The Los Angeles Lakers have improved since they debuted new head coach Mike D’Antoni, but they have a long way to go if they want to start living up to their lofty NBA odds. This Friday they’ll try their luck against a Memphis Grizzlies team that relishes putting pressure on the league’s elite.
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Led by 17th-year man Kobe Bryant, the Lakers have crawled their way back to .500, but just how far this team can actually go is still up for debate. According to Bovada’s basketball oddsmakers, the club has 4/1 odds of winning the NBA championship this June.
To get there, L.A. will need continued contributions from the aging Bryant, but more importantly, healthy and productive campaigns from veteran stars Dwight Howard, Steve Nash and Pau Gasol.
Memphis, in contrast, has no such star power nor expectation. Still, despite the lack of fanfare or national attention, the Grizzlies hold the better record, and 18/1 odds of their own on the NBA futures.
Even if the Grizz don’t make a legitimate run at the title in 2013, they’re one of only a few NBA teams that serve as reliable tests for the contenders in the Eastern and Western Conference. This upcoming affair will be as valuable resource to NBA bettors looking to get a grip on the Lakers as any.
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