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Two Decorated Western Conference Teams Clash In Sexy First-Round Series

Posted by Craig Parsons on 4/18/2013 7:31:48 PM

For the San Antonio Spurs and the Los Angeles Lakers, championships are the expectation. These two franchises have combined to win nine of the past 14 NBA titles.

2013 NBA Playoffs: Western Conference First Round Series
(7) Los Angeles Lakers vs. (2) San Antonio Spurs

Why Los Angeles Will Win

Even people interested in football betting more than basketball betting should find this series intriguing. San Antonio looked like the favorite in the West in the middle of February, cruising well ahead of Oklahoma City in the race for first place in the conference. However, that’s when point guard Tony Parker, the best player on the team this season, suffered an ankle injury. When he briefly returned to the Spurs’ lineup, he worsened his physical condition and his being evaluated for tendinitis in his shin.

One has to realize that Parker was playing at an extremely high level before he was injured. Tim Duncan is the best player on the Spurs over the past decade, but Parker had been San Antonio’s foremost star within the confines of the 2012-2013 season. Parker was lighting up opposing defenses, with enough quickness to get to the rim but enough shotmaking skill to keep opposing defenders honest. If Parker doesn’t regain full health, the Spurs’ offense will be profoundly compromised, and that’s how San Antonio can lose this series to the Lakers.

Why San Antonio Will Win

The playoffs bring high-stakes basketball clashes that can legitimately be referred to as hardwood versions of poker games. When people in the online sports betting legal realm make predictions and assessments in any sport, not just NBA basketball, they must know that the postseason is what defines reputations. This time, everything will feel a little different, though.

No Kobe Bryant on the floor means that the Lakers will enter this series at a severe disadvantage.  Even though San Antonio is a hurting team – with not just Tony Parker, but Manu Ginobili, being substantially diminished in terms of health, energy and proficiency – the Spurs’ backups and role players have shown an ability to rally around the flag. San Antonio has been noticeably worse since Parker went down with his ankle injury, but the Spurs have still registered an overall winning record in that period of time.

They’re not losing two of every three ballgames they play; they’re still winning most of the time. Kawhi Leonard, Tiago Splitter, Gary Neal, and other glue-guys on the Spurs’ roster have enabled the team to function well at both ends of the floor. It’s not as though San Antonio falls apart when Parker is not on the court; it’s just that the Spurs can’t beat an elite team such as Oklahoma City. They can certainly beat a seventh-seeded team that doesn’t play great defense. The Lakers have been a shaky defensive ballclub in the second half of the season. They have not been able to establish themselves as a top-tier team in the Western Conference because they can (and will) get overpowered at the defensive end.

Who Will Win?

San Antonio will encounter rough matchups later in the Western Conference playoffs, but in the first round, the Spurs will meet comparatively less resistance against a conspicuously weaker opponent. This is not the place to pick against San Antonio.

NBA Betting Pick: San Antonio In Five Games



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