The Lakers are favored to repeat as champs in 2020-21 (Photo by Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire)
- After facing off on Wednesday night, LA will stay in town for another meeting with the Spurs
- The Lakers will be looking for their fourth win of the year, while San Antonio is currently 2-2
- Get the odds, preview, and best bet below for this New Year’s Day contest
The Los Angeles Lakers will play a second consecutive game against the San Antonio Spurs on Friday, January 1st, tip-off 8 PM EST.
LeBron and co. cruised to a convincing 14-point win on Wednesday, led by the King’s 26 points and eight assists.
History was made on the Spurs bench despite the loss, with assistant coach Becky Hammon taking over the reins for Gregg Popovich, who was ejected in the second quarter. It was the first time in NBA history a woman has ever served as a head coach in the league.
The Lakers completed a full sweep of San Antonio last season, winning all three meetings.
Los Angeles Lakers vs San Antonio Spurs Odds
|Team||Spread||Moneyline||Total Points at FanDuel|
|Los Angeles Lakers||-7 (-110)||-300||Ov 230.5 (-110)|
|San Antonio Spurs||+7 (-110)||+245||Un 230.5 (-110)|
Odds taken Dec 31 at FanDuel
Lakers Continue To Shoot The Ball Efficiently
Frank Vogel’s team may not have an outstanding record to this point at 3-2, but they have been absolutely draining shots from all over the court. In their win over San Antonio on Wednesday, the Lakers shot a ridiculous 54% from downtown. Wesley Matthews was hot from long range, collecting all 18 points via the three.
Six shots. Six treys. Say hello to Wesley Matthews. pic.twitter.com/UsLWadnWR5
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) December 31, 2020
LA also has the best field goal percentage in the NBA at 52.4, a testament to the wide array of shooters this team has throughout their roster. They’re also draining 41% of their attempts from downtown, which is third in the league.
17 turnovers on Wednesday wasn’t ideal by any means, but the Lakers were still able to stay in control for the majority of this contest. Despite James setting the tone offensively, Anthony Davis also had a solid showing, providing physicality on the glass and collecting two blocks in the opening quarter.
Dennis Schroder continues to prove that he’s arguably the most valuable signing LA made in the offseason. The former OKC star started just two games last season as he was a contender for the Sixth Man of the Year award.
However, with the Lakers, he’s slotted into the first unit quite smoothly, showing efficiency on both ends of the court. Schroder is thriving off the company of LeBron and AD, dropping 17.6 points per night while dishing out 5.2 dimes.
Spurs Looking To Bounce Back From Consecutive Losses
The 2020/21 season started off in fine fashion for the Spurs, winning their first two games. Two big victories over the Grizzlies and Raptors were certainly promising, but since, they’ve lost to the Pelicans and most recently, LA.
On a more positive note though, San Antonio has been receiving all-around efforts from the entire lineup. They’ve had at least four players collect double digits in scoring through their first four games. Guard Dejounte Murray looks like he could be finally coming into his own, erupting for a career-high 29 points on Wednesday.
Despite a defeat, the Spurs kept up with LA on almost every front. The difference-maker was certainly their opponent’s three-point shooting, but nevertheless, it was a respectable performance against the defending champions. Even without LaMarcus Aldridge, Popovich’s squad kept up with the Lakers on the glass with a smaller lineup than usual.
Murray’s breakout performance could be one of the biggest positives from Wednesday. He’s looked fantastic through the first handful of games this season and continues to show growth. The former University of Washington star was driving to the basket with authority while showcasing his superior athleticism and quickness off the dribble.
Although LA enters Friday’s contest as 7-point favorites, I actually think the Spurs will give them a serious run for their money. The key though will be keeping the Lakers’ three-point shooting at bay. San Antonio simply can’t allow so many open looks or else, it’s going to result in yet another lopsided defeat.
The Spurs were 3-0 against the spread before Wednesday’s game. If there’s any time to actually beat a team of the Lakers caliber, it would be early in the season.
However, I don’t think a victory is in the cards, but it won’t be easy for Los Angeles. It’s safe to bet against the spread on San Antonio, but the Lakers will pull out a slim victory.
Pick: Los Angeles Lakers -300
Quinn Allen is a sports journalist, with a background and education in broadcast journalism (BCIT ’17). He writes about European Football, Basketball, and Baseball for numerous sites across the globe.