The daily NBA preview takes it to the rim with tips for the struggling Brooklyn Nets’ daunting home assignment against the LA Lakers.
12:00 (AEDT), Fri 24th Jan @ Barclays Center
History: Played 93: Lakers 68 V Nets 25
Last meeting: March 22, 2019: Nets 111 d Lakers 106 at Staples Center
Final Thoughts: The Brooklyn Nets are in the midst of a terrible run. It doesn’t get any easier with the Western Conference-leading LA Lakers coming to town.
The 18-24 Nets are still eighth in the East but are slumping hard. Since Christmas, they have lost 11 of 13 games.
It has been a particularly tough section of their schedule, however, losing their last four to the Jazz, the 76ers (twice) and the Bucks.
Kyrie Irving had been in his four-game return from a shoulder injury. But the Nets’ biggest name sat out their most recent clash with the Sixers. He is no certainty to take on the Lakers.
The 34-9 Lakers have won 11 of their last 13. They stumbled a couple of times in the past week against the Magic and Celtics, but they accounted for the Knicks 100-92 in the first leg of this back-to-back.
Anthony Davis recently returned from a five-game layoff and put up 28 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists against the Knicks. Meanwhile, LeBron James continues to steer the Lakers’ ship expertly; he is averaging 25.1 points, 8 rebounds and 10.8 assists.
This rivalry is historically one-sided in the Lakers’ favour. But the Nets bagged a pair of five-point wins last season.
It’s important to note, though, that now-Laker D’Angelo Russell (22 pts, 13 ast and 21 pts, 13 ast, 4 stl) was the Nets’ star in both upsets. Lakers big man JaVale McGee went off for 33 points and 20 rebounds in a losing effort in the teams’ most recent encounter.
The Lakers – 18-3 away from LA – look very generously priced here. They should make short work of a Nets side that has lost six of their last eight at home.
Tip: Margin – Lakers 11+
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