Game 1: Lakers +2 ½; Celtics -2 ½
Derek Fisher hits a game winning shot: 10 to 1. Fisher’s a clutch shooter, and as fine a player as any to take a last second shot. But it will be hard for the Celtics to force the ball out of Kobe’s hands in close, late game situations, making this scenario a little less likely.
Ray Allen rediscovers his jumpshot: 2 to 1. Yes, Jesus Shuttlesworth shot well during the end of the Pistons series, but I’m unconvinced the prodigal stroke has returned.
Kobe scores 20 in a 4th quarter: 7 to 1. Kobe is likely to at least once revert back to pre “trusting” Kobe and try to control the game from the start of the 1st quarter. This will inevitably alienate his supporting cast and the Lakers will slip down by 17 or so. But that will create the perfect scenario for Kobe to go off in the 4th and march triumphantly into NBA Finals lore.
Doc Rivers outcoaches Phil Jackson: 15 to 1. George Karl, Jerry Sloan, Gregg Popovich. Mike Woodson, Mike Brown, Flip Saunders. In your opinion, which list of playoff victims is more prestigious? When the Lakers win, Rivers will have been the worst coach Jackson has outmaneuvered this post-season, not the best (I’m giving George Karl some credit here for rhetorical effect).
Paul Pierce throws up a gang sign: 10 to 1. I may absolutely despise Pierce for being moody and smug, but it is absurd to interpret every hand gesture a black man makes as being a “gang sign.”
Media interprets a Paul Pierce hand gesture as a gang sign: 2 to 1. What has this world come to that “thugs” are our sports heroes? What’s next, a black President!?
Lamar Odom has a big series: 2 to 1. Every time Kobe drives to the lane, the Celtics are going to go LeBron on him and collapse completely. Unlike the Cavs, Kobe can pass to a more than competent and furiously cutting Lamar Odom who will highlight the futility of the Celtics defense by laying down a sick dunk.
Ronny Turiaf takes a ride on the mothership: 1 to 1. The desired effect is what you get when you improve your interplanetary funksmanship
Kevin Garnett straight up murders somebody: 2 to 1. I'm talking homicide on the hardwood. I have this really clear image in my mind of Garnett muttering "Kali Ma Shakti De" and ripping Pau Gasol's heart out.