The Los Angeles Lakers get to stare their grimmest attainable future within the face on Sunday. Earlier than they play their second sport towards the Houston Rockets, the Milwaukee Bucks, their fellow No. 1 seed, will play for his or her postseason lives towards the Miami Warmth. The Bucks might simply be eradicated earlier than the Lakers even take the ground tonight. There is a symmetry to that. The Bucks refused to regulate within the greatest moments. 

Now, the Lakers should in the event that they hope to keep away from Milwaukee’s destiny. Their conservative, regular-season-style sport plan in Sport 1 acquired them whacked by the Rockets. If they do not be taught from Milwaukee’s errors, they will quickly repeat them. Listed here are Sunday’s finest bets. 

All traces through William Hill Sportsbook

Miami Warmth vs. Milwaukee Bucks: Warmth -2

If the Bucks could not beat the Warmth with a wholesome Giannis Antetokounmpo, the percentages of them doing so with a hobbled MVP are extraordinarily slim. The Warmth merely uncovered the design flaws in Milwaukee’s roster and scheme. The Bucks aren’t constructed to modify on protection, as is required towards nice capturing opponents. They have no constant technique of clutch offense. And their head coach refuses to play his finest gamers sufficient minutes to swing this sequence. The Warmth will end the sweep as we speak. 

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Los Angeles Lakers vs. Houston Rockets: Lakers -5.5

The Lakers misplaced Sport 1 of their first-round sequence towards the Portland Path Blazers, after which received 4 straight. The Rockets are a much more harmful opponent, however the precept of the Lakers being gradual to regulate has stood all season lengthy. Their Sport 1 loss was predictable via that lens. However with such excessive stakes in Sport 2, count on the Lakers to return out with a streamlined rotation and extra aggressive sport plan. Plus, for those who’re a conspiracy theorist, Scott Foster is officiating this sport. His historical past with the Rockets is … not nice for Houston, however to play satan’s advocate, a lot of that needed to do with Chris Paul. Foster simply officiated Sport 7 between Houston and Oklahoma Metropolis, which the Rockets received. 

Los Angeles Lakers vs. Houston Rockets: Beneath 223.5

To an extent, betting any Houston underneath is precarious. In the event that they make 22 3-pointers, this turns into a write-off. However Sport 1 got here in properly underneath the projected level complete, and whereas the Lakers are due for some constructive regression, their protection was far worse than it needs to be all through this sequence. They’re going to possible have a firmer sport plan for James Harden than the haphazard mid-possession trapping they tried on Friday. This one is much from a certainty, however the Lakers have relied on their protection all season, and it ought to come up larger within the greatest sport of the season thus far. 


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