Betting on the Dallas Mavericks vs L.A. Lakers
The Dallas Mavericks head to the Staples Center to take on the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night, with tipoff at 10:30pm Eastern time. The Mavericks (25-21) have largely taken control of the rivalry with the Lakers (9-37), beginning with their four-game sweep of the Lakers in the 2011 playoffs. Let’s take a look at this West Coast betting matchup.
— Dallas Mavericks (@dallasmavs) January 24, 2016
Why should you bet on the Lakers?
Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle preaches a hard-nosed approach to defense, and it was that approach that served the Mavericks well in their win over Chicago last week and when they were playing white-hot basketball early in the season. However, as of late the team’s defense is slipping. That’s why even though Chandler Parsons dropped 31 points on the Houston Rockets on Sunday (including 5 of 6 from downtown), his plus/minus was a -30. That means that the Mavericks were outscored by 30 points during the time that Parsons was on the floor. Parsons has been playing much better offensively, but team defense is a major issue. His own defensive rating (101.2 points per 100 possessions) beats what the Mavericks have been doing as a team (102.5). The Mavericks seem to be confused on their defensive coverages, with Nowitzki sometimes calling a coverage that the rest of the team forgets to run. So the Lakers could take advantage of this chaos on the defensive end.
Why should you take the Mavericks?
The Lakers are still definitely a team in transition mode. In Saturday’s whipping by the Trail Blazers, Kobe Bryant took over the huddle during a timeout in the third quarter, telling his teammates to put some pressure on Portland guards Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum, who were basically scoring at will (36 and 28 points respectively). While Bryant was ranting, head coach Byron Scott was basically standing by and listening. After the game in the press conference, Scott said, “I think it helps because of the fact that he is who he is.” That doesn’t hide the fact that the Lakers are still awful on defense.
As Scott put it, “We can’t move on until they learn. We’ve had to go backwards a little bit and go back to some of the things that we talked about in training camp and start going over that again because we’ve gotten away from it.” Against the Trail Blazers, the emphasis for the Lakers was guarding McCollum and Lillard by doubling them on the pick and roll, and the Lakers didn’t do it. This means that guards Jordan Clarkson and D’Angelo Russell, as well as forward Julius Randle, are still continuing to struggle as they move toward becoming the future of the Lakers. Russell was the #2 pick overall in the 2015 draft, and he is finding his way offensively, scoring 18 against the Spurs on Friday and 21 in the loss to Portland.
Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction
I like the Mavericks to take care of business in the Staples Center. The Lakers are improving, but they are still growing as a defensive unit. I’m picking Dallas to win 108-102.