Lakers Vs Celtics Game 3 Preview

This is why I hate the 2-3-2 format. I’m neither a Celtics nor a Lakers fan, but I don’t like that the team with home-court advantage in the NBA Finals gets put in this situation. The Lakers lost Game 2 Sunday and now have to steal one in Boston in one of the next three games.

I realize that no matter what format the series follows, the Lakers now will have to win an away game. But I don’t think it’s fair that the Celtics get three straight at home. The Lakers won’t even get another home game, if Boston does its job and wins its home games.

If the finals followed the 2-2-1-1-1 format like every other round, the Lakers would be guaranteed at least one more home game. This could break up a potential Celtics run and swing the momentum back toward the Lakers again. They could lose the next two games and would still have a chance to play in front of their home crowd in a must win Game 5.

In the current format – should the Lakers lose Games 3 and 4 – the Celtics fans will be pumped for Game 5. They will be even louder than they usually are and it will be very tough for the team that earned home-court advantage in the regular season, to have to come back into the series in a must-win away game.

History shows that Game 3 is crucial in the 2-3-2 format. Since the NBA adapted the series-design in 1985, the NBA Finals have gone into Game 3 tied at 1-1 ten times. All ten times the winner of Game 3 ended up winning the series. Why put so much stock into such an early game in the series?

I don’t understand the idea of changing things up for the finals anyway. If they think this is the better system, why not use it throughout the playoffs? I understand that the format makes the travel arrangements easier and that players don’t have to fly back and forth across the country.

However, I think one win by the away team in the first two games changes the competitive advantage too much. I think the league should stick to the 2-2-1-1-1 format throughout the postseason. If you want to cut down on the strain of traveling, schedule more days off between games.

The Lakers need to rebound from a weak shooting night in Game 2. The Celtics held Los Angeles to 40.8 percent shooting from the field. The Lakers only connected on five of their 22 attempts from beyond the arc. And they struggled from the free-throw line too. They got plenty of trips to the charity stripe, but only made 31 of their 41 attempts.

The Celtics got great performances from Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo. Allen made eight 3-pointers, seven in the first half. He set a finals record when he hit his eighth shot from beyond the arc in the second half. Allen crushed the 16.5 game set for his individual total on Bodog, and everybody who put money on the over should have been smiling halfway through the second quarter.

Rajon Rondo got a triple-double to help Allen lead the Celtics to a big Game 2 victory. Even though he struggled from the field with an 8-for-18 shooting performance, he finished with 19 points, 12 rebounds and ten assists.

The Celtics go in as a 2 ½ point favorite, and after two distinct winners in the first two games, I am expecting a more closely fought final stretch in Game 3. The Moneyline at 5Dimes and Bookmaker run at -145 for the Celtics and +125 for the Lakers.

The total sits at 192 ½ which the teams surpassed in Game 2, but barely didn’t make in Game 1. Boston will be dictating the pace of the game on their home-court and I could see a lower scoring game tonight.

Bodog doesn’t offer any individual totals, and wagers like the first player to score, or whether Player X will make or miss his first shot seem too random to me.

The Celtics carry a lot of momentum into Game 3 coming off of a strong road-performance. The chants of “Beat LA!” will be louder than ever when the game tips off at TD Garden tonight. I can see the Celtics riding the momentum to a Game 3 victory.

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