LaMelo Ball will get his first experience of facing LeBron James in an NBA game, as the Charlotte Hornets pay the Los Angeles Lakers a visit in a marquee Friday matchup.
Catch this game live on Friday, March 19, at 10:30 AM, Manila time:
HOME TEAM: Los Angeles Lakers (27-13, 13-8 at home)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Dennis Schroder
- SG: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
- SF: LeBron James
- PF: Markieff Morris
- C: Damian Jones
LeBron James and the Lakers keep rolling, beating the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday at home, 137-121, to extend their unbeaten streak to three games. Los Angeles has been on an offensive onslaught of late, having averaged 123.3 points on 55.2 FG% over its last three games. Montrezl Harrell has flexed his muscle over that stretch in which he put up 23.0 points on 73.2 FG%.
Harrell and the Lakers could continue shooting with that efficiency this Friday against a Hornets team that doesn’t offer much defensive resistance inside the arc. Charlotte is just 30th in the NBA with teams shooting 55.4% on two-point shots against the Hornets. Conversely, the Hornets could find the Lakers’ defense hard to crack.
The Lakers are second in the NBA in scoring defense, allowing just 106.3 points per game and tops in defensive efficiency with just 107.5 points allowed per possession. The Lakers are 5-0 against the spread in their last five games as the favorite.
ROAD TEAM: Charlotte Hornets (20-19, 8-11 on the road)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: LaMelo Ball
- SG: Terry Rozier
- SF: Gordon Hayward
- PF: PJ Washington
- C: Cody Zeller
The Hornets saw their four-game win streak come to an end on Thursday at the hands of the Denver Nuggets on the road, 129-104. Charlotte got smoked on both ends of the court, particularly by the Nuggets’ wing guys in Will Barton and Michael Porter Jr., and it didn’t help Charlotte that one of its big guns was silent.
Gordon Hayward is looking forward to bouncing back after scoring just seven points on 3-of-7 shooting in the Denver game. Hayward should get support from the backcourt tandem of LaMelo Ball and Terry Rozier. Both are aggressive guards who fit each other’s style of play. On the season, Ball is averaging 15.7 points and 6.2 assists per game, while Rozier is averaging 20.5 points on 48.3 FG%, 42.7 3FG%, and 62.3 TS%.
It could be tempting to bet against Charlotte knowing that the Hornets just played on Thursday, but take note that they are 13-6 against the spread in their last 19 games on zero days of rest.
The Lakers will have their way against Charlotte’s offense but the Hornets will have their moments as well. The Hornets cover the spread as an 8-point underdog.
The Lakers and the Hornets will trade haymakers in this one. Take the over 227.5.
Check out the odds below: