Boston Celtics

NBA playoffs, betting odds, picks, schedule: Celtics, Clippers advance to conference finals

With two neutral-court Game 7s in the rearview mirror, what did we learn ahead of Friday's winner-take-all matchup between the Boston Celtics and Toronto Raptors ?

It's tempting to say that the higher seeds advanced and that the better team should still win, but the two first-round Game 7s were decided by a total of four points.

The Clippers dispatched them, and for all of the matchup advantages they theoretically have, a 4-for-18 performance from Kawhi Leonard was needed for their lone victory in this series.

As long as Jamal Murray continues shooting 38.2 percent from the field in this series, a strong possibility given his potential thigh injury and Patrick Beverley's defense, the Nuggets simply don't have the firepower to keep up with the Clippers.

The variance might favor Toronto one more time, and Game 7s have an inherent sort of randomness that makes them risky plays in general, but Boston is better.

Plus, if you believe in any sort of universal balance, this is the exact moment in the 2019 playoffs in which Kawhi Leonard hit his four-bounce buzzer-beater to beat the Philadelphia 76ers .

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