The Cleveland Cavaliers finished the NBA's regular season with the league's best record, and LeBron James won the Most Valuable Player award in the process. Despite this success, the Cavs will be watching the rest of the NBA playoffs on TV. Cleveland was eliminated by the Boston Celtics on Thursday night, losing game six by a final score of 94-85. Boston will now face the Orlando Magic for the right to represent the Eastern Conference in the NBA Finals.
The Cavs had won two of the first three games before the Celtics rebounded to win the last three en route to the series victory. In game six, Boston was priced as a -1' point NBA betting favorite and easily covered the pointspread. The 179 combined points scored went well UNDER the posted total of 194. Heading into Game 6, Cleveland had taken the money in 8 of the last 12 games held at Boston's TD BankNorth Garden although Boston had won 10 of 12 outright.
LeBron James didn't go down without a fight, however, as he put up a 'triple double' consisting of 27 points, 19 rebounds and 10 assists. Mo Williams added 22 points, but the Cavs received little production from the rest of the roster. For the game, the Celtics' bench outscored their Cleveland counterparts 24-13.
Kevin Garnett paced the Celtics with 22 points and 12 rebounds, and afterward credited his team's experience:
"Winning is gratifying. You're playing the best team in basketball; the challenge is there; you don't have to dress it up. One thing we don't lack is confidence. We're a veteran team and we understand when it's time to lock in as a group. I think we did just that. I think the experience is taking over."
LeBron, meanwhile, was in a state of disbelief:
"The fact that it's over right now is definitely a surprise to me. A friend of mine told me, 'I guess you've got to go through a lot of nightmares before you realize your dream.' That's what's going on for me individually right now."
There's been much speculation about the future of the reigning MVP-LeBron is eligible to opt out of his contract this summer and there's no shortage of teams that would love to have him. For now, he's keeping his cards close to the vest:
"I want to win. That's my only thing, my only concern. I've always prided myself -- it's all about winning for me and I think the Cavs are committed to doing that. But at the same time, I've given myself options to this point. Me and my team, we have a game plan that we'll execute and we'll see where we're at."
The Celtics will now face the Orlando Magic, who have rampaged through the first two rounds of the playoffs. Orlando's conference semifinal sweep of the Atlanta Hawks was the most dominating 4 game series victory in NBA history, with an average per game margin of victory of 25.2 points. The winner will then advance to the NBA Finals.
Ross Everett is considered among the world's top experts on several topics, including emu racing, sports betting
, and edged weapon fighting. He is a staff handicapper for Oddsbay and in charge of setting daily soccer betting odds
. He lives in Las Vegas with several retired carnival geeks.