The NBA playoff betting odds for Wednesday’s Game 2 between Phoenix and Los Angeles will look back at Game 1 and see how the stars of the two teams fared, and they’ll see that the Lakers’ former MVP had a distinct advantage in the first game. Unless his Phoenix counterpart picks it up, the Suns could be going back to the desert down two games to none.
Bet Suns Lakers – Wednesday, May 19, 9:00 PM ET
Steve Nash struggled to get going in a 128-107 loss to the Lakers in Los Angeles, going 5-of-10 from the field for 13 points, although he did add 13 assists. To be fair to Nash, he wasn’t even close to the worst players on his team as Amare Stoudamire scored 23 points, but had just three rebounds and was a -23 on the night, while Jason Richardson’s 15 points were offset by a -24 rating, most of which came from guarding (or trying to guard) Kobe Bryant. The Suns made just five of their 22 three-point attempts, with Nash missing both of his, and they couldn’t get out on the fast break, which is why Nash wasn’t as effective. A lack of rebounds and forced turnovers could have caused this.
Bryant exploded for 40 points on the night, making 13 of his 23 field-goal attempts, and he gave Richardson a nightmare of a game with jumpers of various lengths, turnarounds, it didn’t matter. When Bryant is in “Black Mamba” mode, there isn’t a lot that teams can do against him. Pau Gasol had 21 points, and even though he had only four boards, he also had five assists and a couple of blocks, while Lamar Odom came off the bench with 19 points and 19 boards. The Lakers took the lead of their star, who was aggressive from the opening tip, and that was the key to their Game 1 win.
odds should have the Lakers as the favorites at home in this contest, and the Suns have now dropped five in a row at the Staples Center, where the Lakers are now 6-0 in the postseason. Bryant came out and set the tone for a first half in which the Lakers scored 62 points, and even though the Suns’ defense won’t be confused with the Pistons or Knicks of the 1990s, they can’t afford to let the Lakers just do whatever they want at that end of the floor. The Suns are also going to have to improve on the boards, so Nash can get this team out and running. But we’re thinking that the Suns are snakebitten in Los Angeles, like Oklahoma City and Utah before them.
Online betting pick: Los Angeles Lakers
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