The NBA title is at stake in these Finals, but the 2010 TrueHoop Stat Geek title is not. Jeff Ma sewed that up in the last round, thanks in no small part to his consistent belief in the Boston Celtics.
What matters more: How a team does over the long-term (for instance the whole season) or how they are playing right now?
By season-long numbers, the Celtics have no business being here and should have lost badly to first the Cavaliers and then the Magic.
Can teams turn it on the for the playoffs? Usually, the answer is no. Not for more than a short spell. But this year, the answer is yes, as both Finals teams are consistently playing better than the regular season would suggest.
The experts have had a hard time wrestling with the Celtics' performance, and nearly all have been burned by the Celtics at least once already. But apparently, the lesson has been learned. Six out of eight, and each for their own reasons, are picking the Celtics to beat the Lakers. The only Laker picks are from Kevin Pelton and John Hollinger, who are in second and third place, respectively, heading into the Finals.