NBA Best Bets Today Odds Lakers’ Anthony Davis Back From Injury vs. Spurs

NBA Best Bets Today Odds: Lakers’ Anthony Davis Back From Injury vs. Spurs

Written by on January 25, 2023

The Los Angeles Lakers come off a disappointing 133-115 home loss to the rival Clippers on Tuesday night and are 22-26 overall, sitting 13th in the Western Conference and 1.5 games out of the final play-in tournament spot. Yet the mood around the team should be very upbeat as All-Star big man Anthony Davis is set to return from his broken foot tonight against the visiting San Antonio Spurs — and trade acquisition Rui Hachimura is set to make his Lakers debut. LA is -6 on the NBA odds.

Davis will be on a 20-24-minute restriction as he eases back from a foot injury that had some medical personnel projecting an eight- to 10-week recovery time frame, sources said. It was 5½ weeks ago that he suffered a fractured bone spur and stress reaction in his right foot. Davis was averaging 27.4 points prior to the injury, while also posting career bests in rebounds (12.1 per game) and field goal percentage (59.4%), along with averaging 2.1 blocks.

Davis recorded a season-high 55 points (22-30 FG, 9-9 FT), 17 rebounds, one assist and three blocks in a 130-119 road victory over the Wizards on Dec. 4. With the performance, Davis joined Elgin Baylor and Shaquille O’Neal as the only players in Lakers history with 40+ points and 10+ rebounds in back-to-back games. He is the first player since Patrick Ewing in December of 1990 to record 50+ points, 15+ rebounds and 3+ blocks on 70% shooting in a regular season game.

The Lakers’ defense isn’t near the same without Davis patrolling the paint, and the Clippers scored 77 points in the first half and ran the Lakers off their home floor Tuesday. Originally it was thought Davis wouldn’t return until Saturday night for an ABC national TV game in Boston as the Lakers start a very tough road trip.

As for Hachimura, he was acquired Monday from Washington for guard Kendrick Nunn and three second-round draft picks. The 24-year-old had career averages of 13.0 points on 47.9% shooting and 5.1 rebounds in four seasons with Washington since being drafted with the No. 9 pick out of Gonzaga in 2019. A native of Toyama, Japan, Hachimura is the first Japanese-born player in Lakers history. He will wear No. 28.

Hachimura has shown to be a solid catch-and-shoot player from 3 as well as a decent team defender. The Lakers are in desperate need of shooting help. They rank dead last in made 3’s per game and are 26th in percentage, hitting only 33.7 percent as a team. Hachimura has been terrific on wide open looks. Per NBA stats, he’s hit 42 percent of his 3’s with six or more feet of space. Last season he was even better, hitting 46 percent of those shots. And he’s been a 41 percent 3-point shooter on catch-and-shoot looks over the past two years. Hachimura is also a great finisher. This season, he’s hit 74 percent of his shots at the rim, a top-10 mark for forwards in the league.

“I’ve always been impressed by him,” Lakers coach Darvin Ham said. “Just a multifaceted, strong, athletic, skilled young player that I’m really excited about having the opportunity to add him to our ballclub. I think he’s going to bring a lot.”

Davis’ return likely means fewer shot attempts for LeBron James, who had 46 points on Tuesday’s loss. James, who entered Tuesday shooting a career-worst 28.8% from three on the season, had the best night of his NBA career in that area. The nine three-pointers were a career-high for James, who is also the first player age 35 or older to do that in an NBA game. He now has at least one 40-point game against every NBA team. No other player has done that in history.

San Antonio is one of the NBA’s worst teams, is by far the worst defensively and is 0-3 vs. the Lakers this season, although all three games were in November. San Antonio rookie Jeremy Sochan has scored double figures in 23 games this season. This is the most games in a season with 10+ points by any Spurs rookie since Kawhi Leonard’s 25 in 2011-12.


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