San Antonio Spurs vs. Los Angeles Lakers
Sunday, November 3, 2019 at 7:00 PM (AT&T Center)
Pick; Total 216 Click to Get Latest Betting Odds
A matchup for early control of the Western Conference will take place Sunday evening when the Los Angeles Lakers (4-1) head to San Antonio to take on the Spurs (4-1) at AT&T Center. Both teams have been impressive in the early going and the only thing keeping each from a perfect early-season record is a blemish against the LA Clippers.
The two teams are in a three-way tie for first in the Western Conference with the surprising Minnesota Timberwolves with four more teams holding 4-2 records just behind them in the standings. While a conference lead through six games might not mean much, both teams would rather be atop the conference six games in than anywhere behind.
The matchup is interesting in the fact that these teams are so different in makeup, but so similar on paper. The Lakers are full of stars with LeBron James and Anthony Davis, as well as well-known names like Dwight Howard and Rajon Rondo. Davis currently ranks tied for third in the NBA in scoring at 29.2 points per game, James leads the NBA in assists with 10.8 per game, and Davis and Howard are the top two in the NBA in blocks with 2.8 and 2.4 per game.
San Antonio does not have any star power, but it does have solid players in LaMarcus Aldridge, DeMar DeRozan, Rudy Gay, and Patty Mills. But DeRozan is the top scorer and ranks just 25th in the NBA at 21.6 points per game. Dejounte Murray leads the Spurs -- and is 29th in the NBA -- in assists with 5.0 per game. But with that balance that head coach Gregg Popovich seeks each and every year, the Spurs average five points per game more than the Lakers.
The Spurs showed that balance in a 127-110 win over a depleted Golden State Warriors team on Friday. Six players scored in double figures with Mills coming off the bench for 31 points on 6-of-9 shooting from 3-point range in just 22 minutes, while Aldridge scored 22 with eight rebounds, Gay came off the bench for 16 points and six rebounds in 18 minutes, Bryn Forbes scored 14 points, DeRozan had 13 with 11 assists, and Derrick White added 10 points. It was a solid all-around performance from San Antonio as it out-rebounded the Warriors 52-39 and had 23 assists against just 11 turnovers.
San Antonio’s performance was balanced, but the Lakers’ latest win was much more dominated by their stars. In a 119-110 victory on the road at Dallas, James went wild with 39 points, 16 assists, and 12 rebounds, while Davis added 31 points and eight rebounds. Despite it being an overtime game, only two other players scored in double figures. Despite a similar assist-to-turnover ratio as the Spurs (24-11), Los Angeles was out-rebounded 61-41.
While there is a lot going for the Spurs headed into this game such as having arguably the best coach in the NBA, having balanced scoring, returning home, and the Lakers on the second game of a road trip, there is one thing about this game that leans toward Los Angeles -- the NBA is a star’s league. Stars get wins no matter how well certain teams play together. Add on top of that the fact that the Lakers are 4-1 against the spread this season and the Spurs are just 1-4 and it is easy to continue to take the trends and go with Los Angeles in a pick game.