02/25/2014 04:34 PM
Tuesday's Tip Sheet
February 25, 2014
L.A. Lakers (19-37 SU, 29-26 ATS) at Indiana Pacers (42-13 SU, 32-22 ATS)
Sportsbook.ag Line & Total: Indiana -13.5, Total: 206.5
The Lakers hit the road on Tuesday night to take on a Pacers team that is looking to win back-to-back games for the first time since Feb. 7.
Los Angeles is coming off of a 108-102 loss to the Nets Sunday in Brooklyn, making the team 3-12 SU (7-8 ATS) in its past five games. The Lakers' defense has been miserable this season, allowing 105.9 PPG (2nd-worst in NBA). Over the past five games it has been even worse, allowing 107.4 PPG.
Indiana opened the month with four straight wins, but has alternated wins and losses in each of the past six contests (1-4-1 ATS). But the Pacers have won two of their past three games, averaging 103.0 PPG during that span. They remain the NBA's best defensive team, allowing just 90.9 PPG on 41.3% FG (33.2% threes), so the style of play will not benefit the Lakers.
These teams last met on Jan. 28 when the Pacers defeated the Lakers 104-92 as 10.5-point road favorites, making them 3-1 (SU and ATS) in the past four meetings between these teams. Los Angeles is 7-0 ATS after trailing in its previous game by 15+ points at the half this season. They are, however, 5-15 ATS in road games off a home loss over the past three seasons. The Pacers are 8-1 ATS after two or more consecutive Overs this season.
Lakers SG Nick Young (knee) is doubtful for this game, but SG Evan Turner is likely to make his Pacers debut on Tuesday night.
The Los Angeles Lakers lost a close game in Brooklyn Sunday night (108-102) after a nice 101-92 home victory over the Celtics on Friday.
The team has undergone some changes in the past few weeks and one player who was acquired and is really coming on strong is SG Kent Bazemore (2.9 PPG). Bazemore saw very little time with the Warriors, but is averaging 16.0 PPG in 31.0 MPG in his two games with the Lakers. Bazemore has a real chance to show he can be a legitimate starter in this league, as a similar performance against the Pacers would be very impressive.
PF Pau Gasol (17.1 PPG, 10.1 RPG, 1.5 BPG) did everything he could to keep the Lakers in the game against Brooklyn, finishing with 22 points (8-of-12 FG), 11 rebounds and one block. Gasol will need to find a way to score despite being checked by the taller and thicker Roy Hibbert, who will be very physical with Gasol in this one.
PG Kendall Marshall (10.1 PPG, 9.6 APG) is averaging 7.5 APG over the past two contests, but is playing just 24.0 MPG in those games compared to the 32.2 MPG he’s getting on the season. His playmaking skills will need to be on point Tuesday if the Lakers are going to find any holes in the Pacers defense.
Indiana is coming off of a 110-100 victory in Milwaukee on Saturday, but the team has hit a bit of a rough patch for its own lofty standards. Indiana has alternated wins and losses over the past six games and will look to break that trend and stay hot in order to finish the season with the Eastern Conference’s top seed.
SF Paul George (22.7 PPG) has been on fire for the Pacers recently, averaging 33.5 PPG over his past two contests. The Lakers will have trouble with the All-Star, as they don’t have a small forward who can stick with George all game.
One player who must get back on track for Indiana is C Roy Hibbert (11.5 PPG, 7.6 RPG, 2.5 BPG). Hibbert is averaging just 4.0 PPG and 5.5 RPG over the past two contests and that must change if the Pacers are going to get back to their dominant ways.
PF David West (13.9 PPG, 6.5 RPG) has really stepped it up for Indiana, pouring in 30 points in the win over Milwaukee. He will be a matchup problem for the Lakers and could be an X-factor in determining who wins this contest. SG Evan Turner (17.4 PPG, 6.0 RPG) will make his Pacers debut on Tuesday and he could provide instant offense for the second unit.
Portland Trail Blazers (38-18 SU, 30-26 ATS) at Denver Nuggets (25-30 SU, 23-31 ATS)
Sportsbook.ag Line & Total:Portland -2.5, Total: 214.5
The struggling Nuggets host one of the top teams in the Western Conference on Tuesday when the Blazers travel to the Mile High City.
