LOS ANGELES -- While Kendrick Perkins is out for the Celtics, the Lakers have their own health problem at center. Andrew Bynum has been bothered by a torn meniscus and has seen his playing time cut since Game 2. Phil Jackson indicated that he might be able to play 10 minutes per half. "That's kind of what our training staff has said," Jackson said prior to Game 7. "Unless he has a landing or a turn or something that ends up irritating that particular part of his knee that has some loose tissue, and then he gets, of course, lack of function in the muscles.

LOS ANGELES -- Rasheed Wallace will start for Kendrick Perkins in Game 7 of the NBA finals. Celtics coach Doc Rivers made the announcement about an hour before the game. 

 

It was clear prior to Thursday's finale between the Red Sox and Diamondbacks that the home team was well aware of the decisive seventh game of the NBA finals that is to take place between the Celtics and Lakers later on in Los Angeles. During batting practice Mike Cameron roamed the outfield in a green "Beat LA" shirt, while Terry Francona told reporters that as a fan of the Celtics, he'll be pulling for Doc Rivers' club to win it all. 

 

You have your chance to predict the winner of Thursday night's Celtics-Lakers Game 7 in our poll. In the meantime, you can check out what prognosticators around the nation are saying about the game. There's a mix of predictions. Check out the roundup at the Green Street blog.

With no single Celtics player having a standout series, there is speculation that Kobe Bryant might win the NBA finals MVP award even if the Lakers lose Game 7. Which player do you predict will win the MVP? Cast your vote at the Green Street blog.

ESPN NBA analyst Jamal Mashburn joined the Dennis & Callahan show Thursday morning to discuss Game 7 of the NBA finals. Mashburn was asked about what the Celtics can expect from Rasheed Wallace. "Rasheed has experience and he comes to play, it seems like when he wants to play, when the moment shines the brightest," Mashburn said. "Obviously, what they need from him is rebounding and defense and for him to knock down a couple of those long 3-point shots to stake the defense. ...

The referees for Game 7 of the NBA finals were announced by the league Thursday morning. Joey Crawford, Dan Crawford and Scott Foster have been tabbed to call the fouls as the Celtics and Lakers battle for NBA supremacy.

 

For Joey Crawford, it's his third appearance in this year's finals. He reffed Game 1 in Los Angeles and Game 5 in Boston. Dan Crawford was on the floor for the Celtics' Game 3 loss at TD Garden. Foster officiated Boston's Game 4 win.

We want your opinion on Thursday night's Game 7 of the NBA finals. Do you think the Celtics can overcome the loss of Kendrick Perkins and rebound from Tuesday's night's embarrassment? Or will Kobe Bryant carry the Lakers to a second straight NBA title? Cast your vote at the Green Street blog.

Philadelphia Inquirer columnist and radio host Stephen A. Smith joined the Dennis & Callahan show Thursday morning to talk about the NBA finals. Smith said at least two of the Celtics' top players must step up in Game 7, because he has no doubt Kobe Bryant will be at his best. "I have never seen him this focused," Smith said of the Lakers star. "If he was this focused before Game 7, imagine how he's going to be tonight."

 

Ten questions as we head into a Game 7 that will go a long way in the defining the legacy of several Hall of Famers. Should be exciting, I know Andy Garica's moustache hasn't been able to sleep the last couple of nights in anticipation of this deciding game. 

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1. Are we finally going to get the epic game this series has been missing?



KIRK MINIHANE

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