Whether due to new faces or the absence of familiar ones, the Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State Warriors have something in common: they’re both going to have to learn to play in new team alignments during a critical stretch that could determine their season over the next few weeks. Fitting that their first test post-trade deadline should come against each other.
The Lakers made a splashy trade and should have most of their reinforcements in the lineup today, while the Warriors will try and continue to find a way to win without Steph Curry on Saturday, February 11.
Our NBA picks and predictions for Lakers vs. Warriors believe that Klay Thompson will continue to step up his offensive role in Curry’s absence.
Lakers vs Warriors best odds
Lakers vs Warriors picks and predictions
The NBA news cycle has been moving so fast recently, that the re-emergence of Klay Thompson has gone somewhat under the radar. After fending off piles of criticism from media personalities and fans alike on this long road to recovery, Klay has been better on offense recently than many would have ever thought possible after his back-to-back season-ending injuries to his ACL and Achilles tendon.
He’s had a 54-point game this season, as well as a separate game in which he went 12-16 on threes. He joined his fellow splash brother Steph Curry as the only player with multiple games with at least twelve made threes. This is the sort of milestone we were nearly robbed of with Klay’s injuries, but he’s back and punishing opposing defenses once again.
Klay is not as fast or nimble as he once was, but he still finds ways to create separation off the Golden State Warriors' favorite play, the low-post split action. He also just flies off screens or Draymond Green handoffs, and even though Jordan Poole isn’t Curry as a passer or shooter, defenses honor him enough from behind the arc to allow Klay to spring open time and again. Klay is up to 40.3% from three on the year and he’s taking a career-high 10.6 of them per game.
With Curry out, Thompson is the Warriors' No.1 play finisher. He still doesn’t handle the ball all that much, but he gets open, and he knocks down shots in bunches. In the past two games since Curry’s leg injury, Thompson has scored a total of 72 points on 54% from deep.
And that’s no fluke. Thompson has consistently stepped up his scoring with Steph out of the lineup this season. He’s averaging 27.5 points per game in Curry’s absence, and even that undersells just how big he’s been recently. In the last five games that Thompson has played without Steph, he’s been the featured offensive option, and he’s averaging an eye-popping 37.6 points per game.
The Lakers made upgrades at the deadline, but none of them are suited to hang with Thompson slinking off screens all night. I’m expecting Klay to remind the world yet again just how good he is on national TV against the Lakers on Saturday.
My best bet: Klay Thompson Over 25.5 points (-113)
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Lakers vs Warriors spread analysis
Now that all the dust has cleared from the trade deadline, it’s time to ask the question. Just how good are the Los Angeles Lakers anyway? They made a significant change by swapping out Russell Westbrook, and even if the public scapegoating of Russ rubbed some people the wrong way in the aftermath, it was clear that Westbrook’s fit was a detriment to an already struggling Lakers team.
With D’Angelo Russell, Malik Beasley, and Jarred Vanderbilt they have a combination of shooting, playmaking, and defensive pieces that should create an effective environment for LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
That is, assuming they play. Davis is listed as probable, but I am worried that LeBron might yet again be a late scratch. LeBron’s ankle is a real concern. He tweaked it during the fading moments of the game against the Oklahoma City Thunder when he captured the all-time NBA scoring record and remained out in their contest against the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday night.
No doubt LeBron would relish the chance to beat his old rivals the Warriors, but an ankle injury serious enough to hold him out against the Bucks might hold him at bay here too. This new Lakers team should have enough tools to keep things close against the Warriors, but without knowing if LeBron will play or not this line is a ststay-awayor me.
Lakers vs Warriors Over/Under analysis
The total at time of writing has settled at a robust 238.5. That reflects just how far the Lakers have come since the beginning of the season when they were literally the worst offensive team in basketball for a month, as well as one of the worst 3-point shooting teams in NBA history.
This new-look Lakers squad just has so much more shooting than at any point in LeBron’s previous Lakers tenure. Russell and Beasley combine to take 15.6 threes per game this season, while the existing Lakers team takes just 30.9 collectively, 25th ranked in the NBA. They immediately create so much more space for both LeBron and AD to operate inside the arc and drastically improve a Lakers offense that has been hovering in Bottom-10 territory over the past two weeks.
The defense is another matter. DLo might be one of the few starting guards who is a worse defender than Westbrook, and there are bound to be some disconnects between so many players who are just getting to know each other on the court.
For their part, the Warriors have been getting into shootouts with bad teams recently. The Over is 5-0 in Golden State’s last five games against teams with a losing record.
Lakers vs Warriors betting trend to know
Over is 5-0 in Warriors’ last five vs. a team with a losing straight-up record. Find more NBA betting trends for Lakers vs. Warriors.
Lakers vs Warriors game info
|Location:||Chase Center, San Francisco, CA|
|Date:||Saturday, February 11, 2023|
|Tip-off:||8:30 p.m. ET|