Denver Nuggets at LA Lakers Game 1
- Updated: May 18, 2009
NBA Playoffs Betting Preview
Denver Nuggets at Los Angeles Lakers
Tuesday, 9:00PM Eastern
Betus.com betting line – Lakers -6.5, O/U 215
Western Conference Finals
The heavily favored team out west in the Los Angeles Lakers battled 7 games with the Houston Rockets before finally coming out victorious. The Lakers played fairly inconsistent throughout the series, but they will again be favorites to win the Western Conference when they meet the Denver Nuggets for Game1 inside the Staples Center this Tuesday night. Denver has also been one of the hottest teams in the conference especially through the latter part of the regular season. The Nuggets overpowered the Dallas Mavericks in 5 games to make their way to the Conference Finals. Denver has vastly improved as the season has progressed and Chauncey Billups has been a big factor to the newfound success. However, Denver has not faired extremely well against the Lakers this season losing 3 out of 4 meetings. Then again this is not the same Denver team from those earlier meetings as they will attempt to earn their first NBA Finals appearance.
Los Angeles will definitely have a load of confidence when they host the Denver Nuggets this Tuesday night. Usually when you have had your way with a team in the past it stays fresh in your mind. However, the Lakers need to be ready for a more sound Denver team to take the floor. Kobe Bryant played strong against Denver in every meeting this season as 29 points was the least amount of points scored against the Nuggets. The Lakers and the Nuggets both possess high scoring offenses that attack the basket quickly. Bryant struggled at times against a feisty Houston defense. However, Denver is not known to be a great defensive unit and that could be the Lakers biggest advantage because they always play very well against those types of teams. Los Angeles has actually won 9 out of the last 10 meetings with the Nuggets and they will try to thwart any confidence building efforts Denver might throw there way Tuesday night.
Denver has really played well over the last two months dating back to the end of the regular season. The Nuggets have come together well as a team with the early season trade with Chauncey Billups. Billups has averaged slightly over 22 points per game during the post season and is shooting the ball very well. Billups could be the missing link to the puzzle as Denver strives towards the first Finals appearance. Carmelo Anthony has also been playing well which is rather traditional. Anthony has looked fabulous throughout both series averaging 27 points in the playoffs. Denver has really looked strong on the offensive side of the ball, but it will be the defensive side of the ball that gains the focus. If the Nuggets are to have any success against the Lakers, they will have to play strong defense. The Nuggets will have to play similar to their only win against the Lakers this year when they held Los Angeles to nearly a season low 79 points. Denver may not have to keep the Lakers scoring down that low, but they will definitely need some solid defensive efforts if they are to have a chance to win the series.
Pick – Lakers – 6.5
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