NBA Finals prediction: Lakers in 5

The Celtics have the Big Three, but athletic L.A. has three pretty good players too.

Published June 5, 2008 9:15PM (EDT)

Just want to get this on record before Game 1: Lakers in five. I think they're too athletic for the Celtics. Boston has the Big Three, of course, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen. But the Lakers have Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom, a No Slouch Three.

Garnett's a better player than Gasol, but not by much. Pierce is a better player than Odom by a little more than that. And then there's Bryant vs. Allen. A few years ago, when they had a beef with each other, Bryant huffed that he didn't want Allen's name mentioned in the same breath as his own. Bryant said last week that that beef has long since blown over, but Allen really shouldn't be mentioned in the same breath with Bryant.

Aside from Bryant, the Lakers' rotation is deeper, faster and better than that of the Celtics. I said early in the season that I wasn't a big believer in Boston, and they led the league in wins. I said they'd lose in the Eastern Conference finals to Detroit and they beat 'em in six. I've got one more shot to be right about them, so there it is: Lakers in five.

By King Kaufman

King Kaufman is a senior writer for Salon. You can e-mail him at king at salon dot com. Facebook / Twitter / Tumblr

MORE FROM King Kaufman

Related Topics ------------------------------------------