These two teams have been awful this season, but there has to be a winner tonight. Should we put our faith in the Lakers or the Nuggets this evening? Our NBA odds breakdown is inside.
Though they've pretty much been a hot mess this season, the Lakers are still favored by two points at home over the visiting Nuggets, who have had their fair share of struggles too. This one is pretty much a toss-up in the eyes of NBA odds makers.
If you think going towards a total play would be the wiser move, the O/U is at 202 right now. That would suggest a relatively high-tempo game, something we've seen a lot over the years when these two franchises meet up on the court.
Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers have been a disaster this season, and you could see it coming. Kobe Bryant didn't feature much at all and is now out for the rest of the season, and the rest of the rotation has been a jumbled mess for the most part. As a result, LA is 13-38 overall this season, which is the second-worst mark in the entire Western Conference.
It's a far cry from the old days when Kobe and company were winning championships. Now the Lakers are tanking in hopes of a high draft pick, and then they'll hope they can get a healthy Kobe back for another go at it next year. Until then, expect a lot of losing.
A look at the starting five tells you all you need to know. Jordan Clarkson and Wayne Ellington have been starting in the backcourt, and then Ryan Kelly, Tarik Black and Robert Sacre have rounded out the lineup. That's left the likes of Jeremy Lin, Carlos Boozer, Ed Davis, Wesley Johnson and Nick Young coming off the bench. It's one of the ugliest rosters out there, for sure, but at least the Lakers have been battling hard and staying in games. Three of their last five games have gone into overtime.
Much like the Lakers, the Nuggets have a lot of problems.
At 19-33 overall, the season is all but lost for Denver, so now we're starting to see a lot of rumors pop up about the coach and players. Will Brian Shaw hold on to his job? Will the Nuggets decide to trade a key piece or two in hopes of helping them build for next season and further into the future? We've seen some trade speculation of late, with the likes of Arron Afflalo and Wilson Chandler having their names thrown around, but for now the roster remains unchanged.
Ty Lawson seems to be one of the only constants to Denver, and he's been playing heavy minutes each and every night, as Jameer Nelson has been banged up. Lawson figures to have a big game against the Lakers tonight, but he will need some help from other guys if the Nuggets want to avoid a seventh straight loss.
As surprising as this may sound, and as much as we don't want to in our heart of hearts, we actually like the Lakers to win and cash as short favorites too.
LA has been bad, there's no doubt about that, but Denver has even more problems going on right now. The trade rumors can't be good for team morale, and then you couple that with a bunch of losing, and it's hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. They've dropped six in a row and have looked awful in doing so.
The Lakers at least have some stability in terms of their coaching situation, and they've still been giving competitive efforts most nights. At home and against the under-performing Nuggets, we think LA will win by at least three.
NBA Pick: Los Angeles Lakers -1.5 at 5Dimes