Revenge. Back on February 14th, Las Vegas made the Los Angeles Lakers a 5 point favorite on the road over the Charlotte Bobcats and they were destroyed by 20 points outright. Revenge. Coach Phil Jackson according to the Los Angeles Times was quoted as saying, "I thought our players really quit playing out there on the floor," Jackson said. "It was a game they didn't continue to compete. That bothered me." Revenge. According to various Lakers players, the "trash talk" from Charlotte was even "extreme" for an NBA game.
Charlotte like many NBA teams are fighting for their playoff lives. Sitting one game behind the Pacers in the East, the Bobcats are coming into this game a tale of two teams. On one hand they gave the Lakers their biggest beating of the season (20 point victory) while on the flip side had the biggest loss in franchise history with a 120-80 thrashing at the hands of the Denver Nuggets Wednesday. Almost any quotes you find from Charlotte players recently is negative and right now any chemistry is missing from this squad.
One important factor in this game to consider is the recent trade of Gerald Wallace to the Portland Trailblazers. Even though the Bobcats for some odd reason have owned the Lakers as of late, the lone two wins out of ten games by the Lakers both came with Wallace not in the lineup. In looking at the Bobcats recent dominance of the Lakers you see their ability to use athletic wings to guard Kobe and that will be missing in the rematch. Toss in the fact Bobcats center Kwame Brown was quoted in the Charlotte Observer that Gerald Wallace was the heart and soul of their defense, this focused and "pissed off" Lakers team will show no mercy tonight.
Almost every trend has Charlotte plus the points in this one (Charlotte 21-6 ATS vs. Pacific teams, Lakers are 1-8 ATS after 5+ consecutive wins, Lakers when favored by 11+ are on 16-37 ATS run, Lakers are 15-21 ATS against teams with losing records the past 3 years). But, with the lack of chemistry, the absence of Wallace and every Laker from Kobe to Phil having revenge on their mind, this game should get really ugly by the 4th quarter.
Game Time: 10:35pm EST
SportSouth, FOX-West DTV: 692,763,764
Public Betting Percentages: 76% on Los Angeles Lakers & 78% on the OVER (Check the updated betting %)
Opening Line: Los Angeles Lakers -12.5/191.5
Current Line: Los Angeles Lakers -12.0/189.0 (Check the updated line)
JD's Line: Los Angeles Lakers -14.0/190.0
Free NBA Picks: Los Angeles Lakers minus whatever
(perfect example of why you should always tread lightly with trends)
Charlotte Bobcats are 21-7 against the spread the past three seasons against Pacific division opponents
After beating a Western Conference Team as a home dog and playing the rematch on the road, since 2007 the Charlotte Bobcats are 0-8 against the spread.
Do you do with trends favoring Charlotte in this one, or the handicapping angles with the Lakers?
Will the absence of Wallace allow Kobe to shoot out the lights tonight?