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The Detroit Pistons are set to host the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday night.
Lakers’ stumble continues
Heading into this season, there was a great deal of expectations surrounding the Lakers that had them well positioned in the playoff picture up through this point in the year. However, it has been nearly the opposite for the team being well out of the postseason currently sitting seven games behind the L.A. Clippers for the eighth and final spot heading down the stretch of the year. The Lakers have been hampered by not only injuries but also inconsistent play from their roster that has pushed them well out of the mix for the playoffs. Instead of being in the spot of contending for the playoffs and possibly more, Los Angeles is on pace to miss out on it entirely for the sixth straight year, which will extend the longest playoff drought in franchise history. Heading into Friday’s contest, they have dropped seven out of their last 10 games in the process.
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) March 13, 2019
However, the team has had the constant from All-Star forward LeBron James still playing at an extremely high level as he has been their primary focal point offensively as he’s averaging 27.3 points, 8.0 assist, and 8.7 rebounds per contest while shooting 51.7 percent from the floor and 34.8 percent from beyond the arc. James taken that up a notch in the last five games as he’s averaging 30.2 points, 9.0 assists, and 8.8 rebounds while shooting 56.1 percent from the field. This includes him pouring in three double-doubles, a triple-double, more than 20 points in each contest, and a current streak of three 30-point performances in a row. He has been the lone constant for the team that has helped give the Lakers some sort of stability. That said, given Los Angeles’ overall inconsistent play it’s hard to envision them topping a surging Pistons’ team.
Pistons looking to get back on track
The 2018-19 season has had plenty of ups and downs for the Pistons that has seen them flow in and out of the playoff picture. However, they have recently been on an upward trend that has seen them thrust their way back into postseason positioning currently holding down the seventh overall spot. This has largely been fueled by their recent uptick in play having won seven out of their last 10 games despite dropping their last two consecutive contests. The Pistons have been a much-improved team during this span as they have been a largely offensively productive squad over that span that saw them post more than 110 points in five straight games prior to their back-to-back blowout losses. Detroit has been able to depend on the play of their core group led by their dynamic frontcourt duo in All-Star forward Blake Griffin and big man Andre Drummond.
— Detroit Pistons (@DetroitPistons) March 14, 2019
These two have continued to prove that they are the primary offensive factors for the Pistons this season, especially down the stretch of the regular season. Although Drummond had his franchise-best streak of 20 straight double-doubles snapped, he has taken his game to the next level over the last several games that has seen him become an even strong source of production. In fact, he is averaging 17.0 points and 16.6 rebounds on 57.1 percent shooting from the floor in the last five games played. Meanwhile, Griffin has been firmly in the spot as the team’s top scoring option as he’s averaging a team-best 24.9 points per contest on 47.1 percent shooting from the field. Griffin’s production has set the tone for the team throughout the year even through their struggles. The matchup against a struggles Lakers’ team defensively should allow them to get back on track on their home floor in a major way.
- Pistons are 5-2 ATS in its last seven games
- Pistons are 4-2 ATS in its last six games when playing the Lakers
- Lakers are 1-8 ATS in its last nine games
- Lakers are 1-5 ATS in its last six games on the road
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
It has simply been too hard to trust the Lakers at any point this season. Their win over the Chicago Bulls was exemplary of just that as they went down by double-digits and needed a dramatic comeback. This won’t be the case as the Pistons should be able to get back on track home against them in a comfortable manner.
Full-Game Total Pick
There will be plenty of scoring on both sides in this contest. The Lakers should take advantage of the Pistons’ porous defense in the process. Meanwhile, Detroit has the chance to tee off on Los Angeles’ injury-ridden roster to get back on track on their home floor. This simply has the making of plenty of offense being on display.