NBA Finals Game 5 – Find a Way to Win
The NBA Finals series is tied at two games apiece, with the critical Game 5 looming on Sunday. After Boston evened the series on Thursday night, the Celtics have once again been installed as favorites, laying 3-points according to Sportsbook.com. Stay up to date with all of the key betting information for this crucial contest by following the LIVE ODDS, BETTING TRENDS, and GAME MATCHUP pages.
Say what you want about the Boston Celtics, this group is buoyant and tenacious, from the starters to the bench players and their coach might be a blast at a black jack table, hitting on 16 because he feels a five coming as next card.
If Glen Davis, Nate Robinson, Rasheed Wallace and Tony Allen sound like the makeup of an NBA expansion team, that belief would likely be correct. However, this group of bench jockey’s scored on the first nine possessions of the final stanza for the Celtics and largely cemented the game away against the Lakers regular starters.
Coach Doc Rivers took a gamble, not calculated, but heart-felt and emotional, that this contingent had just a bit more to give with over 240 seconds left in Game 4 and his team leading by nine points and waved back his starting subs back to the bench.
“Hell, Rondo and all of them were begging me to keep guys in. 'Don't take them out. Don't take them out,'" Rivers recalled. "It was great. That was the loudest I've seen our bench, and it was our starters cheering from the bench. I thought it was terrific."
This enabled the Celtics to tie the series and moved their record to 8-3 SU and ATS at TD Garden in the postseason with one more to go.
Boston could be gaining some advantages as the series is wearing on. Pierce was much more efficient in running off screen and roles, getting Ron Artest out of his face, scoring 19 points and handing out five assists.
The player formerly known as “Big Baby” has been a man, as Davis’ internal flame has him continually outhustling the Los Angeles big men and he found a way to not let his height be a detriment in the paint against the taller L.A. players in making seven of 10 shots and collecting five boards (four offensive).
Going from the speed and quickness of Rajon Rondo to Nate Robinson allows the Celtics to have accelerator to the floor like a NASCAR driver in a straight away if they choose for all 48 minutes.
The Lakers give the appearance of being in control, but cracks are formulating. Andrew Bynum knee not only limits him, but forces Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom to log more minutes against the more physical Boston frontline.
Though Kobe Bryant scored 33 points in last conflict, the Allen Gang (Tony and Ray) are making life difficult, as witnessed by his seven turnovers.
Bryant said, "They got all the energy points, the hustle points, the second-chance points ... "
" ... points in the paint, beat us to the loose balls," Bryant continued. "I mean, that's how the game turned around."
For the third time in this year’s playoffs, Los Angeles is 2-2 and they are 19-6 ATS when a series is tied and 18-6 ATS in road games having lost two of their last three tilts. The extra day off should help Bynum and the exhausted looking Lakers should be fresher.
Sportsbook.com has Boston as three-point home faves with total slipping to 188 after a pair of Under’s.
The Celtics are 8-2 ATS in last 10 NBA Finals’ affairs and 5-0 ATS with two days off. They are 6-0-1 UNDER in last seven home assignments.
The Lakers are still a potent 37-21 as an underdog, including 5-2 ATS in previous seven tries. Phil Jackson must devise ways to get better looks and increase the tempo since his club is 15-6 UNDER as a road underdog of six points or less this season, which has them being outscored 3.9 points per game when this happens.
ABC will have Game 5 at 8:00 Eastern and the team that snares the most rebounds in 4-0 SU and ATS in the Finals.
StatFox Power Line – Boston by 4