The Brooklyn Nets (18-12) faceoff against the Los Angeles Lakers (22-7) in the Staples Center at 10 p.m. ET on Thursday night. A lot of all-stars certainly brings a lot of attention and will be nationally televised on TNT. Below, I will be analyzing what to expect when these two top-tier teams come against each other Thursday night.
Nets vs Lakers Betting: Odds, Spreads, and Lines
Last updated: 10:08 a.m.
Moneyline: Nets (+120), Lakers (-140)
Against the spread: Nets +2.5 (-110), Lakers -2.5 (-110)
Over/Under: O 234 (-110), U 234 (-110)
Spencer Dinwiddie (ACL) – Out for season
Kevin Durant (Hamstring) – Missed last 2 games, ruled out Thursday night
Kyrie Irving (Back) – Missed last game, ruled probable for Thursday night
Iman Shumpert (Hamstring) – Expected to miss a week or two
Anthony Davis (Achilles) – Ruled out for at least 2-3 weeks
As we all know, the Brooklyn Nets acquired former MVP, James Harden, from the Houston Rockets earlier this year on January 13 in a blockbuster trade.
As if they weren’t already a contender to win the championship title this season, this acquisition certainly made them a favorite now with possibly one of the best trios in the history of the NBA. A healthy Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and James Harden may very well be unstoppable.
Coming off a title of their own, the Lakers are on pace to repeat last year’s result. Always involved in the GOAT and MVP conversation season after season, Lebron James is making his case this season at age 36 and year 18 in the league.
Averaging 25.7 points per game, 8.2 rebounds per game, and 7.9 assists per game while maintaining one of the best team records in the NBA he makes it extremely challenging to pose a better candidate.
Each Team’s Last 5 Games:
Nets Last 5 Games:
2/9 – Loss vs. Pistons 122-11
2/10 – Win vs Pacers 104-94
2/13 – Win vs. Warriors 134-117
2/15 – Win vs. Kings 136-125
2/16 – Win vs. Suns 128-124
As you can see, the Nets are on a 4-game winning streak and are finally performing the way people expected when they traded for Harden.
In his last 3 games, Harden is averaging 13.7 assists. This is when Harden is at his best; distributing the ball and finding the open man in the corner or in the paint on his way to the basket. In addition, he racked in 29 points vs. the Kings Monday night and followed it up with 38 points the next evening against the Suns.
Lakers Last 5 Games:
2/8 – Win vs. Thunder 119-112 (OT)
2/10 – Win vs. Thunder 114-113 (OT)
2/12 – Win vs. Grizzlies 115-105
2/14 – Loss vs. Nuggets 122-105
2/16 – Win vs. Timberwolves 112-104
What can we learn from looking at the Lakers last 5 games? They are not as legit of a championship contender as people may think. However, of course we historically see a different type of Lebron when the playoffs come around so they may very well be.
Among their last 5 games, only one of the teams has a winning record. Guess who? The Nuggets have an overall record of 15-12 and look at what happened when they played each other with the Nuggets destroying the Lakers.
What to Expect for this Matchup
Prepare for Harden to keep his foot on the gas and keep things rolling for the Nets. He possesses the unique ability of being a threat everywhere on the floor. With handles that can break your ankles, an unguardable stepback, and vision to find the open man he truly is one of the best all-around players in the league today.
Lebron will show up, as he does every game. That’s never a worry, but will his supporting cast be prepared for the strong force the Nets are capable of putting on display? That remains to be seen but my thoughts on the matter are negative as the Nets have too many threats spread across the roster.
Free Pick: Nets +2.5