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Celtics Lakers Betting Series – Lakers Avenge 2008 Loss, Earn 16th Title

Posted by Craig Parsons on 2/5/2014 2:04:49 AM

It’s finally NBA championship time for online betting players, and it’s a doozy of a matchup as the two most decorated franchises in the history of the league will go head to head. They’ve also won the last two NBA titles, and to say they’re rivals is an understatement, even if some of today’s stars don’t seem to be into it. It’s the NBA version of Red Sox-Yankees: the Los Angeles Lakers against the Boston Celtics.

The Story

Where to start? This will be the 12th time that these two have met in the NBA Finals, with the Celtics leading 9-2, including the 2008 win in six games that was punctuated with a 39-point rout at home. The Lakers rebounded to win last year’s title, but now they get their chance at revenge for their showing a couple of years ago.

These two split a pair of meetings this season, with the road team winning by a point each time. The Lakers won 90-89 in Boston on January 31st, thanks to a Kobe Bryant jumper with 7.3 seconds. The Celtics returned the favor on February 18th, edging the Lakers 87-86 in Los Angeles, but the Lakers were without Bryant, who was out with a sore ankle.


Celtics vs Lakers: Better Starters?

The Celtics are perimeter-heavy with Rajon Rondo, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen carrying the Boston offense. Kevin Garnett took a step back in the Orlando series after a strong start to the playoffs, and some wonder if his knee is bothering him again. At center, Kendrick Perkins is a tough rebounder and defender, but don’t expect much offense. The Boston starters were up and down all season before getting it together in the playoffs, but how much do they have left after taking out Cleveland and Orlando?

The Lakers can go inside to Pau Gasol, who was manhandled in the 2008 Finals by Garnett and company, but that’s only when he gets enough touches. Triangle offense or not, Bryant is still the star of the show, and he’s been on fire since he had his knee drained after struggling against Oklahoma City in the first round. You don’t know what you’re going to get offensively from Ron Artest, but you know he’ll be a tough defender. Andrew Bynum is limping around, and getting his knee drained didn’t do much for him. Derek Fisher is a defensive liability, but he’s a poor man’s Robert Horry with the way he hits big shots. Slight edge to the Lake Show.

Edge: Bet On Lakers

Celtics Lakers: Who Has The Better Bench?

The Celtics’ bench is deeper with Rasheed Wallace and Glen “Big Baby” Davis, and even Tony Allen has been decent in this postseason run. Nate Robinson came up big in the clincher against Orlando, so he may get some more minutes. But the key is the mercurial Wallace, the only bench player with significant playoff experience, and he has a ring. Wallace has been maddening all season, but he’s stepped up in the playoffs like he said he would. However, a back problem is worrying for the power forward.

Lamar Odom is the best player on either bench, and he would be a starter for 80% of the league. Shannon Brown and Jordan Farmar can’t be trusted in clutch situations, hence the minutes for Fisher. Once Odom enters the game, it gets bare for the Lakers, which is why Boston gets the nod here.

Edge: Bet On Celtics

Celtics Lakers Betting: Who’s The X-Factor?

There are two parts to this in this NBA betting matchup: the first one is, how will the Lakers guard Rondo? Fisher was abused by Russell Westbrook in the first round, to the point that Bryant asked to guard the quick Oklahoma City floor leader. The Lakers may be forced into that again as Rondo can take over a game if you let him, but do you really want to have Fisher guarding Allen?

The second part is a matchup in itself. As we said before, Gasol was dominated by Garnett in 2008, and he can’t let that happen again. In fact, it would be in his best interest to go right at Garnett, who is less than 100%, and Gasol has a cupboard full of post moves.


Who’s Gonna Win?

These are not the same two teams that met in 2008. The Celtics were on a mission in their first season with the “Big Three”, and there was nothing that was going to stop them from getting the title. The Lakers had picked up Gasol in February, and got through basically on talent (and Bryant). The Lakers are tougher now, they have the experience of last year’s championship run, and most importantly, they still have the game’s best closer in Bryant.

The biggest factor in this series is revenge, and we’re not buying Bryant’s dismissal, saying it’s not important who he plays. It’s true to an extent, but there’s no way that Bryant and the Lakers didn’t want to face the Celtics in this scenario again, especially after the 39-point humiliation in Boston in 2008. The Lakers are the sports betting favorites, and they’ll prove why with their 16th NBA championship.

Bet The NBA: Lakers in Six

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