After winning four straight games, the LA Lakers have gone 2-5 in their last seven games and have been spinning their wheels in the middle of the Pacific Division standings. The Nets haven’t been very consistent recently either, are 5-5 in their last ten games, and have a two-game lead over the Philadelphia 76ers in the Atlantic Conference.
Neither of these teams has been playing up to their potential. They both need to turn things around if they plan on going deep into the playoffs this season.
This season, the Lakers have been struggling and are currently 14.5 games out of first place in the Pacific Division. However, they could welcome the return of Anthony Davis in this game as he is listed as probable for this matchup against Brooklyn.
The Lakers’ power forward hasn’t played since December 17 with a knee injury. Los Angeles had sorely missed his presence, although Davis wasn’t playing that well before he was injured.
LeBron James has been carrying this team in Davis’ absence. He averages 29 points, 1.1 blocks, and 1.6 steals to lead the team. Davis averaged 23.3 points per game before his injury, which is second on the team. Russell Westbrook is third in scoring with 18.6 points and leads the team in assists with 7.8 per game and rebounding with 8.1 per matchup.
The Brooklyn Nets are looking to put some distance between themselves and the Philadelphia 76ers, who have been slowly gaining ground in the division standings. The Nets are 2-5 in their last seven games at home and are looking for their second straight home win after going 2-2 on their recent road trip. They are coming off a defeat to the Timberwolves in Minnesota on Sunday 136-125 as Kyrie Irving led the team with 30 points.
Irving will not be available for this home game as he remains unvaccinated and is not permitted to play at Barclay Center due to New York’s COVID-19 mandates. His production has been missed in home matchups this season as he is averaging 23.4 points and 5.1 assists per game.
The Nets will also be missing Kevin Durant for 4 to 6 weeks due to a sprained knee suffered against New Orleans. Durant is the team’s leading scorer, putting up 29.2 points per game which is tops in the league. James Harden is the teams’ third 20-point scorer, averaging 22.7 points.
The Lakers are 2-5 against the spread in their last seven games and 2-5 straight up in their last seven games vs. the Nets. Brooklyn is 1-7 against the spread in their last eight games at home, and the total has gone under in 12 of their last 15 games at home against the Lakers.
The Lakers are favored in this matchup that could see the return of Anthony Davis. However, without their two leading scorers in Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, the Nets will have to rely on James Harden to put up some big numbers and carry the load in this game.
Godds Pick/Prediction: Lakers will win, and the total goes over.