L.A. Lakers at Washington
Time: 5 PM CT, NBA LP
Spread: LAL -2.5
Odds c/o 5dimes
The Los Angeles Lakers have won seven of its past 10 overall and are No. 4 in the Western Conference. L.A. is 7-7 on the road where it takes on the struggling Washington Wizards today at 5 PM (CT) on NBA League Pass. The Lakers are 2.5-point favorites and the over/under is set at 231.5 points according to NBA oddsmakers at bookmaker 5dimes.
The L.A. Lakers took a while to hit stride, but now the team is playing like a typical LeBron James-led team. That is to say, it is winning, and a lot. The Lakers have won six of its past eight games to improve to 18-11 on the season, and everything seems to be falling into place for James’ Lakers. James is averaging 28 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 7.1 assists per game, while his top teammate has been Kyle Kuzma.
The second-year forward emerged as one of the steals of the 2017 draft, and he has been fairly strong for the Lakers in averaging just under 18 points per game while shooting 32 percent on his 5.7 threes per game.
The Lakers attempt 30.4 triples per contest while connecting on 35 percent. The overall field goal percentage is an impressive 47.4 for the team, and the Lakers average 113.1 points per game, ranking No. 9 in the Association. Its defense has improved but is still no better than middle-of-the-pack in holding teams to 110.9 per game.
Over its last two games though, it has allowed just 105 points to the Miami Heat in a victory and it held Memphis to just 88 points two games ago. Those signs are positive for the Lakers, and it stands to reason that LAL will be in the mix with the top teams in the Western Conference given its recent improvements and overall high talent level on the roster.
The Washington Wizards are seven games below .500 and in second-to-last place in the Southeast Division. Pushing the panic button, the team dealt Kelly Oubre to the Phoenix Suns to acquire Trevor Ariza, but for those familiar with The Wizards, it is going to take a lot more than the likes of Ariza to reverse this disaster of a season.
The Wiz have been said to be shopping John Wall and Bradley Beal, hoping to split apart its dynamic backcourt in hopes of reversing its free-fall. Dwight Howard has largely been a controversial bust, and the Wiz seem to be without any real sense of direction. The team las lost its last four games to the Brooklyn Nets, Boston Celtics, Indiana Pacers, and Cleveland Cavaliers. Three of those four losses were by seven points or more, and Washington really seems to be losing what bearings it had. It has become readily apparent this team has neither the talent nor depth to even compete in the Eastern Conference, and the next step is just to “blow it all up.”