For the second time in their histories, the Los Angeles Lakers and the Oklahoma City Thunder are going to meet up in the playoffs. On Monday, the two square off in Game 1 in NBA betting action in a game that should not be missed.
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The Lakers have to be a tired bunch. They got rid of the Denver Nuggets in the end, but it took a full seven games to get the job done. Now, they are back in the saddle just two days after finishing off Denver, and that could make for a tough start to this series. Kobe Bryant averaged 29.1 points per game in the first round of the playoffs, and that was basically a ho hum series for a man that has been one of the best postseason players in the history of the league. Bryant has been battling a bit of a flu bug that came out a few nights ago in Denver, but he seems to be over it. What might be making him sick is the fact that the rest of his team has underachieved massively here in the playoffs. More is needed from Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum. Both were up against it versus a team with a ton of bigs. Now though, they are both going to feel the wrath of Serge Ibaka, who is one of the best defensive players in the league.
It would seem as though the Lakers really only need to contend with three players when they take on the Thunder. Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, and James Harden take the mass majority of the shots for the team, and they could also end up with 20+ points in every single game. Of course, we know a heck of a lot better than this. Derek Fisher averaged 8.2 points per game in the first round sweep of the Dallas Mavericks, and he could come back to haunt the Lakers in this one. We have already spoken about Ibaka, and he is joined by Kendrick Perkins in the paint as a brutal defensive tandem. The rest of the team really doesn’t contribute all that much, but what more is needed? All eyes are going to be on Harden to see what he can do against Metta World Peace after taking that elbow to the side of the head a few weeks ago in one of the last regular season games for both teams.
Los Angeles Lakers @ Oklahoma City Thunder Pick: The only thing that we are worried about here for the Thunder is that they are going to be a bit rusty with nine straight days off. That being said, take the Lakers and the points, knowing that Kobe can take over a game in this series all by himself, something that we just aren’t quite as confident that Durant, Westbrook, and Harden can do.
Free Basketball Pick: Los Angeles Lakers +7.5
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.