Los Angeles Lakers vs. San Antonio Spurs: NBA Free Pick
Los Angeles Lakers
(21-9, 14-16 ATS)
San Antonio Spurs
(26-4, 17-12-1 ATS)
We could be watching a Western Conference Finals preview on Tuesday night in the Lone Star State, as two of the favorites to win it all are going to be going at it in NBA betting action. The San Antonio Spurs will look to make a huge statement if they could beat the Los Angeles Lakers at home.
Kobe Bryant has to be scratching his head right now and wondering what hit him and his Lakers on Christmas night. The men from Tinseltown were absolutely blasted on their home court, and they clearly have a lot of explaining to do in a season in which they were easily supposed to make a triumphant return to the NBA Finals. Now, with back to back double digit losses to the Miami Heat and the Milwaukee Bucks at home, they have to go on the road for a vicious two game stretch against the Spurs and the New Orleans Hornets before making the long trip back to LA with just one day to travel for a New Year’s Eve encounter with the Philadelphia 76ers. The Lakers are still doing what they need to do, and there is no shame in a 21-9 record. It’s not like they’re not going to win their division this year, and it’s not like both Bryant and Pau Gasol aren’t going to put up their numbers, but a team that is getting romped by the Bucks at home doesn’t figure to really be able to challenge the team with the best record in baskeball.
Sure, the Spurs were demolished by the Orlando Magic in a rare little one game roadie before Christmas, but aside from that, this is a team that really has not been touched lately. Head Coach Gregg Popovich is warning his side that these next five games might define their season, as a winning record in games against the Lakers, Dallas Mavericks, Oklahoma City Thunder, New York Knicks, and Boston Celtics, would be huge. The great equalizer for a team that probably isn’t as strong in the post as it used to be is the three point shot. San Antonio is nailing 40.8 percent of its triples this year, and Richard Jefferson is leading the way in that category with a 44.8 percentage. Five different players are averaging double digits in scoring this year, and that doesn’t include the fact that Gary Neal, Matt Bonner, and DeJuan Blair have been fantastic contributors. Manu Ginobili is leading the way with 19.5 points per game, while Tony Parker isn’t all that far behind at 17.7 points per game. The name we have yet to discuss is that of Tim Duncan, who only had five points in a win over the Washington Wizards the day after Christmas and hasn’t had a double-double in four tries.
Duncan is a sleeping giant waiting to awake and wreck havoc on his foes. If he can wake up and even put together something like 15 points and a dozen boards, you know that the little guys are going to get the job done for San Antonio. The Lakers just don’t stand a chance if these Spurs are clicking on all cylinders, and that isn’t something that you say very often. Popovich bests Head Coach Phil Jackson and beats the NBA odds in this one.
NBA Free Pick: San Antonio Spurs -3.5
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