Lakers vs Warriors – NBA Pick for March 14th
After disposing of the Nuggets at home last night, the L.A. Lakers will look to make it back-to-back wins tonight in Oakland when they take on the Warriors. Or whatever’s left of the Warriors, anyway.
The defending champions have a rather long injury report ahead of tonight’s game. Here it is:
- Jordan Bell (ankle) Probable
- Steph Curry (ankle) Out
- Klay Thompson (thumb) Questionable
- Draymond Green (shoulder) Out
- Andre Iguodala (wrist) Probable
- David West (arm) Out
- Pat McCaw (wrist) Out
- Nick Young (hip) Probable
The Warriors canceled practice yesterday after celebrating Steph Curry’s 30th birthday at what looked like a pretty wild party. Curry even showed up to the event in a dang yacht. They certainly seemed to enjoy themselves, but it has evidently come at a cost.
One of the few Dubs that did not appear on the injury report is Kevin Durant. KD has had to shoulder more of the offensive load without Curry available for the last couple of games. In losses to the Blazers and Wolves, Durant has averaged 39.5 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists and a couple of blocks per game. Not too shabby.
He wasn’t particularly efficient against Minnesota, though. While he did score 39, he made just 11 of his 32 shots from the floor. He instead did most of his damage from the free-throw line, where he knocked down all 12 attempts.
Golden State’s rotation will be interesting tonight. With Green, West, Curry and McCaw already out, we figure to see no shortage of guys like Kevon Looney, Jordan Bell, JaVale McGee, Omri Casspi and Zaza Pachulia. We should even get another start from Quinn Cook, while Shaun Livingston and Nick Young figure to play 20+ minutes apiece.
There’s really no telling what to expect from the Warriors, especially this early in the day. Thompson’s availability is rather crucial, as having a capable shooter alongside Durant is obviously important. Vegas is still confident in a short-handed Golden State squad, but there’s reason for concern here.
As for the Lakers, they’re playing their best basketball of the season. L.A. has won 2 straight and 8 of their last 10 games overall. The playoffs aren’t on the horizon this season, but they have the makings of a team that could be in the hunt as early as next year.
Kyle Kuzma and Julius Randle each had 26 points and 13 rebounds last night, though Kuzma is questionable to play tonight after tweaking his ankle. He did return to the game after getting it re-taped, but his status is up in the air tonight.
Luke Walton has been running a super tight rotation, so the potential absence of Kuzma would change some things. Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Lonzo Ball, Brook Lopez and Randle have been playing heavy minutes as starters, with Isaiah Thomas chiming in with about 30 minutes per game off the bench. The rest of the rotation minutes are divided between the likes of Alex Caruso and Travis Wear, though neither of them sees huge time.
Kuzma’s absence would figure to open up more minutes for Wear considering Brandon Ingram is already sidelined.
The Lakers just seem a bit undervalued in this spot once again. Going into Oracle and winning is no easy task, but we don’t know how many Warriors players are even healthy enough to suit up tonight. I think L.A. makes for a good bet to cover 7.5 points. You can even take them outright on the moneyline if you think they can eke out a W here.
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