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All 82 games of the NBA betting regular season and four full rounds of the playoffs all come down to this one game on Thursday night at Staples Center, as the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics square off in a winner take all Game 7 to determine the NBA champions.
Boston Celtics (+7) @ Los Angeles Lakers
Thursday, June 17th, 2010
9:00 ET, Staples Center
Boston Notes: By all accounts, Game 6 was nothing but a total dud for the Celtics. This hasn't been the first time that they have gotten blown out of the water in a game in the playoffs, but it had better be the last time, or the season all goes for naught. The bench, which has been key for HC Doc Rivers in this series, was downright miserable on Tuesday night. The seven reserves that Rivers called upon shot a combined 4/26 from the floor (15.4%) and only scored 13 total points in spite of the fact that five players saw at least 15 minutes of court time. Those players are probably going to be called on quite a bit to help fill the minutes that will most likely be lost by the absence of C Kendrick Perkins. Perkins was out of the game after just seven minutes on Tuesday with a knee injury, and he is doubtful to play in Game 7. G Ray Allen had an encouraging second to last game of the season, scoring 19 points. Even though he and his three "Big Four" teammates all scored at least ten points, the efforts by all four are going to have to step up, especially offensively, for the C's to be called champions on Thursday night.
Los Angeles Notes: The Lakers have done their job and have narrowed the NBA Finals down to just this one game in front of their hometown fans. Game 6 wasn't a particularly strong offensive one for LA, as it shot just 41.8 percent from the field. However, holding Boston to 33.3 percent was all the more impressive. Both G Kobe Bryant and F Pau Gasol had double-doubles in the victory. Bryant shot 9/19 from the floor and scored 26 points to go with 11 boards. Gasol nearly had a triple-double, as he totaled 17 points, 13 rebounds, and nine assists to go with his three blocks. Defensively, Gasol really has made the difference in this series. Speaking of defense, F Ron Artest has done a fantastic job in the first six games of the NBA Finals as well. However, his real difference making moment came in Game 6 when he nailed three triples and scored a personal series high with 15 points. F Lamar Odom came up two points short of a double-double as well, as he had eight points and ten boards.
Trends of Note: Six games up, and six games down for the team that has won the rebounding battle. After blowing Boston out on the glass 52-39 on Tuesday, the team winning the battle of the boards moved to 6-0 SU and ATS in this series. If the Celtics do win tonight SU, they would become the first team in NBA history to beat HC Phil Jackson in a seven game series in which his team won the first game of the best of seven (47-0). They would also become the first team in the history of the game to lose Game 3 and fall behind 2-1 in the NBA Finals in the 2-3-2 format and win the championship (10-0). Boston dropped to 12-5-1 ATS in its L/18 meetings with the Lakers overall. The Celtics have covered four straight games following a double digit defeat and are 7-1 ATS in their L/8 games following either an SU or ATS loss.
The Final Word: There really is no common logic for describing how the Celtics can win the NBA championship tonight after such a devastating setback in Game 6, but they are a bunch that has figured out how to overcome adversity every step of the way in these playoffs. We're going to back this bunch once again with the touchdown that is given to us, as we are expecting a nail-biting final game to the NBA betting campaign.
Prediction: Boston 99 – Los Angeles 98