The Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas Mavericks will play Thursday night to close a TNT doubleheader. And there is some absolutely terrific news for the visitors.
For the first time in several months, Anthony Davis will be in the lineup. The team no longer has to play without stars, as half of their superstar tandem will finally be back.
Davis was having another strong campaign, and his injury was tough news. He had been able to make it through his first year as a Laker pretty much injury-free, so this made things tough.
As LeBron James stepped up and played an even larger role, his body gave out on him, as he suffered an injury too. The team has been without both of them for a long stretch, so it’s great news that Davis can finally play, even if it’s on a minutes restriction.
Meanwhile, Dallas enters off a win over the Detroit Pistons. They held off a late comeback to win by a 127-117 tally on Wednesday night.
This will mark the second half of a back-to-back. And the chances currently say that the team will be partaking in the play-in tournament.
They are 1.5 games behind Portland for sixth place, which marks an automatic entry to the playoffs. The teams that finish in seventh to 10th place will battle head-to-head for the play-in spots.
The spread for the game favors the visiting Lakers by a point. The over/under is set at 222 points.
Lakers Seeking 36th Victory
At 35-23, the Lakers’ season is impossible to assess. With the injury bug playing such a large role in things, we don’t know how good they actually are.
When you add James and Davis to a lineup with Andre Drummond in it, chances are the team will be even better than before. This is expected, and they will be an immensely fun group to see grow.
The West is clearly tough at the top, with the Suns just knocking off Philadelphia to pick up their 42nd win of the year. That team is neck-and-neck with Utah for first place, and the battle will continue to rage on.
The Clippers have been better than the Lakers and have also retooled as the year went on. If they met in the playoffs, it would be a fun series. It’s a potential first-round matchup.
Every loss that the Mavericks suffer is another push in the wrong direction. Luka Doncic‘s game-winner over Memphis last week was more than just that.
It kept the team within striking distance of Portland, giving them a must-have victory. Plus, it was a reminder that Doncic is one of the most clutch players in the world.
He makes the team go, while Jalen Brunson has been crushing it off the bench. That unit is in flux, but it’s good to see JJ Redick finally healthy. When he gets comfortable, he can give them 15 to 20 minutes a night of running around and jacking threes up.
Lakers Fall Short
Davis’ return to the lineup will not result in a Lakers win. Dallas will get a huge win and keep the pressure on Portland.
Free Pick: Mavericks +1
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