Holding Serve without Kobe
The Lakers have held their own without their star Kobe Bryant who has missed the first 14-games of the season. Bryant is recovering from an Achilles injury sustained in last season’s playoffs. Kobe has been cleared to participate in basketball related activities, and is listed as day to day. The Lakers just completed a 4-game home stand, and enter tonight riding a 3-game win streak. This will be the first of a 3-game in 4 day road trip. They will be at Brooklyn tomorrow and then conclude the trip on Friday versus the Detroit Pistons. The Lakers are shooting a stellar 40.3% from beyond the three-point line which ranks 6th in the NBA. During the 3-game win streak they’ve averaged 105.3 points, and shot a robust 48.6% from the floor. The Lakers have seen their last 5-games go over the total versus Eastern Conference opponents. It is clear that despite not having their All-Star player, the Lakers can still crank out the wins. We won't count them out of our NBA picks too quickly, especially with Kobe's return on the horizon.
The Wizards allowed 102-points or more in each of their first four games of the season. Since then they’ve held their opponents to less than 100-points during regulation time in 7 of their last 9-games. Washington has gone under the total in their last 4, and 6 of their last 7. Like tonight’s opponent the Wizards are a very good 3-point shooting team converting 39.3% of their attempts, which is good for 8th in the NBA. Six different players are averaging in double figures led by Bradley Beal’s 20.6 points per game. John Wall has done a terrific job at point guard averaging 18.6 points and 9.0 assists per game.
The Wizards have won 3 of their last 4 at home with the only loss coming in overtime. The Lakers have been very good at home, but against the NBA odds they have been a dismal 1-4 SU&ATS on the road, and are at a huge -14.4 point per game differential. I have a small lean here toward the home favorite.
Free Pick: Wizards -5.5 over the Lakers