Staff writer Mike Bresnahan ties up some loose ends before each Finals game.
Question: (Sent before Game 1) I know it might sound crazy right now, and perhaps I will cringe at my own e-mail in a few weeks, but I'm calling a Lakers sweep of the Celtics. The Lakers are going to come out with very high percentages from the field early, as they have always in the first game this year. Their defense and speed throughout the game are going to stun the Celtics. Trevor Ariza on Paul Pierce will be the key matchup of the sweep. OK, go ahead, laugh your head off!!!
-- Franco Amurri
Q&A of the day
Answer: Uh, no comment.
Worst-case Lakers scenario
Paul Pierce continues to make three-pointers on one leg. Kendrick Perkins keeps bullying the Lakers' frontcourt on one ankle. Going back to Staples Center down 2-0? Not good news for the Lakers.
Best-case Lakers scenario
Kobe Bryant's weekend work on his jump shot pays off. Lamar Odom and Pau Gasol check into the series for the first time. The Lakers' reserves have many more points than fouls. A split in Boston significantly tilts the series the Lakers' direction.
When's the trip to Faneuil Hall?
Odom, the typically low-key Lakers forward, continues to fly below the radar in Boston.
"My family is here, my kids are here. Probably going to see 'Kung Fu Panda,' just chill out," he said of his off-the-court plans. "We went to this California Pizza Kitchen, [been] eating at the hotel. You know me. It's not all about fine dining right now."
It's silly to pick against the Celtics' lore, leprechauns and legends. But it's also hard to pick a team when two-thirds of its frontcourt is limping. Lakers by a couple of points.