Friday night kicks off the second half of the NBA season for the defending champion, Los Angeles Lakers and for the playoff hopeful Indiana Pacers in the City of Angels. Both teams entered the All-Star break struggling. The Lakers had gone 3-7 in their last ten contests, including heading into the break with two consecutive losses. The Pacers did not fare much better, having gone 4-6 in their prior ten games. It is important for both of these teams to start the second half of the season out on the right foot. That begins tonight.
Indiana Pacers vs. Los Angeles Lakers
Friday, March 12th, 2021 – 10:30 PM EST at Staples Center
How To Decipher The Los Angeles Lakers Injury Report?
Ah yes, we’re back to the halcyon days of the Lakers listing everyone on their team on their injury report. LeBron is questionable, Kyle Kuzma is questionable, Marc Gasol and Alex Caruso are out.The Lakers are back to missing a lot of bodies and Anthony Davis is still not back yet, lest we forget. The absence of Gasol could be a real problem in this game. The Pacers can bang down low with Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis, if they so choose. That is a choice I would want to avoid if I am the Lakers. Use LeBron’s freshened legs and ride him through this game. That seems to be the easiest path to victory for the reigning, defending champions.
Can the Indiana Pacers Score Enough To Win?
The Pacers play ok defense, but their offense sometimes puts them up against it in ballgames. The Pacers are not an incredibly explosive team. They are a team that will significantly benefit from Caris LeVert’s return, but that won’t be tonight. No, this team, on this night, must rely on it’s big men to dominate the weakened Lakers without Anthony Davis and Marc Gasol on the floor. The Pacers need to use those guys to slow the game down and get easy baskets down low while drawing fouls. That is the formula for this Pacers team to beat this Lakers team. It’s quite simple really, it just comes down to discipline and execution.
Ever since the Anthony Davis injury, the Lakers have been a shell of their former championship selves.
Now, they did bounce back for a moment when Dennis Schroeder returned to the lineup, but even that didn’t last. It didn’t last because it simply could not. The Lakers still play hard defense most nights, but they simply are not a good shooting team with Anthony Davis sidelined. The Lakers struggle to score and they struggle with size and length. The Pacers have size and length. That’s why I think this is a prime spot to back the barking underdog.
NBA Pick: Pacers +4.5 (-110) at BetMGM