The Celtics and Lakers met in last year’s NBA Finals. It was the 12th all-time meeting for the league's two most storied franchises. Boston won the first eight meetings (the first seven of which came no later than 1969), LA the next two ('85 and '87) and then after a 21-season gap, the Celtics made it 9-2 all-time vs the Lakers by winning the title in 2008. LA closed the gap to 9-3 in favor of Boston by winning the title in 2010. Boston’s won 17 titles in 21 appearances in the NBA Finals while LA captured its 16th<> NBA championship in its 31st appearance in The Finals last year. However, the big story heading into Friday’s and the weekend's games, is that both Boston and LA are down 2-0 in their respective series.

Only four teams have ever come back from a 2-0 series deficit in the conference semifinals and won the series. The list includes the Rockets over the Suns in both 1994 and 1995, the Lakers over the Spurs in 2004 and the Spurs over the Hornets in 2008. This is now the ninth time Boston has fallen behind 0-2 in a best-of-seven series in its playoff history and the Celtics have gone one to win just ONE of those previous eight series (over the LA Lakers in the 1969 NBA Finals). While Boston returns home after falling behind 0-2, the Lakers travel to Dallas after losing the first two games on their home court. Only three teams in NBA playoff history have come back to win a best-of-seven series after losing the first two at home. Ironically, Dallas is the most recent NBA team to win a series after losing the first two games at home, doing it in 2005 vs the Rockets. Phil Jackson coached teams have been down 0-2 in a seven-game series seven times before, coming back to win just twice.

Home teams are 4-4 SU and ATS in the second round, giving them a 36-15 SU and 21-27-3 ATS in the 2011 playoffs to-date. Home dogs are 7-4-1, so that leaves home favorites 14-23-2 ATS and all favorites an even worse, 18-30-3 ATS. After under bettors went 26-17 (60.5 percent) in the first round, the first six games of the second round all went over but changed last night, as both games stayed well under the total. Under bettors are now 28-23. Followers of the Zig-Zag Theory were 14-18-3 ATS in the first round and after winning with Chicago but losing with LA Wednesday night, are 16-20-3 ATS (minus-6.0 net games)m this postseason. Plays for the next set of four games would be on Atlanta and LA for Friday plus then Memphis and Boston on Saturday.

ESPN get a doubleheader Friday night. The first game is Chicago at Atlanta, where the Bulls are favored by 2 1/2 points with a total of 178. LA is at Dallas (9:35 ET) with the Mavs favored by two points (187). Moving on to Saturday, it’s Oklahoma City at Memphis at 5:05 ET on ESPN and Miami at Boston at 8:05 ET on ABC. The Grizzlies are three-point favorites with a total of 200 and the Celtics three-point favorites with a total of 183.

Good luck...Larry