Pick 'n' roll: Thursday's best NBA bet
All odds courtesy of Logans.com
San Antonio vs. Lakers (-8, 193 ½)
The Lakers have a simple plan when it comes to winning in these playoffs and it’s all about the fundamentals.
Box out. Play tough defense.
And pass it to Kobe.
The reigning league MVP was sensational again in Game 4 when Bryant poured in 28 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in a 93-91 Lakers win. Los Angeles now leads the series 3-1 as it heads back to the Staples Center, where the Lakers are 50-10 at home since moving there in the 1999-2000 season.
Stopping Bryant, or at least slowing him a little, will be a huge key for the Spurs in Game 5. Twenty-two points is the lowest total he’s had through four games and that came when the Lakers didn’t really need him to light it up in a 30-point victory in Game 2.
Other than Bryant, the other major story in this series is defense. All four games have fallen under the posted total and there has been a measly average of 179.2 points per game.
The Spurs always play defensive ball, but it’s the other end of the floor where they’re having trouble. They’ve seen the under in their last eight games and they’ve managed to score at least 90 points only three times during that span.
San Antonio’s top starters Tim Duncan and Tony Parker have been doing the job, but it’s the other players who need to start chipping in. Starters Fabricio Oberto and Michael Finley were held pointless last game.
That will need to change in a hurry if the Spurs want to avoid elimination. San Antonio couldn’t score more than 85 points in its three most recent trips to the Staples Center and it's likely going to take more than that to beat Los Angeles on its home court.
Despite the low-scoring trends, oddsmakers still have this total posted at a relatively high 193 ½.
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