Los Angeles Lakers
The Los Angeles Lakers (5-3) got off to a rough start in the 2021-22 season losing to the Golden State Warriors and Phoenix Suns. Their schedule after those first two games were against, shall we say, less talented teams. In short, many saw the seven game stretch after the Suns game as critical for the Lakers to get healthy and build some chemistry. They have done than and won games on top of it! Tonight against the Thunder they will be without LeBron James due to an abdominal strain. Last season the Lakers took a noticeable dip when James wasn’t on the court. That was one key reason they brought in Russell Westbrook. He will be key for the Lakers tonight!
The Oklahoma City Thunder (1-6), like the Lakers, got off to a rough start. Unlike the team from LA the Thunder have yet to recover. Their one victory came against the Lakers which means the LA team will no doubt be looking for some measure of payback! The Thunder are led by Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and a group of game, but young, NBA players. In fact, the Thunder are the youngest team in the NBA averaging 23.5 yrs. The Lakers, in contrast, are the oldest team in the Association at 30.9 yrs. per Real GM. The Thunder used a balanced attack to beat the Lakers in OKC with 6 players in double-digits scoring. That included everyone in the starting line-up. With tonight’s game in LA against a Lakers team no doubt set on payback the Thunder will need to match, or exceed that production.
Our partner site, Dimers.com, appears to be a bit conflicted about this game. The spread seems to favor the Thunder. This is likely due in large part because of the absence of LeBron James. But, if you look at their projected score, they have the Lakers winning. It’s understandable considering the Lakers history without LeBron to bet against them. However, this game is at home and Anthony Davis, Russell Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony have all been playing exceptional basketball. The only way the Lakers let this one slip away is if they can’t stop the Thunder. This game will be decided on the defensive end. The first team to defend when it matter (assuming a close game), will win.
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