The NBA Odds have the Lakers as +6 home underdogs, with a total of 210 points. The Lakers are once again without their superstar, so will they stay competitive in this game, or will the Wolves’ offense run wild?
Kobe-less once again
I’m sure there were several million candles lit around the southern California area yesterday when the news broke of Kobe Bryant’s latest ailment. After “recovering quickly,” from his Achilles tear this past season, Bryant played only six games before “twisting," his knee this past Tuesday. That twist turned out to be a little more serious, and although he won’t need surgery, Bryant will miss at least the next six weeks to heal a fracture in his left knee.
This is going to put another huge strain on the already battered Lakers, and it might be the last brick to fall on the Lakers’ 2013-2014 season. However things don’t look entirely bleak at the moment. The Lakers were playing pretty well when Bryant was still making his way back from the Achilles injury, and even though they lack a lot without Bryant, they can still score the ball without him. The only issue is they don’t have much in regards to a point guard now, and without Bryant, they are forced to make Nick Young into a point guard, of which he is not.
Even though it might affect them in the long run, this Lakers offense is still deadly because of Mike D’Antoni, and a reemergence of seven seconds or less tonight, and until Bryant gets back might be their only way to stay competitive. They may give up 115 points per game, but they can still score into the 100s as well.
The Sharp Pick
The over has cashed in three of the last four, and seven of the last nine times these two teams have played one another. For the Lakers, the over has cashed in six of their last nine games overall, and over their last six road games, the Wolves have cashed the over in four of them.
Minnesota is currently the worst team in the NBA in their opponent’s field goal percentage, giving up nearly 48% shooting to their opponents. The Lakers are likely going to take advantage of this by shooting a ton of threes tonight. LA has the second worst defense in the NBA in points allowed, and against Minnesota’s third ranked offense, the over seems like the play this evening.
Kevin Martin made his return for the Wolves on Wednesday and scored over 20 points. With him back in the lineup for the Wolves, I doubt LA gives up any less than 110 points tonight to Minnesota. Rick Adelman gets little credit for the job he has done in the great north this season, as the Wolves are not only the third best overall scoring team, but the third best road scoring team as well, averaging nearly 105 points per game. I’m seeing a final score of around 113-104, so take the over and add it to your NBA Picks for tonight.
My Pick: ‘Over’ 210