NBA Preseason Odds - Golden State Warriors vs Los Angeles Lakers

Los Angeles Lakers Players

Saturday, October 15, 2016 10:05 PM GMT

It's the NBA's best team from last season in Golden State playing the league's second worst in the L.A. Lakers on Saturday in Las Vegas. Mismatch? Anything can happen in an exhibition. Here's our free Pick.

Warriors Could Rest Guys

It's the second of a back-to-back for the Warriors (3-1) as they were 7.5-point favorites on NBA odds Friday night in Denver and won 129-128 in overtime. So Coach Steve Kerr might rest some guys here as it's the only back-to-back in the preseason for the defending Western Conference champions and they had to play extra minutes on Friday. Although it should be noted that the Warriors are then off until Wednesday when they face these same Lakers in San Diego. The only reason Kerr might have to play starters again on Saturday for a while is to keep integrating newcomer Kevin Durant in with the other guys.

Wasn't it interesting this week to hear Durant laud the Warriors for their selfless environment? That had to be a shot across the bow at former teammate Russell Westbrook and the Thunder. When asked about Durant's comment, Westbrook answered: That's cute. That first Warriors-Thunder regular-season game can't get here soon enough. They first play in Oakland on Nov. 3.

Meanwhile, the Clippers' Paul Pierce was speaking of Durant leaving the Thunder this offseason when Pierce said: "When you're that close as a competitor, you don't go and join the team that pushed you out. I could have left Boston years ago, but I stuck it out [and won a championship in 2008]."

The Warriors and Lakers have met in the preseason in five of the last six years, including the last four. Last year, the Warriors lost 85-70 to the Lakers in San Diego in a game stopped late in the third quarter because of moisture spots on the floor caused by ice underneath. The Warriors closed the 2015 preseason with a 136-97 win over the Lakers in Anaheim. It was nearly L.A's worst preseason loss ever. That was a 42-point defeat to Portland in 1984.

Lakers Being Carried By Russell

Los Angeles (2-3) enters on a two-game preseason losing streak. It was beaten 116-104 by Sacramento on Thursday also in Las Vegas. The Lakers rallied from 18 down to tie the score in the third quarter and trail 82-80 at the end of the period.

But there was one huge bright spot in the loss and that was 31 points and 11 assists from second-year guard D'Angelo Russell. In 13 games with at least 20 points as a rookie last year in the regular season, Russell added at least seven assists only once. Russell was 10-for-14 from the field vs. the Kings. His big game followed a 6-for-21 effort, including 0-for-9 from 3-point range, against Portland on Tuesday. Russell is fifth in the NBA preseason in scoring at 20.2 points per game

No other Lakers starter scored in double digits vs. the Kings, who played without star big man DeMarcus Cousins. Jordan Clarkson added 18 off the bench for L.A., while 2016 No. 2 overall pick Brandon Ingram had seven points, two rebounds, and two assists in 28 minutes. Ingram still needs to bulk up a ton and is shooting only 35.7 percent from the field thus far. He played a little at power forward vs. the Kings when the Lakers went to a small lineup, but Ingram will be pushed around by NBA power forwards for a while. Ingram is +600 on 5Dimes NBA picks to win Rookie of the year.

Coach Luke Walton has said he plans to make changes to his lineup for Saturday's game. Presumably, that means tightening the rotation. The Lakers have 17 players on the roster and played 11 vs. the Kings. Walton was formerly Kerr's assistant with the Warriors.

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Tired Warriors team that had to fly to Vegas overnight and may rest guys. Take the points.

Free NBA Picks: Lakers +6.5

Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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