Game 3 prediction

Look for a big game from Kobe and the rest of the Lakers. Tonight is a must win. A loss for the Purple and Gold means that the Celtics should find some polish and lather it up on the Larry O'Brian piece. #24 looked more like himself on Sunday night. For many of the Lakers, this will be the biggest game in their lives, they should play like it. I don't see the Lakers dropping this game, but don't expect the Celtics to give this one away. It is really hard to pick the Lakers to cover the spread, but a blowout would be huge for their confidence, and the series. Boston knows they only need to steal one in LA. A lax attitude for the Celtics is only human for a team up two coming into the first road game. I fully expect a big win for the Lakers tonight, but free throws at the end of this game might push the spread in the opposite direction. Nevertheless, this series is going into Game 4 2-1.

Keys for the Lakers: LO needs to step up, and step up big. Gasol needs to put up what he did on Sunday night or even more. Fisher needs to shut down Rondo, but still produce on the offensive end. The bench needs to play like they have all year. They are the better bench and they need to play like it so the starters can rest their engines to close the game out. The Lakers also need to be better on the boards and limit second chance opportunities.

Keys for the Celtics: Keep doing what they are doing. If PJ Brown continues to play like he has played in this series, it could mean a lot of work for the Lakers big men. The Big 3 are being about as consistent as can be and we can expect more of that this game, although I think Allen will take a small cut in points this game. The Celtics need to keep being aggressive on the offensive board and try to keep LO out of the game. They won't be able to limit Kobe, but they can limit Gasol and hope that he isn't the focal point of the offense like he was in the first half of Game 2. If the Celtics have someone step up like Powe in Game 2, it could be huge for the Celtics. They seem to have had a hero every series this playoffs, it is about consistency for the Celtics. The road game has not been kind to the Celtics this post season. Tonight will be a big test of that.

Expect the Lakers to come out tonight with a sense of desperation and urgency. This might be a lead from start to finish.

Picture Source: The Basketball Jones blog

Prediction: LAKERS -9 over Celtics


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