- The two Los Angeles teams matchup on Sunday April 4th
- The Lakers could drop to fifth in the Western Conference if they lose this game and the Denver Nuggets win
- Which player props provide the best betting value?
Without Anthony Davis (Achilles) and LeBron James (ankle), the Lakers face the Clippers on Sunday, April 4th. The reigning champions are heavy underdogs for the game. While the Clippers have their own injury concerns, they are set to give Rajon Rondo his debut against his former team.
On top of missing their two star men, the Lakers are also without buyout acquisition Andre Drummond (toe). Wes Matthews (neck) is questionable.
Lakers vs Clippers Player Props
|Player||Points at FanDuel||Rebounds||Assists||Three Pointers Made|
|Kawhi Leonard (LAC)||24.5 (O -116 | U -106)||6.5 (O -114 | U -106)||4.5 (O +106 | U -130)||1.5 (O -156 | U +122)|
|Paul George (LAC)||20.5 (O -118 | U -104)||5.5 (O -110 | U -110)||4.5 (O +106 | U -130)||2.5 (O -122 | U -104)|
|Ivica Zubac (LAC)||9.5 (O -126 | U +104)||8.5 (O -110 | U -110)||TBD||TBD|
Odds as of April 4.
Zubac Flourishes As Starter
Ivica Zubac’s role has increased markedly with Serge Ibaka sidelined. The former Laker has started the last 10 games for the Clips, recording 24 or more minutes in nine of those games. Projecting his impact is perhaps tricky, however, having failed to reach double figures in scoring in three of the last four. He’d scored 10 or more in his six previous starts.
Zubac is shooting over 61% from the field over this span. He’s averaging nine boards per game, too. Only a handful of players have been converting their field goal attempts at a better rate, and he’s at 87% from the line on almost three attempts per game. With no Drummond or Anthony Davis to provide rim protection, Zubac could enjoy some success inside against the Lakers. He scored 11 points on five shots when these teams met on opening night.
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The Clips are generally no more than an average offensive rebounding team. The Lakers tend to look after the glass relatively well even without James, Davis and Drummond. Zubac can be effective on the boards, however, and his sheer size could help him rack up a few offensive rebounds on Sunday. Only four players who have played considerable minutes since the All-Star break are averaging more offensive boards than Zubac.
Weekend gym time. pic.twitter.com/RVDiyAqkgp
— LA Clippers (@LAClippers) April 3, 2021
Given his effectiveness as a rebounder and the Lakers’ lack of rim protection, Zubac should be a key factor in this game. The 18.5 line for points and rebounds seems very low – he could get most of the way in rebounds if he plays 30+ minutes.
Pick: Ivica Zubac OVER 18.5 points and rebounds (-120)
PG Makes Plays
The arrival of Rajon Rondo should lift some of the playmaking burden off Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. With Rondo returning from injury, though, his role is likely to be minimal on Sunday. He’s unlikely to have a major impact on how much ball handling George and Leonard have to do.
1-on-1 with Rajon Rondo, who plans to make his Clippers debut tomorrow…in a game against the Lakers. We discuss switching from one side of the LA rivalry to the other, plus how Kawhi has already surprised him: pic.twitter.com/9Kbyumhi5P
— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) April 3, 2021
George is running more pick-and-roll this season. He’s up to 7.5 pick-and-roll possessions as the ball handler per game from 6.8 in 2019-20. There’s been an increase in points per possession from those plays, too, nudging up to 1.00 PPP from 0.97 last term.
The former Pacer is up to 5.5 assists per contest this year, comfortably a career-high. The 4.5 line is harsh on George, who has registered five or more assists in five of his last seven games. He’s up at 9.4 potential assists for the season, almost three more than in 2019-20. It’s fair to have questions about the sustainability of these numbers with Rondo’s arrival, but that’s unlikely to be a massive factor on Sunday.
"It was tough preparing, not seeing 23 in the locker room. Everybody felt it throughout the locker room. he's a presence, not only on the floor but in the locker room, on the bus. in film, he's a presence that's gonna be missed."
— Tomer Azarly (@TomerAzarly) March 26, 2021
Minutes are the biggest risk to this prop. There’s a chance the Clippers run away with it, leaving George with less than 30 minutes to provide five dimes. It’s still doable even then, though, and if he plays around his average of 33.4 minutes, he should hit this easily.
Pick: Paul George over 4.5 assists (+106)
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