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Game 7 predictions roundup

Before the opening tip of this year’€™s NBA finals [1] between the Celtics [2] and Lakers, many NBA analysts predicted that the series between the heated rivals would go the full seven games. Now, with Game 7 officially upon us Thursday night, many of those same so-called experts are back with their predictions for the deciding game of the championship. Here’€™s a roundup of some of those predictions.

— Philadelphia Inquirer columnist and radio host Stephen A. Smith told Dennis & Callahan that he’€™s going to stick with his original pick of the C’€™s in 7. [3]

Several Sports Illustrated writers give their guesses at the outcome [4]. Four of the six predict a Boston win, including frequent WEEI guest Ian Thomsen, who thinks the final tally will be 92-89 in favor of the Green.

ESPN asked several of its experts what they expect for Game 7. [5] Kevin Arnovitz and Chris Sheridan both think it will be a last-possession game but differ on who will make the game-winner. Arnovitz picked Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant [6] while Sheridan went with Boston closer Paul Pierce [7].

— Also, as a part of its rivalry page, ESPN had two writers write why they believe the C’€™s will win and why the Lakers will win, with ESPNBoston.com’€™s Chris Forsberg doing the former [8] and Land O’€™Lakers blogger [9]Andy Kamenetzky doing the latter [9].

ESPN analyst Jamal Mashburn, who also was a guest Thursday morning on the Dennis & Callahan show [10], says that ‘€œthere’€™s no doubt in my mind’€ that the Lakers will win [11]. He also predicted that Glen Davis [12] will start as the replacement for Kendrick Perkins [13].

– Glen Davis gave his own prediction of a Celtics win in this piece from The Los Angeles Times. [14]

— Finally, SportingNews.com ran an AccuScore projection of Thursday night’€™s game [15], and the Lakers won 76 percent of the 10,000 simulations run by the program. The average score was 97.4-89.7.