Disinterested Lakers Worth Fading Versus Nuggets

Wednesday, March 6, 2019 2:17 AM UTC

Wednesday, Mar. 6, 2019 2:17 AM UTC

The Los Angeles Lakers have lost their mojo. They’ll have a hard time beating the NBA odds Wednesday night versus the Denver Nuggets.

Jason’s 2018-19 NBA picks record through Mar. 4: 16-15-1 ATS, 0-4 ML (minus-9.35 units), 21-9 Totals

Denver (42-21 SU, 34-29 ATS) vs L.A. Lakers (30-34 SU, 26-32-2 ATS)

Wednesday, 10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN

Free NBA Pick: Nuggets ATS

Best Line Offered: Heritage

A lot of ink has been spilled lately about the collapse of the Los Angeles Lakers. Most of the talk has been around the ill fit of all those offseason signings the Lakers made to support LeBron James – guys like Lance Stephenson and Rajon Rondo. There’s some truth to that, but if anything’s wrong with L.A. right now, it’s the young guys – and their motivation to even bother.

The Denver Nuggets, on the other hand, are highly motivated. They’re going to the playoffs for the first time in six years – something the Lakers are unlikely to do after their late-season slump. They also have the best player in Wednesday’s matchup at Staples Center; Nikola Jokic (plus-9.8 BPM) is a legitimate MVP candidate, while James (plus-7.7 BPM) is merely awesome. That makes Denver our NBA pick for this contest, although we’re still waiting for the odds to hit the board at press time.

Lake Of Dejuvenation

Before we bury the Lakers, let’s not forget that this is Year One in a two-year plan. This season is all about getting James on board; Stephenson (minus-0.5 DBPM) and Rondo (0.0 DBPM) were among those brought in on cheap one-year deals to provide some defensive grit, while leaving plenty of cap space to bring in at least one more superstar player in Year Two.

Then James jumped the gun. His people at Klutch Sports tried to get the New Orleans Pelicans to send Anthony Davis to Los Angeles; among the players floated as trade bait were Lonzo Ball (plus-0.5 BPM), Kyle Kuzma (minus-1.5 BPM), Brandon Ingram (minus-2.8 BPM), Josh Hart (minus-0.7 BPM) and others. That trade obviously didn’t go through, but now these younger players – the ones who are healthy, at least – appear to have lost interest. Maybe they expect to be moved during the offseason. Maybe they expect head coach Luke Walton to get canned. Whatever the case, the Lakers are now much like the Boston Celtics in the wake of Kyrie Irving’s uncertain future, which also has a connection with James and Davis.

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Lebron James, Kyrie Irving, and Anthony Davis will all be playing for the lakers within the next 2 seasons. Remember this tweet

— OVOHiggins (@DeVanteHiggins) March 6, 2019
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Meanwhile, Ball remains out of the lineup with a sprained ankle, the same injury that will keep Kuzma out of Wednesday’s contest. On top of that, Ingram (shoulder), Stephenson (toe) and Tyson Chandler (minus-0.6 BPM, neck) have all been downgraded to questionable. The Lakers have already dropped seven of their last nine SU and ATS; with so many non-LeBron players on the mend, it’s likely they’ll make it eight of 10 when the Nuggets come to town. See what price you can get on Denver when the NBA odds are posted, and may the sphere be with you.

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