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NBA Finals Game 4: Lakers vs. Celtics Pick | Preview

THURSDAY JUNE 10, 2010 – Los Angeles Lakers vs Boston Celtics

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Team records: (including playoffs)
L.A. Lakers: 71-30 SU, 44-54-3 ATS
Celtics: 63-39 SU, 46-54-2 ATS

There are times Paul Pierce loves the limelight and there are times when he goes Garbo on us and just wants to be left alone.

This is one of those left-alone times.

Matchup: LAKERS vs CELTICS

Time: Thursday 9:00 ET
Venue: TD Garden, Boston
Spread: Lakers -3.5
Over/Under: 190

Just two years removed from winning the NBA Finals MVP trophy after leading the Celtics past the Lakers, Pierce is doing a fast fade.

Age has appeared to have robbed him of his explosiveness and he had become more of an outside shooter. Not too long ago he was the best finisher in the league; now he often trails fast breaks in hopes of getting a kick-out pass for an open 3-pointer that is harder and harder to find in Boston’s halfcourt sets.

Pierce had only five hoops (three 3-pointers) in Game 3 and his lackluster 15-point effort was buried because Ray Allen’s 0-for-13 dump dominated headlines from the Boston angle.

That came on the heels of a Game 1 stinker in which Pierce scored 10 meaningless points on 2-for-11 shooting.

Though Pierce would never admit it, it’s becoming more and more apparent that he’s having difficulty dealing with the defense being applied by Ron Artest.

Artest has completely given up his own offense (10 total points through three games) to stick with Pierce all the way to the gates of hell, if needed, and the Celtics bigs are having trouble setting picks for him.

Pierce persevered through all the bad times the franchise since the original Big Three of Bird, Parish and McHale punched out for the last time, and he’s been rewarded with one title.

Plus the certainty that his number 34 will hang from the rafters with other Boston greats, and serious consideration for the basketball Hall of Fame.

But life right here and right now is not all that great, and Pierce – whose ego always took up a major portion of his personality – appears depressed as he fights for a return to the good days.

After the Celtics’ Game 2 victory, Pierce boasted that with three games in Boston, the series wouldn’t be coming back to Los Angeles.

It’s ironic that he is now in a position of having to play a big role in proving himself wrong.

Lakers vs. Celtics Game 4 Free NBA Prediction

Maybe David Stern has a sense of humor or maybe he’s making some kind of a statement. Either way, the commish has big ones after allowing Ed F. Rush to work (with Scott Foster and Greg Willard) as one of the refs tonight.

Rush created a firestorm when he gave Kendrick Perkins two ridiculous technicals fouls in Game 5 of the Celtics-Orlando series. [The NBA quickly rescinded one, preventing a one-game suspension for Perk.]

It was held in some quarters that Rush was sent to make sure the Orlando series didn’t end quickly, and the Magic indeed won and took it to 6. If you think the refs play a role in these things and that the NBA knows it, bear in mind that Rush has worked the close-out game in The Finals in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008.

That’s enough for me to take the Lakers +3.5, with a few bucks again on the OVER.

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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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