Lakers Vs. Pelicans Preview: Looking To Build Off First Win
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers finally earned their first win of the season this past Sunday, beating the Denver Nuggets at home to improve to 1-5.

Now, the Lakers look to build off that as they host the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday night. This game carries extra significance considering the Pelicans have the right to swap first-round draft picks with the Lakers next summer, so L.A. has extra motivation to win this game to help finish with a better record.

Anthony Davis has been dealing with a back injury and was questionable to play against his former team. He will indeed suit up for the Lakers though looking to continue his outstanding two-way start to the season. Davis is the only player in the NBA currently averaging more than two steals and blocks per game.

Meanwhile, the Lakers are still without Dennis Schroder and Thomas Bryant due to their thumb injuries while Juan Toscano-Anderson returns to the lineup after missing two games with a sprained ankle.

On the Pelicans side of things, they are without former Lakers forward Brandon Ingram due to a concussion and Herbert Jones due to a knee injury. Zion Williamson is playing, however, and he will present an interesting challenge for the Lakers’ interior defense.

This is a battle of strength vs. strength as the Pelicans have a top-five offense in the league while the Lakers have a top-five defense.

The Lakers will need to knock down some outside shots in this one to keep up with New Orleans. That has been a struggle for L.A. this season as they rank dead last shooting just 26.6% from deep this season. They are coming off their best shooting performance of the year against Denver though so hopefully can continue that.

The Russell Westbrook bench experiment also continues for the Lakers and it has been successful so far. Westbrook has looked more like his old self the last two games, playing with the ball in his hands and pushing the pace. That has helped unlock the Lakers’ offense so look for Westbrook to continue his high level of play in this one.

After starting off 0-5, a win here against one of the best teams in the Western Conference would go a long way in helping the Lakers get back on track.

Los Angeles Lakers (1-5) vs. New Orleans Pelicans (4-2)

7:30 p.m. PT, October 30, 2022
Crypto.com Arena
TV: Spectrum SportsNet
Radio: 710 AM ESPN LA

Projected Lakers Starting Lineup:

PG: Patrick Beverley
SG: Lonnie Walker IV
SF: Troy Brown Jr.
PF: LeBron James
C: Anthony Davis

Key Reserves: Russell Westbrook, Kendrick Nunn, Austin Reaves, Damian Jones, Juan Toscano-Anderson, Wenyen Gabriel

Projected Pelicans Starting Lineup:

PG: CJ McCollum
SG: Trey Murphy III
SF: Naji Marshall
PF: Zion Williamson
C: Jonas Valanciunas

Key Reserves: Larry Nance Jr., Devonte’ Graham, Jose Alvarado, Jaxson Hayes, Garrett Temple

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