Los Angeles Lakers vs. Detroit Pistons Preview
In an interconference matchup, the Los Angels Lakers (22-19) host the Detroit Pistons (17-21) at Staples Center tonight. It is the first game of the season series and the last time these teams met things looked vastly different as Los Angeles was led by current New Orleans Pelican forward Julius Randle in the 106-112 loss on March 26, 2018.
LeBron James has been injured since a Christmas Day game against the Golden State Warriors, and while he was expected to return this week, some reports are claiming James has a hernia injury that could keep him out even longer.
The Pistons are also banged up, with Ish Smith and Zaza Pachulia out, but neither injury carries as much weight as James’ absence.
Time: 10:30pm ET
Arena: Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles Lakers Starting Lineup
The Lakers needed a win badly after losing three straight, including an 86-108 blowout loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves. Just days after coach Luke Walton asked for more from Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball, both delivered in a 107-97 win over the Dallas Mavericks.
Having Kyle Kuzma back helped, but Ingram had 29 points and six assists, and Ball finished with 21 points, seven rebounds and five assists in the win. Michael Beasley has continued to play well in limited minutes off the bench. He chipped in 13 points on Monday.
At one point, the Lakers were down by eight points and went on a 20-6 rally to take control of the game, an encouraging sign of leadership coming out of the young core.
Detroit Pistons Starting Lineup
The Pistons are coming off a 107-119 loss against the San Antonio Spurs. While the Pistons set the pace early, they struggled to find the basket in the second and third quarters. While the Pistons’ main three players of Blake Griffin, Andre Drummond and Reggie Jackson played well, they definitely needed more help against the Spurs.
They also struggled to defend LaMarcus Aldridge and DeMar DeRozan, and the defense allowed several other Spurs players to contribute.
Currently, Detroit is on the bubble in ninth place in the Eastern Conference and they have lost 14 of their last 18, a trend they’ll hope to put a halt to tonight in Los Angeles.
Los Angeles Lakers vs. Detroit Pistons Betting Odds
The Lakers are -1.5 favorites to win tonight’s game at Staples Center. The over/under is 217 points, and there has been only minimal movement on the moneyline, with the Lakers opening at -120 and live at -125.
Los Angeles has not defended home court well. They are 62-81 at home and 38-26 as the favorite. Detroit is 51-91 on the road and 47-97 as the underdog.
DraftKings & FanDuel Fantasy Picks
Kyle Kuzma and Andre Drummond are fantasy studs for this matchup. Kuzma ($7.1k) is a difference-maker for the Lakers minus LeBron and he is projected for 37.48 points on FanDuel. Drummond always contributes in several categories and he will give your rebound numbers a big boost. He is slated for 52.96 points tonight.
Josh Hart ($5.9k) and Reggie Jackson ($5.2k) are value picks. Hart is projected for 31.43 points and Jackson is projected for 27.52.
Find all of our Fanduel and Draftkings projections here: https://www.lineups.com/nba/nba-fantasy-basketball-projections.