The Los Angeles Lakers will look to have their second four-game winning streak already during the 2019-20 NBA season when they take on Trae Young and the Atlanta Hawks.
The Lakers and Hawks are at extremely different junctures in their seasons. The Lakers are looking the part of a serious championship contender and are in the middle of a three-game winning streak with wins against the Phoenix Suns, Golden State Warriors, and Sacramento Kings.
The Hawks, on the other hand, should be content to get in the ballpark of 35 wins this season and are coming off one of their worst losses in franchise history to the Los Angeles Clippers, 150-101.
Despite the Hawks getting killed and being bottom five in both offensive and defensive rating, they are still are a feisty opponent for any contending team. Young looks to be a future All-Star player in this league and the Hawks lineup features a number of young and talented players including John Collins (who is currently serving a 25-game suspension), De’Andre Hunter, Bruno Fernando, Cam Reddish, Damion Jones, and more.
For their matchup against the Lakers, they’ll obviously be without Collins but they’ll also be without Kevin Huerter, who is one of their best shooters.
On the Lakers side, they’ll still be adjusting to temporary life without Avery Bradley, meaning Alex Caruso and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope will likely get a lot of time guarding Young.
Given what the Clippers were able to do to this Hawks team with Kawhi Leonard out, the Lakers should be able to take care of them with both LeBron James and Anthony Davis on the floor. However, the Lakers cannot get complacent as they seem to have a minor habit of doing early on this season.
The Hawks are not a very good team statistically or record-wise but of their four wins, all of them came against 2018-19 playoff teams, meaning they play up to their competition. The Lakers must be aware of this and give full energy as if they were playing another contender or the Hawks could steal one from under them.
Games like this one are also perfect opportunities for James to become a full-time distributor as the Hawks defense is fairly easy to dissect. It would be pretty safe to put James on early triple-double watch as the Hawks give up the sixth-most points per game at nearly 115 a night.
As will be the case with many games this season, the Lakers should take care of a lesser opponent if they can stay the course and play their game.
Los Angeles Lakers (10-2) vs. Atlanta Hawks (4-8)
6:30 P.M. PT, Nov. 17, 2019
Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
TV: Spectrum SportsNet
Radio: 710 AM (ESPN), 1330 KWKW (Spanish)
Projected Lakers Starting Lineup:
PG: LeBron James
SG: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
SF: Danny Green
PF: Anthony Davis
C: JaVale McGee
Key Reserves: Kyle Kuzma, Dwight Howard, Alex Caruso, Rajon Rondo, Quinn Cook, Jared Dudley
Projected Hawks Starting Lineup:
PG: Trae Young
SG: Cam Reddish
SF: Jabari Parker
PF: De’Andre Hunter
C: Damion Jones
Key Reserves: DeAndre Bembry, Bruno Fernando, Evan Turner, Allen Crabbe, Alex Len