The Los Angeles Lakers are in Houston at the Toyota Center for their first outing since a loss to the Brooklyn Nets on Christmas Day. That wasn’t good enough from the Lakers.
The Nets were depleted because of Covid. They had James Harden and Patty Mills, which happened to be enough to make it past the Lakers’ defense.
Russell Westbrook did a horrible job defending Mills, as he went wild from three-point land to lead the Nets. Mills buried a late three to fight off a late Lakers’ comeback bid.
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) December 27, 2021
Westbrook got lost on defense, allowing Mills to get free in the corner. All of this said, the loss wasn’t just a Westbrook problem. While he didn’t help, everyone needs to give Lebron James better support.
How much more pathetic can the Lakers get now? The good news for the Lakers is that they’re 16-18 in a position to go on a run and get into the playoffs comfortably.
However, the Lakers don’t look like they’re going to be able just to flip a switch and get going. There are problems that the Lakers must address.
They had two days off following the Christmas disaster, so we’ll see if that does anything. If the Lakers were playing well and just happened to have a bad night, then you could say this is a bounce-back spot for the Lakers.
You can still lean that way, but if they play that poorly again, don’t expect the Lakers to walk into the Toyota Center for an easy win. They’re on a five-game losing streak, with their most recent win in overtime against the Dallas Mavericks on December 15, 107-104.
The Rockets are on a skid of their own, with four straight losses and in six of their last seven attempts. In their latest outing, the Rockets were blown out last night by the Charlotte Hornets, 123-99.
Final in Charlotte. pic.twitter.com/WjP6J9qw9U
— Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets) December 28, 2021
It’s to be expected for a Rockets team lacking talent and looking at another lottery selection. Not the Lakers who acquired Westbrook with eyes on going to the NBA Finals. Head below for our free Lakers vs. Rockets pick on December 28, 2021.
I said when it rains bad beats, it pours. The toughest yet during this one-point loss was a Spurs’ backdoor with less than a second left versus the Jazz last night.
Utah was covering almost the entire game and lost the -7 like that. Ouch. All you can do is laugh and move on. If you bet on sports enough, it’s hard to avoid those losses.
Los Angeles Lakers vs. Houston Rockets Betting Odds and Team Statistics:
The following odds are courtesy of BetUS:
|LA Lakers||-5.5 (-110)||-225||Over 225.5 (-110)|
|Houston Rockets||+3.5 (-107)||+185||Under 225.5 (-110)|
|Team Data||LA Lakers||Houston Rockets|
|Points Per Game||110.0||106.5|
|Points Against Per Game||114.3||112.3|
|Field Goal %||46.1||45.0|
|Three Point %||34.4||34.1|
Lakers vs. Rockets Prediction:
I’m not arguing that Russell Westbrook doesn’t play hard. That said, Westbrook stats chase too often in spots where the Lakers need him to play team basketball.
Recording triple-doubles is nice but doesn’t mean anything when the team is losing games. When Westbrook decides to man up and get physical on defense, the Lakers will begin to win more games.
Anthony Davis is absent until at least mid-January with a knee injury. He wasn’t exactly doing his part either when on the floor. I wouldn’t say he’s been a liability in games like Westbrook, though.
The Lakers are scoring points, so there is that. They are putting in 110 points per game for 11th in the NBA. The Lakers are in the top-10 with a field goal percentage of 46.1%. They need to toughen up defensively, though.
Los Angeles Lakers vs. Houston Rockets Betting Trends:
- 1-5 ATS in their previous six games
- 1-5 ATS in their previous six games as a favorite on the road
- 6-3 ATS in their previous nine games versus the Rockets
- 4-0 ATS in their previous four games at Houston
- 9-0 overall in their previous nine games versus the Rockets
- 0-4 ATS in their previous four games
- 0-6 ATS in their previous six games as an underdog
- 6-21 ATS in their previous 27 games versus a team with a losing road record
- 1-3-1 ATS in their previous five games on a back-to-back
- 16-37 ATS in their previous 53 games at Houston
The Rockets have been worse than the Lakers on defense. They are one of the few teams in that league that hasn’t looked better than the Lakers defensively.
Houston has conceded 114.3 points per game for 28th in the NBA. Teams have shot well versus the Rockets, with a field goal percentage of 46.2%.
The Rockets’ offense hasn’t been able to make up the difference. They are 19th in the league with 106.5 points scored a game. Doing the basics has been difficult for the Rockets.
Hitting freebies at the charity stripe has been an issue for Houston at a clip of just 70.5%. Winning games will be difficult for bad teams when they can’t hit free throws.
As much as it pains me to look at the Lakers, they were beating up on bad teams before going on this recent dive. This looks like another chance to look good versus inferior talent.
The Lakers beat the Thunder, Magic, and Mavericks before entering a five-game skid. They also had a 117-102 win over the Boston Celtics.
The Rockets should be perfect for the Lakers, as they play no defense. I’d look at the Lakers to win and cover by around 10 points.