|-3 LAL (-108) @ pinnacle|
My 10* Situational Stunner is on the LA Lakers at 8:35 ET.
The Los Angeles Lakers welcome the Miami Heat to Staples Center on Saturday, as the teams square off for the first time since LA beat Miami 106-93 in Game 6 of last season's NBA Finals. Miami made a great run last season in the Orlando 'bubble,' reaching the NBA Finals before losing four games to two against the LA Lakers. The Heat's 16-5 ATS record was easily the best of any team in the postseason. However, the current season has not gone smoothly, as the Heat are not only just 12-17 but their 10-18-1 ATS record (35.7%) is the second-worst mark in the NBA.
The Lakers own the NBA's second-best record at 22-8 (13-3 road record is an NBA-best) but were soundly beaten by the Brooklyn Nets 109-98 here in Staples on Thursday (no K.D. for Brooklyn). LBJ had 32 points, eight rebounds and seven assists for the Lakers but they played without Dennis Schroder due to the NBA's health and safety protocols. They are also missing Anthony Davis (22.5 & 8.4), who missed his second contest after suffering a calf strain Sunday against the Denver Nuggets. A.D. isn't expected to return for at least a month.
The Heat snapped a three-game losing streak with 118-110 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Thursday. Tyler Herro had 27 points on 12-of-17 shooting as SIX Miami players scored in double figures. Jimmy Butler had 13 points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds for his third straight triple-double. The 6-9 Bam Adebayo also recorded a triple-double with 16 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists. Adebayo (19.8-9.3-5.5) leads Miami in scoring, although Butler (19.1-7.8-7.7) is close behind. However, Butler has played in just 17 of Miami's 29 games. Herro (17.4-6.2-3.90 is the team's third-leading scorer but Miami really misses vet PG Dragic (14.4 & 5.3 APG) plus its best defensive guard Bradley (8.5). BOTH remain sidelined.
Obviously, Davis' absence is a big deal and Schroder (14.2-3.6-4.3) has been a HUGE plus this season for LA. However, no one is surprised that LBJ (25.9-8.2-7.9) hasn't missed a single game and the Lakers will give more "PT" up front to PFs Harrell (13.2 & 6.2) and Morris (4.4 & 3.4) plus SF Kuzma (11.0 & 6.0) with A.D. out. Not sure who will start alongside Caldwell-Pope (8.5) in the backcourt but Vogel can choose between Horton-Tucker (6.8), Caruso (5.4) and Matthews (5.0).
VERY tough "situation" for Miami here, playing its SIXTH contest (in 10 days) of a seven-game road trip (Miami's last home game was Feb 9) against the defending champs coming off an embarrassing home loss to the Nets (on TNT for all to see). Lay the points with LA!