The NBA is set up with another great Christmas Day slate of games. Five games will be up on the board throughout Friday. One of these games will be between the Dallas Mavericks and the Los Angeles Lakers. These two teams are looking to earn a solid start to the new season. This game will tip off at around 8:00 PM Eastern time on ESPN.
The Mavericks lost their first game of the season to the Phoenix Suns. Dallas finished out last season with a record of 43-32, which had them in seventh place of the Western Conference. The Mavericks lost in six games to the Los Angeles Clippers in the first round. Dallas will look to improve upon the postseason appearance this season.
Los Angeles took a tough loss in their season opener to the Los Angeles Clippers. The Lakers finished last season in the top spot of the Western Conference with a record of 52-19. Los Angeles was able to ride that record to an NBA Championship. The Lakers will look to get back this season and avoid an early season Championship hangover.
These two teams dropped their first game of the season, but will have a chance to earn an impressive win on Christmas Day. These two teams will look to control the pace early as they try to get into a rhythm. I expect the stars to come out hot on December 25 as they all look for a big win in this one. If either team can break through big early, it might be enough to hold on for a win.
These two teams met up four times throughout last season. Dallas hosted the first game of the season series on November 1. Luka Doncic dropped 31 points, 13 rebounds and 15 assists. Kristaps Porzingis added 16 points, but it was not enough. LeBron James finished with 39 points, 12 rebounds and 16 assists. Anthony Davis added 31 points as the Lakers earned a 119-110 win in overtime.
The second game of the season series was in Los Angeles on December 1. Anthony Davis dropped 27 points and 10 rebounds, while LeBron James scored 25 points, 9 rebounds and 8 assists. Luka Doncic finished with 27 points, 10 assists and 9 rebounds. Dwight Powell and Kristaps Porzingis both finished with 15 points as the Mavericks earned a 114-100 win.
Los Angeles hosted the third game of the season series on December 29. Luka Doncic only scored 19 points, which was not enough to help Dallas win. Anthony Davis finished with 23 points and 9 rebounds. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope dropped 19 points off the bench, while LeBron James had 13 points and 13 assists. The Lakers were able to earn a big 108-95 win.
The final game of the season series was on January 10 in Dallas. Luka Doncic had 25 points and 10 rebounds, while Tim Hardaway Jr. finished with 22 points. LeBron James finished with 35 points and 16 rebounds. Kyle Kuzma dropped 26 points. Rajon Rondo and Dwight Howard both scored 10 points off the bench to help lift the Lakers to a 129-114 win to finish the season series.
Luka Doncic had another great performance to open up this season. He dropped 32 points and 8 rebounds. Josh Richardson, Tim Hardaway Jr. and Jalen Brunson all finished with 12 points. Dorian Finney-Smith scored 11 points and 8 rebounds, while Maxi Kleber scored 10 points. The Mavericks will need these players to step up as Kristaps Porzingis is out for a little while longer.
LeBron James and Anthony Davis continued to lead Los Angeles in their opening matchup. James put up 22 points, while Davis scored 18 points and 7 rebounds. Montrezl Harrell scored 17 points and 10 rebounds in his debut with the Lakers. Kyle Kuzma dropped 15 points, while Dennis Schroder scored 14 points, 12 rebounds and 8 assists in his first game with Los Angeles.
These two teams will rely on their stars to help lead them to a win in this one. Doncic has gone toe to toe with James throughout the last games against each other and I expect a similar performance in this one. The Mavericks will need their role players to step up though if they want to earn a win in this one. If Los Angeles’ bench players can step up on defense, it could help lead them to a big victory.
Field Goal Shooting Last Season
The Mavericks were among some of the top teams in the league shooting last season. Dallas made around 46.1 percent of their shots from the field, which was 16th in the NBA. The Mavericks also made 36.7 percent of their shots from deep, which was 10th in the league. Dallas shot 54.1 percent in close, which was 4th best in the NBA.
Los Angeles was dangerous from shooting in close last season, but their three point shooting was not great. The Lakers made 48 percent of their shots from the field, which was the best in the league. Los Angeles also made 55.2 percent of their shots in close, which was 3rd in the NBA. The Lakers also shot 34.9 percent from deep, which was 21st in the league.
The Lakers shooting overall struggled in their first game of the season. Los Angeles will look to improve from the field in this one. Dallas also struggled heavily from the field in their first game of the season, which was concerning. The Mavericks will look to bounce back in this one on the field. If either team can shoot well early in this one, it could propel their team to the victory.
These two teams took tough losses in their first game of the season, but I believe that neither team should be concerned. The Lakers added quite a few good role players in the offseason, which should be able to help them get back to the top of the Western Conference. Los Angeles was a bit slow on defense in their first game, but I expect them to be more prepared as they come out in this one.
BetOnline has the Lakers listed as a -5 ½ against the spread in this one. This gives a solid edge to Los Angeles coming into this one. I agree with this line as the Lakers are the better team. Doncic can keep up with the Lakers stars, but I think that Los Angeles’ depth can push them over the edge in this matchup. I like the Lakers to bounce back in this one after a tough loss in the battle of Los Angeles on Tuesday night.