Lakers vs. Celtics Game Five: A Turning Point in NBA History

The Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics play Game Five of the NBA Finals in Boston tonight, and all that is riding on this game is the future of the free world.

Okay, maybe not.  But it's close.

Tonight's game is the definition of a pivotal game: with the series tied 2-2 and heading back to Los Angeles for Game Six and then, if necessary, Game Seven, the winner of tonight's game becomes the prohibitive favorite to win the NBA Championship while the loser of this game is virtually assured to lose the series.

But looking beyond the outcome of these NBA Finals, the outcome of tonight's game will have repercussions that will be felt like shock waves through the basketball world.

Let's have a look:

Hypothetical Scenario One: Lakers Win Game Five

The Boston Celtics will have to be playing the best ball of the season tonight because of one simple truth: if the Los Angeles Lakers win Game Five and go back to Los Angeles needing to win only one of two games at home to take the title, this series is over.  

The Lakers have only lost one playoff game at home in these playoffs, and it was to the Celtics; no way the Lakers lose three out of four games at home in one series.

If the Lakers win tonight, they win the 2010 NBA Finals.

Show 'em what they've won.

It has been widely reported that Phil Jackson is ready to walk away from the Lakers after this season.  The Greatest Coach of All Time is 65 years old and his 6'8" frame suffers through the NBA season almost as though he were playing the games himself.

But make no mistake: If the Lakers win the 2010 NBA Finals, and have a chance to go for a three-peat next season, Phil Jackson is in.  Phil has said so himself. 

“Yeah, if we win, it’s almost imperative to give it another shot,” Jackson said. “We [would] have a chance ...

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