Depending upon how the rest of the season goes, the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Los Angeles Lakers could be meeting each other in the second round of the playoffs. The two might be engaged in a playoff preview at Staples Center for NBA betting action on Sunday, April 22nd.
Home court advantage probably means more to the Thunder than any other team in the league. They are 25-6 this year on their home court, and short of the 25-5 record that the Spurs have at the AT&T Center, that is the best mark in all of basketball. Oklahoma City probably needs to win out and get some help though, as the aforementioned Spurs are a game in the loss column ahead of it with just a few games to play coming into the weekend. Remember that the Thunder are also fighting with the Miami Heat and the Chicago Bulls for the top overall mark in the game this year, and each one of these duels is going to be crucial. There hasn’t been a heck of a lot of luck in this building of late, especially this time of year. The Thunder were knocked out of the playoffs two years ago by the Lakers in a series in which they lost all three games here at Staples Center. Now though, Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook are both bona fide stars and not stars in the making, and they could be ready for this type of a challenge.
It should be quite interesting to see how the LA faithful treats the returning Derek Fisher in this one, especially knowing that he is having all sorts of problems with the NBAPA. The Lakers only have two games left in the season, and they know that winning both of those games will win the Pacific Division and earn the team the No. 3 seed. This is probably the big time game of the two, knowing that there should be no problem beating the Sacramento Kings, even on the road on the final day of the regular season. So in principal, this game might be for the division title. That being said, it is more important to make sure that Kobe Bryant is on his game. He came back on Friday night in the loss to the San Antonio Spurs, but he only scored 18 points. Of course, it was a whole team effort of futility. Andrew Bynum only had 17 points and just two rebounds, and Pau Gasol had 11 points and eight boards. Needless to say, that won’t cut it in this one.
The Final Word: In the end, we think that the Thunder are going to want to make a big, big statement in this one. Oklahoma City is the better of these two teams, and we are very concerned for the Lakers about the end of this season.
Oklahoma City Thunder @ Los Angeles Lakers Pick: Oklahoma City Thunder
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.