Hawks Vs. Lakers Preview: Anthony Davis Available Despite Eye Issue
Anthony Davis, Clint Capela, Lakers, Hawks
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Riding a two-game losing streak, the Los Angeles Lakers are looking to return to their winning ways when they get back on the court Monday night, hosting an Atlanta Hawks team that is without Trae Young.

The Lakers are coming off two fairly demoralizing losses, falling to teams ahead of them in the playoff race, which won’t help make up ground in seeding. The Lakers’ loss to the Golden State Warriors was particularly frustrating because they are in the Play-In Tournament mix as well and losing that game put the purple and gold in 10th seed.

A health scare also happened during Saturday’s game, that being Anthony Davis as he was hit in the face late in the first quarter. His left eye was swollen shut and he ultimately missed the rest of the game, which dramatically impacted the Lakers team’s defense.

If L.A. wanted to accomplish anything heading down this final stretch, Davis needs to be healthy due to a lack of center depth and perimeter defenders. Coming into Monday, the 31-year-old was listed as questionable with a left eye corneal abrasion but thankfully, he is suiting up to aid the team’s chances of snapping this little losing skid.

However, Atlanta is coming off an impressive win against the Los Angeles Clippers, blowing them out at Crypto.com Arena on Sunday night. Despite being without Young, the Hawks were able to beat one of the best teams in the Western Conference with ease. Dejounte Murray, a familiar name due to trade rumors with the Lakers, put up 21 points and 10 assists on 7-for-14 from the field and 5-for-10 from 3-point range.

There is a bit of a storyline in this one with Murray and D’Angelo Russell due to the rumors, so it will be entertaining to see who performs better. Regardless, Murray is going to command attention and with limited self-creation outside of him, containing the 6’5″ guard is crucial for L.A.

Another area that the Lakers have to be conscious of is the rebounding battle. Atlanta has Jalen Johnson and Clint Capela, two impressive rebounders. With L.A. struggling to win that stat, it is important to limit possessions for a Hawks team that can still put numbers up, but also get out in transition as the Lakers defense has not been great coming out of the All-Star break.

Los Angeles Lakers (36-32) vs. Atlanta Hawks (30-37)

7:30 p.m. PT, March 18, 2024
Crypto.com Arena, Los Angeles, California
TV: Spectrum SportsNet
Radio: 710 AM ESPN LA

Projected Lakers Starting Lineup:

PG: D’Angelo Russell
SG: Austin Reaves
SF: LeBron James
PF: Rui Hachimura
C: Anthony Davis

Key Reserves: Spencer Dinwiddie, Taurean Prince, Jaxson Hayes, Max Christie

Projected Hawks Starting Lineup:

PG: Dejounte Murray
SG: Vit Krejci
SF: Bogdan Bogdanovic
PF: Jalen Johnson
C: Clint Capela

Key Reserves: De’Andre Hunter, Bruno Fernando, Garrison Mathews, Wesley Matthews

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