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L.A. Lakers vs. San Antonio Spurs Game 2 NBA Preview & Free Pick

Lakers vs Spurs NBA Handicapping

Oh, what this series could have been. Just imagine a healthy Kobe Bryant, eyes piercing. A focused Dwight Howard itching to be recognized as the best big man in the league.

Western Conference
Los Angeles Lakers (0-1) at San Antonio Spurs (1-0)
Wednesday, April 24
AT&T Center, San Antonio 7 p.m. EST
Spread – Spurs -8.5 at TopBet
O/U – 186.5

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Steve Nash vs. Tony Parker in a battle of the most intelligent point guards in the league.

Instead we have, as Jewish fans would say, meh.

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Without Bryant and with Nash limping around, the Lakers appear to be nothing more than fodder for the Spurs, who seek to go up 2-0 tonight in this Western Conference quarterfinals series.

Sometime next week the Lakers will be sent home for the season, San Antonio will start reviewing film for its next opponent and fans will have been deprived of what could have been a terrific matchup.

With Bryant now on the sidelines and limited to tweeting and Nash still hampered by a hamstring injury, the Lakers’ best chance of springing a significant upset lies in the long frames of Howard and Pau Gasol.

The media in Los Angeles is calling for the pair to step up their games, but it’s hard to see how Mike D’Antoni will be able to bleed more than he got from them in Game 1, namely 16 points and 16 rebounds from Gasol, and 20 and 15 from Howard.

With the bench ineffective and badly outplayed by San Antonio’s reserves in Game 1, it’s vital for the Lakers that the starters get off to a decent start tonight. [ad-6571516]

Los Angeles fell into a deep hole in the first period of Game 1 and was never able to get out. While Howard and Gasol were able to score and rebound, they also turned the ball over a total of 10 times, which enabled the Spurs to take 12 more shots than the Lakers.

“We want to go inside,” said Nash after Game 1. “But at times we force it and turn the ball over way too much trying to force it. We have to play the game. We want to get the ball inside. The Spurs obviously know we want to get the ball inside. If we can’t, we don’t have to force it.”

To make matters even more problematic for the Lakers, Jodie Meeks missed practice yesterday after rolling an ankle in Game 1 – meaning that 2/3 of the Lakers’ backcourt rotation is less than a hundred percent.

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San Antonio was willing to let Howard and Gasol operate in the paint in the opener, content to make life miserable for the Lakers’ perimeter players.

That doesn’t figure to change, which makes an under play very appetizing. LA just has too-few offensive options to get much past 90 points, and if the Lakers dig in defensively as a lot of desperate teams do in Game 2s, we could get another low-scoring game.

Sensing this, oddsmakers trimmed 4 full points off the O/U (186.5, from 190.5). Still probably won’t be enough.

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About Lawrence Paul

Lawrence Paul is back in the saddle as a regular contributor to the Cappers Picks Blog. He's got an AMAZING knack for predicting when a team will have a letdown! Stick with our resident gambling experts sports betting tips all season long!


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