Los Angeles Lakers at New York Knicks 2011 NBA Preview, Odds, and Predictions

Los Angeles Lakers at New York Knicks 2011 NBA Preview, Odds, and Predictions:  Five time NBA Champion Kobe Bryant will lead the two time defending NBA Champion Los Angeles Lakers on the road to Madison Square Garden to take on All Star Amare Stoudemire and his New York Knickerbockers on Friday night at 8:00 PM ET on ESPN.  The Knicks are coming off a loss and at 26-25 are 2nd in the Atlantic while the Lakers have won the last 3 all on the road and enter the game 37-16 1st in the Pacific.  The Lakers have beaten the Knicks 7 consecutive times.

The latest matchup became heated as Andrew Bynum was ejected and Kobe and Amare exchanged angry words, although Bryant downplays it.  “(It) wasn’t really physical,” he said. “We’re a little bigger than they are, so there was a lot of bumping going on, but it wasn’t really physical.”  Seemingly in an effort to provide the Knicks some needed leadership Stoudemire thinks the team needs more effort.  “We’re not playing hard, we’re not getting loose balls. Seems like we’re afraid out there,” said Stoudemire, who had 23 points in Wednesday’s loss. “I said it before the game. We’ve got to have supreme focus. I guess they figured I was just talking to the wall.”  The odds makers at JustBET have the Los Angeles Lakers a -3 point favorite on the road against the New York Knicks.

The Lakers are coming off a victory last night 92-86 on the road against rival the Boston Celtics to split the season series and move to 24-29 ATS for the season.  Kobe led the Lakers with 23 points 5 rebounds and 4 assists including 20 points in the second half but it was the Lakers “Bigs” that made the difference.  Pau Gasol added 20 points 10 boards and 4 dimes, Bynum scored 16 points with 9 rebounds, and Lamar Odom came off the bench to chip in 10 points and 12 boards.  Vegas odds makers have the Los Angeles Lakers +300 to win the 2010-2011 NBA Championship.

The Knicks are coming off a loss 116-108 to the Los Angeles Clippers at home to move to a still impressive 31-18-2 ATS for the season.  Stoudemire led the Knicks with 23 points and 5 boards while point guard Raymond Felton chipped in 17 points and 12 assists.  The total has gone OVER in 4 of last 6 games when playing at home against LA Lakers.  Vegas odds makers have the over/under for the total score at 210 points combined of the Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks.

I predict a Laker win on the road!