The Los Angeles Lakers continue their road trip on Friday night when they take on the Charlotte Hornets in the second game of a back-to-back.
This road trip has embodied the Lakers’ season a whole pretty well as they have seen mixed results, going 2-2, with players being in and out of the lineup due to injury.
Unfortunately, players once again are out against the Hornets as going into the game LeBron James (left knee soreness/effusion), Anthony Davis (right wrist soreness), Russell Westbrook (right knee soreness) and Avery Bradley (stomach illness) were all listed as questionable.
Frank Vogel revealed some good and bad news pregame though as Westbrook and Bradley are both playing, although James and Davis are not.
This marks the second straight game missed for James, who has some swelling in his knee. It was a longshot that Davis would be able to play regardless since he just came back from a knee injury of his own and it’s a back-to-back, but after suffering the minor wrist injury on Thursday, that tipped the scale to him sitting this one out.
Additionally, Malik Monk was already previously ruled out due to left groin soreness so he will not get the opportunity at a revenge game against the team that drafted him in the lottery and let him walk in free agency last summer.
Without three of their top scorers, the Lakers are going to have to rely on Westbrook to run the show offensively with Carmelo Anthony also having to pick up the slack. Additionally, Dwight Howard and perhaps even DeAndre Jordan will have to play roles without Davis and James, who have been taking up a majority of the center minutes as of late.
On the Hornets’ side of things, they are missing Gordon Hayward due to health and safety protocols so Cody Martin is likely to get another start in his place.
Even without Hayward though, the Hornets still have plenty of firepower at their disposal with LaMelo Ball, Terry Rozier and Miles Bridges in their starting lineup and PJ Washington and Kelly Oubre Jr. coming off the bench.
The Hornets are one of the best offensive teams in the league, ranking third in offensive rating, so the Lakers will have their hands full on the defensive end.
Lakers (24-25) vs. Hornets (27-22)
4:30 p.m. PT, Jan. 28, 2022
Spectrum Center, Charlotte, North Carolina
TV: ESPN, Spectrum SportsNet
Radio: 710 AM ESPN LA
Projected Lakers Starting Lineup:
PG: Russell Westbrook
SG: Avery Bradley
SF: Stanley Johnson
PF: Carmelo Anthony
C: Dwight Howard
Key Reserves: Austin Reaves, Talen Horton-Tucker, Trevor Ariza, Wayne Ellington
Projected Hornets Starting Lineup:
PG: LaMelo Ball
SG: Terry Rozier
SF: Cody Martin
PF: Miles Bridges
C: Mason Plumlee
Key Reserves: PJ Washington, Kelly Oubre Jr., James Bouknight, Ish Smith
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