Read on for an in-depth analysis of why the Lakers and Warriors can cover the spread in their upcoming matchup, including defensive and offensive strengths and weaknesses.
The Los Angeles Lakers have a strong defense and plenty of star power on offense with LeBron James and Anthony Davis leading the charge. In the first round against Memphis, the Lakers held their opponents to just 102.8 points per 100 possessions and led the playoffs in blocked shots. Their defense was also impressive in limiting free throw attempts, allowing only 19.2 per game. The Lakers finished second in the NBA in 3-point defense, and also ranked highly in field goal percentage allowed and defensive rebound rate. These strengths make them a strong contender to cover the spread.
On the other hand, the Golden State Warriors have the advantage of playing at home in Game 1 and an impressive offense led by Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. The Warriors’ offense was particularly strong in the first round, with Curry averaging 33.7 points per game and Thompson leading the NBA in 3-pointers. The Warriors’ off-ball movement and high assist percentage also make them difficult to defend. However, the Warriors ranked last in turnover avoidance and free throw creation during the regular season, which could be a weakness the Lakers can exploit.
According to the model, the total points scored by both teams is expected to be 229, and one side is predicted to cover the spread more than 50% of the time. Keep these strengths and weaknesses in mind when making your picks for the Lakers vs. Warriors matchup.
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Stephen Curry’s incredible performance in Game 7 against the Sacramento Kings highlighted his all-time greatness and reminded us that even with obstacles like bad matchups, underperforming co-stars, and uncertain futures, true stars like Curry can still carry their teams to victory.
His historic 50-point game, with 30 points in the second half alone, marked the first 50-point performance in any Game 7 in NBA history.
Despite the challenges faced by both the Warriors and the Lakers this season, Curry and LeBron James remain two of the greatest players of all time, each capable of carrying their teams to victory. As they face off in the second round of the playoffs, it is clear that their impact on the game cannot be discounted.
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Here are the Lakers-Warriors NBA odds, courtesy of FanDuel
Los Angeles Lakers: +5 (-114)
Golden State Warriors: -5 (-106)
Over: 228 (-110)
Under: 228 (-110)
Time: 10:00 p.m. ET/ 7:00 p.m. PT
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First-Round Result: LAL 4, MEM 2
W (128-112), L (93-103), W (111-101), W (117-111/OT), L (99-116), W (125-85)
ATS Record: 44-44-1 (50%)
Over Record: 46-43 (52%)
In Game 1 of the Western Conference Semi-Finals, the Lakers will have the advantage of an extended rest, having wrapped up their series against the Grizzlies four days prior.
This gives them double the amount of rest compared to the Warriors, which historically has been beneficial for LA, as they covered 57% of their games when they had a rest advantage.
With two or three days off, the Lakers covered 69% of their games, making them the fourth-best cover rate in the league. While the Lakers did not face much resistance in the first round, they now face the defending champs. Nonetheless, the Lakers won three out of four games against the Warriors during the regular season, indicating they could cover in Game 1.
The Lakers had a well-balanced offense and a dominant defensive effort against the Grizzlies in round one. LeBron James and Anthony Davis led the offensive charge, averaging 22.2 PPG and 20.8 PPG, respectively, but the team also had contributions from D’Angelo Russel, Austin Reaves, and Rui Hachimura, who all averaged over 14 PPG. Jared Vanderbilt also provided excellent defense. Overall, the 2022-23 Lakers appear to be the most balanced LeBron-led team in some time.
However, Anthony Davis remains a question mark for the Lakers. While he had a strong statistical profile in round one, he was inconsistent, with two games of less than 14 points and 12 rebounds. Given that Golden State’s biggest weakness is their interior, the Lakers need Davis to perform at his best to cover in Game 1.