The Los Angeles Lakers will look for their first win of the season on Friday when they travel to Minneapolis for a matchup with the Minnesota Timberwolves. Despite having arguably the best player in the world on their team in LeBron James, the Lakers have dropped their first four games to the Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Clippers, Portland Trailblazers and Denver Nuggets. Minnesota’s start to the season has been better, but not by much. The Wolves are 3-2 on the season with two wins over the Thunder and one against the Spurs. They’ve also lost one game to the Spurs and another to the Utah Jazz. The Lakers vs Timberwolves matchup odds for Friday’s game have Minnesota as an 8.5-point favorite while the total sits at 228.
Game: Los Angeles Lakers (0-4) at Minnesota Timberwolves (3-2)
Date & Time:
Location: Target Center
Concern for LeBron’s Lakers
The Lakers 0-4 start to the season is undoubtedly not ideal for the organization. But a loss to the Timberwolves on Friday, marking a 0-5 start, would match the franchise’s worst start in 65 years. The last time the Lakers lost their first five games was in 1957 when they recorded losses in their first seven games of the season. It would be surprising for a LeBron James-led team to start a season that way, but it is becoming a real possibility for Los Angeles, especially with the Lakers vs Timberwolves matchup odds in favor of Minnesota by such a wide margin.
Not only are the Lakers off to a rough start by being winless on the season, but their three-point shooting is among the worst three-point shooting teams in NBA history.
They are making just 22% of threes this season, which is part of the reason the Lakers vs Timberwolves matchup odds heavily favored Minnesota. The Los Angeles bench unit only made three three-pointers in their last outing against the Denver Nuggets. The depth of the Lakers second unit and their ability to shoot the ball from outside has been a huge hindrance for this team.
Fortunately for Los Angeles, Minnesota is giving up the third-most three-pointers made per game this year. If the Lakers can get going from deep, it might be worth putting your NBA betting picks on LeBron and company to cover the spread. That is a big “IF” though.
Strong Shooting Start for Timberwolves
Minnesota on the other hand was best in the league last year in three-pointers made per game with 14.8. Their three-point shooting isn’t quite up to those standards this season, but they’ve still been shooting the ball really well from the field. They are ranked second in the league in 2-point shooting percentage and in the top 10 in effective field goal percentage, true shooting percentage, and field goals made per game.
Target The Total
This leads up to look at the total for this game which has moved up to 228 after opening at 226.5. With Rudy Gobert and Karl-Anthony Towns in the front court for the Timberwolves, it’s going to be tough for the Lakers small ball lineup that Darvin Ham’s team has been playing with to stop them.
Los Angeles’s defense was a bright spot for this team in the first few games of the season but gave up 35 fastbreak points, 60 points in the paint, and 54 rebounds to the Nuggets on Wednesday. If that’s the case again tonight, against a team with a player like Anthony Edwards who loves to get out in transition, then we like this game to go over the total.
The NBA injury report also has Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook listed as questionable for Friday’s contest. While we expect at least Davis to play, if they are both out, then we like the Timberwolves to cover the spread and hand the Lakers their fifth loss of the season.Follow us on Twitter