Will Sacramento Kings or the Los Angeles Lakers grab one more victory and cover on the NBA betting lines before heading into the offseason?
Check inside this betting preview our free NBA pick.
The Sacramento Kings Can Win Because…
They are facing a thin and not very skilled team. The Lakers lost Kobe Bryant a long time ago. Steve Nash retired. Julius Randle, the team’s top draft pick last year and the number seven overall selection, got knocked out very early in the 2014-2015 season. It’s important to note these injuries from previous months because they’ve not only shaped the nature of the Laker roster this season; they’ve placed an added burden on the progressively smaller group of players left behind. Add in Nick Young being injured late in the season, and what parts do the Lakers have? Their best starting player is Jordan Hill, a center who is average at the absolute best. Jordan Clarkson and Jabari Brown are tolerable as point guards, but the frontcourt is an absolute disaster with the exception of Hill. With Jeremy Lin injured, the Lakers really don’t have a true backup point guard for Clarkson, who fills that role in a starting capacity.
Sacramento does not have an intimidating roster, but it has better talent than the Lakers in its starting five. Carl Landry and Ben McLemore alone are better than four of the five Laker starters (those other than Hill). The other night in Sacramento when these teams played, Omri Casspi scored 26 points and was the best player on the Kings during those 48 minutes. Sacramento was also able to get to the foul line and prevent the Lakers from scoring there. The Kings made 28 foul shots to just eight for the Lakers. The disparity in attempts was 36 to 13. The Lakers attempted 24 more shots than Sacramento and still lost by 10, 102-92. Two nights later, should we expect anything different? Probably not.
The Los Angeles Lakers Can Win Because…
They are playing a team that has shut down its best players for the rest of the season. DeMarcus Cousins, who averages 24.1 points per game and 12.7 rebounds per game, has been deactivated for the remainder of this season (which boils down to this game). Rudy Gay, who averages just over 21 points and just under seven rebounds per game, has also been shut down. It’s not that the Kings have lost their two best scorers, either – what really hurts them is that Cousins and Gay were able to score from so many positions on the court. Sacramento has lost an inside beast and an outside threat. Trying to fill one gap in one game might be doable, but two gaps is a stretch. Sacramento is likely to be a step behind the Lakers Wednesday night, and that’s especially going to be the case on defense. The kings are a 3.5 points road dog on the NBA betting odds board for this encounter.
The Lakers do not have to tank for draft-pick purposes. Having just lost at Sacramento on Monday night, Los Angeles should come out energized in its final home game of the season. Take the Lakers with your NBA picks in a close one.
Free NBA Pick: Lakers -3.5 at 5Dimes