NBA Basketball Picks: Los Angeles Lakers @ Dallas Mavericks: The Lakers lost 3 in a row near the end of December and a lot of people freaked out. Well, they have Bynum back, have won 8 of their last 9 (minor setback a couple games ago to the Clippers) and currently have the 2nd best record in the West at 31-12. The Mavericks just got Dirk Nowitzki back a couple games ago, and they couldn’t have felt his absence any more. They lost 4 straight without Dirk, have lost 2 straight since he came back, and have fallen to 5th in the West in the process. They are riding a 6 game losing streak, but they’re playing their first game at home after a mini 4-game road trip. Will this help them against LA?
The Mavericks are actually just 14-8 at home this season, and most of those losses came with Dirk sporting a Mavs uniform and playing at full health. With Caron Butler out for the season and Rodrique Beaubois still out, the Mavs are hurting in the scoring department outside of Dirk. Jason Kidd hasn’t learned how to shoot, yet, and I’m pretty sure he qualifies in the “old dog, new tricks” part of life. Jason Terry is scoring, like usual, but they’re looking for help from Shawn Marion, Dominique Jones, Brendan Haywood, Tyson Chandler, and Brain Cardinal – things are getting wild.
The Lakers, they’re looking healthier and better by the minute. Sure, they aren’t playing as well as a healthy Celtics team or an improved Spurs squad, but they have looked pretty dang good lately. In their last 7 games, the Lakers have smacked around the Hornets, Knicks, and Thunder. They’ve played some close games, going just 3-4-1 over their last 8 games against the spread, but even a close win in Dallas gives them a cover.
I like LA to rule Texas on Wednesday.
Los Angeles Lakers (-3) @ Dallas Mavericks (ESPN) (1/19)