Mar 25th NBA Action: Los Angeles Lakers @ Minnesota Timberwolves
Los Angeles Lakers +2.0 @ Minnesota Timberwolves
The Lakers faced a tough schedule so far in March, and have only won 2 of 12 games. However, LA has covered in 8 of those contests. Our work expects a continuation of their recent success ATS, and is calling for an outright win tonight at the Timberwolves -- a bad team, made worse by injury.
Minnesota recorded 5 wins and 6 losses straight up in February and went 7-4 versus the number. This enocuraging stint represents the bet month of their 2014-15 season. Unfortunately for their fans though, the T-Wolves regressed this month and are 3-8 straight up, and 4-8 against the spread in March.
A lack of availability of key personnel is largely to blame for the backsliding we have seen from the Great Lakes-area squad. Minnesota's starting Center, Nikola Pekovic last suited up on March 11th but was benched during that game due to ankle soreness that rendered him unproductive. Pekovic is still out, and the timeline for his return is uncertain. Similarly, starting Point Guard Ricky Rubio is also dealing with a bad ankle and has been unavailable since the 18th. Rubio is listed as doubtful for today's action.
As a result of the injury bug, Minnesota's rating, per our Real Plus/Minus framework, dropped from -9.2 last week to -11.0 currently. Meanwhile, the Lakers offensive rating improved versus last week, but their defesne slipped, resulting in a more-or-less unchanged aggregate rating versus the prior ratings refresh.
These numbers suggest that, on a neutral court, the Lakers are 3.4 points better than the Timberwolves. Even after granting Minnesota our standard home court adustment, we are still attracted to the proposition of receiving points to back the better team from this spot.