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Game 2: Celtics vs. Magic NBA Pick | Preview

TUESDAY MAY 18, 2010 – Boston Celtics vs Orlando Magic

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Team records:
Boston: 50-32 SU, 33-48-1 ATS
Orlando: 59-23 SU, 45-33-4 ATS

Save Brian Scalabrine, who is not suited up, Tom Thibodeau is the only white face you see on the Celtics bench during time-outs.

And it’s impossible to overstate his importance to Boston’s chances of beating the Orlando Magic and getting to the NBA Finals again.

Matchup: CELTICS vs. MAGIC

Time: Tuesday 8:30 ET
Venue: Amway Arena, Orlando
Spread: Magic -7.5
Over/Under: 188

Doc Rivers maintains overall control of a team that has perhaps four future Hall of Famers, but Thibodeau is in charge of the defense, and there may be none better in the business today.

A decade ago the Celtics’ run to the Eastern finals was fueled by a defense led by assistant coach Dick Harter; now Thibodeau is in control.

Thibodeau is the architect of a swarming Kevin Garnett-led Celtics defense that makes it next to impossible for one player to take control of the game.

Dwyane Wade had a few good offensive games against Boston in the first round of the playoffs, but the Celts shut down every other offensive threat and won in 5.

When things got sticky for the Cavs and they had no option besides LeBron James, the Celtics were ready for him.

And now Boston has Orlando coaches scrambling to figure out what to do now that the Celtics have neutralized Dwight Howard and at the same time made life difficult for the Magic’s 3-point shooters.

The 3 has been Orlando’s mother’s milk all season, and without some open looks for Vince Carter, Rashard Lewis and Jameer Nelson, the Magic are toast.

[Orlando was 5 for 22 behind the arc in Game 1.]

The decision by Celtics coaches to not double-team Howard paid off handsomely in Game 1, a 92-88 Boston victory that was nowhere near as close as the final score indicated.

Howard, who last season was ticked when he didn’t get the ball often enough against Boston in the Eastern semifinals, couldn’t deal with Boston’s muscle (Kendrick Perkins, Rasheed Wallace and Glen Davis).

Thibodeau may be a head coach by the end of the summer, but right now he’s making life more than difficult for the Magic.

Celtics vs. Magic Game 2 Free NBA Prediction

Is there a good reason that the line in Game 2 (Orlando -7.5) is actually higher than the Game 1 number (Magic -6.5)? Home. Road. Neutral court.

Doesn’t mean anything to the Celtics, who no doubt are smelling blood right about now. Everything you think you learned about Boston during the regular season is now out the door and flowing into the storm drain.

The Celtics are built for the playoffs, the big guns get more rest and no one can seem to figure out what to do about defending Rajon Rondo. So fast is Rondo that teams are reluctant to get into a running game with Boston even though Garnett, Pierce and Allen are ancient, and Perkins is built more for the NFL than the NBA.

BOSTON +7.5.

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Lawrence Paul is a regular contributor to the Cappers Picks Blog, and is a free-lance gambling and travel expert from Massachusetts.

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About Lawrence Paul

Lawrence Paul is back in the saddle as a regular contributor to the Cappers Picks Blog. He's got an AMAZING knack for predicting when a team will have a letdown! Stick with our resident gambling experts sports betting tips all season long!


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