The Los Angeles Lakers are fighting hard for a playoff spot out of the Western Conference, but things aren’t quite going as planned. They are already minus star LeBron James and now will be without their starting point guard Lonzo Ball for 4-6 weeks. It’s been quite the season for head coach Luke Walton, as the Lakers come into Monday with a 25-22 record, good enough for 9th in the Western Conference.
Ball played just 22 minutes in the loss to the Rockets before being carried off with a Grade 3 left ankle sprain. On the season, the former UCLA guard is scoring 9.9 points, and dishing out 5.4 assists per game.
Rajon Rondo was brought over to the Lakers to be the backup point guard, but he continues to miss time as well with a right ring finger injury. Alex Caruso is set to be called up from the Bay League Lakers – the G League affiliate. With the news of Lonzo Ball being out, the Lakers odds to win the Monday Night Christmas Day rematch against the Golden State Warriors went from bad to worse. What opened as a 10 point spread has moved to 12, as Golden State is expected to blow out the Lakers.
It is interesting to see what Vegas oddsmakers have done with the Lakers throughout the season. In what started as a team that was projected as the third best odds to win the NBA Finals has dropped to 8th. LeBron James is the only reason they are 8th on the list. When the season started, the Lakers were listed at 12/1 odds to win the 2019 NBA Finals. Now, as of the latest odds, Los Angeles has dropped to 40/1.
Many project that number to move to 50/1 with the loss of Ball. Ball, projected to return in March would have the final six weeks to try helping the Lakers into the postseason. On top of Ball, the Lakers are hoping to have a healthy LeBron James by then as well.
Keep in mind – many in Vegas are still projecting Anthony Davis to the Lakers for the 2019 – 2020 season. The last odds had the Lakers as odds on favorites to land the star from New Orleans at -190.
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