The Lakers are in turmoil. Management is starting to doubt Head Coach Luke Walton, Lebron James remains out with an injury and the players can’t seem to find any offensive rhythm. That figures to continue with Walton’s announcement he is going mix up the lineup a bit until Lebron gets back. The Lakers are 3-5 in its last 8 games, coming off a not so good-looking 107-100 win over the lowly Chicago Bulls last out. The combination of Kyle Kuzma (18.7 PPG) and Brandon Ingram (16.4) are doing all they can to carry the scoring load, but the offense is severely hampered without Lebron in the lineup to contribute his 27 points a night.
The Thunder are slumping of late, losing 4 of its last 5 games. They are coming off a really bad 142-126 loss to the Atlanta Hawks on the road. It’s a bit troubling to see that the defense, which only gives up 108 PPG on the season, has given up almost 129 PPG over the last five. It doesn’t matter how much scoring punch a team has if the defense collapses. At this point, All-Star guard Russell Westbrook is on target to average a triple-double on the season, averaging 21.7 PPG and leading the team in rebounding and assists with 10.7 and 10.6 respectively. Paul George leads the team in scoring with 26.6 PPG.
Prediction: During its recent 13-game slump, the Lakers have had trouble scoring. While the Thunder’s defense is struggling, the offense is consistently putting up good numbers, using a moderate pace. The Lakers are trying to play through the internal problems, but this feels like a blowout in the making. Play Oklahoma City -10 (score – Oklahoma City 127-110)