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    Default NBA Game Preview for April 26, 2012 Lakers Try to Find its Way Without Peace

    Online Betting Overview
    Ron Artest can change his name all he wants, but he will always be Ron Artest. In a recent game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, the role of Metta World Peace was played by Ron Artest as he elbowed James Harden to the head and knocked Harden to the floor. The sports betting world was shocked by the action, but not surprised. The elbow to the head was violent and Harden is still out with concussion symptoms. It took a couple of days, but the NBA finally decided to suspend World Peace for seven games, which means he will miss the first round of the playoffs. Not only did World Peace damage the Lakers' chances in the playoffs with his suspension, but he also damaged the Thunder's chances with his actions.

    As the Los Angeles Lakers get ready to finish the season in Sacramento against the Kings, the Lakers face an interesting problem. For all of his angst, World Peace is still one of the primary defensive players on the Lakers' roster. Without him, Los Angeles will lean too heavily on Kobe Bryant for defense and that is just not going to work. During Artest's suspension, the Lakers will be pulling players off the bench to try and find someone who can play defense. The Lakers have gone to a betting favorite in the first round of the playoffs to a team that could be in serious trouble.

    Sacramento Kings
    So what makes the Sacramento Kings the perfect opponent for the Lakers on the last day of the season? The Kings are in another major slump as the team has lost eight of its last 10 games. The Kings also have a losing record at home at 15-17. But more importantly, the Kings are aggressive in the paint. The problem for Sacramento is that it never comes up with any offensive or defensive rebounds and allows teams to walk all over it. The Lakers need to find someone who can be aggressive under the boards and temporarily fill the void that Artest will leave behind. The way that the Kings play is a perfect match for the skills that the Lakers need to scout for. Los Angeles only has one game to find someone to play defense in place of Ron Artest. This is a good game to do that.

    Los Angeles Lakers
    The Lakers were going to go into the playoffs as a team on fire. It was going to be the chance Los Angeles wanted to impress the Western Conference and get past the first round of the playoffs. But with Ron Artest missing the first six games of the playoffs, the fortunes of the Lakers change just a little. The online betting world knows that the Lakers will probably face the Denver Nuggets in the first round of the playoffs. The Lakers can beat the Nuggets, but it will not be easy without Artest. This game against Sacramento is the only tune-up the team will get without its top defensive player.

    The Bottom Line
    This game has suddenly become very important to the Los Angeles Lakers and the team is going to play hard. Fans will see a lot of cycling in from the Los Angeles bench and a lot of focus on rebounding. But, in the end, it is still a game the Lakers should win.

    Pick: Los Angeles Lakers

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