Odds courtesy of 5dimes
The L.A. Lakers came back to earth on Wednesday night after winning their season opener against the L.A. Clippers. Golden State defeated the Lakers 125-94 in Oakland, but the Lakers have good reasonably good considering it is without leader Kobe Bryant. Bryant is not expected back for a while, and in the meantime it’s left the Lakers with a trio of Steve Nash, Chris Kaman and Pau Gasol and a host of role players playing exceptionally well off the bench.
Xavier Henry has been a nice surprise thus far for the Lakers. He scored 22 in the victory over the Clippers and then played 36 minutes in the loss while scoring 14 points and grabbing four boards. Henry has kind of dwelled in obscurity thus far in his NBA career but was a lottery pick in 2010, so the Lakers could be the team to cash in on that immense potential. Jordan Farmar has looked good in his return to purple and gold and is averaging the second highest of all Lakers with 14 points per game. Nick Young has been disappointing thus far, but this Lakers squad would be pleased to maintain a .500 mark until Kobe returns.
The Spurs remain a favorite in the West as the franchise has been for the last two decades. Tim Duncan still has a lot left in the tank apparently, and Tiago Splitter is quickly evolving into one of the league’s best system players and help-side defenders. Tony Parker isn’t slowing down and Kawhi Leonard still can improve a lot. Gregg Popovich is the key to the Spurs and he maximizes the collection of talents. Pop has also raved that sixth man Manu Ginobili is in fantastic shape.
Tim Duncan will likely sit out this game with a chest contusion, it must be noted.
Steve Nash vs. Tony Parker
This will be a good test to see just how much Steve Nash has left as a defender. He’ll be tested on pick and rolls, isolations, and if Nash falters the Lakers may have to rotate someone else onto Parker. The problem, of course, is that the someone else is likely Steve Blake who can’t fare much better. Tony Parker should be able to get into the paint at will in this game and be able to create for teammates. The Lakers don’t really have anyone protecting the rim, either, though Kaman is capable of swatting an odd one or two. The Spurs should be able to expose a relatively weak Lakers squad at home.
Spurs Betting Trends:
OVER 6-1 in last 7 FRI games; OVER 5-1 in last 6 overall; UNDER 8-2 in last 10 vs teams with home records over .600
Lakers Betting Trends:
0-3-1 ATS in last 4 FRI games; 0-5 ATS in last 5 following SU loss of more than 10 pts; 0-4 ATS in last 4 following SU Loss
Head-to-head: Spurs 4-0 ATS in last 4 meetings; Spurs 4-1 ATS in last 5 in LA; UNDER 10-3 in last 13 meetings in LA.
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