With both teams on the tail end of a back-to-back, there is a good chance that tonight’s matchup between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Phoenix Suns features some sloppy basketball. Both teams are also coming off losses, with the Lakers dropping a heartbreaking game to the Milwaukee Bucks and the Suns getting handily beaten by the New Orleans Pelicans. Coming into the matchup, the two teams have met three times before on the season, with the Lakers winning in a blowout in each occasion. Lance Stephenson is questionable for the matchup for the Lakers while the Suns are down TJ Warren, who is also questionable for tonight’s game.
The Lakers desperately need a win against the lowly Suns in order to keep their playoff hopes alive. Among playoff contenders, the Lakers actually have the worst record against teams under .500, sitting just 17-12 on the year. Especially against rebuilding teams like the Suns, the Lakers cannot afford to continue to drop games. Fortunately for the Lakers, they do seem to have the Suns’ number as they have blown them out in all three meetings this season.
The Suns, on the other hand, are one of the most exciting young teams in basketball. Despite their inability to win or close out basketball games (mainly due to their inexperience), the Suns make for great television and are one of the most fun teams in the NBA to watch. A high-tempo scoring attack featuring the electric Devin Booker as the centerpiece, the Suns love to get out and run in transition, leading to some great highlight-reel plays.
Los Angeles Lakers vs Phoenix Suns Betting Line & Over/Under
(Betting Line and Total courtesy of Oddsshark.com)
- Los Angeles Lakers (30-31) vs Phoenix Suns (12-51)
- Saturday, March 2nd at 9:00 pm ET
- Point Spread: Los Angeles Lakers (-7)
- Point Total: 235
Los Angeles Lakers vs Phoenix Suns Prediction
LeBron James has been a steady force, albeit slightly less than in years past, for the Lakers and continues to fill up the stat sheet on a nightly basis despite being in his age 34 season. Brandon Ingram has been electric since the break and has provided the Lakers with an efficient and high-volume scoring option to run out alongside LeBron. Lonzo Ball‘s backcourt presence has been sorely missed, but Rajon Rondo has picked up the extra minutes and performed admirably despite being an aging veteran himself.
The Suns are 1-9 (3-7 ATS) over their last 10 games and simply just aren’t experienced enough to compete on most nights. Despite their gobs of individual talent, the Suns, for the most part, fail to play as a cohesive unit and are prone to making mental mistakes rotating on defense. As a result, the Suns boast one of the worst defensive units in the league and don’t possess the offensive consistency to counteract that on most nights. Outside of the steadily great Booker, both Deandre Ayton and Mikal Bridges have looked great in their rookie campaigns (Ayton in particular) and seem to be in line to be crucial members of the Suns’ rotation for years to come.
Normally, I would not feel comfortable taking the inconsistent Lakers as 7 point favorites on the road. However, given the history between the two teams this season and the massive playoff implications this game has for the Lakers, I don’t anticipate this being a game that the Lakers tune out. Expect LeBron and company to come out firing on all cylinders and blow the Suns out in this affair.
Pick: Lakers -7 (YTD Record: 4-3)