- Lakers continue road trip into Atlanta to take on the Hawks
- Trae Young has Atlanta at 10-9, one if only six East teams above .500
- Check the odds, analysis and betting preview below
LeBron James is showing he’s got plenty left in the tank in year 18. On Monday, he’ll get his first look this season at Trae Young, one of the budding stars in the league expected to carry the mantle when he does eventually decide to hang it up.
The Los Angeles Lakers continue their road trip in Atlanta against the Hawks, fresh off breaking their two-game skid with a nail-biting win in Boston. Atlanta, meanwhile, laid the wood to the Wizards last time out, for their fifth win in seven games. Despite their recent success, they’re 6-point home underdogs to the defending champions.
Lakers vs Hawks Odds
|Los Angeles Lakers||-6 (-110)||-245||Ov 218.5 (-110)|
|Atlanta Hawks||+6 (-110)||+200||Un 218.5 (-110)|
Odds from FanDuel taken January 31. Tip-off is Monday at 7:30pm ET
The Hawks are hanging steady at 10-9, sixth in the East and one of only six teams above .500. The Lakers, meanwhile, have dropped their perch atop the NBA, and rank third in the West at 15-6, staring up at the streaking Jazz and first-place Clippers.
Lakers Snap Skid
After seeing their perfect road record snapped in Philadelphia and then collapsing in Motown, the Lakers got back in the win column Friday night at Boston, grinding out a 96-95 win. The Lakers rank first in the league in defensive rating and second in points allowed per game, giving up 104.8 a night.
Ultimately, they needed a stop in the final seconds after turning the ball over to seal the victory.
The Celtics ALMOST got the win over the Lakers! What a wild finish! ?
— SLAM PH (@SLAMonlineph) January 31, 2021
The team welcomed back Anthony Davis to the lineup from a bruised quad injury and he led the way with 27 points and 14 rebounds. Old-reliable James delivered as well, putting up 21 points, seven rebounds and seven assists.
James is again in the running for NBA MVP, as he’s putting up 25.7 points, 7.8 rebounds and 7.5 assists on around 32 minutes a night — easily the lowest minutes played per game in his career. He’s shooting 49.2% from the field and an impressive 41.3% from deep.
Dropped 46 points in his return to Cleveland.
What does @KingJames have in store next? ? pic.twitter.com/ZDtCoPPHiX
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) January 27, 2021
While LeBron led the league in assists for the first time in his career last season, his ability to shoot the 3-ball at a career-best rate and at a career-best 6.8 attempts a night has shown a glimpse into how his game can continue to expand, even this deep into his storied career.
The champs look at ease, and minus the Detroit game, they’re in basically every game they play with a smothering defense and a top-7 offensive rating. If there’s one place they may get in trouble, it’s in shootouts: LA ranks seventh in 3-point percentage (38.4%), but they’re bottom-six in attempts on the season.
Young Dropping Bombs
He may never be Luka Doncic (the player he was swapped for on draft day in 2018), but Trae Young is a bona fide all-star in the NBA. While we await to see him ascend to the next level, it’s pretty fun watching him guide this Hawks team right now.
TRAE YOUNG scored 18 of his 41 in the 4th quarter vs the Wizards.
This was Trae’s 2nd 40-PT game of the season & 14th of his career. pic.twitter.com/LdPvQ3YzY6
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) January 30, 2021
He’s coming off a 41-point performance over the Wizards, and he’s been on a tear in his last 10, putting up 29.3 points and 8.7 assists while shooting the three-ball at a blistering 43.8%. The diminutive guard also leads the NBA in total free throw attempts at 192 and is second in attempts per game at 10.7 to Joel Embiid.
Young is the catalyst to the Hawks, but he’s been getting some help. Clint Capella, tossed aside by the how-small-can-we-get edition of the Houston Rockets, has come back to life since getting to Atlanta. He’s averaging 13.7 points, 14.5 rebounds and a career-best 2.3 blocks per game.
Clint Capela is dominating the Wolves ?
10 BLKS pic.twitter.com/5iJcDObGP5
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 23, 2021
His presence inside has helped the Hawks rank third in opponent field goal percentage (44.3%), while letting their defense contest better from outside, as they’re holding teams to 32.1% shooting from beyond the arc, which ranks second in the NBA.
But they’ll be shorthanded Monday, with De’Andre Hunter out with a knee injury, adding to their list of clipped wings, which has Bogdan Bogdanovic also out with a knee injury.
What’s The Best Bet?
The Lakers are getting hit with everyone’s best shot, and Monday will be no exception. I think the Lakers pull out the win, but the Hawks should be able to keep this one close, even if they’re down some players. One thing to note: James and Davis were both listed as day-to-day on the injury report for this one, so check before wagering. If either is out, take the Hawks and the points. For now? We’ll pick LA to win this one straight up.
The pick: Lakers ML (-245)