Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics have one of the best rivalries in basketball. NBA championships have been won by both franchises 17 times.
There have been 12 championship series between the two teams, with the most recent taking place in 2010.
Jayson Tatum's Celtics and Lebron James' Lakers almost met in the 2023 NBA Finals, but both teams were eliminated in the first round.
Neither organization wants to miss out on the opportunity to establish dominance in the NBA's new in-season tournament.
Any winning franchise's legacy will be subjectively enhanced by the NBA Cup, even though it is considered a secondary award.
Celtics and Lakers are undefeated in their respective groups in this inaugural tournament. With this pace, they are likely to reach the Las Vegas quarterfinals.
Any team's primary goal remains winning the NBA championship. The Celtics or Lakers winning the NBA Cup, however, would serve as a sufficient tiebreaker.