Brooklyn Nets vs Los Angeles Lakers 12/25/21: Starting Lineups, Matchup Preview, Betting Odds, Live Stream
Brooklyn Nets vs. Los Angeles Lakers Matchup Preview (12/25/21)
This Christmas Day matchup would have been more fun if both teams were healthy; however, the Los Angeles Lakers will be without Anthony Davis, Malik Monk, Avery Bradley, Kent Bazemore, Austin Reaves, and Kendrick Nunn. Additionally, Brooklyn will not have Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Bruce Brown, James Johnson, Day’Ron Sharpe, DeAndre’ Bembry, LaMarcus Aldridge, Cam Thomas, David Duke Jr, Joe Harris, and Kessler Edwards. Needless to say, this matchup will be on in fewer households than it would have been if everyone was healthy. There is still hope, though: some players mentioned above could clear the protocol ahead of Saturday’s matchup, although Nets’ head coach Steve Nash said he does not expect anyone else to be available. Of course, this is relatively unpredictable at this point, but you never know. James Harden, Paul Millsap, and Jevon Carter all cleared the protocols as of December 23, but David Duke Jr, Kessler Edwards, and Cam Thomas all were forced into protocol on the same day. As of now, the Nets have enough players to partake in this Christmas Day game, but they will be in jeopardy if anyone else is ruled out. Stay tuned to further information on this page throughout the hours leading up until the game time, as there will undoubtedly be updates on players’ availability.
Brooklyn Nets vs. Los Angeles Lakers Betting Odds
Since James Harden cleared the NBA’s health and safety protocols, this game could end up being competitive. Harden will be relied upon for most of the Nets’ offense, along with Patty Mills and Blake Griffin. The Lakers are still missing several wings and Anthony Davis, who has a sprained MCL and will be out for the foreseeable future. LeBron James and Russell Westbrook will be shouldering the majority of the offense for Los Angeles. James has been particularly dominant since his return from an abdominal injury, but the Lakers have still struggled. I like the Lakers’ depth more in this game. However, without a line, I don’t have a strong opinion either way, especially with so much still to be decided.
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Time: 8:00 PM ET
Arena: Staples Center – Los Angeles, CA
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Brooklyn Nets Starting Lineup
Brooklyn Nets Analysis
Brooklyn is just trying to ride out the next few weeks of the 2021-22 NBA season and hope that everyone is healthy by the new year. The Nets have had an incredibly thin roster the past several games but still found a way to get wins over the Philadelphia 76ers and Toronto Raptors. Unfortunately, their luck got even worse when Kevin Durant was forced to enter the league’s health and safety protocols. Now, the Nets’ primary scorer will be James Harden, with Patty Mills and Blake Griffin attempting to pick up the rest of the slack. It would be challenging to justify picking the Brooklyn Nets ATS right now in any game; they just lost to the Orlando Magic at home. Hopefully, the Nets don’t suffer any future setbacks, but they are still atop the Eastern Conference, so they should be fine in the meantime.
Los Angeles Lakers Starting Lineup
Los Angeles Lakers Analysis
The Lakers just suffered a massive setback in their quest to find long-term chemistry between their “Big Three.” Anthony Davis will be out at least one month, and likely longer, with an MCL sprain. This was the last thing that the Lakers needed, as they were on a bit of a roll and finally somewhat resembled the team that people were expecting at the beginning of the season. Due to the NBA’s health and safety protocols, Los Angeles will be without several wings, including Malik Monk, Austin Reaves, Avery Bradley, Kent Bazemore, and Kendrick Nunn. This puts an enormous amount of pressure on its star, LeBron James. LeBron has averaged close to 30 points since his return and will have to maintain that level of play, especially with Anthony Davis out.
Brooklyn Nets vs. Los Angeles Lakers Daily Fantasy Picks
Unless some more of the Brooklyn Nets’ players can clear the NBA’s health and safety protocols, they will have to rely heavily on Patty Mills. Mills was one of the few starters on their roster who did not have to go into the protocol and was, thus, the primary offensive weapon for Brooklyn. He dropped a team-high 23 points against the Orlando Magic as well as six rebounds and five assists. That is a pretty big stat line for a player who usually is more of a role player than a primary or even secondary scorer. Still, the Nets will have James Harden back, so Mills may not have quite as big of a game, but still expect him to far surpass his season averages.
I am not convinced that LeBron James will ever stop playing in the NBA. Since returning from injury and non-verbally declaring his role as primary scorer once again for the Los Angeles Lakers, LeBron has averaged 28.3 points, 7.7 rebounds, 7.3 assists, 1.5 steals, and 1.3 blocks per game as of earlier this week. That is a massive stat line for any player, even LeBron, and it is relatively astounding that he can still put these kinds of numbers up regularly. LeBron should be good to go for this matchup, and with Anthony Davis out due to a sprained MCL, he will have to do even more than usual. It is safe to expect a 30+ point game from LeBron, especially if the Brooklyn Nets cannot get any other starters back into the lineup by Saturday.