Memphis Grizzlies forward Jaren Jackson
Memphis Grizzlies forward Jaren Jackson Jr., left, and Los Angeles Lakers guard Talen Horton-Tucker (5) battle for a loose ball in the first half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Dec. 9, 2021, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Nikki Boertman)


Kyle Barrette

First and foremost, I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and hope that everyone is safe and enjoying this time with their families and loved ones. Now with that said, my fellow degens, we suffered through one of the hardest days of the year yesterday without so much as a whistle going off, but today we’re back with NBA and NFL games, so let’s unwrap this NBA present and cash in our gift.   

If you haven’t been following this team, you should, because it’s becoming quite amusing, at least to those who aren’t Lakers fans. Players are hurt and in protocols and there is certainly some frustration on this team. When the entire Lakers team lets LeBron play 1 on 5 and wastes a possession by chucking up a Hail Mary, you have gotten close to or at rock bottom. Now the Lakers have lost four in a row and it’s a televised Christmas game in their newly named arena, and this team has too many eyes on them and is too historic and proud of a franchise to roll over at any point, so expect as big of a fight as they can put up. Now this is almost the same spot as the Spurs play, as the Lakers rank in the top five in pace, and we saw how bad their defense is and they’re putting the same squad on the floor tonight against a Nets team that will just try and out score you to win.

Nothing says welcome back like a prime-time game on ESPN on Christmas. The Nets have been off for a week but are putting out a fairly healthy lineup for a team that is still dealing with a lot of players in protocols. In pace of play, Brooklyn ranks right behind the Lakers. The Nets defense ranks slightly outside the top 10, but that is more of a combination of skill and players that will not be playing in today’s game, so expect that number to fade a bit. This will be quite the environment for the Nets to return to, but in this game, we’re not going to be picking sides.

Lakers vs Nets the Pick: Over 223.5
I can’t bring myself to pick the Lakers after what I’ve been watching. What I have seen is a defense that is just flat out not good. The points have been enough even with all the turmoil going on, so with all the factors surrounding this game, expect the approach of two teams just trying to outscore each other. Choose the over 223.5.

Same Game Parlay
Over 223.5 Pts, James Harden First Basket, James Harden Over 28.5 Pts, Blake Griffin Over 12.5 Pts, Talen Horton-Tucker Over 2.5 Assists, LeBron James to score 30+ Pts and LA Lakers to win by 1-10 Pts.

SGP Odds +22744

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