Atlanta Hawks vs LA Lakers by Lloyds
Kobe Bryant is putting up great numbers but he is incredibly inefficient. The Lakers' star needs at least 30 shots to reach 30 points which is why he is shooting a career-low field goal percentage. He is reluctant to pass the ball and involve his teammates who are also struggling to find their rhythm offensively. The team's biggest problem remains the lack of effort defensively which is causing a tense atmosphere in the locker room. The Lakers are by far the worst defensive team in the league (allow 112.1 points per game) and their latest performance against Golden State just showed how low they have sank. The Warriors scored 115 points on them already in the first three quarters while Bryant was rested in the final period. The Lakers lost yet another role player, Ryan Kelly, who tore his hamstring and will be out for at least one month. Beside Bryant the Lakers do not have the advantage over the Hawks at any other position nor do they have enough depth. Atlanta's frontcourt is going to be too much to handle for the Lakers who are with little or no presence inside the paint. The Hawks posses a potent attack (average 101.9 ppg) but do not handle themselves well defensively, allowing 102.8 ppg. Tradition is on their side too as they have defeated the Lakers in 4 out of five last encounters at Philips Arena.
The visitors are embarrassing the golden history of their franchise so I'm counting on that they'll have a bit of pride and stop playing effortless. The Hawks are huge favorites but the Lakers could find their motivation in recent media criticism. I think they'll make it a close game tonight.
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|Lakers +10||William Hill||1.91||9||109-114 WON (+8.19 units)|
* Odds as of post published time and are subject to change.