Lakers Vs Celtics Game 2 Preview
The Celtics need to pick it up if they don’t want to fly back to Boston down 2-0. They didn’t show enough hustle in Thursday’s game and were outmatched by a more physical Lakers team. Kobe Bryant drove to the basket all night and the Celtics weren’t able to stop him. He ended up with 30 points, seven rebounds and six assists.
While Kobe was the Lakers’ best offensive player, Ron Artest deserves a lot of credit for defending Paul Pierce. Pierce ended up taking only 13 shots total, eight of them when he was matched up against Artest. The Celtics forward scored 24 points on 6-for-13 shooting.
Artest also helped the Lakers offensively, scoring 15 points and hitting three of his five attempts from beyond the arc.
Celtics playmaker Rajon Rondo seemed bothered by his back and was held to 13 points. Kevin Garnett hit only seven of his 16 shots and seemed slow all night. He grabbed only four rebounds on a night that saw a poor performance by Boston on the boards.
Ray Allen got in foul trouble early and played only 27 minutes. He made only three of his eight shots and scored 12 points.
Despite all the problems, the Celtics hung around and were down only two with three minutes to play in the first half. Their sluggish play and lack of energy lead to a Lakers run that sent Los Angeles into halftime with a 50-41 lead. And the home-team never looked back. The Lakers finished off Boston 102-89 which kept the game just barely under 192, the over/under that Bodog had offered.
Boston needs to be more physical in Sunday’s game to avoid another loss. The Stapes Center will be loud again and the Celtics need to embrace this atmosphere and try to quiet the crowd. I expect Rondo to bounce back from his mediocre Game 1. Ray Allen should have a bigger impact on Game 2 as well, unless he gets himself into early foul trouble again.
The Lakers are the six point favorite going into Game 2, and if the Celtics don’t recover from the loss and change their attitude, Los Angeles will be able to cover those six points easily. Bookmaker has the Lakers at -260 and the Celtics at +220 on the Moneyline. 5Dimes runs the Lakers’ Moneyline at -250. They have the Celtics at +210.
So, if you see the Celtics turning their game around and tying the series at 1, Bookmaker is the place for you to go. If you think the Lakers can add to their series lead, you should go with 5Dimes.
Bookmaker has the over/under is set at 190 on the regular -110 line. 5Dimes offers a variety of over/unders again. The Lakers showed that they can drop 100 on the Celtics in Game 1, but I think Boston will bounce back in Game 2. While I don’t think it will be enough to beat the Lakers, I think they will at least limit their scoring.
An interesting bet to look at is Ray Allen’s over/under for Game 2. While he was limited to only 12 points in Game 1 because of the early foul trouble, he should be able to exceed the 16.5 points that Bodog has as his over/under. A $125 bet will win you $100 should Allen deliver.
Even more interesting is Kevin Garnett’s over/under. Bodog sets it at a very low 141/2. He scored 16 Thursday despite struggling from the floor, and I expect him to at least repeat his Game 1 numbers.
I can see the Celtics coming into this game with more energy. It should be a lot closer contest than Thursday’s blow-out, but I don’t see Boston rebounding all the way. The Lakers will win again and head to Boston with the 2-0 series lead. They need this game, because of the NBA’s questionable 2-3-2 format for the finals.