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Money Games

Posted by Brian Mulligan on 4/4/2011 2:44:47 PM

With the NBA season winding down, there are some pivotal games in the final days that should offer bettors an opportunity to pad the bankroll going into the playoffs.

And not all of the opportunities will be about those teams that are going to make the post season.

Take for instance Wednesday’s game when the Cleveland Cavaliers have to play the Toronto Raptors in Canada.

Cleveland, which only covered 31 of their first 75 games this season, will be playing their fourth game in 5 nights. Granted, Toronto had to play in New York on Tuesday, but they have owned the Cavs this season.

They beat them by 20 back in October, then won by 15 in January, covering both times.

Get aboard early and often.

The very next night brings us what is looking like a preview of the Eastern Conference Finals as the Boston Celtics roll into the Windy City with hopes of regaining the top spot in the Conference.

Boston has been hurting. Shaq has to be rusty, and they are still trying to figure out how to utilize the new Boston players, Jeff Green and Nenad Krstic.

Chicago covered 2 of the first 3 games with Boston this year but they really put it together the last time they met in January.

In that game, the Bulls took a card from the Boston playbook but playing extremely tough defense.

They out rebounded Boston by 21 rebounds. They had 9 blocks and they allowed Boston to shoot only 38% from the floor.

Derrick Rose completely outplayed Rajon Rondo and that will be the order of the day on April 7 as the Bulls figure to be sky high for the nationally televised ball game.

At this juncture of the season, the elite teams will all say the same thing. They will defer the importance of home court advantage if they are trailing and tell reporters that they can win anywhere.

Forget about it.

The best teams in the league know that when push comes to shove, you don’t want to have to play a seventh game in the Finals on the road.

That is what makes the April 12 game between the San Antonio Spurs and the Los Angeles Lakers so intriguing.

The Spurs played the best ball in the league for seven eighths of the season but when Tim Duncan got hurt, thing started to come apart.

The Spurs beat the Lakers early in the year but L.A. was in the midst of losing 4 times in a 6-game stretch. The Spurs beat the Lakers at Staples the next time they met but there were reasons.

Kobe only shot 5 for 18 and the other guards were only 6 for 23 combined.

Los Angeles got revenge in a big way just over a month ago when the Lakers dominated the first three quarters, held San Antonio to teens in 2 quarters and cruised by 13 behind 21 from Pau Gasol and 26 from Kobe.

Considering the importance that this game will have, the Lakers will be on full tilt and figure to cover.


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