5 reasons why the Lakers will NOT win the 2010 NBA Championship


NBA Betting PicksOdds to win 2010 NBA Finals

1. Let’s face it – It’s tough to repeat

Each year, the defending NBA champion has a bulls eye on its back. Every opponent throughout the season is eager to get a crack at the reigning best squad in the league. No one has been able to repeat since the Los Angeles Lakers won three straight crowns from 2000-02. The last six NBA champions have been unable to repeat. Only one of those clubs (2004 Detroit Pistons) was able to even get back into the finals in the following year after winning a title.

2. The strength of the Western Conference

Just to reach the NBA Finals, the Lakers are going to have to survive three playoff rounds within its conference. All eight Western Conference playoff teams are likely to have at least 50 wins in the regular season. In the first round, Los Angeles may have to face the battle tested San Antonio Spurs. Led by Tim Duncan, the Spurs are the only team since 2003 with more than one NBA crown. While San Antonio isn’t having a stellar regular season, the Spurs still have its nucleus in place from its three championship squads over the last seven years.

3. The Lakers aren’t as good this season

While the Lakers are a lock to be the top seed in the West, Los Angeles has regressed a little from last season. Last year, the Lakers posted a 65-17 record in the regular season. This year, the club is on pace to win six fewer games at 59-23. The most significant change from last year’s squad involves a basic swap of two forwards. Los Angeles decided not to re-sign young forward Trevor Ariza. He is having a strong year in Houston by averaging 15 points and 6 rebounds per game. To fill his void, the Lakers added veteran Ron Artest. After playing in Houston last year, Artest is averaging just 11 points and 4 rebounds per outing this season.

4. King James is due to win a ring

While Kobe Bryant has been viewed for several seasons as the league’s marquee player, a passing of the torch could soon take place. Cleveland’s LeBron James has done everything in his career but win a championship. Three years ago, he carried the Cavaliers into the NBA Finals. Last season, James led his club to a league-best 66-16 record. This season, the Cavs are once again poised to have the best regular season mark in the league. Cleveland is on pace to finish with a 65-17 record. The time could finally be right for James to pick up his first tile ring this summer.

5. Does Kobe have enough left in the tank for another playoff run?

The 31-year-old Bryant is in his 14th NBA season. With 175 playoff games in his career, he has played the equivalent of 16 regular seasons. In the last two postseasons alone, he has played in 44 games or a little more than half of a regular season. While he has come through many times before, there is some wear and tear on Bryant heading into this year’s playoffs.

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Cavs, Celtics and Magic top favorites to reach 2010 NBA Finals from East


Expert NBA PicksOdds to win 2010 NBA FinalsNBA Betting Bonus

With over half of the 2009-10 NBA regular season in the books, four clubs have separated themselves from the rest of the pack in the Eastern Conference. While it would be an upset if anyone other than the Cavaliers, Hawks, Celtics or Magic reached the NBA Finals from the East, there has been a lot of parity in this conference over the last few years. In the last 12 seasons, ten different franchises have won an Eastern Conference title.

Cleveland Cavaliers: +130 Odds

The future of the franchise could be at stake in a free agent year for star forward Lebron James. The Cavs owned the NBA’s best record heading into the final weekend of January but a league-best mark a year ago wasn’t good enough to get beyond the conference finals. The club is hoping that center Shaquille O’Neal and the rest of the supporting cast can do enough to get James a title before his looming free agency decision. Cleveland should be able to finish with the top record in the East to gain home court advantage in the conference playoffs.

Boston Celtics: +130 Odds

With an aging nucleus of star performers, Boston may not have too many more title runs left with its current roster. After a 23-5 start, Boston lost ten of its next 16 games. The Celtics are hoping that Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Ray Allen will have enough left in the tank when the postseason rolls around. All-Star guard Rajon Rondo continues to emerge as one of the top young backcourt performers in the league to aid the veterans. Forward Rasheed Wallace should help the cause in the playoffs with his championship experience.

Orlando Magic: +350 Odds

The defending Eastern Conference champions have also experienced a slump after jumping out to a quick start. Orlando went 24-8 to begin the year but the club posted a losing record (6-8) over its next 14 games. The Magic figured to have some issues after bringing in five new players for this season. The club is still looking for its proper rhythm due to the personnel adjustments. Star center Dwight Howard continues to be the top big man in the East. While he has lacked some consistency in his first season with the Magic, veteran Vince Carter could be a difference maker when the postseason rolls around.

Top Sleeper Team: Charlotte Bobcats (+6000 Odds)

The Bobcats are seeking their first trip to the postseason since entering the league in the 2004-05 season. The franchise has never won more than 35 games before but the ingredients are in place for Charlotte to be a tough out in the postseason. While the Bobcats are a modest 23-22 entering the final weekend of January, the squad has steadily improved as the season has progressed. The club has posted a 11-4 record since a 12-18 start. Head coach Larry Brown is one of the elite coaches in the history of the league. With a solid duo of Stephen Jackson and Gerald Wallace, Charlotte could make some noise this spring

NBA Odds To Win 2010 Eastern Conference

– Cleveland Cavaliers +110
– Boston Celtics +170
– Orlando Magic +350
– Miami Heat +2500
– Detroit Pistons +10000
– Atlanta Hawks +800
– Chicago Bulls +5000
– Philadelphia 76ers +20000
– New York Knicks +20000
– Washington Wizards +15000
– Toronto Raptors +4000
– Charlotte Bobcats +6000
– Indiana Pacers +20000
– New Jersey Nets +100000
– Milwaukee Bucks +7500