The Brooklyn Nets and the Los Angeles Lakers will meet for the first time this season on Sunday, albeit missing some stars. Nevertheless, this is a game that should generate plenty of attention a day after Christmas here in Manila.
Catch this game live on Sunday, December 26, at 9:00 AM, Manila time.
Away: Brooklyn Nets (21-9/11-3 on the road)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: James Harden
- SG: Patty Mills
- SF: James Ennis
- PF: Blake Griffin
- C: Paul Millsap
Nobody really knows for sure whether the Nets will have the minimum required number of players for their Christmas Day game against the Lakers, but there’s what we know: James Harden is back. After missing five games due to health and safety protocols, The Beard is gearing up for a return to action. However, he could find himself without fellow superstars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving alongside him, with both players still on the health and safety protocols list.
Apart from Harden, the Nets have also gotten back Paul Millsap and Jevon Carter. The last time the Nets played was on Dec. 19 in a 100-93 home loss to the Orlando Magic. Since then, three Nets games have been postponed for…you guessed it…lack of players. If anything, the Nets are 8-2 straight up in their last 10 road games. Brooklyn also covered the spread in six of those contests. Moreover, the Nets are 3-0 straight up and against the spread in their last three appearances in Hollywood versus the Lakers.
Home: Los Angeles Lakers (16-17/10-9 at home)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Russell Westbrook
- SG: Isaiah Thomas
- SF: Wayne Ellington
- PF: LeBron James
- C: Dwight Howard
Once again, LeBron James played great, but his effort was not enough to tow the Lakers into a win on Friday, as they lost to the San Antonio Spurs at home, 138-110. James paced the Lakers with 36 points and added nine rebounds, six assists, and two blocks. He did get help from Russell Westbrook, who had 30 points, seven rebounds, and four assists, but that was basically it for non-LeBron contribution for the Lakers. The Lakers struggled mightily from deep, going 5/27 on their 3-pointers. They also hit just 17 of 30 free throw attempts.
Los Angeles is now on a four-game losing skid, and the team’s lackluster performance against the Spurs does not bode well for the Lakers’ chances in the upcoming meeting with Brooklyn. Then again, the Nets are extremely shorthanded and looking very precarious at the moment. At the very least, James is playing great, and the Lakers will just have to keep riding his hot hand until the other pieces finally get it together again. The Lakers are 2-2 ATS in their last four games as the home team.
Spread: The Lakers finally break out of their slump here. Leaning on taking LA to cover (-2) as well.
Over/Under: We’re still not sure what form James Harden is in after a long absence, so the Nets might not be able to keep up offensively in this game, while the Lakers try to smoke Brooklyn early. Looking for the total to hit the Under (224) in this game.