Boston Celtics (53-29 SU, 48-34 ATS) vs. Los Angeles Lakers (57-25 SU, 34-46-2 ATS), 9:00 p.m. EST, Thursday, June 17, 2010, Staples Center, Los Angeles, Cal. TV: ABC
by Ryno of Predictem.com
Point Spread: Celtics +7/Lakers -7
This is what it’s all about. Game 7 of the NBA Finals. It all comes down to one game for all the marbles. The two biggest rivals in NBA history, the two best winners in NBA history, facing off in a winner-take-all game in Los Angeles to decide the NBA Championship. Future Hall of Famers facing off for 48 minutes to take the trophy. This is what the world wants. This is what the NBA wants. It will be a special occasion on Thursday night at the Staples Center.
The Celtics took the momentum of the series when they won two straight home games to take a 3-2 series lead going back to LA. But the Lakers didn’t panic because they had home-court advantage and a pair of home games left. With their backs against the wall, the Lakers won Game 6 in blowout fashion, 89-67. The Lakers jumped on them early with a double-digit lead in the first quarter and never looked back.
Kobe Bryant had 26 points on 9-of-19 shooting from the field. He only attempted four 3-point shots and made one of them. He made all seven of his free throw attempts. He also had 11 rebounds, three assists and four steals. Pau Gasol finally stepped up and had a terrific all-around game with 17 points, 13 rebounds, nine assists and three blocks. Ron Artest had a significant offensive impact, which was a huge boost for the Lakers, scoring 15 points on 6-of-11 shooting from the field and 3-for-6 on 3-pointers. Lamar Odom only shot 3-of-9 from the field for eight points but he grabbed 10 rebounds. Derek Fisher and Andrew Bynum both had very little impact. Bynum injured his knee in Game 6 but said he’ll play in Game 7. Sasha Vujacic also scored nine points off the bench.
Ray Allen got back on track after struggling for a few games. He led the Celtics in scoring with 19 points on 7-of-14 shooting from the field and 2-for-5 on 3-pointers. Rajon Rondo had 10 points, six assists and five rebounds. Paul Pierce scored 13 points and Kevin Garnett had 12. Both Pierce and Garnett shot 6-of-14 from the field. Kendrick Perkins left the game with a knee injury and likely will not play in Game 7. Glen Davis or Rasheed Wallace will have to step into the starting lineup for the Celtics in Game 7.
The Celtics shot just 33 percent from the field in Game 6 and 5-for-23 on 3-pointers, while the Lakers shot 42 percent from the field and 6-for-19 on 3-pointers. The Lakers dominated on the boards with a 52-39 rebounding advantage and they committed one less turnover than the Celtics.
The Lakers played great defense in Game 6, but the Celtics aren’t going to shoot that poorly again in Game 7. The Lakers got more of a team effort in Game 6, as Kobe only attempted 19 shots and Gasol and Artest stepped up offensively. But still, Fisher, Bynum and Odom didn’t do much to help out in the scoring column. The best way for the Lakers to be successful offensively in Game 7 is for those complimentary players to play well and put some points on the board and for Kobe to be a distributor and not force any shots, and then in the fourth quarter if the game is close Kobe can then start taking over. The Celtics have to keep the ball in Rondo’s hands as much as possible. Good things happen when he has the ball. He’ll find Allen, Pierce and Garnett for open shots. Those guys don’t need to handle the ball themselves too much. If Allen can shoot well again in Game 7, you can expect Pierce to step up and play well, so that should give the Celtics an opportunity to win the game.
The last four games of this series have all gone under. The under is 3-1-1 in the last five meetings between these teams in Los Angeles. The Celtics are 12-5-1 ATS in the last 18 meetings between these teams. The Celtics have never lost a Game 7 of the NBA Finals in their history. They are 7-0 all-time in the Finals and 20-6 in Game 7 of any playoff series.
Ryno’s Pick: Call me crazy, but I think that Boston can win this game straight up. With that being said, I am of course backing them on the point spread at +7. Good luck and thanks to all for reading my analysis during this action packed NBA season! See you next season!