Los Angeles Lakers guard Russell Westbrook
Los Angeles Lakers guard Russell Westbrook (0) grabs a rebound during the second half of the team's NBA basketball game against the Sacramento Kings in Sacramento, Calif., Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021. The Lakers won 117-92. (AP Photo/Randall Benton)

SPURS VS LAKERS, DEC. 23

Kyle Barrette

All good things must come to an end, and so our streak ends at seven. I’m just going to say it; Taco Fall has no place on an NBA floor. Jaylen Brown literally just stayed deep and destroyed them because Taco does nothing but stand under the rim. To start the new streak, we head out west where there is a good spot to be had with this banged up Lakers team once again. Let’s break this one down.

Lakers
LeBron James has already been ruled probable for this matchup. This one, I imagine, will go a little differently than the Suns game. First, you’re not going to have to face one of the top defenses in the league. The Spurs rank 24th in overall defense. Next, Carmelo likely won’t be ejected and will be able to contribute a lot more minutes. Finally, Horton-Tucker and Ellington couldn’t shoot any worse than they did, all of which contributed to a Lakers team that was still able to score 90 points despite all of these obstacles. Believe it or not, the Lakers are playing at the fastest pace in the NBA. It’s pretty comical that the oldest team in the league is playing at the fastest speed.

Spurs
The Spurs come into this game as one of the few teams not completely ravaged by the COVID outbreaks. This is going to bode well for the Spurs, who have their opening day starting five on the floor against this makeshift Lakers team. The Spurs are the top team in the NBA for points scored in the paint, with just over 54 per game. This is going to be a tall task for the Lakers and their 27th-ranked defense to slow down. Jordan gets the start tonight and these guys are either going to get by him or live at the free throw line. Look for a lot of quick twos that will eventually lead to some open threes for the Spurs.

The Pick is Spurs vs. Lakers Over 224 Points.
Both teams are in the top five in pace, both teams rank 24th or worse on defense, and the Lakers can’t do any worse than they did against the Suns, where they scored 90 Points. Both teams are also in the top 10 in points scored in the paint. This should lead to a lot of points scored. Take the over/under at 224.

Same Game Parlay
Over 224.5 Pts, Russell Westbrook First Basket, Dejounte Murray Over 18.5 Pts, Derrick White Over 4.5 Assists, LeBron James to score 30+ Pts and Lakers to win by 1-10 Pts.

SGP Odds +19771

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