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Best Bet of the Day Lakers at Celtics - 06-05-08

Jun 5, 2008 7:54 PM

by GT Staff | If you listen to the cable TV talking heads, you’d think this was a rematch of Magic Johnson’s Lakers versus Larry Bird’s Celtics. Unfortunately, these teams don’t come close to their predecessors’ level, and they’re probably here more for a lack of decent competition in the league than their own on-the-court talent. If you’ve followed either team, you know that the championship years invariably featured a big man in the center, especially on the Lakers side. Jerry West was great but he needed Wilt to win a championship. Same story with Magic feeding Kareem and Kobe dishing to Shaq on the drive. This time around Kobe has some help in the middle, but not the dominant type of presence he enjoyed 7-8 years ago. The Celtics are also probably overrated, when your so-called Big Three (don’t you hate that characterization?) consists of Ray Allen, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. Overall, you probably have to give the edge in the series to the Lakers, who at last glance were –195 to win it all. But, to do that, they probably need their subs to play over their heads, hitting 3-pointers and stifling Boston’s role players. That’s not an easy bet to make. Perhaps the best bet, at least for Game 1, is looking at the under. The Celtics have shown they can clamp down on opposing offenses at home, and the Lakers will need players like Fisher and Odom to step up to make it a game, to go along with Kobe’s stellar performance. Bryant will probably get his points tonight, but the Celtics should keep the rest of the crew in check. (Boston – 2½ UNDER 193½ )