Portland Trail Blazers @ Los Angeles Lakers – Friday December 28, 2012 10:30PM EST
Will the real Los Angeles Lakers, please stand up? The online sports books experts are not quite sure which Los Angeles team is the real one. It could be the team that had struggled to win games for the first 20 games of the season. That was the team that was adrift without a head coach for several games. It could be the new team under head coach Mike D’Antoni which has won six games out of its last 10. The Lakers’ fans are hoping it is the latter team, but only time will really tell.
The Portland Trail Blazers find itself hanging in there in the playoff race with a .500 record and seven wins in the last 10 games. The sports betting experts were worried about Portland earlier in the season as the team looked like it could not buy a win. But Portland has really picked up the pace as of late and, even though the team sits in fifth place in the Northwest Division, there is talk that the Trail Blazers could start to emerge as a playoff contender at some point later in the season. This game against an improving Los Angeles Lakers team will give Portland a much clearer idea of where the team really stands in its development.
Los Angeles Lakers
Fans can always tell how the Lakers are doing and how the Lakers feel about its chances of making the playoffs by the amount of arguing that comes from the locker room. When the team is bickering, then that means that things are not going well. The online betting sites have noticed that the banter from the Los Angeles locker room has been very quiet lately. That means that the players are getting comfortable with head coach Mike D’Antoni’s system and the team is feeling pretty good about the way it is playing as of late. A game against a decent opponent such as the Trail Blazers is exactly what Los Angeles needs to continue its development and maintain its confidence.
Portland Trail Blazers
The Blazers have a good, young core to the team that is led by forward LaMarcus Aldridge. The online sports betting world is not expecting this lineup to push its way towards an NBA title this season, but this is the kind of team that can threaten to ruin the night for a Lakers team looking to continue its forward momentum.
The Bottom Line
The Los Angeles Lakers, whether the players like it or not, has a lot to prove this season. The media is not going to leave the Lakers alone until the team is challenging the Los Angeles Clippers for the top spot in the Pacific Division. As the Lakers move up in the standings, it will need to beat teams like Portland to prove that it is a legitimate playoff contender.
Click here for more on the changes the Los Angeles Lakers has seen this season.
Pick: Los Angeles Lakers