A pair of Western Conference heavyweights will meet up in San Antonio on Friday night. The Los Angeles Lakers will be in town for a showdown with the Spurs for the second time in three days. The Lakers used a huge fourth quarter to beat the Spurs on Wednesday night, winning by a score of 121-113.
The Spurs are having a rough season, and come into this game with just an 11-14 record. San Antonio is in last place in the Southwest Division, a division that they dominated for the better part of the last decade. The Lakers bring a 15-9 record into this game with the Spurs, and they are a real threat to win the Pacific Division. Los Angeles is just one game behind the Golden State Warriors. The Spurs are 1.0 point favorite over the Los Angeles Lakers in this game.
Lakers Look Like Playoff Contender
The Los Angeles Lakers aren’t just an improved team this season; they look like a real threat to win the Western Conference. The Lakers are averaging 113.1 points per game this season, which places them in the top-10 in scoring. Defensively, the Lakers are much improved and have given up just 111.1 points per game. Los Angeles has won four straight games, and seven of their last nine.
LeBron James is having a monster season in his first in a Lakers uniform. James leads the team with 28.4 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 6.6 assists per game. Kyle Kuzma and Brandon Ingram have been terrific in support of LeBron this season, combining for more than 32 points and 9.5 rebounds per game. Veteran center JaVale McGee has anchored the Lakers defense, averaging 2.7 blocks per game. The Lakers have plenty of weapons to make a deep run.
Spurs Struggling On Both Ends
The San Antonio Spurs have a very different roster this season, and their play on the court is a reflection of that. The Spurs are averaging 109.4 points per game, which is right at league average. Defense has been the biggest issue for the Spurs, as they are giving up close to 114 points per game. Head coach Gregg Popovich has his work cut out for him this season.
The Spurs still have plenty of star power on their roster, but they don’t have players that work within the system. Shooting guard DeMar DeRozan is averaging over 24 points per game in his first season with the Spurs, but he isn’t getting much help. LaMarcus Aldridge has been the one exception, as he is averaging 18.3 points and 10.1 rebounds per game. If the Spurs are going to win this game, and get back in the race, then they need more players to contribute.
Spurs Get Revenge, Beat Lakers
The Spurs looked like the better team in their last matchup against the Lakers, but LeBron James would not let his team lose. The Lakers were able to beat the Spurs at home, but winning in San Antonio is a tall task. Popovich will come up with a gameplan to slow down “King James” in this matchup, and the Spurs will get revenge by beating the Lakers. Bet the San Antonio Spurs -1.0 over the Los Angeles Lakers.