Los Angeles Lakers vs Dallas Mavericks. Shape of the Teams

The Los Angeles Lakers face off against the Dallas Mavericks in the Crypto.com Arena in what should be a pretty close matchup. Even without Luka Dončić, the Mavericks are still a pretty strong team with Kyrie Irving leading the charge, which might just be enough to beat the injury-ridden Lakers.

Both LeBron James and Anthony Davis remain day-to-day, with Davis likely playing on Wednesdays while King James sits on the bench with an ankle injury.

However, even with both Laker’s superstars in the game, it might not be enough to stop Iriving, as he has been on fire since Dončić went down four games ago. In those four games, Irving has averaged 38 points, 6.8 assists, and 6 rebounds, far above his career averages.

This is evidently still the same Kyrie Irving we saw all those years ago in Cleveland, and if Dončić can get healthy alongside him, the NBA better be ready.

Unless D’angelo Russell miraculously becomes a good defender overnight, Irving should have a field day against the Lakers, shredding the defence.

Odds via Tonybet

Los Angeles Lakers vs Dallas Mavericks NuggetsJanuary 17, 8:30 p.m ET
Lakers odds-156
Dallas odds+140
Dallas spread +2.5 +100
Lakers spread -2.5 -126

It really seems as though the entire NBA has been bitten by the injury bug in the new year, and the Lakers are no different. While the team managed to pull a win out against OKC – with only one star lacing up, or heaven forbid neither LeBron nor Davis play, the Lakers are going to struggle.

However, Dallas is still super weak inside, with only Dereck Lively II clogging up the paint, so if Davis suits up, Dallas could be the one to struggle. In specific, the team has been rebounding like trash all season – it seems like Dallas is allergic to boxing anyone out.

All in all, we have to give a slight edge to the Dallas Mavericks on account of Irving’s monstrous play over the last couple of games. If he plays anything like he did against the New Orleans Pelicans, dropping 42, he should be able to carry the roster to a dub.

It just sucks we don’t get to see these teams clash at full strength because this could very well be a first or second-round playoff matchup down the line.

Los Angeles Lakers vs Dallas Mavericks Odds, Prediction

While bookmakers are giving the Lakers a slight edge, evidently due to the absence of Dončić, we have to go the other way. Even without the 6’8(205cm) guard, Kyrie Irving’s offensive output just isn’t to be trifled with.

He creates his own offence, dishes the ball perfectly, and draws a ton of attention on the offensive side of the ball, freeing up players like Tim Hardaway Jr. and Derrick Jones Jr.

Adding insult to injury, D’Angelo Russell’s less-than-stellar defensive presence is going to do very little to slow down Kyrie. He just isn’t fast enough laterally and might even get crossed up trying to stay in front of Irving when he really wants to score.

On the Lakers side of things, LeBron will likely suit up for the game, but it’s up in the air as to whether or not the aging GOAT will want to go all out for the regular season game. Don’t get it twisted – LeBron will still put up a respectable 25 points, but if Kyrie goes off and scores 45, it’s unlikely he’ll respond in kind.

If Lakers fans really want to pull the win out here, they better hope Anthony Davis plays alongside LeBron. If both stars play, Irving would have to have a miracle night, scoring 50 or more to keep Dallas in that game.

Davis would eat Lively II for breakfast, bodying him down low, making the 7’1 centre look like he’s small.

Nonetheless, it’s still unlikely both will play against the Mavs, so fans shouldn’t stress too much. Until it’s confirmed that both are lacing up, we’ve got to give it to the boys from Dallas. 

There’s a good chance this match will be a gruelling slugfest until the fourth quarter when the Mavericks come away with a three or four-point win, or at least lose by less than 2.5 points.

Los Angeles Lakers vs Dallas Mavericks Player Pick and Betting Tip

While D’Angelo Russell has certainly had a couple of great games, especially his 39-point outing against the Utah Jazz on the 13th, he’s still only scoring in the mid-teens most games. Just take a look at his last showing against the OKC Thunder, where he only scored 14 points in 36 minutes.

He is undoubtedly a strong roleplayer, but his scoring ability is just too hit or miss, especially when he’s guarded by elite talent like Kyrie Irving. He thrives in environments where he doesn’t necessarily need to create his own offence, shooting at a 39% clip from three, but his ability to create his own space just isn’t at an elite level.

While it’s not set in stone, D’Angelo Russell will probably struggle to find space to shoot against the Mavericks, meaning it’ll be tough to break past the 17.5-point mark in this game.

Disclaimer: Odds are accurate at the time of posting and subject to change. Please verify the latest odds on our platform before betting.

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