By all accounts, the Los Angeles Lakers are about ready to add center Andrew Bynum back into the mix, making them even more lethal. After missing 32 games with a torn MCL in his right knee, rumors are circulating like an episode from Entertainment Tonight, that Bynum might see action against the hottest team in the NBA, Denver.
The Nuggets are trying to secure the No.2 seed in the Western Conference and could do so with an upset victory tonight. Denver (53-26, 44-34-1 ATS) has picked the perfect time to play their best basketball of the season, having won eight in a row and 13th of 14 games (9-5 ATS). This will be the first of three tries for the Nuggets to match the franchise record of 54 wins and could exceed it with two wins in final three contests.
Off last night’s 122-112 triumph and non-cover over Oklahoma City, Denver is 13-3 ATS after a home game where both teams score 100 or more points this season. Though tonight’s contest won’t have any impact should these teams meet in the West Finals in May, it could be a big confidence boost for the Nuggets.
“(A win) would be huge, man, especially at this time of the year and for what we’re trying to accomplish,” Carmelo Anthony said. “That would be a big win for us.”
The Lakers (62-16, 39-38-1 ATS) have dominated Denver on there home court over the years. Los Angeles has won 23 of 25 (includes last year’s playoffs) since “Independence Day” was a top-grossing box office movie (1996) and has 17-6-2 spread record. Phil Jackson’s squad has played a pretty good brand of basketball themselves, with four consecutive wins and posting W’s in last nine of 11 (6-5 ATS).
The Lakers are 15-5 ATS versus good teams outscoring their opponents by three or more points a game this season and are fighting to catch Cleveland for the best record in the NBA. L.A. trails in the loss column by a game to the Cavaliers, but only has to catch them, since they own the tie-breaker to have home court advantage throughout the postseason.
Bettors seem oblivious to how well Denver is playing and have taken them from eight-point underdogs at Bookmaker.com to nine, with totaling falling 209.5. What is interesting about side action, this is the most points the Lakers have been favored by over the Nuggets in 10 home games, dating back to December of 2004.
Denver is 8-0 ATS off a home non-cover where won straight up as a favorite and is 15-6 UNDER as an underdog this season. Kobe and company is 18-9 ATS off a road win and is 12-4 OVER in home games after three or more consecutive wins this season.
This battle of the two best teams in the Western Conference will sally forth at 7:35 Pacific on TNT.