Inter Milan Bayern Munich betting features a pair of teams that aren’t that familiar with each other, but in the NBA’s Western Conference, the Los Angeles Lakers and Phoenix Suns are very familiar with each other, both in the regular season and the playoffs. The two will meet once again, this time in the conference finals, which tips off next Monday night in Los Angeles at the Staples Center.
The Suns swept San Antonio, a team that had taken the Suns out of the playoffs on four separate occasions in the past. Steve Nash was the ringleader, averaging 22.0 points and 7.8 assists, and his performance in the clinching game is the stuff stories are made of. Nash caught an errant elbow from Tim Duncan which essentially shut his right eye, then he scored 10 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter of a 107-101 win in San Antonio. You could see that there was no way that Nash was going to let this team lose to the Spurs again, and it showed a toughness than many thought the Suns were lacking.
The Lakers also swept their opponent in the last series when they got rid of Utah in four games, and Kobe Bryant shook off his numerous injuries to average 32.5 points against the Jazz, which was 8.5 points more than he averaged against Oklahoma City in the first round. Bryant also shot 52.3% from the field, up from 40.8% against the Jazz, and if he’s on, it keeps the opposition from doubling in the post. NBA championship odds have had the Lakers near the top of the list all season, but some were counting out Bryant and his team after the Oklahoma City series. They showed why they’re champions against the Jazz.
odds have the Lakers as a -300 favorite in this series, but it was the Suns who eliminated the Lakers in a pair of first-round matchups in 2006 and 2007. The Lakers won three of four against the Suns this season, and they’ll have a big advantage at home where they have beaten the Suns in seven of their last 10 meetings. On the other hand, the Lakers have won four of their last six in Phoenix. The Suns will have to find a way to deal with Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol in the post, as Phoenix isn’t known as a very physical team defensively, although they have improved. The Lakers have had some problems with point guards so far, and now they’re dealing with a two-time MVP, but Nash averaged just 13.8 points and 9.0 assists against the Lakers this year. We’re also going with the Lakers on the bench, as Phil Jackson’s ten rings earns him the edge over Alvin Gentry.
Sports betting pick: Los Angeles Lakers -300
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