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Game 5: Celtics vs. Cavs NBA Pick | Preview

TUESDAY MAY 11, 2010 – Boston Celtics vs Cleveland Cavaliers

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Team records:
Boston: 50-32 SU, 33-48-1 ATS
Cleveland: 61-21 SU, 37-43-2 ATS

The Cleveland Cavaliers have never been much for making adjustments. When you have the best player in the league and your offense and defense are built around him, there’s not much need for X’s and O’s.

Matchup: CELTICS vs. CAVALIERS

Time: Tuesday 8:00 ET
Venue: Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland
Spread: Cavaliers -7.5
Over/Under: 193.5

But in one game a skinny 6-foot-1 point guard may have destroyed all presumptions and forced the Cavs, on the fly, to re-do or at least re-think their business model. Rajon Rondo’s 29-point, 18-rebound, 13-assist monster playoff game for the ages in Game 4 might have re-arranged the furniture in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

At the very least, it got the attention of the Cavaliers, who have already been extended further than most thought they would be and still need two more wins to reach the Eastern finals.

But the Celtics, who already have won in Cleveland, also need just two more, and suddenly no one is sure about anything in this bizarre series.

So shaken up by Rondo’s epic game in Boston were the Cavs that they were openly talking about forcing the PG out of his game by having James defend him in Game 5. Whether that’s a smokescreen or not will be determined tonight, but it’s clear Cleveland must do something to slow down Rondo, who has more rebounds (33-31) and assists (52-27) than James in this series.

Such is Rondo’s influence on the series that Boston’s aging Big Three (Garnett, Pierce and Allen) have been only so-so through four games, and they are at their best when pushing the ball with Rondo as the triggerman.

If James does defend Rondo tonight, it could free up Pierce, who has been in lockdown dealing with James at both ends of the court.

Just as James’s brilliance has turned his own teammates into seeming bit players on the stage, so has Rondo’s magnificent play relegated his future Hall of Fame teammates to second fiddle.

Fascinating stuff in a series that many thought would be over by now.

Celtics vs. Cavaliers Game 2 Free NBA Prediction

Going the other way has produced payoffs for bettors in this series, which has alternated between big wins for Cleveland in Games 1 and 3, and victories for Boston in Games 2 and 4.

The Cavs are healthy 7.5-point favorites in this one, with the O/U at a moderate 193.5. Cleveland would love to make this a taffy pull and slow the ball down, forcing the Celtics to defend for large parts of the 24-second clock.

If the 7.5 scare you away, a play on the UNDER would be worth a shot as defenses tend to tighten the longer series go.

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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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