Portland has been one of the biggest surprises in the 2013-14 season, but has seemingly come back down to earth lately. The club is 5-7 (SU and ATS) over its past dozen contests, but has won its past two games by a combined 19 points. The Blazers defeated the Timberwolves by a score of 108-97 as 3.5-point favorites on Sunday night while holding the Wolves to just 39.4% FG in the victory.
The Nuggets were a streaky team at the beginning of the season, but have been on the losing side more often than not lately. Over the past 12 games, they have gone 3-9 SU (2-10 ATS) with two of their three wins coming against the Bucks, the worst team in the NBA. Denver hosted the 5.5-point underdog Kings on Sunday night and took a 109-95 loss while shooting just 37.5% from the floor and committing 19 turnovers.
The Blazers have put together a solid 17-11 record (SU and ATS) when facing teams on the road, while the Nuggets are 14-13 SU at home, but only 10-17 ATS.
When these teams met on Jan. 23 in Portland, the Blazers were able to pull out a 110-105 victory but were unable to cover the seven-point spread. The Nuggets shot much more efficiently than Portland in that game (49.4% FG to 43.2% FG), but turned the ball over 19 times compared to just nine miscues by the Blazers in the defeat. They also dominated the Nuggets very early on in the season on Nov. 1 with a 113-98 victory as 4.5-point underdogs. Denver is an impressive 26-7 SU (22-10-1 ATS) in this series since 1996, but Portland has dominated the spread over the past three seasons (7-2 ATS) while going 5-4 SU.
On the injury front for Portland, PF LaMarcus Aldridge (groin) has missed the past three games and remains out indefinitely for the team. The Nuggets roster is riddled with injuries as PG Ty Lawson (ribs) is questionable for this contest after missing the past six games, while PG Nate Robinson (knee) and SF Danilo Gallinari (knee) are out for the season.
The Blazers have had the NBA's top offense all season long and are currently averaging 107.8 PPG on 452% FG. They have actually done better (108.5 PPG on 45.1% FG) over their 13 divisional games. Portland needs to score all these points as its defense has given up the fourth- most points in the league (103.6 PPG) this season.
PG Damian Lillard (21.2 PPG, 5.8 APG) has become the leader of the team with LaMarcus Aldridge out, averaging 30.3 PPG in the three games that Aldridge has been absent. In Lillard's six career games against the Nuggets, he has averaged 18.5 PPG (45% FG) and 5.8 APG, but scored only 11 points in the last meeting.
SG Wesley Matthews (16.9 PPG, 3.9 RPG) is having a career season and has also increased his scoring output with Aldridge on the mend (19.7 PPG in three games) while shooting just 35% from the field over the past five games. His 22.5 PPG (54% FG) and 6.5 RPG in two games against Denver this season is a nice upgrade over his averages (14.1 PPG, 3.8 RPG) over 16 career games (11 starts).
SF Nicolas Batum (12.8 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 5.3 APG) is coming off a big performance against the Timberwolves (22 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 blocks) after averaging just 5.5 PPG on 3-of-12 shooting combined in the previous two contests. He has scored 11.2 PPG in 18 career games (16 starts) of this matchup, while shooting an impressive 41% from behind the arc.
The Nuggets are not the explosive offensive team from last season, and are averaging only 102.7 PPG this season (11th in the NBA). With the recent injury to star PG Ty Lawson, the team has been able to score just 96.4 PPG on 41.0% FG over the past five contests. They have also really struggled defensively in those games, allowing 109.0 PPG while giving up the third-most points (104.7 PPG) to their opponents on the season.
SF Wilson Chandler (14.0 PPG, 4.7 RPG) has played poorly over the past two games; scoring just 5.0 PPG while grabbing two combined rebounds. He scored 18 points on 7-of-11 shooting when he faced the Blazers earlier in the year while scoring just 13.2 PPG (42% FG) over 11 career games (8 starts) against them.
PG Aaron Brooks (7.2 PPG, 2.0 APG) was acquired at the trade deadline and has averaged 13.0 PPG and 4.5 APG in his two games with Denver. He has plenty of experience against the Blazers (18 career games, 10 starts) and has netted 11.1 PPG (46% FG) over that time.
PF Kenneth Faried (10.9 PPG, 7.5 RPG) has had two performances of 20+ points over his past five games and averaged 9.5 PPG and 8.5 RPG in two meetings with Portland this season.
Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs: