Dallas Mavericks vs. Los Angeles Lakers Matchup Preview
Both Dallas and Los Angeles lost their opener and will look to rebound. However, one of these two teams will start 0-2 this season. Dallas will continue to be without Kristaps Porzingis, which is a huge advantage for the Lakers, given their size. The Lakers had a sluggish start against the Clippers, as did the Mavericks against the Suns. Neither were able to find their stride, but we won’t put too much stock in it. This is going to be a fun battle with a lot of stars on the court. Luka Doncic is an MVP frontrunner right now ahead of Davis and James in most sportsbook odds. This will be a game where he can make a statement about him possibly taking another step in year three. I continue to be curious about the new role players for the Lakers and how they will fit in this season. Los Angeles is slight favorites as expected, but Dallas is certainly a dangerous team. For odds movement and full matchup history, visit the Dallas Mavericks at Los Angeles Lakers Matchup Page.
Time: 8:00 PM ET
Arena: Staples Center, Los Angeles CA
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Mavericks Starting 5
Looking at the early game rotation, the Mavericks used a couple of bodies to replace Kristaps Porzingis. Maxi Kleber went up against the Suns, who don’t have a frontcourt like the Lakers, so that things might change. Dwight Powell played 18 minutes against the Sunsa nd we saw Maxi Kleber play 28. Dallas brought back Willie Cauley-Stein, but he saw just six minutes. I wouldn’t be surprised to see some different minutes out there for this game as Dallas should be experimenting against different teams and their frontcourt size. As for the wings and guards, we knew what was going to happen. Losing Seth Curry would shift more minutes to Trey Burke off the bench, but Dorian Finney-Smith and Josh Richardson would soak up a lot of the minutes at small forward and shooting guard. Like Doncic played 36 minutes in the opener and at point guard for most of it. No surprise, as Doncic is the best playmaker on the team. Los Angeles should be looking to throw multiple defenders on him this game and especially try and hide Dennis Schroder.
Lakers Starting 5
Frank Vogel had hinted at some minutes limits and different rotations this season. The Lakers played until the end of last year, and with a short offseason, it makes sense given the age of some of their players. James played just 28 minutes against the Clippers and had a 22-5-5 line. We saw an intense rotation as 12 Lakers saw the court, including Horton-Tucker, who many have wanted to get a closer look at. Anthony Davis played just 31 minutes, and we saw the new Laker and former Clipper, Montrezl Harrell play 32 minutes. He dropped a 17 and 10 game, and I would expect him to get a lot of run this season. We shouldn’t put too much stock into the opener, but I expect a better game out of the Lakers this week. Dennis Schroder had a productive debut with a 14-12-8 line, but he is also a major liability on the defensive side, and that will be something to see how teams attack.
Mavericks & Lakers DFS Angle
None of the Lakers were particularly great in the opener, but that likely won’t continue. Anthony Davis is the pay up play on the Lakers for me this slate. He has averaged 27 and 9 in the past three games against Dallas. The Mavericks also don’t have a ton of defense to throw at Davis whether he is at the four or the five. The DFS issue with the Lakers and more so LeBron James is that his minutes will be up and down over the course of the season. You’d think this game he would be around 33-35, but he only played 28 in the debut. James did crush Dallas last season, averaging a triple-double. Dennis Schroder made a big debut with a 14-12-8 game in 28 minutes. He is an excellent play in this starting role, especially with the names around him. As for the Dallas side, it remains Luka Doncic leading the usage. Josh Richardson and Tim Hardaway Jr are secondary options on the team but are not as reliable.
Mavericks vs. Lakers Betting Odds
Mavericks Spread: +6
Mavericks Moneyline: +215
Lakers Spread: -6
Lakers Moneyline: -260
Over/Under Points Total: 227.5
Both teams lost their opener and will be looking to rebound. The Lakers have owned Dallas over the last few seasons, going 8-2 in their last then games and covering in seven of the last ten games. The issue has been that Dallas has very little defense to throw at James and Davis. Without Kristaps Porzingis, it is tough to see Dallas competing against the elite’s elite without him. Luka Doncic will have to have a big game, and secondary players all have to overachieve in this one for Dallas to pull off a win. The thing to look at is how healthy James is with the ankle issue that popped up in the last game. Signs point to him being fine and ready to roll for Christmas day.
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