Is it just me, or does it seem a bit crazy that we are almost a week into June and there is still another series to play? Basketball and summer should not be sharing space. Thankfully, I don’t see this series taking up as much time as it should. Pretty much every major or minor media outlet I have seen in the last couple of days has tabbed the Lakers to win, and most have them doing it in five or six games. Normally I like to be a bit of a contrarian, but I just can’t do it here. I think the Lakers are going to win, and I think they will do it convincingly.
My reasons aren’t particularly profound. Kobe Bryant is so hungry and determined that I wouldn’t be surprised if someone told me that he eats live kittens for breakfast. Phil Jackson makes Kobe look like a pacifist. Those two guys know how to win, and they are both pretty desperate for that feeling. On the other side you have a team led by a guy, Kevin Garnett, that has made a career out of early playoff exits and a coach who has never before made it out of the first round. On that basis alone I’d take the Lakers. I also don’t think that the Celtics have seen many offenses like the Lakers have (because there aren’t many), and I’m not convinced that they can effectively contain it. The Lakers have a habit of turning games into shootouts, and I don’t see how Boston is going to keep up if that happens. I’m a little nervous because it seems so clear and that is never a good thing, but I’m still going to stick with it.
There is one interesting anomaly in it all. The Lakers are pretty much universally backed, yet the Celtics are favored in the first game. It’s only 2.5 points so it isn’t overwhelming, but what is interesting is that about 60 percent of bettors are on the Celtics. That means that most people think that the Lakers will win and they will do it in less than seven, but they won’t win game one. Sometimes bettors don’t make a lot of sense when you look too closely.