The 62nd rendition of the NBA Finals could not have been set on a grander stage, as the two most successful franchises in NBA history collide in an epic clash of the titans. My NBA Finals Prediction has the Los Angeles Lakers at the Boston Celtics. One of the most anticipated NBA Finals ever is almost here, as the Los Angeles Lakers begin their quest for their 15th NBA Championship, as they will battle the ghosts from the past, the Boston Celtics. Game 1 of this 2008 NBA Finals will take place tonight, Thursday June 5th 2008, in prime time; tip-off is officially scheduled for just after 9 pm on the East, and can be seen on ABC Sports. KG vs. KB, Phil Jackson vs. Red Auerbach, Lakers vs. Celtics… lets go! Betting juggernauts at SportsBetting.com cover the NBA Finals best than the rest, as the home team, Boston Celtics are a -2½ point betting odds favorite against the visiting Los Angeles Lakers (+2½) tonight from the Boston Garden.
Predicting on a game like tonight is quite a challenging task. Not only are these teams very evenly matched, but more so, I've always felt, the most difficult game to predict in the NBA Playoffs, is game 1. Mainly because as bettors/aficionados, we are on the outside looking in: We really don’t know what their strategies/game plans are, or if anyone is injured, nor do we know what the player’s mindsets are going into game 1. The Over/Under in game 1 of the 2008 NBA Finals between the Lakers and Celtics set at a combined 192 total points.
What we can do however, to make an intelligent wager, is: look at the numbers (especially in pressure situations), and with a good feel, experience, and knowledge of the game, things become just a bit more predictable. So far in these 2008 Playoffs, both teams have had completely contrasting paths to get to where we are today. Currently the Lakers are 12-3 overall in the playoffs, and I will start my NBA Finals Prediction analysis with the road team.
The LA Lakers have come into the 2008 NBA Playoffs as hot as a team can be. Since March 1st 2008, LA is 28-10 (including the postseason). This tells me one thing, consistency. They are executing their offense, playing well as a unit, and feel very comfortable in pressure situations; they have been doing it efficiently and at a high level for over three months. They’ve been the best passing team in the playoffs, and they have the ultimate closer in Kobe Bryant. No one in the NBA knows how to close out games like "The Black Mamba".
I can sit here and talk about all kinds of statistics and dazzle you with numbers, but this is the Joker card in the deck; this is your home run hitter. Nobody can stop this guy: not one-on-one, not an entire team. Kobe Bryant will score the basketball whenever he feels like it, and there’s nothing anyone can do to stop him. In basketball they always use this analogy of “The Passing of the Torch”. And thus, what we have seen so far in these playoffs is exactly that… this is the Lakers’ time… This is Kobe’s time…
This is a guy that can single-handedly take over a series. He can study the defense for the duration of the entire 1st quarter and pick you apart. Or he can come out and hang 20+ points on any team in the opening stanza. Make no mistake about it, winning in the NBA Finals comes down to one thing, and one thing only: execution. The team that can execute their game plan best, especially when the game is on the line (in the 4th quarter) will be victorious in this, and in any other 7-game series.
My NBA Finals Prediction: LAL +2.5