The Los Angeles Lakers are back home to face the Indiana Pacers on the second night of a back-to-back. The Lakers fell at the hands of the Portland Trail Blazers last night, and are still looking for just their third win of the season. The Lakers fell behind early in the first quarter, and failed to make it competitive for the rest of the game.
Kobe Bryant will play tonight despite logging over 34 minutes last night in Portland. It is yet to be determined if Lou Williams will rejoin the team after he missed last night’s game because of a death in the family. The Pacers have the second best record in the Eastern Conference and are only two games behind the Cleveland Cavaliers for first place. The Lakers have their work cut out for them, as they will play one of the NBA’s elite teams.
Paul George has become the face of the Pacers over the last few years. George is a rising star in the NBA and is still looking to regain form after a serious injury during the USA Basketball Showcase in August of 2014. The fifth-year veteran out of Fresno State is having a career year, averaging 26 points and eight rebounds. George is a threat whenever he is on the basketball court. He can create scoring opportunities for himself and will also find a way to slash to the basket when he does not have the ball.
Starting alongside George is the three-point specialist, C.J. Miles. Miles and George made 15 of the Pacers 19 three-pointers on Tuesday, which is a new franchise record for three-pointers made in a single game. The Lakers need to make sure they close out on the hot shooting frontcourt and make sure they do not get hot from beyond the arc.
The Pacers have a dynamic scoring backcourt that features Monta Ellis at shooting guard. Ellis has made his name in the NBA by being able to score in a variety of ways. Jordan Clarkson will have his hands full on defense, as he tries to track Ellis all night. It will have to be a group effort defensively, and everyone needs to communicate and rotate quickly.
D’Angelo Russell will be matched up with George Hill. Hill is a savvy veteran point guard who can also score the ball rather easily. He has had a hot start shooting the three ball this season, making 43 percent of his attempts thus far. This is another player that the Lakers cannot lose track of, because he can have a significant impact on the game.
Keys To Victory:
Establish Tempo: The Lakers are going to have to score efficiently against the Pacers if they want to win the game. When the Lakers are in charge of the pace of the game, they usually keep it competitive for most of the game. The Lakers are going to have to score a lot of points to match the Pacers and their high-powered offense.
Team Basketball: The Lakers are a much better team when they move the ball on offense and find the open man. They struggle when one player has the ball in their hands and everyone else stands around and watches.
Defensive Rotations: The Pacers have plenty of offensive weapons and anybody is a threat with the basketball. The Lakers must communicate with each other and play defense on a string. If they limit penetration in the paint, the Lakers will have a much easier time rotating properly.
Los Angeles Lakers (2-13) vs. Indiana Pacers (10-5)
6:30 PM PST, November 29, 2015
Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
TV: TWC SportsNet
Radio: 710 ESPN (English) / 1330 (Spanish)
Pacers Projected Starting Lineup:
PG: George Hill
SG: Monta Ellis
SF: C.J. Miles
PF: Paul George
C: Ian Mahinmi
Key Reserves: PF: Jordan Hill, C: Myles Turner, SF: Chase Budinger
Lakers Projected Starting Lineup:
PG: D’Angelo Russell
SG: Jordan Clarkson
SF: Kobe Bryant
PF: Julius Randle
C: Roy Hibbert
Key Reserves: PF: Brandon Bass, SF: Nick Young, PF: Larry Nance Jr.