Sunday, 31 May 2009

Golden State Lakers v Sunshine State Magic

Not sure why the Lakers are such big favourites (1.43) to win this series. Orlando swept the Lakers in the regular season, thanks to hitting 12 3-pointers in each game. They won in Orlando back in December by 3 points (106-103) and in Los Angeles in January, this time by 6 points (109-103). The bad news for the Magic is that their top scorer in both games was the currently injured Jameer Nelson, who scored 27 and 28 points in the two games. Not surprisingly, Kobe Bryant was the top scorer for the Lakers with 41 and 28 points. Dwight Howard was the top rebounder in both games, the Magic winning on the boards 54-40 at home, on the road it was tied at 40.

While stats can be twisted to mean what you want them to mean, they don’t suggest to me that the finals will be the walk in the park that the odds suggest. The Lakers can be a very good team, but they can be very average also. Similarly when Orlando are good, they are very good, but when their 3-point shooting is off, they can be quite average also. I think the value is with the Magic here. If they can split the first two games in LA, this series could be very interesting indeed. I expect the line on the Total Points to start at around the 212.5 that it was in January for these teams, and if it is, then I’ll be on the Overs at anything close to evens.

The just ended conference championship series both had some very exciting games, with a lot of volatility in many of them which, of course, is great for trading. Both the Lakers and Magic are streaky teams, so here’s hoping the 1.01 train stays in the engine shed, and we have more of the same in the Finals.

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