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The Lakers are struggling to win and cover without Anthony Davis

By Carlos Chacon

The Los Angeles Lakers are facing a tough challenge right now. After a strong start to the season, winning 21 of their first 27 games, LeBron James and the Lakers have lost three of their last four games, including their back-to-back assignments against the Brooklyn Nets and the Miami Heat.

The one common denominator in those Lakers losses was the absence of Anthony Davis. The Lakers’ superstar big man has been ruled out for multiple weeks after sustaining a calf injury. The Lakers obviously are playing things carefully with regards to the health of Davis, giving him a long timetable to rest up. Davis has a known history of injuries, and his health is a major risk the Lakers gambled with when they traded the farm for the then-New Orleans Pelicans star in 2019.

That gamble paid off in the form of an NBA title in the Orlando Bubble last season. But now that Davis is out for a considerable tile, the Lakers are certainly feeling the impact of his temporary loss.

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In their 96-94 home loss to the Heat last Saturday, the Lakers gave up 52 points in the paint to Miami, while scoring just 38 of their own in the shaded area. The issues in both areas could have been addressed by Davis, who leads all regular Lakers starters this season in offensive (116) and defensive (101) ratings, per Basketball Reference.

Check out the latest odds of the Lakers to win the 2021 NBA championship on NitroBetting sportsbook.

In the two games since Davis went down with the calf injury, the Lakers have not only gone 0-2 straight up but also went 0-2 against the spread in those outings.

The Lakers need Marc Gasol, Montrezl Harrell, and Kyle Kuzma to step up and provide ample support for LeBron James while Davis heals up.

Up next for the Lakers is a meeting with the Washington Wizards at home on Monday. They will close out the first half of the season with games against the Utah Jazz, Portland Trail Blazers, Golden State Warriors, Phoenix Suns, and the Sacramento Kings.

As of this writing, the Lakers are 14-17 ATS this season.

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