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L.A. Lakers vs. Milwaukee Bucks Thursday NBA Preview & Free Pick

Lakers vs Bucks NBA Handicapping

Three into one. That’s what it has come down to in the Western Conference’s battle for the last playoff spot.

Los Angeles Lakers (37-35) at Milwaukee Bucks (34-36)
Thursday, March 28
BMO Harris Bradley Center, Milwaukee
8 p.m. EST
Spread – Lakers -1.5 at BETDSI
Total – 209.5

Matchup | Preview

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Portland’s pathetic effort last night at home against the Nets amounted to an waving of the white flag game for the Trail Blazers, and now it’s pretty clear when the dust settles on the regular season late on April 17, the 8th seed will belong to the Lakers, Jazz or Mavericks.

Utah (36-36) has the most home games, Dallas (35-36) has momentum but also the most difficult schedule, and the Lakers (37-35) have a slight lead but also will be without Metta World Peace (out 6 weeks, left knee surgery).

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The Lakers know there is a sense of urgency if they are to avoid the humiliation of sitting out the playoffs, and they also know that 5-5 down the home stretch might not be enough.

Last night’s hang-on-by-the-skin-of-their-teeth 120-117 victory in Minnesota forced Mike D’Antoni to play all his starters at least 34 minutes, which could be a problem tonight when they take on the Bucks in Milwaukee.

It’s been a weird season for the Lakers, and considering their troubles it’s not surprising that they have yet to go 2-0 in any of the back-to-back sets they’ve played. [ad-6571516]

Ordinarily the extended minutes would be a huge problem, but the Bucks (who also played last night, losing by 8 in Philadelphia) have some issues of their own to deal with.

Brandon Jennings, who has the ball in his hands on 90-95 percent of Bucks possessions, reportedly got into it on the bench with coach Jim Boylan and played just 17 minutes against the Sixers. Jennings went scoreless (0 for 3 from the floor) for the first time in his career, and there’s no word on how much (or even if) he’ll play tonight against the Lakers.

The Bucks, who are pretty much locked into the 8th playoff spot in the Eastern Conference and will surprise everyone if they can win even one game against the Heat in the first round, will need a superhuman effort from Monta Ellis to make things difficult for the Lakers.

And that still might not be enough, if LA’s Dwight Howard can come even close to replicating last night’s line – 25 points, 16 rebounds, 5 assists and 5 blocks.


Howard’s lackadaisical play early in the season helped put the Lakers in this position, but with Superman finally playing with some intensity as he prepares for free agency and Pau Gasol back and rounding into shape, the front line looks imposing.

The Lakers need this one more, and they should get it fairly comfortably.


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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!