The Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets seem to be two teams trending in different directions leading up to their matchup at Crypto.com Arena on Sunday night.
The Lakers currently own the worst record in the league at 2-10 after suffering five straight losses. On the other hand, the Nets have bounced back from their early-season struggles after the firing of Steve Nash, winning four of their last five.
Both teams will be lacking star power on Sunday though as LeBron James is set to miss his second straight game with a left adductor strain. James is considered day-to-day but the Lakers don’t play again until Friday after the Brooklyn game so it makes sense to give him those extra days of rest.
Meanwhile, the Nets continue to be without Kyrie Irving due to a suspension the organization handed down for him sharing an anti-semitic video on social media. Brooklyn is requiring Irving to complete a number of tasks before being able to return, which even James expressed displeasure with this past week.
The Nets still have a ton of firepower even without Irving and Seth Curry, who is also out, though and it all starts with Kevin Durant. The future Hall of Famer is in the midst of another MVP-caliber season for Brooklyn. His length and shooting ability should present a number of challenges for a Lakers team that lacks size on the wing.
It will be interesting to see how Darvin Ham plans to defend Durant as Patrick Beverley has typically guarded wings so far this season although will very little success. Perhaps Anthony Davis will get a chance to defend Durant with Wenyen Gabriel taking Nets center Nic Claxton.
Regardless, the Lakers are approaching must-win territory just 13 games into the season which no one could have predicted. If L.A. losses this one then it will fall to 2-11 on the year, continuing to dig a hole that soon will be too big to climb out of.
Reports have indicated that the Lakers may not look to make any roster upgrades via trade if the losses continue to pile up so the clock is ticking for them to turn it around and they have a prime opportunity to do so on Sunday night against a quality Brooklyn team.
Los Angeles Lakers (2-10) vs. Brooklyn Nets (6-7)
6:30 p.m. PT, November 13, 2022
TV: Spectrum SportsNet
Radio: 710 AM ESPN LA
Projected Lakers Starting Lineup:
PG: Patrick Beverley
SG: Lonnie Walker IV
SF: Troy Brown Jr.
PF: Wenyen Gabriel
C: Anthony Davis
Key Reserves: Russell Westbrook, Austin Reaves, Kendrick Nunn, Damian Jones, Juan Toscano-Anderson, Matt Ryan
Projected Nets Starting Lineup:
PG: Edmond Sumner
SG: Royce O’Neal
SF: Joe Harris
PF: Kevin Durant
C: Nic Claxton
Key Reserves: Patty Mills, Ben Simmons, Day’Ron Sharpe, Cam Thomas
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