NBA Playoff Predictions 2012: Denver Nuggets vs. Los Angeles Lakers
Denver Nuggets at Los Angeles Lakers
Tuesday, 5/1/12, 10:30 PM EST, TV: TNT
Opening Point Spread: Los Angeles -5
Current Betting Line: Los Angeles -5.5
Opening Total: 199.5
Current Total: 200.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker
Denver will certainly want to push the pace after suffering a 103-88 loss in Game 1 of its best-of-seven Western Conference series with Los Angeles, especially considering the team led the NBA in scoring during the regular season. “They played their game plan better than we played our game plan,” commented Nuggets forward Danilo Gallinari. The Nuggets should remain a confident group knowing they’ve won seven of the last 12 regular season meetings against the Lakers. Denver is 8-2 as a road underdog of 3.5 to 6 points.
The Nuggets got off to an incredibly slow start in scoring just 14 points in the first quarter on 25 percent shooting from the field. Gallinari led the squad with 19 points, but leading scorer Ty Lawson was limited to just seven points. He averaged 19.1 during the month of April during the regular season, to finish with a team-high 16.4 average. Denver was held to 35.6 percent shooting on Sunday, missing a number of easy layups due to opponent possessing a pair of 7-footers in the paint.
Los Angeles was led by All-Star center Andrew Bynum defensively in the series opener, as he set a new franchise record for blocks in a playoff game with 10. “He was just there at the exact moment either to change the shot or block it,” stated Lakers guard Kobe Bryant. The Lakers have now won 18-of-22 playoff games against the Nuggets, losing twice at home (10-2) and twice on the road (8-2). Bryant led all scorers with a game-high 31 points, as he averaged 27.9 points per game during the regular season. Los Angeles is 7-8 ATS when leading a playoff series the last two-plus years.
The Lakers have won 37-of-47 opening playoff series since moving to Los Angeles prior to the 1960-61 season. Los Angeles has tallied an impressive 35-13 record in Game 1’s of its first postseason series, as it looks to improve upon its 34-2 series mark when holding home-court advantage in the opening round. Since moving to the Staples Center prior to the 1999-2000 campaign, the Lakers are 77-17 in playoff games inside the venue.
Bettors will likely back the Nuggets due to their 14-3 ATS mark as a road underdog of 5.0 to 10.5 points, while the Lakers are 1-11 ATS as a favorite of the same point range.
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