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Game 6: Magic vs. Celtics NBA Pick | Preview

FRIDAY MAY 28, 2010 – Orlando Magic vs Boston Celtics

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

By the time the Celtics and Magic tip off Friday night Orlando shooters will have had 45 hours to cool down and Boston’s bodies will have had 45 hours to heal.

How much the Magic have cooled off and how healthy the Celtics are will pretty much determine whether there will be a Game 7 in this series on Sunday.

Matchup: MAGIC vs. CELTICS

Time: Friday 8:30 ET
Venue: TD Garden, Boston
Spread: Celtics -3.5
Over/Under: 188.5

After the Celtics hounded the Magic into poor shooting from 3-point territory in the early part of this series, Orlando’s guns are suddenly blazing. Jameer Nelson was ridiculous in Game 5, hitting 52 percent of his deep shots. Vince Carter remains in a funk, but no matter – J.J. Redick has more than pick up the slack.

If radio and TV people once utter the word “unconscious” Friday night, Boston has trouble.

Doc Rivers’s strategy early in the series was perfect – let Dwight Howard maneuver down low with only one defender, and make sure Nelson, Carter and Rashard Lewis don’t rain 3s. It produced three straight victories, but for a variety of reasons that business model is broken, maybe beyond repair.

Boston is dealing with a toxic combination of age and ill health. The Celts need all the bigs they can get to deal with Howard, but Rasheed Wallace has a bad back, Glen Davis has a concussion and Kendrick Perkins can’t deal with his emotions.

Rajon Rondo’s creativity has been slowed by a bad ankle.

The only rotation player completely healthy is Ray Allen, and they can’t seem to get him the ball.

The chances are slim that Orlando will be intimidated by playing another elimination game in Boston.

The Magic won Game 7 in the Eastern semifinals in Boston last season, and gritted out Game 4 this season.

Orlando is younger than Boston, but the Magic have veterans and last year’s march to The Finals serves them well.

The heat definitely is on the Celtics, who no doubt exhale deeply and slump their shoulders at the thought of another trip to the Magic Kingdom on Sunday for a Game 7 that few fans even in Boston think they could survive.

Magic vs. Celtics Game 6 Free NBA Prediction

Fans in Boston are going nuts about the officiating in Game 5 in Orlando, and even if you are not a conspiracy theorist, the NBA has a way of evening things out. Taking back one of Perkins’s technicals, which enables him to avoid a one-game suspension and play Friday, could be step one.

Keep an eye on how the refs call non-shooting fouls against Boston’s front line. A relatively clean first quarter opens to the door to aggressive denial play for the rest of the game. Touch fouls mean the Celtics are in for a world of hurt. Note that two of the three referees – Mike Callahan and Monty McCutchen – strongly favor home teams SU and both are well above .500 ATS.

Advice here is to hold off wagers until an announcement is made on Davis and/or Wallace, then try to nail the bet before the line moves. Celtics -3.5 if they play, but go the other way if they sit and you can catch the number before a significant change in the line or the vig.

Another option is to hammer the over if Wallace and Davis sit.

A victory by the Suns Thursday night would have created another lean toward Boston because the NBA would not want a Phoenix-Orlando Finals.

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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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