The Los Angeles Lakers, minus LeBron James and a few other pieces, take on the Milwaukee Bucks with Giannis Antetokounmpo and several others out as well.
The injury report for this game is absolutely stacked. The Lakers will be without Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball, who are out for the season.
They are without James, who is sitting with a sore left groin, and Lance Stephenson is out with a sprained toe. Meanwhile, Josh Hart was questionable with knee tendinitis and Tyson Chandler was probable with neck stiffness, but both are available.
The Bucks face a similar issue. Antetokounmpo is out with a sprained ankle, Malcolm Brogdon is out for the rest of the regular season, and Sterling Brown, Donte Divincenzo, and new addition Pau Gasol are all out for the matchup as well.
Lakers head coach Luke Walton has already confirmed that Mike Muscala will take James’ spot in the starting lineup, but both teams will be very thin on the bench.
On the basketball side, neither team feels the urgency to win this game. The Lakers, while not mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, are on the verge of facing that reality. A loss would help them gain ground in the lottery and improve their odds at jumping into the top four. As it stands, they have a 13.9 percent chance at securing a top-four draft pick.
The Bucks, meanwhile, are 2.5 games ahead of the Toronto Raptors for the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference. Milwaukee is one of the deepest teams in the NBA, which means they’ll still have plenty of talent on the court despite losing four key players for this game.
When fully healthy, the Bucks run an 11-man rotation, something very few teams in the league can do successfully.
The Lakers, on the other hand, will be mainly reliant on their G League talent to carry them. Alex Caruso is playing the best basketball of his career as of late and is coming off a stellar all-around game in the loss to the New York Knicks.
In a game where neither team is desperate for a win, it’ll be about who puts more effort on the court, something the Lakers’ non G League players have struggled to do of late.
Los Angeles Lakers (31-39) vs. Milwaukee Bucks (52-18)
5:00 P.M. PT, Mar. 19, 2019
Fiserv Forum, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
TV: NBATV, Spectrum SportsNet
Radio: 710 AM (ESPN), 1330 KWKW (Spanish)
Projected Lakers Starting Lineup:
PG: Rajon Rondo
SG: Reggie Bullock
SF: Mike Muscala
PF: Kyle Kuzma
C: JaVale McGee
Key Reserves: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Alex Caruso, Johnathan Williams, Josh Hart
Projected Bucks Starting Lineup:
PG: Eric Bledsoe
SG: Pat Connaughton
SF: Khris Middleton
PF: Nikola Mirotic
C: Brook Lopez
Key Reserves: Tony Snell, George Hill, Ersan Ilyasova, DJ Wilson