Spurs vs Lakers – Free NBA Pick for January 11th
The Lakers recently snapped a 9-game losing streak, and they’ve followed that up with back-to-back wins over the Atlanta Hawks and Sacramento Kings. They’ll have a chance to pick up a third straight win tonight at home against what appears to be a short-handed San Antonio Spurs squad.
The Spurs have been dealing with injuries all season, and that won’t change tonight. San Antonio was already without Kawhi Leonard, who suffered a minor shoulder tear earlier this week. On Thursday afternoon, the Spurs announced that both Tony Parker and Danny Green will miss tonight’s game, as well. The Spurs have also been without Rudy Gay, who is dealing with a heel problem.
The lack of options on the wing means additional minutes for the likes of Kyle Anderson, Bryn Forbes, Dejounte Murray and Patty Mills. Anderson, Forbes and Murray are likely to be in the starting lineup tonight alongside LaMarcus Aldridge and Pau Gasol.
As has been the case all season, Aldridge will presumably shoulder the offensive load for San Antonio tonight. Aldridge endured a subpar campaign last season, but he’s been a beast this year since inking a contract extension last fall. The former All-Star is averaging 22.6 points, 8.7 rebounds and better than a block per game. He’s also shooting just under 50 percent from the field and 34 percent from three-point range.
Aldridge is coming off of two consecutive games in which he scored at least 30 points, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him get there again tonight against an undersized Lakers frontline. Los Angeles has plenty of young talent, but none of them have the defensive chops to shut down a player of Aldirdge’s caliber.
Most believed Pau Gasol’s status as an effective NBA rotation player had dwindled several years ago, but the 37-year-old vet has found a home with San Antonio. His minutes tend to be all over the map, but Gasol has been more than serviceable on both ends of the floor for Gregg Popovich.
Gasol also enjoys playing against his former team. In four meetings with the Lakers last season, Gasol averaged better than 15 points and 7 rebounds per game, which were both increases over his season-long numbers.
The Lakers’ uptick in play has coincided with the return of Lonzo Ball. The former No. 2 overall pick missed several games with a shoulder injury, but the team is 2-1 since he returned to the floor. Ball has struggled to put the ball in the bucket, but he’s continued to contribute in other areas. In the last game against the Kings, Ball finished with just 5 points on 2-10 shooting, but he also grabbed 11 rebounds and handed out 11 assists.
The Spurs are undermanned, but this team has a long history of still performing well without key players in the lineup. Gregg Popovich is a wizard, which is probably how they do it. This is a pretty good opportunity to get value on the Spurs as just 3-point favorites. Playing on the road could be tough, but this team just finds a way to get it done on a regular basis.
The Lakers have been playing better, but the Spurs look like a solid value bet against the spread and on the moneyline.