NBA Thunder vs Lakers Betting Preview
The Los Angeles Lakers will take on the Oklahoma City Thunder in the NBA Bubble on Wednesday. The Lakers clinched the top spot in the Western Conference playoffs with a victory over the Utah Jazz. Oklahoma City has split it’s first two games in the Bubble. Let’s take a closer at how these teams arrive to this Thunder vs Lakers showdown so you can make your bets against their NBA odds.
NBA Betting Thunder vs Lakers Analysis
This could be a potential playoff matchup, as the Thunder are currently sitting in the sixth position in the Western Conference playoffs, but they are just one game behind the Jazz for the fifth spot. A lot could change before the playoffs start.
With LeBron James and Anthony Davis, the Lakers have arguably the best duo in the league. With all of their size, the Lakers tend to dominate the paint. However, the Lakers have struggled offensively since the restart. Prior to the restart, the Lakers led the league in field goal percentage. After their first three games of the restart, they’re now sitting 22nd in field goal percentage. They averaged 114 points per game before the break, and they’re now averaging only 103 ppg.
As for the Oklahoma City Thunder, they’ve been one of the biggest surprises in the NBA this season. Many expected them to be a lottery team, but Billy Donovan and crew had other plans. After trading Russell Westbrook for Chris Paul, many expected the Thunder to drop out of playoff contention. Instead, the Thunder are a lock for a playoff spot.
OKC is led by Chris Paul, who has had an MVP-caliber season. Paul and his supporting cast of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Danillo Galinari have led the Thunder this season. Denis Shroder has also played a huge part in the Thunder’s success. Unfortunately for the Thunder, Shroder has left the bubble to be there for the birth of his child.
One of the deciding factors in this game will be how the Lakers handle playing time. Since they’ve clinched the top spot in the Western Conference playoffs, the Lakers don’t have to go all out to win this game. The Lakers have a couple of options. They could rest their starters now and bring them back later in the season so they’re hitting their stride for the playoff run. The other thing that they could do is use their normal rotations now, and ease up at the end of the season so James and Company are rested up for the start of the playoffs. We’ll see how Frank Vogel chooses to use his players.
The Thunder will be the ones that will be playing for playoff positioning. They could conceivably get close to the #3 seed. Their loss to the current #3 seed, the Denver Nuggets, greatly hurt their chances, but if things fall their way, the Thunder could make a run at an upper-half seed.
If the Lakers keep their normal rotation patterns, this could be an intense game. The Thunder are a very hard-nosed team, and they don’t take any plays off. They’ll be playing for a higher playoff seed, so this game will mean a lot to them. Look for Chris Paul and company to try to prove to everyone that they’re a legitimate contender in the Western Conference.