Phoenix Suns vs LA Lakers Free NBA Basketball Picks
Anytime the (12-18) Phoenix Suns [+8½] and the (17-12) Los Angeles Lakers [-8½] get together, you can expect an explosion from Kobe Bryant! After openly admitting his utter hatred for the Suns, the Black Mamba has made a career out of lighting his former rivals every single time they step on the court, no matter the venue.
Tonight should be no exception, especially considering Bryant struggled with his shooting in Wednesday’s 86-78 victory over the Atlanta Hawks. Those that have followed Bryant’s career from the start know two things about No.24: he always puts up big numbers following a poor performance, and he has a very long memory.
Considering Bryant shot a miserable 5-for-18 from the floor to finish with 10 points in his last game, and the fact that he isn’t shy about wanting to destroy what’s left of the Suns, makes this a very entertaining game to watch. From a statistical standpoint, some of Bryant’s best performances have come against the Suns, including a 48-point (18-for-31 shooting, 5 rebounds and 3 assists) outburst just over a month ago.
“Not bad for the seventh-best player in the league,” said Bryant after the game, referring to an ESPN piece in which the writer ranked him seventh best in the league this year.
Coming into tonight’s game, Bryant leads the league in scoring, and has done so for most of the first half of the season. Averaging just under 30 points per game, I get the feeling this guy’s poised for another 40-point plus performance. After all, he has made it very clear, even this year, that one of the teams he hates the most in this league is the Phoenix Suns!
“I. Don’t. Care! I won’t let it go,” he said when reporters tried to reason with him about the fact that this is a completely different Suns team from the one the Lakers used to feud with. “I don’t like them! Plain and simple, I do not like them. They used to whip us pretty good and used to let us know about it, and I. Will. Not. Forget. That!”
What does all this add up to? Well, you might want to consider wearing a hard-hat if you’re planning on being in a Phoenix Suns uniform tonight. My Free NBA Basketball Picks for this game is very simple: I like the Lakers in a blowout, cover the spread, and Bryant will go off tonight for 50 or 50! Oh and by the way, Kobe’s 48 came while playing with a tore ligament in his right (shooting) wrist!
“He’s the best player in the game, so you come to expect that type of performance from him, if not regularly, then throughout the season at different times,” said longtime Suns point-guard, Steve Nash. “He was phenomenal.”
“I thought we did a good job of defending Kobe, but the guy makes tough shots. There’s a reason he is who he is,” added Suns head coach Alvin Gentry. “Obviously, Kobe took the game over at the end there and we just couldn’t make the shots. Part of it was their defense, and part of it was that we just didn’t make the doggone things.”
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