Something has to give as the winless Nets host winless Lakers in an East vs. West battle of teams that don't know the definition of defense. See who we like as our NBA pick Friday night.
Tip-off is schduled for 7:30 p.m .EST tonight at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. According to 5Dimes Sportsbook, the Nets are a 3.5 point betting favorite and the total for the game is listed at 206.5. As I've stated before, neither of these teams can play defense and this has determined the total for this respective game.
What's Wrong WIth the Nets?
Brooklyn has allowed more than 100 points in each of their 5 losses and has only scored over 100 points in 1 game this season. It's very easy to determine what's wrong with the Nets as Deron Williams and Mason Plumlee are no longer members of the team, Jarrett Jack, who is a very good bench player, has moved into a starting role and isn't the ball distributor that D. Will is, and Joe Johnson and Thaddeus Young have simply killed the Nets offensively as Johnson runs hot and cold.
This season, "JJ" has been more cold than hot as he and Young have combined to average a whopping 20.2 points per game. This is coming from players that have averaged 17 points and 16 points respectively throughout their career. Not having Williams as the set up man has really hurt this team collectively.
Brook Lopez's Team
The Nets had a problem last season as Mason Plumlee wasn't seeing the minutes that he deserved. In return, his play was hurt from it and Brook Lopez had to keep looking behind his back. Now, Lopez got what he wanted in being the man, averaging 20 points and 8 rebounds per game, but Lopez is somewhat of a soft player and isn't a vocal leader. Although he has a nice offensive touch, it hasn't equated into wins and the Nets are a team lacking talent and getting old. Players such as Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, aren't ready to take more of a lead role for this team.
Can the Lakers Pick Up a Win?
This could be a good spot because although they allow 112 points or more in 3 out of their 1st 4 games. they're more efficient on the offensive end than Brooklyn.
One thing is for sure and that is that Kobe Bryant has taken a secondary role on this team, averaging just 15.8 points per game in 28 minutes per game. He reminds me of Michael Jordan when MJ was with the Washington Wizards. The guy is 37 years old and has logged a ton of miles on his legs as he's been deep into the playoffs almost every season and all of the pressure had rested upon his shoulders.
I think the Lakers have a lot of young talent in Julius Randle (14 points, 8.3 rebounds), Jordan Clarkson, and a very unfinished product in rookie D'angelo Russelll, but the Lakers still need more from Bryant and he's just not able to be the old Kobe every single game. They will win games where Bryant scores 30 points, but it won't happen nearly as much in the 2015-2016 NBA Season. Although I do like the over, I don't trust the Nets offense. Make the Los Angeles Lakers your betting pick.
NBA Pick: Los Angeles Lakers +3.5 at 5Dimes