Orlando Magic at LA Lakers NBA Finals Game 1
NBA Finals Betting Preview
Orlando Magic at Los Angeles Lakers
Staples Center, Thursday 9:00PM Eastern
Betus.com betting line – Lakers -6, 206 O/U
The 2009 NBA Playoffs have not disappointed sports fans in any kind of way. This year’s post-season play has been highlighted by grueling series, game winning shots, upsets, and more. Basketball fans have witnesses some of the most exciting playoff games in years and we are now left with only two teams battling for an NBA Championship. The Orlando Magic were among the top teams in the Eastern Conference all season. However, after Jameer Nelson was lost from a shoulder injury the Magic quickly became an underdog in the shadow of Cleveland and Boston. However, the Magic are perhaps playing their best basketball of the season without one of the major scoring threats and are now poised to battle the sizeable favorites Los Angeles Lakers. Los Angeles cruised through the regular season nearly unchallenged in the Western Conference. The Lakers needed 7 games to overcome a hungry Rockets team in the Conference Semi-Finals and took down Denver in 6 games to win the West. Los Angeles now enters the 2009 NBA Finals favored to take home their first title since 2002.
Orlando entered the playoffs similar to the way they will enter the 2009 Finals as many people are not giving them much of a chance. However, the Magic have overcome Boston and Cleveland during their post-season route and are primed to pull of another upset. The Magic as a team has really improved their shooting during the playoffs and it has resulted into a lot of success. Orlando has shot 47% as a team from the floor during their impressive run fueled by the emergence of Mickael Pietrus who has been tremendous from the perimeter. Pietrus and Rashard Lewis have kept defenses on their toes by knocking down the outside shots while Dwight Howard remains dominate on the inside. Howard has averaged a playoff best 15.4 rebounds per game while being able to post 21.7 points per game as well. Howard will play a big role in the series in the fact that Orlando must be able to control the glass. Orlando will need to construct some type of advantage in the paint to slow down the high scoring Lakers offense. Orlando has looked very strong over the last few weeks and they will hope to continue firing on all cylinders which could lead them towards bringing home their first NBA Title in franchise history.
The Los Angeles Lakers enter the Finals fresh off handling a hot Denver Nuggets team in 6 games. Denver was a team that had really progressed throughout the season, but the Lakers were simply too much to handle. Los Angeles has a variety of players that can contribute to high scoring performances. However, the ring leader in that high scoring offense is superstar Kobe Bryant. Bryant who already owns 3 NBA Titles will be in search for his 4th Championship this Thursday in the first game inside the Staples Center. Bryant has posted just slightly under 30 points per during the 2009 playoffs and his performances over the new few games could decide the fate for the Lakers. Accompanying Bryant in the difficult task will be Pau Gasol, the Lakers big man. Gasol has averaged 18 points and 11 rebounds thus far during the post-season. However, Gasol defense may be just as critical as his offense over the next few games as he will try to thwart Dwight Howard in the paint. Outside of these two stars, the Lakers have a variety of weapons from Derek Fisher to a solid bench that will have their moments over the series. Los Angeles is a big favorite in the series, but many fail to remember that the Lakers are 0-2 against Orlando this year which included a loss already inside the Staples Center. However, the Lakers will look to take advantage of being at home this Thursday and good start to the series.
Pick – Over 206
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