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Suns Lakers Betting Predictions – Past Meets Present As D’Antoni, Nash Lead Lakers Versus Suns

Posted by Craig Parsons on 11/15/2012 5:31:19 PM

The Los Angeles Lakers made the right decision when they hired Mike D’Antoni to replace Mike Brown as head coach. How much that choice is appreciated in the future will depend on how the Lakers respond under D’Antoni. There will be an element of past and present colliding when Los Angeles hosts the Phoenix Suns this Friday, a team that D’Antoni led to the playoffs along with Steve Nash, who was a two-time MVP under him in Phoenix. The Lakers don’t have much time to waste after a slow start already set them back in the race for home advantage in the Western conference, and the Suns are now among the sports betting teams that Los Angeles is expected to beat.

Phoenix Suns @ Los Angeles Lakers
Friday November 16, 2012 – 10:30 PM ET
Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
NBA Sportsbook Line: Los Angeles – 5.5

The Suns have slowly faded away since D’Antoni left, a loss that was amplified when Nash split for the Lakers this past offseason. While Phoenix has a .500 record in regulation this season, they clearly have a long way to go. A trip to Hollywood to face a hungry Los Angeles team probably isn’t the best way to stay on track.

NBA Betting Preview: Phoenix Suns

Even despite the losses over the past couple of years, the Suns have remained a competitive team in the Western conference early on. Phoenix ranks eighth in the NBA in rebounding and eighth in points per game, and the work ethic of players like Luis Scola and Goran Dragic has rubbed off on their teammates. Dragic leads the Suns across the board including averages of 16.1 points, 10.4 rebounds, and 7.2 assists, while Scola has done a lot of the dirty work with 15.3 points and 8.9 boards per game. Phoenix will need more from secondary scorers including Michael Beasley and Jared Dudley, who wre expected to play more prominent roles this season.

NBA Betting Preview: Los Angeles Lakers

D’Antoni certainly knows what is best for Nash, and he has a major fan in the form of Kobe Bryant, who idolized his new head coach while growing up overseas in Italy. The Lakers have played well in their first two games under D’Antoni, and should continue to improve as they gain experience and develop chemistry together under the new system. Bryant continues to provide the team’s pulse on the offensive end of the floor with a team-high 26.4 points, but Dwight Howard has led the way with 11.1 boards for a team that ranks third in the NBA in rebounding. Playing a more aggressive offensive style that allows players to react and make plays rather than worrying too much about understanding a game plan is among the things that will help Los Angeles turn it around under D’Antoni, and it begins with the big guns in Bryant, Howard, and Nash.

NBA Betting Preview: Outlook & Pick

Few online betting experts expected that the Lakers would start this slow, but it could be the best thing that happened to them since they were able to address issues with philosophy and execution when it came to Brown. Bryant and company are a proud group that will work hard to prove that D’Antoni is the right man for the job, and they should have no problem at home against a Suns’ team that has been very average this season.

NBA Betting Pick: Los Angeles Lakers


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