Los Angeles Lakers vs. San Antonio Spurs - 11/14/14 NBA Pick, Odds, and Prediction
San Antonio Spurs (4-3) at Los Angeles Lakers (1-7)
NBA Basketball: Friday, November 14, 2014 at 10:00 pm (STAPLES Center)
The Line: Los Angeles Lakers +9 -- Over/Under: 210 See the Latest Odds
TV: ESPN, TWSN, KENS
The Los Angeles Lakers host the San Antonio Spurs for an ESPN spotlight game from the Staples Center on Friday night.
The San Antonio Spurs enter this contest at 4-3 with all three of those losses coming by five points or less. The Spurs are in the midst of a four game road trip against the Pacific division, and they've started it with wins in consecutive nights over the division's top teams in the Clippers and Warriors. The main difference in the lineup for the Spurs this season has been the absence of center Tiago Splitter, which has really left the team scrambling for options, including giving starting minutes to veteran Matt Bonner as Tim Duncan shifts roles a bit. Of course the Spurs can still move the ball well offensively with Tony Parker in form directing the offense and scoring, Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green offering speed and versatility, and Tim Duncan looking to be in peak form once again despite the doubters expecting age to catch up with him. The Spurs can score off the bench as well and we all know the coaching pedigree of head coach Greg Popovich; the Spurs will not take the Lakers lightly here.
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The Los Angeles Lakers are 1-7 to start the year with the team's lone win coming against the Hornets in comeback fashion at home. Kobe Bryant appears to be healthy and is as competitive as ever, but the pieces around him are simply lacking. Carlos Boozer is a downgrade from Pau Gasol at PF, Jeremy Lin is the starting point guard after being demoted to a backup role in Houston (although to be fair the Lakers didn't have a better option than him last season), and Jordan Hill and Wesley Matthews are unproven commodities rounding out the starting roster. Things don't get much better for the Lakers on the bench which means Kobe taking 30 shots per game is the norm we should expect from this team; some nights that will produce a winning result as we've seen him enter the zone, but against a team of calculated executioners like the Spurs it feels like an especially sloppy formula.
The Spurs should have no problem scoring here which could lead to quick possessions and a hefty total if the three point shot starts falling early. I'm backing the over with the only reservation being the Spurs' sneaky good defense having kept the Suns, Rockets and Clippers quiet by each team's standard in addition to this total being on the high end of the spectrum.