The Lakers gave up 95 points in the last 3 quarters of the Bucks game on Thursday night. 95 points! The worst part is that the Bucks, a perimeter shooting team, didn’t even go THAT crazy from 3(7 for 19). Rather, the Lakers gave up points in every other way imaginable including put backs, transition opportunities off turnovers, layups off pick and roll, and…well you get the point.
Next up are the Kings, who are quietly playing well behind the inspired play of Tyreke Evans and Isaiah Thomas. The Kings pose several challenges for the Lakers. They have “bigs” who can shoot from the perimeter in Cousins and Patterson, guards who can get to the hole in Evans and Thomas, streak shooters who can get hot in Thornton and Fredette , and a generally athletic squad that can make the Lakers pay for their turnovers. The Lakers are 73 games into the season and haven’t shown any signs of correcting their biggest deficiencies, turnovers and defensive cohesion, or lack thereof. With Kobe expected to play, but not close to 100%, expect him to be a liability on defense. Injuries to Gasol and Nash should only exacerbate the problems the Lakers are having on defense.
As if there wasn’t enough glaring evidence, there are several trends that portend a shootout tonight. The Kings are the quintessential “over” team. The total has gone over in 23 of their home 33 games this year and 16 of their last 22 games overall. Meanwhile, the total has gone well over in the last 4 Laker games thanks to the abysmal Lakers defense. Lastly, Kings/Lakers matchups traditionally trend towards the over as was the case in 34 of their last 50 matchups!
Play: Over 217
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