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Youthful Lakers are Fade Material Right Now

The young Los Angeles Lakers looked like playoff contenders in the early going of the NBA campaign, as a 6-4 SU start raised eyebrows across the league. Lately, though, L.A. has looked more like the brick-tastic team of 2015-16 that lost 65 games throughout the Kobe Bryant Farewell Tour.

The Lakers (10-17 SU) have dropped seven in a row ahead of Wednesday’s tilt with the Brooklyn Nets. L.A. failed to cover the spread in each of those games, a direct result of the defense falling off a proverbial cliff. Luke Walton’s club has given up an average of 116 points per game in the skid, which is par for the course for an extremely youthful roster in today’s NBA.

Sportsbooks opened the purple and gold as slight 1-point favorites against Brooklyn with a total of 225.

Los Angeles’ starting backcourt of D’Angelo Russell and Nick Young came back from lengthy injury stints in Sunday’s setback to the New York Knicks, which is a good sign for Lakers backers. Walton put both guards on a minutes restriction, but the bench boss has since stated that’s going to be increased going forward.

That doesn’t mean things are going to get easier for the Lakeshow. The squad is playing in its longest road trip of the season tonight, as Brooklyn serves as the second leg in a 12-day, seven-game journey that will be played only on the East Coast.

While the quality of competition on the road trip isn’t exactly stellar – the Lakers will face only two teams with winning records in Cleveland and Charlotte – they may still be fade material going forward. Oddsmakers know how bad Brooklyn, Philadelphia, Miami and Orlando are, so the Lakers will likely continue to be tabbed as road favorites. That’s a risky bet for a club that’s gone 1-3-1 ATS when labeled as chalk this year.

The Lakers’ future is extremely bright, but they’re a rocky team to rely upon right now. Until they start resembling the bunch we saw in early November, it’s best to stay away from them for the time being.