The Los Angeles Lakers take on the reigning champion Golden State Warriors tonight in the Staples Center, and unfortunately, the game’s biggest star will be on the sideline. Lebron James has been carrying an injury in recent weeks, and Lakers coach Luke Walton doesn’t expect him to play any minutes at all.
Our Basketball expert brings you the best bets from an exciting Western Conference matchup. Get all of our markets here.
The Lakers, like all teams in the NBA, are reliant on a star player. In their case, it’s one of the greatest ever to play the game in Lebron James. Unfortunately for the LA side, James is injured. This causes the whole dynamic of the team to change, and they have struggled in his absence. This, coupled with an injury to veteran point guard Rajon Rondo, and the side-lining of last years No.2 overall pick Lonzo Ball leaves the Lakers really understaffed. This shows in the betting market, as despite having home advantage, the Lake Show are 5/1 to prevail against a Golden State team they’ve beaten three times this season.
Golden State Giants
Golden State have one of the best starting fives ever seen in the league, with four genuine all-stars in Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant and Draymond Green. Off-season acquisition Demarcus Cousins has fought back to fitness, and is now being assimilated into this star-studded line-up. There is a very real possibility that a starting five of Curry, Thompson, Durant, Green and Cousins could be the best ever put together, including in all-star games. The talent level is exceptional. It is no surprise the Warriors are just 1/7 to win tonight, and even with Lebron James LA would struggle.
The only way the Lakers could realistically beat the Warriors would be through Lebron, so I think it is incredibly unlikely they pull off a result without him. Kyle Kuzma would have to have a career-high game, and hope for help from all players around him, whilst the Warriors would have to have a career-low performance from all of their stars. And even then, they would probably still win. I think the injury-riddled Lakers suffer an unfortunate blowout loss, and back the Warriors with a -17.5 handicap at 2/1 with Grosvenorsport.com.