The Lakers come into Barclays as 5 point favorites
Los Angeles will be facing off with the Nets in the fourth game of their five game road trip. The Lakers were able to beat the Knicks last night, but they were unable to cover the 10 point spread as they came out on top 100-92. As for the Nets, they expect to have the services back of Kyrie Irving after he missed Brooklyn’s last game against the 76ers.
The Lakers have a 35-9 record which is second in the NBA and first in the Western Conference. Los Angeles could have the best record in the NBA, but they had a surprising four game losing streak back in the middle of December. Since that losing streak, LA is 11-2 over their last 13 games. This has been a great mark for the Lakers considering Anthony Davis has only played in five of the last ten games. The superstar Power Forward is currently listed as questionable to play tonight with glute injury. Although, I do expect AD to be active after he led the Lakers in points in their matchup against the Knicks on Wednesday.
Last time out, Brooklyn fell to the 76ers by a final score of 117-111. There are no moral victories in the NBA, but the Nets did perform pretty well considering they were without their best player. Kyrie missed Brooklyn’s last game due to tightness in his hamstring. The former number one overall pick is expected to play tonight though.
This game certainly has a lot of storylines, but none are more interesting than the matchup between Kyrie and Lebron. This will be the 12th head-to-head meeting between the former Cleveland teammates. Lebron has dominated the “rivalry” series and is currently 9-2 against teams Kyrie has played on.
What may be most surprising is how the Nets have faired without Kyire. Brooklyn is currently 18-24 on the season. However, Irving missed 26 games this year, which resulted in a 13-13 record for Brooklyn. In the games that Kyrie has played, he has averaged 26.5 points, but the Nets have only managed to post a record of 5-11. Brooklyn will be coming into this game hoping to snap a four game losing streak. In their last 13 games, Brooklyn has an unimpressive 2-11 record with their only wins coming in back-to-back games against the Heat and the Hawks.
It is clear that Brooklyn is having growing pains this season. They completely reorganized their roster this past off-season, and they have yet to find true success with their new lineup. The Nets have also experienced roster inconsistencies this year. Two of Brooklyn’s top three leading scorers have missed extensive time due to injury, so the Nets have lacked lineup consistency all season, this could certainly be a big factor that has contributed to the team’s struggles.
I fully expect the Lakers to come out and win this game. Los Angeles is playing good team basketball while the Nets clearly are not. The Lakers bolster a top ten scoring defense while Brooklyn is in the bottom half of the league in scoring offense. Also, the Nets have the third most turnovers per game in the NBA while the Lakers are towards the top of the league in both steals and blocks per game. I think the LA defense will show up big in this one. Los Angeles will win this game and cover the point spread.