Before the opening tip of this year’s NBA finals  between the Celtics  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. 
— Several Sports Illustrated writers give their guesses at the outcome . 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.  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  while Sheridan went with Boston closer Paul Pierce .
— 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  and Land O’Lakers blogger Andy Kamenetzky doing the latter .
— ESPN analyst Jamal Mashburn, who also was a guest Thursday morning on the Dennis & Callahan show , says that ‘there’s no doubt in my mind’ that the Lakers will win . He also predicted that Glen Davis  will start as the replacement for Kendrick Perkins .
–– Glen Davis gave his own prediction of a Celtics win in this piece from The Los Angeles Times. 
— Finally, SportingNews.com ran an AccuScore projection of Thursday night’s game , and the Lakers won 76 percent of the 10,000 simulations run by the program. The average score was 97.4-89.7.