweep of them and passed them for second place in the Eastern Conference. I'm serious. In fact, I'm bringing earplugs today. Either to drown out the yelling or, possibly, the weeping.

Q&A of the day

Q: It's late January . . . Andrew Bynum's due to get on a roll and then get injured soon, right? Oh and he really should send out some nude photos to keep all the Greg Oden parallels going!

-- Ty Johnson A: Harsh. Just harsh. And it wasn't really a question. So we move to the first-ever . . .

Second Q&A of the day

Q: Did LeBron's performance last week irreparably damage Ron Artest's reputation as an elite defender, or is there still a chance at redemption in Boston at the end of this road trip? I seem to recall that Carmelo Anthony already lit up the Lakers earlier this season.

-- Art , Seattle A: Gotta love Ron-Ron. He hides the fact that his feet are killing him, then he writes about it on Twitter, then reporters write about it and he gets mad at them for writing about it . . . even though he started the cycle by writing that his feet hurt.

Here's his most recent feet tweet, edited for clarity: "My feet my feet. Lol. I told media my feet don't hurt. They said it does. It's really silly. But the trainers helped me. End of story. No excuses!"

I don't even know what to say.

At any rate, LeBron James destroyed him. Thirty-seven points and nine assists in 40 minutes. Ron-Ron has some work to do to start saving face. Shutting down Paul Pierce today would be a good start for him.

Final thought

Record in weekly picks: 8-5

Players and coaches always hate it when their words get thrown back at them. As in, "But you said earlier that . . . "

This week, though, I'm throwing my own words back at me.

The Lakers have been killing me in my recent picks, so much so that I wrote last week that "I'll be picking the (hated) Celtics for sure" if the Lakers lost to the Cavaliers.

I'll stick to my word. Celtics by a few this afternoon.

mike.bresnahan@latimes.com

twitter.com/Mike_Bresnahan

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