Lakers And Celtics Will Finally Determine The 2010 Champion

JIM HURLEY'S HANDICAPPING NOTEBOOK

LAKERS AND CELTICS WILL FINALLY DETERMINE THE 2010 CHAMPION

We can't say it's been a series for the ages. This isn't one you'll be talking with your grandkids about many years from now. In fact, amongst the many Lakers/Celtics championship series showdowns in the storied history of the league, THIS MAY BE THE WORST ONE EVER!

Boston barely showed up for Game One
The Lakers were flat and slow in Game Two
Boston was sluggish in Game Three
The Lakers ran out of gas in Game Four
The Lakers STAYED out of gas in Game Five
Boston saved its energy in Game Six

Not the stuff "instant classics" are made of. The first two and a half quarters of Game Four were probably the best pure basketball moments of the series. Los Angeles hadn't run out of gas yet, and was playing like they wanted to get things finished off as quickly as they could. Boston was in desperation mode, knowing their season was on the line. It was a true tug-of-war until late in the third quarter.

Then, the Lakers bigs started bending over gasping for air...the Celtics bench caught fire...and Boston ran off five straight good quarters to take a 3-2 series lead.

Los Angeles got its wind back Tuesday Night, just as Kendrick Perkins was injuring his knee in the first quarter for Boston. ABC might as well have televised another "Bachelor" re-run or a Japanese game-show ripoff for all the entertainment value Game Six provided.

That should change tonight. It's now or never. Do or die. Pick your cliche. BOTH TEAMS have their backs to the wall!

Boston will bring peak intensity, and won't lay down if they fall behind early. Kobe is still chasing history, while the rest of his team has a full sense of how blessed they are to be playing with this franchise at this point in history. If there's going to be an instant classic, THIS IS IT!

Let's see what Vegas has posted for the game, then we'll take a quick look at some key numbers from Game Six and earlier matchups...

 

GAME SEVEN: BOSTON AT LOS ANGELES
Tied at 3-3
Vegas Line: Los Angeles by 7, total of 187

The injury to Perkins, and the love affair Las Vegas has with the Lakers has kept the line very high. Traditionally, you'd see underdog money coming in strong on the bounce-back team. In past years, this line may have opened as low as "favorite -4" or "favorite -5." In fact, the early sendouts to sportsbooks from advisory services were for Lakers -5½. Sportsbooks know who people want to bet on! Most places opened -6½ or -7...and some early action actually drove the lines HIGHER temporarily.

As we go to press, the number has settled at seven.

Is that justified? It's been a weird series in that the line just hasn't mattered at all. Victory margins have been 13, 9, 7, 7, 6, and 22. The 7-7-6 sequence came in Boston when the spreads were just three. The winner covers. When pointspreads represent just one or two possessions, it's not that hard for the winning team to win by more than one or two possessions over the course of 90.

In a tight Game Seven, with a line that's scooting higher, the hurdle is higher.

The injury to Perkins certainly looms large here. It's hard for Boston backers to bet with PASSION when a starting center is out or badly hobbled. And, it's easier for Lakers money to justify a big pick because LA has victory margins of 13 and 22 on this court already. JIM HURLEY will be watching line moves on game day to make sure his clients get the best number on his preferred side.

Why is the total still at 187? Apparently nobody's actually watching the series! It's been a defensive struggle, and Game Seven's often slow down, have few fouls called, and see intense defense. It's not likely that we'll see a replay of the 156 that went up Tuesday Night in Game Six. Still, we're looking at 191-197-175-185-178-156 through six games to this point. Boston-LA hasn't been to the 190's since the night 16 treys and 51 free throws were made in Game Two.

Hey, anything can happen. Both teams are due to shoot better from long range (though that is tougher with tired legs). The refs may call more fouls if both teams turn their "must win" energy into physical play in the paint. The playoffs are so long overdue for overtimes that we may see four or five tonight! The "math" of the series says low 180's is right for a Game Seven. JIM HURLEY will be working with his staff to determine whether or not the math should be thrown out the window because of other indicators.

The Hurley Network swept the side & total on Game 6 and we're primed to springboard into the summer with a big win tonight! Click here to learn more!

Here's a quick review of Game Six...

LA LAKERS 89, BOSTON 67
Three-Point Scoring: Boston 15, Lakers 18
Two-Point Scoring: Boston 46, Lakers 54
Free Throw Scoring: Boston 6, Lakers 17

Given the relative no-show from Boston after they fell behind, the numbers here probably don't matter that much. Obviously, Boston's going to get make more than six free throws in a game they're going all out to win! We did want to focus your attention on "Inside Scoring."

So far that's largely ruled the series. Whoever scores the most on "one's and two's wins the game as a general rule. The one exception was Game Two when Ray Allen made eight treys by himself, and Boston made 11 as a team to trump their inside disadvantages.

LAKERS AT THEIR BEST IN INSIDE SCORING
Lakers 90, Boston 86 in Game 1
Lakers 79, Boston 70 in Game 2
Lakers 85, Boston 72 in Game 3
Lakers 71, Boston 52 in Game 6

BOSTON AT ITS BEST IN INSIDE SCORING
Boston 87, Lakers 68 in Game 5
Boston 82, Lakers 65 in Game 6

If victories were based on "Inside Scoring," the Lakers would already be celebrating a 4-2 series victory. Boston stole Game Two with treys. Given the injury to Perkins, and the fact that big guys on Los Angeles seemed to find their intensity again, Boston may have to win the long range category again tonight to win the title.

Let's note the HOME games for the Lakers were "inside" wins of 4, 9, and 19 points. They're playing at home tonight. Another 19 is unlikely because Boston is ready for a fight. With Perkins out of the mix though, the Lakers should be favored to win this category, putting the onus on Ray Allen to be a difference-maker.

Whatever happens, tonight represents the end of the basketball season! No more hoops until late October when a new campaign gets underway. JIM HURLEY'S NETWORK will make sure you go out a winner with a major release this evening. Call 1-800-323-4453 for complete details. Our basketball plays and baseball bonus action can also be purchased here at the website with your credit card. (Thursday's card features the finale's from the Philadelphia/NY Yankees and Tampa Bay/Atlanta series...and we mentioned yesterday that the coming INTERLEAGUE weekend is going to be PACKED with marquee matchups!)

The rest of the summer will be devoted to baseball and early football analysis here in the NOTEBOOK. We'd like to thank all of you hoop fans for hanging with us through the Winter, MARCH MADNESS, and the entirety of the NBA Playoffs. We greatly appreciate your continued support and interest.

Now...it's time to win a big one. Game Seven. Lakers-Celtics. For all the marbles. WHEN CHAMPIONSHIPS ARE ON THE LINE, YOU NEED WORLD CHAMPION HANDICAPPER JIM HURLEY!

19
Nov

Today’s Hot Plays