NBA Finals 2010: Don't Count the Los Angeles Lakers Out

James Brown@@chasingballgameSenior Analyst IJune 15, 2010

BOSTON - JUNE 13:  (L-R) Lamar Odom #7, Kobe Bryant #24 and Derek Fisher #2 of the Los Angeles Lakers look on against the Boston Celtics during Game Five of the 2010 NBA Finals on June 13, 2010 at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. Boston won 92-86.NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The NBA Finals head back to Los Angeles with the Boston Celtics holding a 3-2 series lead over the LA Lakers. The Celtics are only one win away from the championship, and that puts the pressure firmly on the LA Lakers.

BET US.com opened the Lakers up as 6.5 point favorites staying on pace with the line for Games One and Two. The Best Line on the Celtics is +7 at Diamond Sports, and the best line for the Lakers is -6 at Bet Jamaica. Check out the Top Ten Sportsbooks for the latest odds on Game Six of the NBA Finals.

The Celtics have won back-to-back games and put the Lakers in a playoff hole for the first time in the post season this year. They did it with a combination of tough defense, timely scoring, and depth on the bench. In fact, the Celtics look like they have this series in hand since they already won a game in LA.

Kobe has had back-to-back stellar games, yet the Lakers have still fallen short. Ron Artest is getting beat by Paul Pierce, and the Lakers bench is MIA. This series is over, right?

I wouldn’t count the Lakers out just yet for several reasons.

Home Sweet Home

The Lakers are at home, and those close calls that the referees were calling might all of a sudden be in the favor of the home team.

Kobe can change the game

Kobe Bryant is playing like a man possessed. He is hitting baskets from all over the floor, and he is challenging his team to play harder, to want this game, and to elevate their game to a new level.

During his post game press conference he was asked what he would say to his teammates. ”Just man up and play, what the hell is the big deal? If I have to say something to them, they don’t deserve to be champions.” That should send a message.

Quick Turnaround

The last time there was a quick turnaround between games it was in Game Three when the teams traveled to Boston. The Lakers were the better prepared team for the quick turn, and because of this they won game three.

Is the pressure on Boston?

The pressure may actually be on Boston. Doc Rivers has called this a must win, and the Celtics know that they do not want a Game Seven in LA. The Celtics are just 1-7 when trying to close a series out on the road. That does not bode well as they enter Game Six.

This series was meant to go seven games and be one of the best in NBA history. The Celtics don’t want it to happen and may be in the driver seat, but I am not ready to count out Kobe Bryant and the Lakers just yet.


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