This Sunday, the (13-19) Los Angeles Lakers will travel to Dallas, TX to take on the (17-16) Dallas Mavericks on Christmas Day. Tipoff will be at 2:30 PM EST inside the American Airlines Center. This will be the first time that these two teams have matched up this season, as I am expecting a battle in this one!
The Los Angeles Lakers are coming into this game after falling to the Charlotte Hornets, 134-130. They struggled on the defensive end of the court, as they will have to pressure more shooters in this game if they want to challenge the Mavs on the road.
The Dallas Mavericks are entering this matchup after defeating the Houston Rockets, 112-106. The Mavs looked great on the defensive end of the court, as they only allowed the Rockets to shoot 30.8% from behind the arc. They will have to continue contesting shots on the perimeter if they want to take care of business at home.
This game was written/published before last night’s results.
Can the Lakers Show Up on Christmas Day?
The Los Angeles Lakers are currently standing in 13th place in the Western Conference, as they are still 7.5 games back from the first-place Denver Nuggets. On offense, they are scoring 115.7 points per game and they are shooting 47.8% from the floor. This is the sixth most points scored per contest and the eighth-highest team shooting percentage. According to dunksandthrees.com, Los Angeles has an adjusted offensive rating of 111.3, which is the 24th-highest rating in the NBA. Lebron James continues to lead the way on the offensive end of the floor, as he is scoring 27.1 points per game on 49.3% from the field. Unfortunately, the Lakers have not been as impressive from behind the arc. They have only shot 33.6% from deep, which is the 26th-highest three-point shooting percentage in the league. Luckily, they have taken care of business at the charity stripe. The Lakers have made 79.5% of their shots at the stripe, which is the ninth-highest team free-throw shooting percentage. They can’t miss out on these free looks at the basket and still expect to win these games.
On the defensive end of the court, the Lakers have struggled to apply enough pressure to halt their opponents. They are currently allowing 117.8 points and their opponents have shot 47% from the floor. This is the 26th least amount of points surrendered per contest and the 16th lowest shooting percentage allowed. According to dunksandthrees.com, the Lakers have an adjusted defensive rating of 113.6, which is the 18th lowest rating in the NBA. Los Angeles has struggled to consistently contest shots near the rim, but their perimeter defense has saved them at different times. They are forcing their opponents to shoot 34.8% from behind the arc, which is the eighth-lowest three-point shooting percentage allowed in the league. Los Angeles is also snatching 44.8 rebounds per game, which is the seventh most.
Injury Report: Anthony Davis PF (Foot), Cole Swider PF (Foot), and Juan Toscano-Anderson SF (Ankle) are listed as out. Thomas Bryant C is listed as Day-to-Day.
Can the Mavs get Hot on Christmas?
The Dallas Mavericks are currently standing in eighth place in the Western Conference, as they are still four games back from the first-place Denver Nuggets. On offense, they are scoring 111 points per game and they are shooting 46.5% from the floor. This is the 23rd most points scored per contest and the 20th highest team shooting percentage. According to dunksandthrees.com, the Mavs have an adjusted offensive rating of 114.4, which is the ninth-highest rating in the league. Luka Doncic continues to lead the way on the offensive end of the court, as he is scoring 32.8 points per game on 49.7% shooting from the field. Dallas has also shown that they can consistently score inside the paint or from the outside, as they are shooting 35.9% from behind the arc. This is the 14th-highest three-point shooting percentage, as they can score from anywhere on the floor. Unfortunately, the Mavericks have not taken advantage of their free looks at the charity stripe. They have made 74.1% of their shots at the stripe, which is the 26th-highest team free-throw shooting percentage in the NBA.
On the defensive end of the floor, the Mavs are surrendering 109.4 points per game and their opponents have shot 48% from the floor. This is the 2nd highest shooting percentage allowed and the 23rd most points surrendered. According to dunksandthrees.com, the Mavs have an adjusted defensive rating of 112.2, which is the 10th lowest rating in the NBA. The Dallas Mavericks have also shown that they will consistently contest shots from behind the arc. They are forcing their opponents to shoot 35.9% from deep, which is the 15th-lowest three-point shooting percentage allowed. The Mavs have also snatched 38.8 rebounds per game, which is the least in the NBA. They have to crash the offensive and defensive glass if they want to challenge the Lakers at home.
Injury Report: Reggie Bullock SF (Neck), Dorian Finney-Smith PF (Hip), and Jaden Hardy G (Back) are listed as questionable. Josh Green SG (Elbow) and Maxi Kleber (Hamstring) are out.
Best bets for this game
Full game side bet
I like the Dallas Mavs (-8.5) at home against the Los Angeles Lakers, as they have the advantage on the defensive end of the court. According to dunksandthrees.com, the Mavericks have the 10th lowest adjusted defensive rating and they are surrendering the sixth least amount of points per game. Los Angeles will also be without Anthony Davis in this game, as Lebron James is going to have to carry the load on the offensive end. I don’t see that working out, as the Mavs will get consistent stops and efficiently score throughout this game. Doncic was on fire the last time he was on the floor, as he scored 50 points against the Rockets. He will stay hot in this one and dominate on the offensive end of the court. Dallas also has the ninth-highest adjusted offensive rating, according to dunksandthrees.com. The Lakers have been horrible on the defensive end of the court, as they won’t stop the Mavs consistently throughout this game. They are surrendering the 26th most points per game and they have the 18th lowest adjusted defensive rating. They won’t get enough stops and the Mavericks will slowly pull away.
Pick the Mavericks and lay the points (-8.5) on Christmas Day!
Prediction: Dallas Mavericks -8.5
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Full game total pick
I like the over (229.5) in this matchup, as both of these teams are going to consistently score throughout this game. The Lakers are one of the worst defensive teams in the league, as Dallas is going to consistently score. According to dunksandthrees.com, Los Angeles has the second-highest adjusted pace rating in the league, as they are going to efficiently push the ball up the court throughout this game. This will lead to more shot attempts, as each one of these teams will have plenty of opportunities to push this total over the number. Los Angeles is also scoring the sixth most points per game and they have the eighth-highest team shooting percentage. They will be able to score on this Dallas defense and do their part in pushing this total over the number. The Lakers have stunk defensively, though. They are allowing the 26th most points per game and their opponents have shot 47% from the floor. Luka and the Mavs will consistently attack the basket and score throughout this game.
Take the over (229.5) and expect a high-scoring, entertaining game on Christmas Day!
Prediction: Over 229.5
Mason Folz, “Mason Folz”
Mason graduated from the University of Colorado, Boulder and he has been watching SportsCenter since before he could walk. He has been crunching numbers since he could learn to count and nothing makes Mason happier in this world than talking sports, unless he is on the golf course! We are very happy to have added Mason to our team at StatSalt and you will be glad as well. Let’s win some money!
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