2007 NBA Playoffs (Game 1) - L.A. Lakers at Phoenix Suns (-10½) 3:00 PM ET
Game one of the first round NBA playoff series between the Lakers and Suns is on tap for Sunday afternoon in Phoenix.
This series is a rematch of last year's first round matchup that the underdog Lakers were painfully close to winning but lost the last three games. That series was intense and highlighted by a physical battle between Kobe Bryant and Raja Bell. The hosts have been installed as a double-digit favorite for today's contest.
Phil Jackson is being quoted in the local media saying that this is a different Phoenix team than a season ago just like his Lakers. His reason for doing this is to motivate his club that is a shell of last season competitive and menacing squad.
Jackson also announced Smush Parker is no longer capable of running the Zenmeister's triangle offense and rookie Jordan Farmar (by default) is now the anointed one. Los Angeles closed the season 12-21 (9-22-2 ATS), losing by 8 or more points 11 times.
Last season with a more confident club playing well, the Lakers should have beaten a weaker Suns team, but lacked the heart to close them out.
Now Phoenix has Amare Stoudemire, who can run pirouettes around the L.A. youngsters up front and score at will. Steve Nash should have little issues going where he wants on the floor facing the Lakers befuddled tandem and Leandro "Roadrunner" Barbosa will just go "Beep Beep" when he chooses to.
The Suns are just 4-9 ATS when favored by nine or more points in most recent home tilts and 5-13 ATS versus poor defensive teams, allowing 99+ points a game in the second half of the season.
With what lies ahead for the Suns don't expect weak efforts, since as they learned a year ago, the two seven games series against the Los Angeles clubs left little in the tank for Conference Finals. Coach D'Antoni's team is 17-5 ATS when playing 6 or less games in 14 days this season.
Season Series – Phoenix 3-1 SU, 1-3 ATS – Totals 2-2
Series Prices – Phoenix -1500, L.A. Lakers +850
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