With the 2013-2014 NBA season just around the corner, many fans and basketball enthusiasts are trying to make sense of the offseason that just occurred for the Los Angeles Lakers. Bookies as well as those betting on sports want to know what types of odds the Lakers have at making a deep playoff run this season. The loss of Dwight Howard leaves a big hole up the middle, but many experts believe the move may actually benefit the Lakers. Of course, the biggest hit comes with Kobe Bryant’s injury. Will the Lakers be able to stay afloat long enough in the competitive Western Conference to keep themselves in the playoff race when Kobe eventually returns?
Kobe’s torn Achilles injury definitely hurts the Lakers but all signs so far have pointed to an extraordinary recovery for the Black Mamba. He is expected to return at a high level and should be able to plug right into the Lakers lineup without missing a beat.
With Kobe out, the reigns of the team can, and should, be fully handed over to Steve Nash. Age has not slowed him down yet, and Lakers fans can expect him to come into camp ready to run the show. Nash works best in a free-flowing offence (think back to the numbers he put up in Phoenix under D’Antoni) and couldn’t necessarily get going last year with Howard and Kobe both demanding the ball. He works best with the ball in his hands and he should be running the offence on most possessions for the Lakers this year. With Nash at the helm, the Lakers will run a lot more and should put up a pace factor higher than league average.
Losing Metta World Peace and Antawn Jamison will be the biggest hits to the Lakers as they lose some veteran leadership and bench scoring. Earl Clark is also a big loss as they will not need someone else to bring energy to the team. Fortunately, new additions Nick Young and Wesley Johnson should step right in and contribute in big ways this season. Young will be what the Lakers need without Bryant in the lineup – a scorer. He is a volume scorer and will never meet a shot he doesn’t want to take. Johnson is an athletic freak with good length that enables him to be a pest on defense. Both will benefit playing next to an all-star point guard like Nash. In fact, Young has been tweeting this offseason and seems excited to start the season with high expectations.
Chris Kaman also comes aboard and should fill a bit of the gap left with Howard’s departure to Houston. Pau Gasol should also have a better year without Dwight Howard, as his looks should be much better from Nash. ESPN analysts agree as well, citing Gasol had much better spacing with Dwight off the court last year. Of course, Kaman is another big man like Howard, but he should play well with Gasol as he does not demand the same level of touches as Howard.
Those looking for sports betting must keep a careful watch on the Lakers out of the gate to see how Nash handles running the offence, and whether or not the new players can gel together quickly. With Howard gone, many predict the locker room chemistry to be much better as well as much more relaxed. Yahoo Sports even reported that Howard at one point tried to get the Lakers to use their amnesty provision on Kobe Bryant.For those in the latter group, you can compare bookmaker sportsbooks to find the best odds, but be sure to get current and up-to-date online sportsbook odds at Bodog88.com.
Bodog sports fans and NBA fans can feel comfortable wagering on the Lakers to make the playoffs, as most online sportsbooks will give differing odds depending on Kobe’s progress and always-changing timetable. Be sure to check Bodog88.com for the latest Bodog odds, as well as the most up-to-date news and information on the Lakers and the rest of the NBA. So whether you are a casual NBA fan or you are looking for help in order to make educated bets online, the Lakers are one team that you should not count out this season.