Match-Up: LA Lakers (2-2) at Boston Celtics (2-2)

AP

Many fans and analysts were claiming that Game 3 was the biggest game of the series. However, with the series tied at two games a piece, Game 5 will be pivotal one in the series.

Boston used pure emotion and inside dominance to take the Lakers down in Game 4. The Celtics out-scored the Lakers 54-34 in the paint while out-rebounding the Lakers 41-34. More impressively, the Celtics grabbed 16 offensive rebounds to the Lakers 8. There is one reason why the Celtics dominated the Lakers inside: the absence of Andrew Bynum. Bynum has been limited by a bad knee for the entire post season and only played 12 minutes in Game 4.

The Lakers really do not have any expectations for Bynum in Game 5, but the extra day off should give the Lakers big man more rest.

The one thing I’m looking for in Game 5 is the emergence of Kobe Bryant. Bryant has averaged 27 points per game during the Finals, but hasn’t had a truly breakout performance. Bryant had a defining Game 6 in Phoenix where he scored 37 points. I’m expecting a similar performance from Kobe in Game 5.

The Celtics opened as a three-point favorite. However, I’m expecting the Lakers to get at least 25 minutes out of Bynum in Game 5. Neutralizing Glen Davis and Kendrick Perkins is a big key for the Lakers. Lakers by five.

The Pick: LA Lakers

June Record: 6-6

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