This is the Lakers’ last game before the All-Star break. Will LeBron James and teammates be locked in or will they already be thinking about their vacation plans?
NBA Point Spread and Betting Analysis
The Lakers are coming off a 23-point loss to the 76ers on Sunday night. It was the sixth time in their last nine games they’d lost by double-digits. Los Angeles sits in 10th place in the Western Conference at 28-28.
The Purple and Gold are 24-30-2 against the spread on the season and just 5-8 ATS when pegged as road favourites. They’re allowing 125.3 points per game over their last 10 contests and the Over is 5-1 in their last six away games.
LeBron James has played in four games since coming back from his groin injury, but the Lakers are just 2-2 SU in those four matchups.
The Hawks are 0-3 SU and ATS on their current seven-game home stand. Atlanta is a league worst 7-17 against the number when playing on its home floor. The Hawks are coming off a 124-108 loss as 1-point home underdogs against the Orlando Magic on Sunday night.
Los Angeles Lakers
LeBron James hasn’t missed the playoffs since his sophomore season in the NBA, but the Lakers are no lock for the postseason. The club didn’t get Anthony Davis at the trade deadline and now James is stuck with a cast of youngsters who know they’re not part of the future in LA.
Two of the team’s main backcourt contributors are on the injury list. Point guard Lonzo Ball is out until March because of a badly sprained ankle and Josh Hart is expected to miss several weeks of game action because of a knee injury.
The Lakers have resorted to running out a large starting lineup with James handling the ball and Reggie Bullock – a 6-foot-7 wing – as the shortest player.
The Hawks went into the season with the expectation they would be in contention for the worst record, and, as a result, a good shot at the first overall pick in the 2019 draft. Things haven’t gone according to plan.
Atlanta isn’t as bad as some of the other cellar-dwellers, but it seems like the club is working to correct that problem. The Hawks recently waived veteran combo guard Jeremy Lin. This could just be the beginning of buyouts happening in Atlanta.
Watch out for Trae Young in this game. The rookie out of Oklahoma is playing better in recent weeks and the Lakers don’t appear to have anyone capable of keeping up with him.