L.A. Lakers (43-14 SU 25-30-1 ATS) vs. Dallas Mavericks (36-21 SU 23-24 ATS) American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX 9 PM EST Wednesday February 24, 2010 on ESPN
by Jason Green at Predictem.com
Point Spread: Lakers +1 / Mavericks -1
Tonight in the Big D the streaking Dallas Mavericks host the defending champion L.A. Lakers. This a HUGE test for the Mavs, as they made a big trade bringing in Caron Butler, Brendan Haywood and DeShawn Stevenson so they can challenge the Lakers in the West. If they can win this game it will give them a lot of confidence, as they will likely have to face the Lakers in the post-season to get to the finals.
The Mavs have won 4 straight games and are 4-1 since pulling the trigger on the big trade. The Lakers are coming off a win and are 7-3 in their last 10 games.
The Lakers are in 1st place in the Western Conference with a 5.5 game lead over the Denver Nuggets while the Mavericks are in the 4th position 7 games back of L.A, but only 1.5 games back of 2nd place Denver.
This season the Mavs are 18-9 at home and the Lakers are 17-9 on the road.
The player the Mavs really wanted in the trade was 2-time All Star Caron Butler (16.7 ppg), but C Brendan Haywood (9.9 ppg 10.4 rpg) has been THE man, especially with his defense. With the 7-foot C in the starting lineup the Mavs have yet to lose (4-0) and he is averaging 11.2 ppg 11 rpg and 2.4 blocks per game.
Haywood has his work cut out tonight, as he has to play good D on the Lakers 7-foot duo of Pau Gasol (17.4 ppg 11.1 rpg) and Andrew Bynum (15.2 ppg 8.1 rpg). He has to go at it alone tonight, as C Erick Dampier is out with a dislocated finger.
The Lakers have won 7 of their last 8 games on the road.
Kobe Bryant (28 ppg) is back in the Lakers’ lineup and he scored 32 points and the game winner last night. Even though in 3 games against Dallas this season Kobe has only averaged 15 ppg on 40.5% shooting L.A. won 2 of those games.
Since Dallas made the trade their defense has been solid not allowing an opponent to reach the 100-point barrier.
The Lakers beat the Memphis Grizzlies last night 99-98. Kobe was the high scorer in the game going for 32 points on 13/19 shooting. For the game the Lakers shot 37/76 for a FG% of 48.7%. On defense the Lakers allowed the Grizzlies to shoot 39/83 for a FG% of 47%.
In the Mavs last game they beat the Indiana Pacers 91-82 on Monday night. The high scorer for Dallas in the game was Dirk Nowitzki going for 23 points on 7/14 shooting. For the game the Mavs did not have the best night only hitting on 32/82 shots for a FG% of 38.6%. However, on D they stepped it up holding the Pacers to 31/84 from the floor for a FG% of 36.9%.
This season the Lakers rank 5th in the league in scoring (102.8 ppg) and the Mavs rank 14th (100.7 ppg). On defense the Lakers rank 8th in points allowed (96.2 ppg) and the Mavs rank 15th (98.8 ppg). The Lakers have been better on the boards this season with a rebounding differential of +2.2 rpg while Dallas is at -0.7 rpg.
According to the Sagarin NBA ratings the Lakers rank 1st (96.47) and the Mavs rank 10th (93.06).
Dallas is 7-19 ATS in their last 26 games, 6-23 ATS in their last 29 home games, and 5-0 ATS in their last 5 home games against teams with a road winning percentage of greater than 60%.
Dallas has Under record of 4-1 in their last 5 games, an Under record of 7-1 in their last 8 games as a favorite of 0.5-4.5, and an Under record of 5-2 in their last 7 games following an ATS loss.
L.A. is 5-2-1 ATS in their last 8 road games, 3-8-1 ATS in their last 12 road games against teams with a winning home record, and 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games as a road underdog of 0.5-4.5.
L.A. has an Under record of 6-0 in their last 6 games overall and their last 6 road games.
In the last 11 meetings between these 2 teams the road team is 9-1-1 ATS.
On the injury front SG Kobe Bryant and SG Sasha Vujacic are day-to-day for L.A. and C Erick Dampier is Out for Dallas.
Jason’s Pick: The Mavs are on a roll with their new lineup. An NBA team is only as good as it’s last few games so all indicators are that Dallas will likely continue to roll tonight. Another good indication of this is that the public is hammering the Lakers the point spread has gone from Dallas at -1 to Dallas at -2 indicating that many sharp bettors also believe Dallas covers the spread.