Denver Nuggets at Los Angeles Lakers Preview
Tonight on primetime, the Denver Nuggets will travel to Staples Center for a matchup against the struggling Los Angeles Lakers. These two teams have already played twice this season, and the home team won both games. Even though the Lakers and Nuggets have two totally different records, both teams are coming in tonight looking to get back on track.
Denver’s lost three straight games and is coming off a devastating 104-103 loss at San Antonio on Monday that came down to the last possession. The Nuggets are second in the west with a 42-21 record and are 3.5 games ahead of three seeded Houston and a game and half behind the top-seeded Warriors.
Unfortunately for Lebron fans, it looks like the Lakers playoff odds are next to impossible. Which is odd because he hasn’t even been on a team with a losing record since his rookie year. The Lakers lost to their hometown rival Clippers 113-105 and currently have lost nine of their last 12. Head coach Luke Walton is most likely getting axed as they currently have a 30-34 record on the season, and are 5 1/2 games behind San Antonio for the eighth seed in the West.
Time: 10:30 pm ET
Arena: Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA
Channel: ESPN, SPEC, ALT
Denver Nuggets Starting Lineup
PG: Jamal Murray
SG: Gary Harris
SF: Will Barton
PF: Paul Millsap
C: Nikola Jokic
Denver lost 104-103 in San Antonio even though they rallied from 21 points down and held the Spurs scoreless over the final 2 1/2 minutes of the game. They got the final nine points to pull within one, but missed three shots and had a turnover in the final 16.2 seconds. The Nuggets are currently on a three-game losing streak but have done a great handling turbulent times this season, which is a big reason they have been the surprise team of the West with the second-best record.
Back in November, they lost four straight and had a stretch of seven games where they lost six, and then won their next 11 out of 13. They also had a losing streak in February that was followed by a five-game winning streak. That has made head coach Michael Malone confident his team could turn things around. He told reporters after Monday’s loss that “as much as we hate to go through it — losing three in a row, this kind of failure — if we’re willing to learn from it, can be a positive. Let’s see what kind of fight we have, let’s see what kind of resolve we have.”
Health has been a minor issue for Denver this season as Isaiah Thomas and Paul Millsap have struggled to find their rhythm after returning from injury. It’s also amazing that they Nuggets have played long stretches of the season without their opening-night starting five. Saturday’s loss to New Orleans marked just the third time this season that lineup started a together.
Los Angeles Lakers Starting Lineup
PG: Rajon Rondo
SG: Reggie Bullock
SF: Brandon Ingram
PF: LeBron James
C: JaVale McGee
Other than Lebron, it feels the entire Lakers roster is on the injury report for tonight’s game. Lonzo Ball is still recovering from an ankle sprain. But now, he’ll have Kyle Kuzma joining him on the bench after he sprained his ankle Monday night. Brandon Ingram is also questionable after he also missed Monday’s game due to shoulder soreness, while Josh Hart has been limited over the past few weeks with knee tendinitis. Lance Stephenson has a toe sprain and Tyson Chandler is dealing with neck stiffness, and it makes sense why the Lakers have their coach on the hot seat and are struggling to win games.
LeBron will need only 13 points against the Nuggets to pass Michael Jordan as the fourth-leading scorer in NBA history. He also passed Dirk Nowitzki and Wilt Chamberlain on the all-time scoring list, earlier this season, and became the only player in NBA history to be in the top 10 for both scoring and assists. Lebron has yet to score fewer than 13 points in a game this season.
All that history is nice for Lebron, but it will be forgotten by everyone if they don’t make the playoffs. The Lakers will need a miracle in order to accomplish that.
Denver Nuggets at Los Angeles Lakers Betting Odds
The Denver Nuggets are favored by five and a half-points favorites tonight. They have a dead even road record of 15-15 and are 34-12 when favored. The Lakers have an 18-14 record at Staples this season and are 8-15 when the underdog.
The over/under is 230.5 points and Denver is -225 on the moneyline. However, the money-line has seen movement after it opened at -220 and then went up to -240, only to later come back down to -225.
Free Betting Picks Today: NBA Betting Props: Picks + Analysis 3/6/19
Legally Bet on Sports
Located in Pennsylvania or New Jersey? If so, you’re in luck. Sports betting is legal and available. If you haven’t signed up on an online sportsbook yet, there is free bonus money waiting for you. It’s free money for you to bet when you sign up and make a deposit. The top promo codes available are:FanDuel sportsbook promo code, DraftKings sportsbook promo code & Pointsbet promo code