The recently hot Los Angeles Lakers face off with the injury-riddled Suns in Phoenix! In this matchup preview, I detail my analysis of the betting odds, prediction for this game, starting lineups for both teams, and up-to-date injury reports. Check it out!
Los Angeles Lakers Vs. Phoenix Suns Betting Odds
The Lakers are seven-point road underdogs against the Phoenix Suns, a team that has still found success despite several early-season injuries! Phoenix will miss Landry Shamet, Chris Paul, Cameron Johnson, and Jae Crowder for this bout, while Los Angeles has LeBron and Juan Toscano-Anderson listed as questionable. Max Christie and Cole Swider continue to nurse injuries that will hold them out of this contest.
Los Angeles Lakers Vs. Phoenix Suns Prediction
The Los Angeles Lakers have won their last three games, all without LeBron James, one of the greatest players of all time. It’s hard to make sense of this, as LeBron is still dominant despite closing in on 38 years of age.
The only plausible explanation is that LeBron and the roster, as currently constructed, share no reasonable amount of on-court chemistry. This would explain the past few seasons; LeBron thrives when he plays with shooters who are not ball-dominant, and the Lakers have virtually none of those. The recalibration of the Lakers’ offense without LeBron on the floor could have some success, but it has to play differently.
Either way, this starting lineup is quite underwhelming. However, one player who hasn’t been underwhelming is Anthony Davis, who has put together three of his best consecutive games of the past several years. Davis’ emergence on the offensive end and the glass give the Lakers a legitimate first option if LeBron remains out.
Meanwhile, Phoenix has also struggled with injuries early this season, mainly to Cameron Johnson and Chris Paul. The Suns are still towards the top of the Western Conference, but it is far less convincing than last season; they are only 2-3 in their past five games, too!
All common sense points to the Phoenix Suns winning this game and covering the spread. The Lakers have been a miserable offensive team, even though Anthony Davis has been red-hot over the past week. They also may not have LeBron for this bout! Phoenix has had great success against the spread (7-2 at home), while Los Angeles has not (0-5 on the road.) I’ll lean on Phoenix in this one.
- Los Angeles is 0-5 ATS on the road in 2022-23
- Phoenix is 7-2 ATS at home in 2022-23
- The combined over record of these two teams is 15-15-1 in 2022-23
The key matchup for the Lakers versus Suns game revolves around Anthony Davis and Deandre Ayton, the two starting centers for both teams! Look at a further, more detailed analysis of this matchup below!
Anthony Davis vs. Deandre Ayton
This will be interesting. The “Anthony Davis at the Five” operation has been an on-and-off situation for several years. Still, the Lakers (and AD) may not have a choice of playing him anywhere else, considering he is virtually no help on the perimeter. Davis has shot 22.8% from deep in his past three seasons, totaling 90 games. However, when Davis accepts his role in the paint, he thrives. Davis has averaged an uber-impressive 35 points and 17 rebounds in his past three games. No, that is not a typo.
For Ayton, this is not an ideal matchup; he has faced AD a total of seven times in his career, with three of those games resulting in single-digit scoring outings for him. Phoenix does not utilize Ayton how it should on offense, and often, he can get lost in the shuffle, especially without Chris Paul on the floor. If Davis continues to ride this streak, I’m not sure there’s a player in the league who can stop him. Advantage: Davis.
Los Angeles Lakers Starting Lineup
Phoenix Suns Starting Lineups
Los Angeles Lakers Injuries: LeBron James (Q), Juan Toscano-Anderson (Q), Cole Swider (Out), Max Christie (Out)
Phoenix Suns Injuries: Landry Shamet (Out), Cameron Johnson (Out), Jae Crowder (Out), Chris Paul (Out)