Well, that didn’t take long.
We’re just one day into the 2012-13 NBA regular season, and already the new-look Los Angeles Lakers are cranking up the Excuse Machine ®, explaining away their short-term deficiencies and promising better days ahead.
The Lakers suffered a 99-91 home loss Tuesday night to the Dallas Mavericks as 8.5-point favorites. The Mavs led at the half and extended their lead to as many as 16 points in the fourth quarter. So, the game was not close, and the Lakers looked terrible at times.
Afterward, the comments went something like this:
- Dwight Howard: “We haven’t had an opportunity to really play together as much as we want.”
- Steve Nash: “It’s growing pains, and it’s a struggle. We’re out of sync, and we’re going to probably have some more moments in games like that.”
- Pau Gasol: “We know it’s not going to happen for us right away, but we’ve just got to stick with it.”
None of this should be entirely unexpected. While the Lakers look good on paper and remain the favorites to advance to the NBA Finals out of the West, they’ll experience plenty of nights like Tuesday in the next month or so.
Remember, the Miami Heat struggled in 2010-11 after putting together The Big Three. The Heat finished 10-8 overall in November and compiled a ghastly 5-13 ATS record. During one stretch, the Heat failed to cover 12 times in 13 games and lost outright as favorites seven times.
Are the Lakers a good early-season fade? Absolutely. You’ll almost always get a favorable number on the opponent, and until Los Angeles begins to turn the corner, it’s probably a good bet to go against them in the foreseeable future.
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Lakers -3 at Blazers