🏀 LeBron Keeps Defying Father Time

The first-ever IST MVP at 38-years-old, LeBron doesn't look like he's slowing down anytime soon, and he's got the Lakers firing on all cylinders. Can Luka and the potent Mavericks' offense get the best of them in Dallas tonight? 🍿 (3 min read)

Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Lakers vs. Mavericks Preview

First things first, a big congrats to the Los Angeles Lakers for winning the inaugural NBA In-Season Tournament with their 123-109 victory over the Indiana Pacers in Saturday night’s title game 🏆

  • I’ll be the first to admit I was skeptical about the IST idea, put props to Adam Silver…the debut was undoubtedly a massive success (well, except for maybe some of the court designs 🤢)

Banner-worthy? I’ll let you decide, but the tourney brought a playoff-like atmosphere to the typical lull of the regular season, and gave us a chance to watch some of the game’s most talented players at their best when the stakes are heightened. Like, if you needed a reminder just how dominant Anthony Davis can be at full health, look no further than his performance in the championship game 🤯 

AD rightfully earned a spot on the All-Tournament Team, but even his historic showing in the final wasn’t enough to warrant MVP honors. Instead, that award went to his teammate, who is somehow still in prime form despite being in his 21st season in the league 😳

Seriously, what we’re seeing out of King James this season is just nuts. The oldest player in the NBA shouldn’t find himself on the MVP Ladder, yet here we are. And while he’s a longshot to actually bring home his fifth MVP trophy (+7500), a fifth Finals trophy, on the other hand, is looking more and more realistic…you can find great value on Lakers title odds right now (+1800) 👀

LeBron and company will look to keep the good vibes going tonight, but the stifling defense we’ve seen recently will be put to the test against one of the league’s most electric offensive forces. Check out how the lines are shaping up as Luka and the Mavericks prepare to host the Lakers out in Dallas 👇

  • Spread: Lakers -1.5

  • Moneyline: Lakers -120, Mavericks +102

  • Over/Under: 235 Total Points

  • When: 7:30PM EST on TNT

14 years of age separate the two superstars set to duke it out tonight, and although the 38-year-old LeBron’s numbers are absurd, they still pale in comparison to the nightly stat-stuffing we see from Luka 😤

  • Deservingly near the top of the MVP discussion (+430), he’s not only averaging close to triple-double (31.9/8.4/8.7) — he’s accomplishing the feat in just a half these days 🤯

Unfortunately, with his star backcourt mate Kyrie Irving out for the foreseeable future due to a right heel contusion, Luka will have to shoulder even more of the load than usual. While the Mavs have gotten solid contributions from role players such as Tim Hardaway Jr., Derrick Jones Jr. and rookie Dereck Lively, the supporting cast can’t nearly match the depth of the Lakers

  • LeBron and AD obviously demand most of the attention, but the rest of the roster deserves their flowers as well. D-Lo is having one of his most efficient seasons ever, Prince/Reddish/Rui all look like key complimentary wings, and after a slow start to the year, Austin Reeves is finding his rhythm in December with over 18 PPG 📈

LA will also be well-rested coming into tonight’s game following a couple days off, while Dallas is in the second leg of a back-to-back after taking on the Grizzlies last night. But while the road team may have the slight advantage in this one, you can never rule out Luka going nuclear 🧨

Trivia Question: Which current Laker played for the Mavericks last season? #RevengeGame

Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

For My Parlay Gurus

I’m definitely expecting a healthy dose of Luka highlights tonight, and a good amount of scoring to follow suit, but I don’t think it will be enough to take down a Lakers team that currently looks as good as anyone in the West. Check out this parlay 👇

  • Lakers ML vs. Mavericks: -120

  • Over 235 Total Points: -110

$100 on this bet would win you $231 — if we hit, make sure you email [email protected] for a chance to win an Overtime hoodie*. Many will enter, only some will win 😉

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Trivia Answer: Christian Wood averaged 16.6 PPG for the Mavericks last year before signing with the Lakers this offseason, where he currently puts up 6.9 PPG

*NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Many will enter, one (1) will win. Void where prohibited. Open to legal US & DC residents 18 years or older. Prize is one Overtime hoodie. Approximate retail value (“ARV”): $65. Entries are accepted until 11:59 pm EST on the day after the bet hits. See Campaign Terms for additional terms. ©2023 Overtime Sports, Inc. All rights reserved.