Check out what this NBA handicapper expects will happen tonight in Los Angeles, between the Clippers who have failed to truly take off this NBA season, and the bottom dwelling Lakers.
The Los Angeles Lakers Can Win Because…
The Clippers are not as strong on defense as they need to be. The Lakers are certainly not a great defensive team, but the Clippers allow 100 points per game, a disappointing reality for head coach Doc Rivers. When Doc was in Boston with the Celtics and he had Tom Thibodeau serving as his main defensive assistant coach, strong defense was the backbone of the operation. Now, though, in Los Angeles, the Clippers have yet to reach that next level on defense as a team. They’re going to need to allow only 97 to 98 points per game in order to become a true NBA championship contender, and they’ve failed to get to that point. They have three and a half months left in which to accomplish more and head into the NBA playoffs with great confidence, but right now, they’re just not a special team on defense.
What should also be pointed out for those looking for solid NBA picks is that Kobe Bryant hit a game-winning bucket in the final minute of regulation on Sunday night, as the Lakers topped the Indiana Pacers. That’s the kind of moment which has been scarce for the Lakers this season. This could be a point in time which gives the Lakers a real boost. We actually saw a bit of that as the Lakers went into Portland the following night and were in contention all the way to the end. You could see this team grow as a result of that experience.
The Lakers have won two of their last four and been competitive in the two losses. They should be able to keep this close.
The Los Angeles Clippers Can Win Because…
They are the much more talented team, against an opponent that still doesn’t play good defense on a consistent basis. The Clippers score 106.5 points per game and they have superstar players in Chris Paul and Blake Griffin. They should be able to push around the many mediocre teams in the NBA that can’t stand up to them at all five positions on the floor. The Lakers are part of that vast sea of mediocrity. They have won only three of their last 11 games and show no real signs of becoming a fundamentally different team compared to what you’ve seen over the first two full months of the season. The Clippers are 15-5 at home and are coming off a surprising home loss to the Atlanta Hawks. While the Hawks are a quality team, the Lakers are not. And because of that loss, the Clippers will be on full alert to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
The Clippers are laying a big number here but they should be able to cover the NBA Odds. Prior to that tough home loss to Atlanta, they had won their last four home games by an average of 18.8 points per game. They should be able to cover.
Free NBA Pick: Clippers -10.5 at The Greek