The Los Angeles Lakers travel to take on the New Orleans Pelicans on Sunday night in what is the regular-season finale. The game has some pretty big standings implications with the Lakers needing a win to have any hope of avoiding the Play-In Tournament.
If the Lakers win and the Denver Nuggets defeat the Portland Trail Blazers then L.A. would jump up to No. 6 in the West. The more likely scenario is they stay at No. 7 and face the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday night though.
As far as the actual games goes, both teams are coming in with a laundry list of injuries. The Pelicans have already been eliminated from postseason contention so they are without Steven Adams (right first MTP sprain), Lonzo Ball (right thumb sprain), Josh Hart (right thumb surgery), Brandon Ingram (left ankle sprain) and Zion Williamson (left hand fracture).
On the Lakers side, LeBron James is suiting up for the second straight night as he continues to work his way back from an ankle injury. On the other hand, Anthony Davis is a game-time decision due to shoulder soreness although Frank Vogel expects him to be able to play.
Everyone else for the Lakers is available, including Alex Caruso, who has missed the last couple games due to foot soreness, and Jared Dudley, who hasn’t played in more than two months because of a torn MCL.
If the Lakers come out and play their game then this one should be over early. Vogel also said that someone on his staff will keep an eye on the Nuggets/Trail Blazers game, so if that one gets out of hand then the Lakers could rest their key players in the second half to begin preparing for the Play-In Game.
Lakers (41-30) vs. Pelicans (31-40)
6 p.m. PT, May 16, 2021
Smoothie King Arena, New Orleans, Louisiana
TV: Spectrum SportsNet
Radio: 710 AM ESPN LA
Projected Lakers Starting Lineup:
PG: Dennis Schroder
SG: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
SF: LeBron James
PF: Anthony Davis
C: Andre Drummond
Key Reserves: Kyle Kuzma, Wesley Matthews, Alex Caruso, Markieff Morris, Talen Horton-Tucker, Marc Gasol, Montrezl Harrell
Projected Pelicans Starting Lineup:
PG: Eric Bledsoe
SG: Nickeil Alexander-Walker
SF: Naji Marshall
PF: James Johnson
C: Willy Hernangomez
Key Reserves: Wenyan Gabriel, Jaxson Hayes, Kira Lewis Jr., Didi Louzada
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