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Can the Celtics beat the Lakers in the NBA Finals?

Can the Celtics beat the Lakers in the NBA Finals?



Can the Celtics beat the Lakers in the NBA Finals?




After stealing the home court advantage away from the Lakers with a 103-94 victory at Los Angeles in Game 2 of the NBA Finals, the Boston Celtics will seek to protect its home turf beginning with Tuesday night's Game 3 at TD Garden. While the Lakers are s

2010-06-17

After stealing the home court advantage away from the Lakers with a 103-94 victory at Los Angeles in Game 2 of the NBA Finals, the Boston Celtics will seek to protect its home turf beginning with Tuesday night's Game 3 at TD Garden. While the Lakers are still a -130 betting favorite to win the series, Los Angeles must now win at least once in Boston to capture the NBA title. Some historical numbers point to the Celtics ending LA's hopes of a repeat championship. The two most storied franchises in the history of the league have met in the finals on 11 previous occasions. The Lakers have been able to defeat the Celtics only twice (1985 and 1987) in the finals. When the squads met two years ago in the finals, Boston emerged with a 4-2 series win. In the three games that were contested at TD Garden, the Celtics were the winner each time. In its last three visits to the NBA Finals, the Lakers are just 2-7 on the road. In the 2004 finals, Los Angeles split its first two games at home against the Detroit Pistons. The Lakers promptly lost the next three matchups in Detroit to lose the series, much to the shock of the NBA betting community. So, it isn't a given that LA will be able to get the series back to the Staples Center with at least one victory in the next three games in Boston.



The Celtics certainly aren't the same club that limped home with a .500 record over the final two-thirds of the regular season. Boston has posted a record of 13-6 in the postseason. While the Lakers won the Western Conference title against three teams that weren't exactly overwhelming foes, Boston's path to the finals was far more difficult. First, the Celtics had to get by Dwyane Wade in the opening round of the playoffs. After dispatching the Heat, Boston had to deal with the team that posted the best record in the league during the regular season. LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers were expected to handle the aging Celtics. Trailing 2-1 in the series, Boston rallied to take the next three games in the series to shock the Cavs and NBA betting everywhere. In the Eastern Conference Finals, Boston was once again the underdog against Dwight Howard and the Orlando Magic. The Celtics took prompt control of the series with a pair of road wins en route to a 4-2 series victory over the defending Eastern Conference champions. After getting by Wade, James and Howard, Boston has one more superstar foe to deal with. Kobe Bryant stands between the Celtics and another title. While Boston's star trio of Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen keyed the club's title run two years ago, young guard Rajon Rondo is the focal point of the team this time around after making a smaller contribution in 2008. In Game 2, Rondo's triple-double (19 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists) was overshadowed to some degree by Allen's finals-record of eight 3-point field goals. Rondo's emergence has added a new dimension to the Boston squad. Still, the star veterans have enough left in the tank to make significant contributions to the team's success.


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