Atlanta Hawks (10-28) at Los Angeles Lakers (11-27)
Our winning ways continued last night as we won our third straight game and five out of the last six. We were on the Brooklyn Nets at home playing the Boston Celtics. The Celtics have been a favorite pick of mine this season, but everything pointed to a competitive game, so I took the home dog getting five points and covered the number as the Celtics won 87-85.
We will look to keep the winning streak alive today when I break down the matchup between two of the NBA’s worst teams, the Atlanta Hawks and the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Atlanta Hawks continue their West Coast road trip tonight in Los Angeles when they face the Lakers. The Hawks are in the midst of a five-game road trip that has started out 0-2. They would love to get back on track tonight against a struggling Lakers team.
The Lakers got rookie sensation Lonzo Ball back in their last game after he missed several games with an injury, but it wasn’t enough to get them into the win column. The Lakers have now lost nine straight games, and twelve out of their last thirteen. The Lakers are -3.5-point home favorites. The game total over-under is set at 217 points. Tipoff is scheduled for 6:30 PM PST from the Staples Center in L.A.
The Los Angeles Lakers are an unmitigated disaster this season. There was a lot of hype around the team with Magic Johnson bringing in UCLA point guard sensation Lonzo Ball, and there was talk of ushering in a new era of showtime in L.A. As Lee Corso likes to say, not so fast! The Lakers have struggled to stay healthy and even when they have had all their guys on the floor, just can’t seem to win many games.
Lonzo Ball has shown flashes of greatness this season, but his inability to shoot has really held him back. Ball is filling up the stat sheet with 10 points, 7 boards, and 7 assists a game, he even has a couple of triple-doubles already this season. But he is shooting an abysmal 35% from the field and an embarrassing 48% from the free throw line. You just can’t be a point guard in this league if you shoot the ball that bad. It is way too early to say that Ball is going to be a bust, he does a lot of things well, but until he fixes that broken shot, he is a liability on the offensive end for the Lakers.
The Atlanta Hawks have ten wins on the season. That is the lowest win total of any team this year. So, it would not really be much of a stretch to say that they are the worst team in the NBA. Dennis Schroder has broken out and is playing at an All-Star type level, which is great news for the Hawks rebuilding efforts, but the product they are rolling out this season just isn’t able to win many games.
They aren’t getting completely blown out of games, but they just can’t seem to close out many wins. They finished out 2017 on a high note, winning three out of their last four games, but that success was short-lived, and they have lost their first two games of the new year.
Things are particularly tough at the moment as Atlanta has five straight road games on the West Coast. Matchups with Phoenix, Portland, Denver, and both L.A teams seemed like a spot where they could pick up a win or two as those teams are struggling this season as well, but that hasn’t happened yet for Atlanta.
The Atlanta Hawks stink. There is no doubt about that. But the Los Angeles Lakers are just as bad. The Lakers are in an absolute freefall at the moment, and I am shocked to see them as -3.5-point favorites in this game. I wonder what the record for the most points a team has ever had to lay after losing nine straight games, if this isn’t the record, it has to be close.
This team specializes in snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. I don’t really have a strong opinion on who will actually win this game outright, but getting 3.5 points, I don’t need to. I can snatch up the points, and sit back and watch this dumpster fire of a game unfold, and hope it stays close enough for the Lakers to blow it late. I just don’t have any confidence in backing the Lakers as favorites against anybody, on any floor. Give me the Atlanta Hawks on the road getting 3.5 points.