NBA Odds & Predictions

Warriors vs. Lakers: Both West Coast Teams Without Defensive Anchors

Sports Injury Central
Dallas Mavericks v Los Angeles Lakers
Dallas Mavericks v Los Angeles Lakers / Ronald Martinez/GettyImages

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Since Feb. 8, these former juggernauts are a combined 3-14, with 1 of the Warriors’ 2 wins coming against the Lakers. 

The absence of Draymond Green has been felt aggressively on the defensive end, as Golden State has allowed 114.56 points per game in their last 9 games after at one point having far and away the best defense in the association.

Where they have struggled the most is in the paint, as Green and former No. 2 overall pick James Wiseman have left a hole that Kevon Looney by himself has been unable to fill.

Jonathan Kuminga, Moses Moody, and Gary Payton II have each spent time in the starting lineup and played efficiently on both sides of the ball, but lack the size to combat even bottom-barrel big men. Warriors will be without Payton II Saturday due to left knee soreness.

One strange stat to keep in mind: Saturday has been far-and-away Curry’s worst day of the week this season. The All-Star game MVP is averaging 24.1 points on 34.7% shooting from the field and 31.5% from 3. 

Klay Thompson, meanwhile, had his best game of the season against the Lakers, scoring 33 points and 5 rebounds on 12-22 shooting, including 16 points in the 4th quarter. 

The Lakers are facing a similar problem without their defensive anchor, Anthony Davis.

Los Angeles is allowing 115.6 points per game since an OT win on Feb. 5.

Their lone win in this 1-7 span, strangely, was against Utah on the night Davis suffered the mid-foot sprain that may leave him out for the rest of the season. Dwight Howard is starting at center and is averaging 6 points and 7.5 rebounds in 17 minutes per game since the All-Star break. 

LeBron James continues to play heavy minutes on his hampered left knee, averaging 29.8 points and 9 rebounds in 36.3 minutes per game since turning 37 years old on December 30. 

Talen Horton-Tucker missed Thursday’s loss to the Clippers with an ankle injury after initially being listed as available and going through a pre-game workout. He is questionable for this game. 

Austin Reaves started in his place, while 2 veterans who the Lakers signed midseason – Stanley Johnson and D.J. Augustin – each played over 20 minutes in the 21-point loss. 

Potential Plays at FanDuel:

LeBron James U29.5 Points - James will play in his third game this week and continues to nurse knee issue.

Kevon Looney O8.5 Rebounds - Green's absence gives Looney more opportunities on the floor, gone over this prop 3 out of last 5 games.

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