It's Game 5 between Western Conference teams on Tuesday night as the Denver Nuggets travel to take on the Los Angeles Lakers. The game is scheduled for a 10:30 p.m. start time and it will be televised nationally on TNT. Currently the spread for this game has the Lakers favored by 6 points with the total sitting at 198.5 points. The Lakers hold a 3-1 series lead and are looking to close out the Nuggets tonight.
Free Analysis: All four games in the NBA Playoffs tonight are Game 5s with the potential for a team to be eliminated. In the Lakers/Nuggets game Kobe Bryant will be looking to move his team into the second round tonight. If the Lakers win tonight they'll play Oklahoma City by eliminating Denver for the third time in five postseasons.The younger, speedier Nuggets were expected to be a threat in this series but the veteran Lakers have been able to keep them off track. Bryant has averaged just under 29 points per game in this series but has been dominant at Staples Center, where he has averaged nearly 35 points per contest in the two games. The Nuggets were one of a few teams in the NBA regular season that went above the .500 mark on the road this season, sporting an 18-15 record overall. However, for the season the Nuggets were also one of only a couple teams that gave up an average of 100 points per game. The Nuggets are a pretty deep team, which the Lakers no doubt envy, but it hasn't seemed to matter in the first four games of this series. In reality, the Lakers are still trying to figure out the supporting cast to Bryant, Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum. However, Jordan Hill has played well and has been attacking the glass in this series, giving the Lakers a rebounding threat off the bench. Metta World Peace is still suspended and the Lakers haven't had that one guy step up and be able to drop a 3 in the series. JaVale McGee and Kenneth Faried provide some size for the Nuggets but they have been going up against the Twin Towers in Gasol and Bynum. Veteran forward Al Harrington seems to think Denver still has a chance to win the series, even though the Lakers haven't trailed at all in the two games in Los Angeles. Speedy point guard Ty Lawson is going to have to have a huge game for the Nuggets if they are going to stick around and force another game. Lawson has the ability to create in the open floor and off the dribble, taking advantage of his speed to cause mismatches. He needs another big game for the Nuggets.
Free Pick: I'll take Denver in this game when it comes to the points. I think their deep bench will finally start to show some difference in this game. The Lakers are great up front and have a quality starting five, but if the Nuggets can get fresh bodies coming off the bench that can be effective, they're going to be in this game. I'm not positive the can force another game back in Denver and they haven't played well in LA, having not led in either of the two games prior to tonight's, but they are going to get a great game tonight. Kobe and his team are looking forward to taking on the Thunder in the next round and I think they'll get there, but this game tonight should be close.
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Betting Strategies: Handicapping NBA PlayoffsHost Marco D'Angelo and Pregame Pro Vegas Runner discuss their strategies about betting the NBA Playoffs and being successful.