The Los Angeles Lakers are still searching for their first win of the 2018 preseason as they take on the Sacramento Kings at Staples Center. While off to an 0-2 start, the Lakers have a lot to look forward to in the coming weeks before the season begins.
Having played 15 minutes without appearing in second half in both of the first two preseason games, LeBron James expects a similar scenario to unfold on Thursday night. However, the Lakers are otherwise dealing with multiple absences in their backcourt.
Lonzo Ball is missing a third consecutive game as the team cautiously handles his return from offseason knee surgery, and a decision was also made to keep Rajon Rondo out of the lineup. Lakers head coach Luke Walton joked at shootaround it stems from Rondo being “old.”
As a result, Brandon Ingram is making a start at point guard. He’ll be joined by Josh Hart, who is receiving another nod over Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.
Although the Lakers saw improvements in their second preseason game, turnovers and fouling remain trouble spots.
The Kings appear to be fully healthy, which should help them to develop their extremely young roster. Sacramento won their sole preseason game against the Phoenix Suns, 106-102. That game saw a 26-point explosion from Yogi Ferrell as well as a 14-point, 12-rebound performance from center Willie Cauley-Stein.
Defense will be a major point of emphasis in this game as the Kings run a fast-paced offense. Some other things to look for will be the three-point shooting that the Lakers have struggled with so far this preseason, as well as the continued chemistry development between the Lakers newest additions.
Playing their third game in five nights, it will be difficult to see immediate adjustments being made. However, the Lakers should still be ready to play their exciting brand of basketball while working hard to make stops on the defensive end.
Los Angeles Lakers (0-2) Vs Sacramento Kings (1-0):
7:30 P.M. PT, Oct. 4, 2018
Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
TV: Spectrum SportsNet, NBA TV
Radio: 710 AM (ESPN)/1330 KWKW (Spanish)
Projected Lakers Starting Lineup:
PG: Rajon Rondo
SG: Josh Hart
SF: Brandon Ingram
PF: LeBron James
C: JaVale McGee
Key Reserves: Kyle Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Lance Stephenson, Michael Beasley, Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk
Projected Kings Starting Lineup:
PG: DeAaron Fox
SG: Buddy Hield
SF: Justin Jackson
PF: Skal Labissiere
C: Willie Cauley-Stein
Key Reserves: Marvin Bagley III, Harry Giles, Yogi Ferrell, Frank Mason III, Ben McLemore