NBA playoff odds: Lakers, Heat are favorites. Of course.

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Here’s the thing to remember about gambling odds — it’s not about who the odds makers really think has the best chance, it’s about keeping money evenly spread around so the house doesn’t lose money.

Meaning the favorite on the betting line is really about that being the team bet the most so the book doesn’t want to give a lot of money back to those bettors.

In this case Lakers betters. And Heat betters. Because you all love those teams.

From Bodog.com, here are the odds for the NBA playoffs this season. You could make a lot of money on the Pacers… but maybe you should just send that money to me instead.

Odds to win 2011 NBA Championship
Los Angeles Lakers 11/4
Miami Heat 13/4
Chicago Bulls 7/2
San Antonio Spurs 7/1
Boston Celtics 15/2
Oklahoma City Thunder 12/1
Dallas Mavericks 18/1
Orlando Magic 18/1
Denver Nuggets 35/1
New York Knicks 45/1
Portland Trailblazers 50/1
Memphis Grizzlies 100/1
Atlanta Hawks 125/1
Philadelphia 76ers 150/1
New Orleans Hornets 175/1
Indiana Pacers 250/1

Odds to win 2011 Eastern Conference
Miami Heat 8/5
Chicago Bulls 7/4
Boston Celtics 7/2
Orlando Magic 9/1
New York Knicks 25/1
Atlanta Hawks 60/1
Philadelphia 76ers 65/1
Indiana Pacers 100/1

Odds to win 2011 Western Conference
Los Angeles Lakers 1/1
San Antonio Spurs 9/4
Oklahoma City Thunder 13/2
Dallas Mavericks 8/1
Denver Nuggets 14/1
Portland Trailblazers 25/1
Memphis Grizzlies 60/1
New Orleans Hornets 80/1

Akron store already selling “Stay Home 23” shirts, hats as LeBron decision looms

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We’ve seen this movie before.

There is all sorts of buzz around the league that LeBron James has one foot out the door in Cleveland. While people around LeBron denied he the rumor he is “100 percent” leaving, good luck finding any league source who thinks he is staying put next summer. Nothing is set in stone, his options — including staying — remain open, but we’ve all been down this road before.

The hometown fans are going to do their part to urge LeBron to stay.

Fan sentiment has some pull with LeBron (he came back to win the city a title). However, what matters more is a sense of a plan to keep the Cavaliers as title contenders for the coming years — and that is more than just Dan Gilbert paying the tax. The Cavs did nothing this summer that got them closer to beating Golden State, and while they swung for the fences with Paul George, what they really needed was wing defenders and athletes, and they didn’t get those either. Luc Mbah a Moute signed a one-year deal for the minimum somewhere else. Instead, Cleveland overpaid Kyle Korver.

Despite all that, the Cavs remain the team to beat in the East. If Cleveland gets to the Finals — LeBron’s eighth in a row — and they win or make it close, he may see staying as his best option. A season can be a lifetime in the NBA in terms of shifting attitudes. Still, I wouldn’t bet the rent on it.

Marshall Plumlee gets camp invite, partially guaranteed contract from Clippers

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The Los Angeles Clippers have 14 fully guaranteed contracts on their roster, plus a partial guarantee for DeAndre Liggins (who likely is on the roster opening day). They also are pretty much set at center with DeAndre Jordan and Willie Reed (plus when they go small they can play Blake Griffin there, something I wish they’d do a little more).

That said, Doc Rivers — just a coach now — needs bodies for camp, so in comes former Duke star and Knick Marshall Plumlee, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

Plumlee played in 21 games for the Knicks last season, logging a total of 190 minutes. He bounced between New York and the D-League Westchester Knicks, when down he averaged 12.3 points and 9.8 rebounds a game.

He’s not making the Clippers’ squad (barring injury), but he could show well and get noticed by other teams. Over the course of a season, there will be a need for bigs as guys go down injured, Plumlee is getting a chance to show how his game has developed. And he makes some money in the process.

Kawhi Leonard is smiling, and that confuses Manu Ginobili (PHOTO)

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Much like Kevin Durant, it appears that Kawhi Leonard is having a great summer.

In fact, this appears to be the Summer of Kawhi Smiling. Which, according to one of his longtime teammates, is a bit confusing.

When the Spurs posted a photo of Leonard with a big old grin on his face to their Twitter feed recently, San Antonio legend Manu Ginobili responded asking the team whether something was up.

Specifically, Ginobili said that he had seen more photos of Leonard smiling in the past two days then he had in six seasons as a teammate.

Via Twitter:

You can leave an anonymous tip about why Kawhi Leonard is smiling so much by contacting the produce manager at your local H-E-B.

Kobe is the Lakers’ all-time leader in steals (and other trivia rookies don’t know)

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“He played 20 years … I mean, yeah I guess.”

That’s what Los Angeles Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball had to say in this video after learning that Kobe Bryant was the all-time leader in steals for his franchise. You have to hand it to him, it is a little surprising. Even more surprising is that Bryant has 220 more than Magic Johnson at No. 2.

In a video posted to YouTube by Complex on Saturday, rookies tried to answer questions similar to the one Ball pondered over, like what team drafted their head coach, who the NBA all-time leading scorer is, and what day the first game of the season starts on.

A lot of the responses were pretty funny, including the guys getting wrong what year Adam Silver became NBA commissioner. Poor David Stern has already been forgotten about!

Meanwhile, Ball looked the sharpest. He’s going to come in handy when the Lakers play pub trivia.