B for Boston and Better

Jun 17, 2008 7:01 PM

Bettin' on B'ball by Andy Iskoe |

PLAYOFFS
NBA
PCT
22-24
55-58
48.7

The NBA Finals will conclude before the weekend as the Boston Celtics have two opportunities at capturing the title.

The Celtics own a 3-2 lead over the Los Angeles Lakers heading back to Boston for Tuesday night’s Game 6 and, if needed, Thursday night’s Game 7.

The series has been marked by wide in-game fluctuations. The Lakers nearly overcame a 20-plus point deficit to win Game 2 in Boston, but the rally fell short as the Celtics took a 2-0 on the road to LA.

In Game 4, the Celtics staged a monumental comeback to take a 3-1 series lead by overcoming a record 24-point deficit. They nearly repeated the feat in Game 5 after falling behind by double digits in the first quarter. But the Lakers held on to win and force a Game 6 back in Boston.

In looking at the overall flow of the series and the games themselves, it is apparent that Boston is the better team.

The Celtics have covered all five games in the series and are favored by four points back home in Game 6.

Boston should wrap up the series Tuesday and it might just be a one-sided win. Back home, it should be the Celtics who get off to the hot start much as the Lakers did in Games 4 and 5.

Boston has been the better defensive club over the course of the season and throughout this series. The Celtics have more reliable options on offense and a bench, considered a concern at the start of the season, is now a major strength.

The preference is to lay the four with Boston in Game 6.

Should the Lakers pull the upset and force a Game 7, Boston would again be the play if laying no more than the same four points. Interest would shift to the Lakers in the unlikely event they were getting at least 7.