The Los Angeles Lakers will try to bounce back after a tough loss to James Harden and the Houston Rockets when they take on Kemba Walker and the Charlotte Hornets.
The Lakers will have another tough individual assignment to focus on, as Walker is currently playing the best basketball of his career in almost every way. Through 28 games, Walker is averaging career highs in points, rebounds and assists.
While the Hornets are just 14-14, it’s good enough for sixth place in the Eastern Conference standings. Walker has long been All-Star caliber, but his play this season, coupled with a possible playoff berth, could finally put him into the next tier of players.
The Lakers may struggle to stop him, but they must focus on slowing him down. Much of that will start with point guard Lonzo Ball.
Ball has been highly touted for his defense so far this season, and will absolutely have his work cut out for him in Charlotte. He’ll need some help from the big men, as Walker’s speed and athleticism will get him to the basket on several occasions.
The Hornets are on the second night of a back-to-back, coming off of a loss at home to the New York Knicks. The Lakers will have to take advantage early in case of a sluggish Hornets start.
While everything in Charlotte runs through Walker, they have a decent complimentary roster filled with guys that can make plays when they need to. The Lakers have had good team defense since Tyson Chandler’s arrival, but on a team much like their own where at least eight players average 8.0 points per game or more, there are many ways Charlotte can attack.
This is the first of three very winnable games for the Lakers, as they’ll next face the Washington Wizards an Brooklyn Nets.
Los Angeles Lakers (17-11) vs. Charlotte Hornets (14-14)
4:00 P.M. PT, Dec. 15, 2018
Spectrum Center, Charlotte, North Carolina
TV: Spectrum SportsNet
Radio: 710 AM (ESPN)/1330 KWKW (Spanish)
Projected Lakers Starting Lineup:
PG: Lonzo Ball
SG: Josh Hart
SF: LeBron James
PF: Kyle Kuzma
C: JaVale McGee
Key Reserves: Tyson Chandler, Lance Stephenson, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
Projected Hornets Starting Lineup:
PG: Kemba Walker
SG: Jeremy Lamb
SF: Nicolas Batum
PF: Marvin Williams
C: Cody Zeller
Key Reserves: Malik Monk, Tony Parker, Miles Bridges, Frank Kaminsky