Date/Time: April 2nd, 2013 10:30 pm EST
Basketball Odds from BetDSI
Point Spread: Los Angeles -3
The last few spots in the Western Conference playoffs are really the only ones up for grabs this late in the season, and two of the teams that are going to try to beat the NBA odds and get into the dance will meet on Tuesday night, as the Los Angeles Lakers host the Dallas Mavericks.
The Mavericks are a game under .500 and two back of the Utah Jazz for that last playoff spot in the West. You hate to use the term “must win” at this point in the year, but this very well could be a game that Dallas has to have, knowing that the Lakers are still the favorites to get that last playoff spot. F Dirk Nowitzki is playing with a renewed sense of passion and energy to try to get his team into the second season, and you really saw it over the weekend when he put up 35 points, including the game-winning basket against the Chicago Bulls. We really like the way that G Vince Carter is playing at the moment as well. “Vinsanity” has posted five straight games with at least 14 points for Dallas, and as a result, he is now up to averaging 13.3 points and 4.0 rebounds per game mostly off of the bench this season.
Though the Lakers aren’t fading in the playoff race at this point, there is a real concern as to whether they are going to be able to overcome a very difficult schedule down the stretch of the season to catch the Jazz, who are a half game in front of them at this point. The team enters this game having lost four out of six, and the only wins that the team has since beating the Indiana Pacers on the road on March 15th are against the Sacramento Kings and the Minnesota Timberwolves, and even those games were struggles. This has to be killing G Kobe Bryant, who really is doing everything that he can. In a game where G Steve Nash injured his ankle this weekend against Sacramento, Bryant stepped up as the de facto point guard of the team and dished out 14 assists, and he really was the only reason why that game against the Kings was won. Time is running out, and injuries to Nash (ankle) and F Metta World Peace (knee) are devastating. World Peace is out for the rest of the regular season and at least into the first round of the playoffs, while Nash is considered doubtful for this game tonight.
This just doesn’t look good for the Lakers right now. We think that they are favored only because of their names in this game. The matchup just doesn’t look right. Nowitzki will shine, and he has no one that is going to be able to step out and guard him. Bryant can do a lot, but he can’t do it all, and that’s why this LA team is going to ultimately fail. Dallas 106 – Los Angeles 100
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.