The Los Angeles Lakers are banged up heading into the January 6th NBA free pick vs. Minnesota. After playing the last six games in the state of California, LA heads out to the Target Center where the T’Wolves are 13-6 on the season. Between the injuries and the travel, the Lakers are lofty +7 underdogs on Sunday. Does this add up to a big Minnesota win?
Lakers Look for Somebody to Step Up
Lebron James and Rajon Rondo have missed a considerable amount of time lately and they are likely joined on the bench in the January 6th NBA free pick by Kyle Kuzma. In James’ absence, Kuzma had been picking up a majority of the scoring slack but he’s questionable with a back injury.(although he did travel with the team and could play Sunday) Brandon Ingram had 21 points as Kuzma sat in a loss to the Knicks at home last time out. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope also chipped in 19 as he moved to the starting lineup. Can that group be enough to carry the Lakers at the Target Center Sunday?
Los Angeles is 8-10 on the road this season but they haven’t played outside the state of California in two weeks. Overall LA is 3-7 over the last 10. The Lakers did have a big 26 point win over Golden State on Christmas Day, but lost James to a groin injury in the process. Since then, Los Angeles is just 1-4, losing luster on defense in allowing 4 of 5 opponents 114+ points scored. The T’Wolves have found their offense lately which gives Minnesota an edge in this one.
Do Timberwolves Have a Blowout in Them?
Minnesota definitely has the edge in the January 6th NBA free pick by being at home for the second straight game. The Timberwolves are coming off a huge 17 point win vs. the Magic in which Karl-Anthony Towns scored 29 points and grabbed 15 rebounds. Jeff Teague returned to the lineup with a bang, scoring 23 points and dishing out 10 assists. Teague had missed the nine games prior with an ankle injury.
Even with their starting PG back, Minnesota is far from healthy. Derrick Rose is questionable Sunday after missing 5 of the last 7 games with an ankle injury. Starting SF Robert Covington also remains shelved with his own ankle injury. Rose had 31 points when the teams met up in early November in a 119-114 Lakers win. Of course James was in the lineup then as was Jimmy Butler for Minnesota. Towns had just 13 points and 9 rebounds that 1st contest and the Lakers are 4th in the league defending the C position the last 5 games.
January 6th NBA Free Pick Betting
With so many game time decisions Sunday’s contest is hard to call. Rose and Kuzma could both either play or sit altogether. With Teague back, the Minnesota offense does start clicking but the Lakers are also very solid vs. the C position. The O/U does look like a solid play because of the Wolves PG’s return however. Coupled with the loss of defensive stalwart Covington, the Lakers should also put up some solid scoring.
NBA Free Pick: Lakers / T’Wolves *Over 224*