|NBA Matchups, Odds, and Analysis Games 5-10: Lakers @ Spurs
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NBA Matchups and Analysis Games 5-10 By: Christopher B. Watford for NoLuckNeeded.com
We’re not even five games into the regular season and we’ve already witnessed a fight, Trae Young having an all-star performance, and the Pelicans are the greatest team in the history of the NBA. My New Orleans bias is coming out a little bit with that last one, but seriously - they’re doing great. LeBron and the Lakers have been struggling throughout the first few games, but that shouldn’t be an indicator of how they’ll play throughout the season - they should start working the kinks out and start clicking in the next couple of weeks. With the first week of buzzer beaters and nail-biters over, let’s take a look at what’s in store for this upcoming week.
LA Lakers (0-3) @ SA Spurs (2-1) 10/27
After LeBron and the Lakers made a solid attempt to overcome a 14-point deficit in the first quarter, it still wasn’t enough to snatch the win. They were missing Brandon Ingram and Rajon Rondo after a fight in game two that resulted in a handful of suspensions. As amazing of a player as LeBron is, he has one achilles heel: free throws in the clutch. The LeBron haters are out in full force after LeBron’s missed free throws, but you can’t put the blame on him - he shot 11/25 with 32 points and 14 assists.
Demar Derozan and LaMarcus Aldridge both had the hot hand for the Spurs. The Lakers are still going to be hurting this Friday matchup against the Spurs with Brandon Ingram still suspended alongside Rajon Rondo. LeBron will be able to keep the hot hand, but will he have the help from Kyle Kuzma and the other Lakers’ stars? Watch this matchup this Friday on KENS, SPEC or NBA League Pass at 8:30 PM ET.
Bet on the Celtics vs Thunder Game at Intertops Sports USA
Boston Celtics (2-2) @ OKC Thunder (0-3) 10/25
After getting rid of Melo, you would think that OKC would get their first win early in the season, but they’re still sitting on an 0-3 record and although the Celtics took the Cavs to seven in the ECF last season, they’re not playing the same to start this season. But these things take time for a new team and the Celtics aren’t necessarily a new team per se, they’re still attempting to reintroduce Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving into the starting lineup. One of the biggest struggles with introducing two ball dominant players is you’re taking shots away from the group you ran with last year: Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.
In the brief two games that these interconference teams played last year, the Celtics ended up taking both of them; each game separated by less than 10 points. This game is going to have a couple of fantastic matchups, most notably Kyrie vs. Westbrook and Paul George vs. Gordon Hayward. Tune in this Thursday on TNT to see if the Thunder can steal their first win of the season at 8:00 PM ET.
Utah Jazz (1-2) @ New Orleans Pelicans (2-0) 10/27
In a weekend without very many big name matchups, there is one game that is sure to be exciting: the Utah Jazz and the New Orleans Pelicans. Both teams performed at a high level last year with the Jazz making the playoffs due to then-rookie Donovan Mitchell and the Pelicans pushing their way to success after Demarcus Cousins went down. The Pels are playing with the best offensive rating in the league through two games after a 149 point win against the Kings a few nights back. The Jazz on the other hand, are slightly struggling through three: sitting in the bottom half for offensive and defensive ratings.
Donovan Mitchell is struggling to start the season, shooting 27% from three and 34% from the field. One of the biggest matchups to look out for is 2017-2018 DPOY, Rudy Gobert vs. Anthony Davis and Julius Randle. Watch and see if Donovan Mitchell can get his stroke going and if Nikola Mirotic can keep up with his career games he’s been producing this Saturday on ATRM, FSNO, or NBA League Pass at 7:00 PM ET.
(Check the current game odds at Intertops Sports Betting)