Los Angeles Lakers vs. Milwaukee Bucks
Tip-off: Thursday, March 28, 2013 – 8:00 PM ET
BMO Harris Bradley Center, Milwaukee, WI
YouWager experts are still not sure how the Los Angeles Lakers‘ latest injury affects their chase for the Western Conference’s final playoff spot. however they started off the final stretch without their emotional leader on the right foot.
On the other hand, the Milwaukee Bucks are all but assured a NBA playoff spot, but they’re mired in a four-game losing streak and one of their top scorers is not happy.
The Lakers will try to successfully continue a four-game road trip tonight against the Bucks — one of seven teams in postseason contention it will play over its final 10 basketball games.
All of those contests will have to happen without Metta World Peace. The New York native is slated for surgery Thursday after he suffered a torn meniscus in his left knee in Monday’s defeat versus the Golden State Warriors and will likely miss at least six weeks. That timetable likely keeps him out until the second round of the playoffs, if Los Angeles (37-35), who own a one-game edge versus the Utah Jazz for the eighth spot in the West, even qualify and advance that far.
World Peace averages 12.8 points and 5.1 rebounds, however he will be sorely missed more on the defensive end, where Los Angeles has already had trouble this season allowing 101.4 points per game.
The Lakers, who just got Pau Gasol back in the mix after he was sidelined for 5 1/2 weeks with a torn plantar fascia, had a difficult time defensively without World Peace on Wednesday versus the Minnesota Timberwolves , but held on for a 120-117 win to snap a three-game skid.
Online sports betting experts consider the Bucks (34-36) have a nearly guaranteed a playoff spot with a 6 1/2-game lead versus the Philadelphia 76ers for eighth place in the East with 12 games to play.
Nevertheless Milwaukee’s hopes of catching seventh-place Boston Celtics, whom they trail by 2 1/2 games, to avoid a first-round series with the Heat appear to be turning into a dream only. Wednesday’s 100-92 defeat at Philadelphia was the team’s fourth in a row and seventh in nine games, and more significantly, may have put a serious dent in the group’s chemistry.