Los Angeles has lost 6 straight games and even dedicated fans such as Jack Nicholson have been hitting the exits early.
Tip-off is scheduled for Sunday at 9:30 pm ET at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.
5 Dimes Sportsbook currently lists the Lakers as a 7.5 point betting favorite and the total for the game is 211.
Can LA shrug off an embarrassing performance against the Thunder as they face one of the worst teams in the league in the Cleveland Cavaliers?
Changing of the Guard
Plain and simple, their most recent loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder could signify the end of any hopes that anyone had for the Lakers to be a championship team this season. Kobe Bryant was asked if he still thinks that the Lakers could win the championship this season and Bryant said that he just wanted to win a game.
Their 116-101 loss to the OKC Thunder had to be one of the most demoralizing losses for the Los Angeles Lakers in over a decade. Kevin Durant dominated the Lakers as he led the Thunder with 42 points, 8 rebounds, and 5 assists. You’re not going to see a more thorough beating and such dominance by one player, well…except for Michael Jordan.
The Lakers must move on and try to snap their season long 6 game losing streak against Kyrie Irving with their swiss cheese-like defense.
Time to Retire
I don’t care if Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard aren’t playing, it’s time for Steve Nash to retire and not tarnish his legacy. The Lakers made a huge mistake in signing a 38 year old point guard in Nash. When a team signs a player of that age, they want to win now!
With Nash, they’re not going to win anything. On the season, Nash is averaging 10.8 points and 8.8 assists per game. With Kobe Bryant on the team, there’s not enough shots to go around for Nash and, believe me, the Lakers need Kobe to keep shooting; He’s their only legitimate threat on the team.
Metta World Peace
The one major positive out of this season for the Lakers has been the play of Metta World Peace. World Peace has gotten into shape and is playing like the old Ron Artest. It’s almost comical, but World Peace is the 2nd best player on this basketball team. With Gasol and Howard out, Antawn Jamison will be seeing some more time and Metta World Peace is a mandatory number 2 option for Los Angeles. World Peace has been hitting some timely 3 point buckets and the Lakers need his best effort against the Cavs.
The Cavaliers are 25th in offense in the NBA along with 25th in defense. This leaves the door open for a Lakers win.
With Anderson Varajeo out, Kyrie Irving’s role on Cleveland has even become that much more important.
Irving has lived up to expectations and then some. On the season, he leads the Cavs with 23.6 points, 5.6 assists, and 3.8 rebounds per game. He’s also averaging 30.5 points in his last 2 games. Simply put, Kyrie Irving is one of the faces in the NBA for the future and even the present. Just like Kobe Bryant, he’s a one man show. Look for a monster performance out of Kyrie Irving at the Staples Center.
Take me out to the odds game - Live betting odds here!
Center, Tyler Zeller, has done an admirable job filling in for Varajeo, who was having his best season in his NBA career. Along with forward Tristan Thompson, Zeller gives the Cavaliers a much needed added extra punch.
The numbers don’t tell the story, but Zeller’s upside is big. Cleveland need’s Thompson and Zeller to play well here and I expect them to. The Lakers are short-handed and this is a perfect time for these players to have decent games and keep Cleveland in the game.
OutcomeAfter what I saw from the Lakers against OKC, nothing would surprise me. The Lakers are still the better team here, but I don’t have great confidence in them. Take the Cavs and the points.
NBA Free Picks: Cleveland +7.5 at 5 DimesGood luck with the rest of your NBA and other sports picks!