NBA Playoff Preview & Picks: Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Boston Celtics G6

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In what could amount to be the last game that F LeBron James ever plays as a Cleveland Cavalier, the Boston Celtics will look to eliminate the #1 seed in the Eastern Conference in an NBA playoff betting battle on Thursday night.

Cleveland Cavaliers @ Boston Celtics (-1)
Thursday May 13th, 2010 
8:00 ET, TD Banknorth Garden

Cleveland Notes: Right now, the Cavaliers are in for a very scary proposition. In the event that they lose Game 6 on Thursday night, James is a legitimate threat to leave the team and exercise his options as a free agent for next season. LeBron had a miserable Game 5 on Tuesday night at Quicken Loans Arena, scoring just 15 points on 3/14 shooting with six boards and seven assists. Only C Shaquille O'Neal scored more than 20 points for HC Mike Brown's team. Gs Anthony Parker and Mo Williams were virtually non-existent yet again in Game 5, as the two only combined to score 23 points. F Antawn Jamison, who may also be playing his final game as a Cavalier on Thursday, only scored nine. Cleveland only pulled down 31 rebounds, one of its lowest totals of the entire season.

Boston Notes: Game 5 was most certainly one of the best displays by an underdog road team in these playoffs . It wasn't the greatest game in the world for Boston's newest sweethearts, G Rajon Rondo (16 points, seven assists), but it was a fantastic one for some of the old guard players that helped lead the C's to a championship a few years ago. G Ray Allen led all scorers with 25 points, including shooting 6/9 from beyond the arc. F Paul Pierce scored 21 to go with 11 boards and seven assists in what amounted to be his best game in the playoffs to date. F Kevin Garnett chipped in 18 points and six boards. As a team, Boston shot a blistering 55.0 percent from the floor and 53.3 percent from downtown. The Celtics also won the rebounding edge 41-31 and committed seven fewer turnovers.

NBA Betting Odds: Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Boston Celtics Game 6

JustBet Sportsbook
Diamond Sportsbook
BetUS Sportsbook

Trends of Note: The Cavaliers have one brand new trend going for them that they don't get to exorcize often. They are 4-1 ATS in their L/5 games following a home defeat of at least ten points. If that trend doesn't continue tonight, their 2009-10 season will come to a close and LeBron may be departing with it. Cleveland has yet to cover a spread in the playoffs when playing on one day of rest (0-6) and is 2-9 ATS in its L/11 games against teams with a winning record. The C's are now 17-8 ATS in their L/25 games as favorites of less than five points, and even though they are just 7-15 ATS in their L/22 Eastern Conference Semifinal affairs, they have both covered and won three of the L/4 in this series.

The Final Word: Boston has to remember what it went through last season when it had a 3-2 series lead against the Orlando Magic. The situation was slightly different, as Game 6 was in Orlando, while Game 7 was in Beantown. C's fans aren't going to want to remember back to back seasons as "What could've been" if they had held serve on their home court. The Celtics just won't let that happen tonight. Even though this isn't really a Game 7, the atmosphere is going to have to feel as such for the hosts, as the prospects of winning a Game 7 at Quicken Loans Arena, especially after already winning two games there in this series seems grim at best. The Cavaliers look like a team that has given up, and unless LeBron puts together another one of his patented superhuman efforts, this could be the last time we see him suit it up for the Cavs.

Prediction: Boston 95 – Cleveland 89

Lou Palumbo is the founder and part owner of the Sports Handicapping Community. He's been writing and posting free picks and sports handicapping strategies on the Cappersinfo forums and website for 15 years now. He enjoys handicapping just as much as he did from the very first day he built the original Cappersinfo website.

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