The Mavericks are still trying to adjust to life with Rajon Rondo and it's taking them time to find their stride. However, they should have little trouble covering the NBA betting lines against the lowly Lakers tonight.
The Mavericks are widely expected to dominate the Lakers tonight and that statement would most certainly be backed up by the available NBA odds. Rick Carlisle's squad is listed as a 13.5-point dog for now, but there's still time for those lines to move even further.
We should be seeing a ton of points on the board tonight, and again the odds are in agreement. The O/U is trading at 218 right now.
The Mavericks have been stuttering a little bit since acquiring Rajon Rondo in a massive trade. They may have beaten the Spurs in his team debut, but San Antonio was resting its entire starting five, and the Mavs then went on to lose consecutive games at home to Atlanta and on the road in Phoenix.
Dallas last took the court Tuesday night in that loss to the Suns. The Mavericks were brutal defensively and paid the price, and they also turned the ball over 20 times in an uncharacteristically sloppy performance. Offensively, Dallas got 13+ points from five different players, with both Dirk Nowitzki and Tyson Chandler going for 22 points each. Rondo had a 13/8/6 line in the loss.
As we've mentioned, it takes time to gel when you spruce up your team and add such an important piece like Rondo. Just look at the Cavaliers with LeBron and Kevin Love for reference. Dallas will be just fine, and this is a team that's going to be a serious force come playoff time. Once they figure it out, the Mavs are going to be mighty tough to stop.
Los Angeles Lakers
Christmas wasn't too kind to the Lakers, who ran out of steam in a loss to the Bulls yesterday. It was their fourth loss in five games for Byron Scott's squad, and they're now sitting at 9-20 overall this season.
Kobe Bryant sat out once again (citing old age!), yet the Lakers were actually competitive throughout a large portion of the matchup against Chicago. The final score says otherwise, but LA was only down by six heading into the fourth quarter, before getting completely dominated in the final 12 minutes. The Lakers had trouble stopping ex-teammate Pau Gasol, but there was at least a better semblance of balance and unity without Kobe on the court. Five different players scored in double figures, with Wesley Johnson, Ed Davis and Jordan Hill standing out most in the defeat.
We don't have clarification on Kobe's status ahead of tonight's game, but it seems unlikely he'll be suiting up for this game. Considering this is likely to a be shootout, this would have been an instance in which the Lakers would have benefitted from having the scoring ability of #24. However, it's going to be up to the rest of the team to step up and try and fill the void.
Kobe's status is a big question mark, but we like the Mavericks to win easily regardless of whether he plays or not. Dallas has had a couple days to relax and charge up their batteries after those two straight losses, while LA could be a little tired here after fighting hard and then running out of gas in Chicago last night.
The Mavericks haven't been convincing whatsoever lately, but they're still the way more talented team, and their sheer level of offensive firepower should lead them to the easy win.
So while we could see LA hanging around early, it should only be a matter of time before Dallas runs away with this one. Make the home team your NBA pick to cover the large NBA betting spread at home this evening.
NBA Pick: Dallas Mavericks -12.5 at 5Dimes