NBA Betting – It’s Heat vs. Lakers, Though Not the Showdown Everyone Thought
by Charles Jay, TotalActionExtra
Those engaged in NBA betting may have looked at the TV schedule at the beginning of the season and looked upon this game between the Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers as one of those “possible previews of the NBA Finals”.
Well, it looks like the Clippers have a much better chance to represent the Western Conference. Much more than their more glamorous neighbors, but there’s still time. This game, at the Staples Center, is slated to tip off at 10:35 PM ET on TNT.
In the NBA betting odds at BetAnySports, the Lakers are the favorites in this ballgame:
Miami Heat (25-12 SU, 18-19 ATS) at Los Angeles Lakers (17-21 SU, 16-22 ATS)
Thursday, January 17 – 10:35 PM ET
Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles Lakers -2.5
Miami Heat +2.5
Over 206.5 Points -110
Under 206.5 Points -110
Lakers win game -135
Heat wins game +115
Heat have Been Up and Down
We are well aware of what the Heat can do. After all, this team is the defending NBA champion. They still have its “Big Three” and has added a member of a former “big Three”. Ray Allen helps supply this club with a bench full of three-point marksmen.
The Heat is going through a bit of a lull right now, with six losses in the last eleven games. They had lost five of their previous seven road games before laying some defense on Golden State last night. They held the Warriors to 36% shooting and 75 points.
Miami has now held four of its last six opponents below 38%. But this team is also a money-burner for backers, dropping eight of its last eleven games against the number.
Can Lakers Put up a Fight Against the Heat
This has been a bizarre season for the Lakers (priced at +800 at BetAnySports to win the Western Conference title). Perhaps the harbinger of things to come was the trade that brought Chris Paul to the team but was voided by the NBA office. This paved the way for Paul to be dealt to the Clippers.
Management set out to put together something of an all-star team, with Steve Nash, Dwight Howard and Antawn Jamison brought in to join Pau Gasol, Kobe Bryant and Metta World Peace. Everyone was talking about how the Lakers were not only the principal challengers for the Heat, but perhaps even deserved to be the favorite for the NBA title.
It didn’t take long for the roof to fall in. Nash was hurt, and chemistry was a problem. Building a winning team on the floor is not the same as building a fantasy team. Harmony didn’t seem to be there.
Coaching Changes and All for Lakers
Coach Mike Brown was fired early, and Bryant may have hastened the move. Mike D’Antoni came in, primarily based on his relationship with Nash. Nash was to be the team’s quarterback (Ok, and also Kobe, who idolized him back in Italy).
Things are slow in coming around. If the season ended today the Lakers would not be part of the playoff picture in the West. They are three games behind Houston for the 8th playoff spot. The defense has been inconsistent at best. And this team is 69% from the line. Well, ask Howard (50.6%) about that.
Pau Gasol is coming back for the Lakers. He has missed the last five games with symptoms of a concussion. Gasol is having his most difficult season, averaging just over 12 points a game, and he is not meshing well with Howard. Nash has averaged just under ten assists per game since returning from injury.
Some optimistic fans are speculating about how good this team can be with everyone healthy at once. Of course, for that to happen, Steve Blake, a valuable bench contributor, would have to be available, and he’s out indefinitely with a pulled abdomen.
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