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Game 4: Lakers vs. Suns NBA Pick | Preview

TUESDAY MAY 25, 2010 – Los Angeles Lakers vs Phoenix Suns

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Team records:
Phoenix: 54-28 SU, 48-32-2 ATS
L.A.: 57-25 SU, 34-46-2 ATS

Did the Lakers make a big mistake on Andrew Bynum?

Bynum and the Lakers both say he will play tonight in pivotal Game 4 of the Western Conference finals, but his ailing knee could place severe limits on his mobility and his playing time, to say nothing at all about his production.

Matchup: SUNS vs. LAKERS

Time: Tuesday 9:00 ET
Venue: US Airways Center, Phoenix
Spread: Suns -1
Over/Under: 221

In Game 3 Bynum played only seven minutes and contributed just 2 points, 2 rebounds and zero blocked shots.

In fact, Bynum’s playoff numbers represent a significant drop-off from what he produced in the regular season. His scoring has dropped from 15 a game to 9, and he has scored in double figures in only four of the Lakers’ 10 playoff games.

Bynum’s knee was fine in the first couple of games in the Oklahoma City series, but after the injury in Game 3 he has been spotty.

It didn’t matter much in the Utah series because the Jazz’s own front line was devastated by injuries, but the Suns’ fire-drill offense has forced Bynum to expend large amounts of energy just getting up and down the court, and moving laterally while making defensive rotations and dealing with Suns drives to the hoop.

Without Bynum, the Lakers are still among the best teams in the league. But with him their front line can operate with impunity.

Without Bynum, Lamar Odom starts and gets extra minutes. With Bynum, Odom provides fresh legs off the bench and Odom’s size allows him to operate against worn-out Suns starters or reserves.

Now to that mistake that the Lakers might have made.

Bynum has a torn miniscus in his right knee, and the team has known about it since the latter part of the regular season. The surgery is not season-ending, and had the Lakers asked Bynum to clean it up in April, Bynum would certainly be ready for the start of The Finals in early June.

As things turned out, LA probably could have taken care of business while they waited for Bynum to return.

Two years ago Bynum was sidelined in The Finals and the Lakers were dropped in 6 by the Celtics. Last season Bynum played in all 23 playoff games as the Lakers rolled to the title.

This season he’s in and out of the lineup, and no one knows what he can give the Lakers if they manage to get by Phoenix and a shot at another ring.

Lakers vs. Suns Game 4 Free NBA Prediction

With the Lakers’ front line not at full strength for Game 3, Phoenix’s Ama’re Stoudemire took full advantage with his best game of the playoffs – and maybe his best game of the season: 42 points and 11 rebounds.

Stoudemire restored some of the cred he’ll need as he becomes a free agent in a little over a month, but there’s no way he’ll be able to be the same beast for 3 or 4 more games.

The Lakers have no doubt made some defensive adjustments and should win tonight. Even though oddsmakers have raised the O/U to 221, it doesn’t seem high enough.

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Lawrence Paul is a regular contributor to the Cappers Picks Blog, and is a free-lance gambling and travel expert from Massachusetts.


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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!