Here they come again, but this time they will arrive with a gift the Lakers only wish they had and a 2008 NBA Finals MVP who grew up in Inglewood adoring the team he destroyed last June.
Yes , it's only a regular season basketball game, but try convincing the Lakers faithful that this Christmas day affair against the hated rivals from Boston is not more than that.
Former Inglewood High star Paul Pierce will return home this week with an NBA title in tow and a Celtics team that is on the verge of becoming one of the greatest all time NBA teams in the history of the glorified league.
After smashing the Kobe Bryant led Lakers in the Finals that concluded in a six game blowout, they roar into Staples Center with a league best 27-2 record and 18 game winning streak on Christmas.
African American Glenn "Doc" Rivers, who in eight seasons and two franchises finally reached the promise land, coaches them. Last season he was the architect of a team that went from winning just 24 games to 66 and a title.
The Celtics brought two of the league's most model stars in Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen to play alongside Pierce and not only did it work to the tune of harmonic grandeur, but now they have improved even more.
The once-turnover prone point guard Rajon Rondo is now a wizard and is on the cusp of being voted in as an NBA All-Star.
In the meanwhile, the Lakers, who began the season on a collision course with the Celtics, are now reeling in reverse having lost three of four games on a current road trip and have fallen to 22-6.
Reserve point guard Jordan Farmar suffered a knee injury that is likely to keep him out for the next six to eight weeks if not longer.
Starting center Andrew Bynum started the season out with a bang and got a new $58 million contract, but has since only been a shell of the player he was a year ago before a season ending knee injury.
Starting point guard Derek Fisher has been spectacular and lately has been the one-two punch for the Lakers along with Bryant.
Reserve forward Trevor Ariza is playing starter minutes and has developed into the team's defensive stopper and slasher Lamar Odom, in the final year of his contract, is beginning to look more indispensable than a player who should be traded as has been rumored most of the season.
Add to the mix that the Lakers team defense could not stop a glass of running water from spilling over and you get the feeling that this will be a Christmas they would soon rather forget.