The Boston Celtics are the best team. That is not to say they are the most talented. I believe that Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol could give Larry Bird and Kevin McHale a run for their money in terms of superstar lead and superstar understudy.
But the Celtics, despite what we saw for too long the last half of the regular season, are the more complete team.
That means moving parts. That means roles. And that means, talent, too.
Tonight's game Game 7 versus the Lakers will not be easy. We saw that late Tuesday night. The Lakers played with wreckless abandon and it paid off.
That is part of the problem, at least from this vantage point. Why did the Lakers wait until Game 6 to give everything they had? It beats me.
The key game of this series was Game 5. It gave the Celtics a little breathing room and probably took away their edge a little. But you know what? They earned it.
I do see this game being the best "game" of the seven. I see these teams going hoop-for-hoop for four quarters and that, like most great sporting events, it will be decided at the end.
That's where the Celtics hold the advantage. The Lakers have Kobe. The Celtics have three, four or even five players who would be willing to take and make the big shot.
While Paul Pierce will probably be the Celtics' answer to Kobe, I see Rajon Rondo and Ray Allen vying for the MVP trophy in Game 7. Allen is looked at as one of the greatest pure shooters in NBA history. He has been their most consistent big shot player these playoffs.
And Rondo is simply a tough guy to figure out because his game is unlike any other.
As for the Lakers, they will put up a good fight, maybe even a great fight.
But in the end I don't see guys like Lamar Odom, Ron Artest and Jordan Farmar repeating what happened on Tuesday night. Each has a history to the contrary.
In the end, there is only one team that could beat the Lakers in Los Angeles, for all of the marbles.
It is your Boston Celtics.
E-mail Bill Burt at firstname.lastname@example.org.