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NBA Finals Game 5: Lakers vs. Celtics Pick | Preview

SUNDAY JUNE 13, 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

We should know pretty early Sunday night whether Andrew Bynum’s ailing right knee is at anything close to healthy enough to make the big guy effective.

Matchup: LAKERS vs CELTICS

Time: Sunday 8:00 ET
Venue: TD Garden, Boston
Spread: Lakers -2.5
Over/Under: 187

Bynum’s limited mobility in Game 4 (12 minutes, 3 rebounds, one field goal) opened the door for Boston’s fanatical bench crew to create havoc in the fourth period and even the series and two games each.

Big Baby Davis, who is closer to 6-foot-6 than his listed 6-8, was a force that the Lakers simply were unable to contend with.

LA had no answer for Davis’s dizzying array of offensive rebounds, putbacks and hustle plays, and the Lakers – who have a copyright on domination of the paint – were just onlookers.

Bynum’s has the ability to close that wound Sunday night, but no one seems to know how much of the stat sheet the 7-footer will be able to fill out.

The Lakers says Bynum will play – and Bynum himself was quoted Saturday as saying he’ll give it a go — but no one knows for sure what will happen when he goes up for a rebound.

With Bynum on the bench, everything changes defensively and offensively.

Instead of Bynum, Kendrick Perkins can spend 30 minutes laying the wood to Pau Gasol, who would much rather deal with Kevin Garnett. The Celtics can rebound and get the ball in transition, where they are half-again better than they are in halfcourt sets.

Boston, meanwhile, has to be satisfied with the job it’s done on Kobe Bryant, who has been OK and has had a few streaks, but is not the dominant player he was throughout the free-and-easy Western Conference playoffs.

The Celtics still fear a 40-point, take-over-the-series game from Bryant, who has to be weary after spending nearly a week in the cool, rainy Northeast.

Doc Rivers, who has kept the aging Celtics core together with bailing wire and duct tape, knows full well that any chance the Celtics have of pulling what would be a semi-major upset in this series lies in winning Game 5 Sunday night.

A loss (which would make it two defeats in three games in Boston) and the Celts would face the beyond-daunting task of winning two straight in Los Angeles.

Lakers vs. Celtics Game 5 Free NBA Prediction

Money on the Lakers has dropped the line half a point after it opened at 3 yesterday, but the real restructuring is in the total, which opened at 188.5 and has settled in at 187 as bettors stay with a hot horse and figure that the series will continue to go under.

The Lakers seem to be reserving their strength and taking more and more offensive possessions to the end of the shot clock. Boston, meanwhile, is desperate to keep Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo somewhat fresh for the fourth quarter, and that means more minutes for defender Tony Allen, a human turnover machine.

It gets sloppy with TA in there. Still, to go under on any game with Bryant, Pierce and Ray Allen on the court seems strange. 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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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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