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Spurs, Lakers Both Feel Confident

Posted by Craig Parsons on 4/18/2013 7:34:20 PM

The Los Angeles Lakers have been one of the most interesting teams to watch throughout the NBA regular season. Will that carry through to the playoffs? Well, the Lakers managed to clinch the seventh-seed in the Western Conference with five-straight wins to close out the year, and that means they will match up against another veteran team in the second-seeded San Antonio Spurs in the NBA Western Conference Quarterfinals. The Spurs are the obvious sports betting favorites to win and advance, but perhaps there is a little Lakers’ magic left in the tank for the postseason.

NBA Western Conference Quarterfinals
(2) San Antonio Spurs vs. (7) Los Angeles Lakers

From the assembly of superstars in purple and gold to Mike Brown’s firing, the constant trade rumors and in-house drama, Kobe Bryant’s season-ending Achilles tear, and then five-straight wins to clinch a playoff spot at the very end, it has been quite the rollercoaster ride in Los Angeles this season. The Lakers found a way to get in even without Bryant, and the fact that they got to the seventh seed is very important because of how much better they match up against San Antonio in comparison to the Oklahoma City Thunder. Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol combined for 33 points and 18 rebounds in the season finale against the Houston Rockets, and that was without veteran point guard Steve Nash, who is expected to be back.

For all of the talk about the Lakers’ struggles together on the floor this online betting season, this is still a team that ranked in the top-10 in both rebounding and scoring, and they looked very good down the final stretch without Kobe and Nash. Nash’s return will help as Los Angeles looks to counter a Western Conference MVP candidate in Tony Parker, and the Lakers do have both Howard and Gasol to match up against Duncan down low in the paint. The talent is there as it has been all year with this team, but now it’s about putting it all together and winning as a team.

The Spurs have to feel confident that they can win as long as they play as a team, especially considering they managed to win 35 of their 41 home games and 58 total victories this online sportsbook season. San Antonio took the first two of three meetings against the Lakers this year, and its only loss came at Los Angeles against a desperate team less than two weeks ago. The way that Duncan and Parker continue to play at an elite level really is special, and the Spurs have an underrated supporting cast with players like Tiago Splitter and Gary Neal that can contribute at both ends of the floor. San Antonio will have to deal with the Lakers’ size, but they also have to appreciate an opening round series against a more veteran team that doesn’t have the speed the Thunder burned them with in last year’s Western Conference Finals.

NBA Betting Pick: Spurs in Seven

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