Two teams on opposite sides of the spectrum meet in the West today. The Lakers, with all the hype and a promise of the ‘Showtime’ Lakers of old have struggled, finally winning on Thursday against a weak Phoenix team after three straight losses. LeBron, undoubtedly on the Mt. Rushmore of the NBA has shown Herculean feats by dragging bad teams to NBA finals.
Lakers finally have their first W of the season pic.twitter.com/ELjVxncYus
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) October 25, 2018
In a stacked Western Conference, if he is able to get this team into the Finals, it will be one of his greatest accomplishments yet. Everyone is still on the Lakers’ bandwagon, but I for one was never on it and don’t think they’ll make it to the postseason.
It’s been a turbulent week for the Lakers with ‘spit gate’ during the Rockets’ game where Rondo and Ingram were ejected for their role in the fight with Rockets point guard Chris Paul. Then, LeBron missed two free throws down the stretch in a 1-point loss to the San Antonio Spurs thanks to a go-ahead bucket from Australia’s own Patty Mills.
The Lakers (at the point of my writing this) are 3rd in the league in assists. They also have seven guys averaging double figure points with LeBron leading the way with 27.3 points per game. From an outsider’s perspective, this type of team basketball looks great. However, LeBron needs to take more shots if he’s to will this team into the Finals.
Denver has been the surprise packet of the West so far along with the New Orleans Pelicans. Starting the season 4-0 the Nuggets should be favourites to win this. Coach Mike Malone has got his team firing with wins against the Clippers, Suns, Warriors and most recently Kings.
Nikola Jokic has been a man amongst men. Last Sunday we witnessed the big man going for a triple double (35/11/11) while going perfect from the field. The only other person to achieve such a stat was Hall of Famer Wilt Chamberlain.
Nikola Jokic joins Wilt Chamberlain as only players to record a Triple Double and not miss a shot from the field. (Note: Jokic still trails Wilt in one important off-field statistic). pic.twitter.com/OjSRvA79zo
— Sportsbet.com.au (@sportsbetcomau) October 21, 2018
Jokic is leading the Nuggets in points, rebounds, assists and steals. Expect if the big man continues with these numbers and the Nuggets keep winning, that he will drop considerably in the MVP market (He’s currently $52, odds subject to change of course).
This should be a highly-entertaining and high-scoring game with both teams averaging over 113 points per game. The Lakers are second overall with an average of 125.3 points per game. With both teams very offensive-minded, look at the overs in this one.
My Prediction: Even though the Lakers are coming off a game with the Phoenix Suns the night before I expect them to get their first home win of the season. Lakers by 4