You know about the Los Angeles Lakers. They made their first playoff appearance in 2020 since 2013 when Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Dwight Howard and Steve Nash were running the show. But they were anything but the showtime Lakers in that seven season stretch. They weren't even that good when LeBron James came to town when they went 38-45. Head coach Luke Walton was fired, the iconic Magic Johnson left the club and James' health was in question as he reached the later half of his thirties.
What TV Channel is Mavericks-Lakers on?
Mavericks-Lakers will be shown on ABC/ESPN at 8:00 p.m. ET. You can live stream the NBA games on fuboTV.
How to Watch Mavericks-Lakers
When: Friday, December 25
Where: Staples Center - Los Angeles, CA
Time: 8:00 p.m. ET
Live Stream: fuboTV (watch NBA free with fuboTV)
What a difference a year makes. In a season dedicated to the late-great Kobe Bryant, the Lakers seemed a team of destiny winning the 2020 NBA Finals even with all the bubble disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. There were no disruptions for the Lakers when the season ended either. The rich only got richer. The Lakers signed Marc Gasol from the Toronto Raptors in an upgrade at center. Then they signed the reigning Sixth Man of the Year Montrezl Harrell from the Clippers of all teams.
Speaking of which, maybe the Lakers were in a haze after they received their championship rings in front of no fans as they lost to the Clippers to open their season. The Lakers still run LA until further notice but the Clippers are more determined to challenge the Lakers for the throne as they were bounced unexpectedly in the second round of the playoffs. Don't be surprised if the two teams from LA meet right before the NBA Finals.
That's not to say the Dallas Mavericks won't have anything to say about that. Luka Doncic is now in his third year in the league and has a legitimate shot at earning the MVP award after he was named Rookie of the Year and named to his first All-Star game in February. The fortunes of the Mavericks will hinge on the support Doncic receives, especially from Kristap Porzingis.
After disagreements with the Knicks front office (which retrospectively Porzingis had every right to be on a different page than the notoriously dysfunctional Knicks management) Porzingis was traded the Mavs but has struggled with injury ever since. He tore his ACL in 2019 but made his first playoff appearance last season against the Clippers.
The more postseason experience and injury free seasons Porzingis will have the more he will escalate the Mavs in the upper echelon of the Western Conference. They opened their season against the revamped Phoenix Suns led by Chris Paul and only lost by four. Both teams looked revamped and ready to challenge anyone. This game against the Lakers will only be a further barometer of how far this team can go.
Dallas Mavericks at Los Angeles Lakers Betting Odds
Mavericks Odds: +6
Lakers Odds: -6
Money Line: Mavericks +230 - Lakers -270