Lakers face the plummeting Magic

Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Last time we saw the Los Angeles Lakers, they were squandering a first-half lead of 17 points against the Dallas Mavericks, losing 108-93 behind an embarrassing second half. They will have an easy chance to rebound from that loss tonight, as they travel to face the Orlando Magic.

Ever since the trade deadline that saw the Magic trading their two best players in Nikola Vucevic and Aaron Gordon, the Magic have been doing what everyone expected them to do — tank. They’re 1-11 in their last 12 games with that lone win coming against the Chicago Bulls. The Lakers will be traveling to Orlando to take them on, where the Magic have lost their last seven home games. They are only a half-game ahead of the Pistons for the worst record in the Eastern Conference.

On top of that, they will be playing their second straight game without their head coach Steve Clifford as he remains unavailable due to COVID-19 protocols.

This will be a great game for Anthony Davis to continue his ramp up, as Zion Williamson and Steven Adams helped bully the Magic inside four days ago to help the Pelicans score 135 points. Zion had 23 points in 23 minutes played on 9-of-12 shooting while Adams had 12 points in 16 minutes on 5-of-8 shooting. Davis should look to get the same easy opportunities inside, while he also hopefully gets some opportunities to make some easy threes after missing all six of his three-point attempts on Saturday against the Mavs.

Injury news

The Lakers and Magic combine to form an extensive list of players who will for sure be out tonight including the following:

  • LeBron James
  • Jared Dudley
  • Markelle Fultz
  • Jonathan Isaac
  • Otto Porter, Jr.
  • Michael Carter-Williams

This doesn’t even cover players who are currently listed as “questionable” on NBA’s website, including Dennis Schröder (left calf; soreness) and James Ennis III. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope may return with a “probable” designation after missing the Lakers’ disappointing loss to the Mavericks on Saturday (right ankle sprain). Marc Gasol is also “probable” while Anthony Davis is as well as his minutes restriction will probably increase again in this game. He was given a 25-minute restriction in the Lakers’ last game, ending with 28 minutes played.

Betting central

Lakers -10.5; Over/under 209.5; Lakers moneyline -560 (Magic moneyline +420)

I’m now 5-4 following the All-Star break and 20-27-2 on the season as a whole.

This is probably the first time the Lakers have been favored by double-digits since the Lakers were at full strength with LeBron James and Anthony Davis both on the floor. With this possibly being a little “third time’s the charm” action with Davis’ first great game back and the Magic in absolute hell, I’ll take that -10.5 spread for the Lakers.

Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook at 11:00 a.m. PST

Where to watch

The game will be televised on Spectrum SportsNet with tip-off set for an early 4:00 p.m. PST.

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