LA Lakers (15-6) at Atlanta (10-9)
When: Monday, February 1st, 2021
Where: State Farm Arena,
Time: 7:30 ET | TV: NBA Full Court
Opening Odds: Los Angeles -6/218.5
The Los Angeles Lakers have been on the road for quite a while and will finally end their seven-game trek when they battle the Atlanta Hawks on Monday night. The Lakers started the trip with three-straight victories, improving to 11-0 away from Staples Center, but dropped the next two in Philadelphia and Detroit. L.A. got back on track with a hard-fought 96-95 win at the Boston Celtics on Saturday, but the Lakers have failed to cover the spread in four-straight games. Center Anthony Davis returned after missing one game with a right quad contusion and recorded 27 points and 14 rebounds for the Lakers on Saturday. LeBron James has been dealing with a sprained left ankle, but managed 21 points, seven assists and seven rebounds in 37 minutes on Saturday. Both are listed as questionable for Monday’s contest in Atlanta. The Hawks, meanwhile, will not have the services of second-leading scorer De’Andre Hunter, who is out for the next few games at least with an injured knee. He left the Washington game on Friday midway in the second quarter with right knee discomfort and an MRI revealed “articular wear and tear.” The Hawks relied on Trae Young once again in a 116-100 win at the Wizards. Young has been on a tear of late, and recorded 41 points in Friday’s win and is averaging 37.6 points over the last five games, scoring 38 or more in four of those. The Lakers lead the series 82-49 since the Hawks moved to Atlanta including seven of the last eight. The Hawks, however, have covered the spread in three of the last four meetings and the under is 3-1 in that span.
When Davis and James are on the court together, the Lakers are awfully tough to beat. Davis averages 22.2 points and 9.1 rebounds, while James is at 25.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and 7.5 assists. In 57 career games against the Hawks, James is averaging 27.6 points, 8.1 rebounds and 7.3 assists. In 14 career games against Atlanta, Davis is averaging 19.6 points, 9.6 rebounds and 2.4 blocks. The win over Boston on Saturday not only snapped a two-game skid, but got the Lakers to within one game of the L.A. Clippers for the West’s top spot. Power forward Montrezl Harrell contributed 16 points on 8-of-10 shooting in 29 minutes off the bench. The Lakers finally return home and will host the Denver Nuggets on Thursday.
The Hawks have won five of their last seven games to slid up to the No. 6 spot in the Eastern Conference, just four games from the No. 1 spot. Young has raised his scoring average to 27 points with his latest outburst. His shooting percentage has also risen. Young has made 48.6 percent of his attempts and 53.6 percent of 3-pointers during the last five games. He became the fastest player in NBA history to reach 400 career three-pointers made, needing just 159 games. On Friday, Young scored 10 straight points for the Hawks after the Wizards had cut the lead to 10. Clint Capela also had a strong game, recording a double-double with 13 points and 14 boards. The Hawks will host the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday.
The Hawks are on a roll, but they’re no match for this Lakers team when Davis and James are both playing. Not having De’Andre Hunter is also going to hurt Atlanta’s depth. Young can’t do everything himself. The Lakers are going to want to end this road trip on a high-note and I think they roll in this one.
Check out who Bobby Babowski has on his Free NBA Picks page for today.
Pick: Lakers -6