The Lakers playing a team from the Eastern Conference might be a preview to the NBA Finals. With the Brooklyn Nets visiting on Thursday we have that possible Finals preview. However, we could be missing some star power in this matchup. The Laker’s Anthony Davis is nursing a sore Achilles while the Net’s Kevin Durant sat out a few games with a hamstring injury. The Nets are on the tail end of a five-game, nine-day road trip and are still trying to incorporate their big three into the lineup, they just haven’t had them all on the court at the same time that often.
The Brooklyn Nets vs Los Angeles Lakers game takes place on Thursday, February 18, 2021 at 10 p.m. ET, from Staples Center in Los Angeles and will be televised on TNT.
Brooklyn Nets vs Lakers Odds
Team vs Team Analysis
The Nets upcoming schedule includes a series of road games over a short period of time. Thursday’s game is their fourth game in six nights on the current trip. While they improved their overall record to 17-12 with wins over Sacramento and Golden State to open the trip, I don’t think we’ve seen the best of them. Since acquiring James Harden in the middle of January the Nets are 10-6 SU and 7-9 ATS, but we’ve only seen Harden, Durant and Kyrie Irving on the floor at the same time in seven of those games with the Nets 4-3 SU and 3-4 ATS. Brooklyn will look to improve upon a road record that stands at just 6-7 after their win over the Sacramento Kings. The Lakers had their seven-game winning streak stopped by the Denver Nuggets on Sunday, 122-105. We saw that coming after the run opened with a 1-point win over Boston Celtics and included three overtime wins. They continue to win games but the Lakers are a black hole at the betting window going 3-8 ATS in their last 11 games
With three super stars on the Nets’ roster and one basketball, how were things going to be divvyed up? It’s helped that the trio has played together in only seven games since the trade, but that’s not what the Nets and Steve Nash want. So prior to their game with Golden State certain roles were defined when Irving told Harden “you’re the point guard.”
All Harden did after that was drop 16 dimes with Irving scoring 23 points and Brooklyn cruised to their second big win of the season over the Warriors, 134-117. Kevin Durant added 20 points and the Nets improved to 4-1 SU and 3-2 ATS in the last five outings with the big three on the floor. They’ve been one of the most efficient offensive teams since acquiring Harden scoring more than 120 points in 14 games with the OVER at 13-3.
Los Angeles Lakers
Not only did the Lakers 122-105 loss against Denver on Sunday put an end to their seven-game winning streak, they also saw Davis limp off the floor with an injury that will keep him out of action for likely the rest of the first half. Davis is averaging 22.5 points and a team-best 8.4 rebounds. He’s been injury prone throughout his career playing in more than 70 games just twice, and the Lakers stockpiled talent on the bench just for such a scenario.
You can’t replace what Anthony Davis means to the club, but you can expect LeBron James to pick up more of the slack. James has played in every game this season and is averaging 25.5 points with 8.0 rebounds and 8.0 assists. The Lakers have options at the position with Kyle Kuzma likely to get a few starts in AD’s absence. He scored 19 points with eight rebounds after taking over for AD in Denver. Kuzma averages 11 points playing slightly less than 25 minutes a game. Markieff Morris and even Montrezl Harrell can fill the void. The Lakers will survive without Davis and they may be better in the long run.
The Lakers couldn’t overcome the shock of watching Anthony Davis gingerly make his way to the locker room. “It’s definitely deflating anytime you lose a big player,” James said. And it showed as a close game got away from them. They are used to playing without Anthony Davis and I don’t anticipate a significant drop in the level of play. Where it will hurt the most is on the defensive end, and that’s not a problem you want against the Nets, who can light it up from anywhere.
Lakers vs Nets Prediction:
Score Prediction: Nets 121, Lakers 114
Best Bet: Nets +2.5
We could be missing some star power in this matchup. The Lakers’ Anthony Davis is nursing a sore Achilles while Brooklyn’s Kevin Durant sat out a few games with a tight hamstring. The Nets are on the tail end of a five game, nine day road trip and are still trying to incorporate their big three into the lineup, they just haven’t had them all on the court at the same time that often.