The Los Angeles Lakers look to avoid losing two straight games for the first time this season as they take on the reeling Detroit Pistons to complete a back-to-back. They will have to do so without Anthony Davis, who is missing the game due to a right quad contusion.
The Lakers suffered their first road loss of the 2020-21 season on Wednesday night against the Philadelphia 76ers. Despite the 76ers being in control the entire way, L.A. still had a chance to win, holding a one-point lead with 12 seconds to go.
The energy they conserved from their lackadaisical play in the first 45 minutes of Wednesday’s contest should be enough to ensure a victory on Thursday, as the Pistons are one of the NBA’s worst teams. They currently hold the second-worst record in the NBA — only the Washington Wizards are worse — and they rank in the bottom 10 in nearly every advanced statistic league-wide.
Even though the Lakers outrank the Pistons on all fronts, no opponent can be looked past. Especially after a loss on Wednesday, the Lakers need to come out with energy and get a win against an inferior opponent.
Stopping the Pistons’ attack starts with getting defensive pressure on Jerami Grant. He signed with the Pistons after breaking out last season with the Denver Nuggets, and has quickly become their best player. Grant is averaging 24.4 points and 6.3 rebounds per game.
The star of the Pistons was Blake Griffin prior to Grant’s arrival, but the veteran and former L.A. Clipper has struggled mightily to begin the season.
Part of being a championship caliber team is easily putting away teams that simply don’t have the same firepower. L.A. has a chance to do that as they continue a brutal Eastern Conference road trip.
Davis is missing his third game of the season, and the quad issue could partially explain his uneven play thus far.
Lakers (14-5) vs. Pistons (4-14)
5:00 p.m. PT, Jan. 28, 2021
Little Caesars Arena, Detroit, Michigan
TV: Spectrum SportsNet
Radio: 710 AM ESPN LA
Projected Lakers starting lineup:
PG: LeBron James
SG: Dennis Schroder
SF: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
PF: Kyle Kuzma
C: Marc Gasol
Key reserves: Montrezl Harrell, Wesley Matthews, Alex Caruso, Markieff Morris
Projected Pistons starting lineup:
PG: Delon Wright
SG: Wayne Ellington
SF: Jerami Grant
PF: Blake Griffin
C: Mason Plumlee
Key reserves: Josh Jackson, Saddiq Bey, Derrick Rose, Svi Mykhailiuk, Sekou Doumbouya
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